EVERETT — Nearly two years after a motorcyclist was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash, a Lake Stevens area man has been charged with vehicular homicide.
Lars Kundu, 24, was driving a Mazda Navajo SUV on Jan. 28, 2018, and tailgating a car going eastbound on Highway 92, near Granite Falls, according to charging papers filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. He allegedly passed the car in a roundabout and rear-ended a motorcycle.
The motorcyclist, Chad Keeler, landed on his hands and knees, a witness reported. The SUV stopped, backed up, turned right and ran over Keeler before taking off, prosecutors allege.
Keeler, 29, died at the scene. A medical examiner determined he died from blunt force trauma to his head, neck and torso, consistent with being run over by a vehicle.
Kundu’s SUV hit a fence and kept going. As the vehicle lost traction in a grass field, one of the witnesses, a friend of Keeler’s, ran after it. Kundu allegedly sprayed mace at the man and took off.
According to charging documents, Kundu almost struck another vehicle head-on as he got back onto the road. The other driver, who had her sons with her, said the SUV repeatedly swerved into opposing traffic and nearly hit a bicyclist. The vehicle reportedly came to a stop near 84th Street NE, possibly because of mechanical problems, about 1½ miles away from where Keeler was hit.
A detective found four sets of fresh tire marks that matched the Mazda Navajo. The locations of the tire marks appeared to corroborate the witnesses’ reports. Keeler’s blood was found on the Mazda’s bumper and windshield. The foot peg of a motorcycle was found lodged behind the SUV’s bug shield. And a license plate matching the Mazda was found at the scene of the collision.
Kundu told a deputy that the motorcyclist had braked abruptly, causing the crash. He reportedly said he smoked marijuana earlier in the day. A blood sample obtained by search warrant showed he had 17 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood — above the legal limit of 5 nanograms.
Police initially arrested Kundu for investigation of vehicular homicide. He was released when charges weren’t immediately filed.
Since then, Kundu has been ticketed for speeding at least three times, and arrested for investigation of a domestic violence assault against his girlfriend in Skamania County.
On Nov. 22, the day after Kundu was charged for vehicular homicide, his ex-girlfriend filed a protection order against him, alleging that he wouldn’t give back her emotional support dog.
In the petition, she said Kundu threatened to kill her and her friends on several occasions. After the woman’s current boyfriend asked Kundu to leave her alone earlier in November, Kundu sent her a Snapchat, she wrote. In the message, he reportedly said her boyfriend will be “catching lead” if he tried anything.
She also described Kundu’s history of threatening self harm, alcohol abuse and a brain injury he suffered in a 2011 crash in Marysville. He hasn’t made any meaningful attempt to address his mental health, she wrote.
“I have a fear Mr. Kundu will attempt to contact me to harass me, or try to come after me to ‘get back at me,’” she wrote. “Mr. Kundu has told me many times of ways he would kill me or the people I love just to hurt me.”
As of Monday, an initial arraignment hadn’t been scheduled.