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Chief Diaz’s Statement Regarding Fatal Collision

I am speaking today to provide additional information regarding last week’s officer-involved collision at Dexter and Thomas and provide clarification about the investigation timeline and process.

First and foremost, and from my heart: this collision is a terrible tragedy for all involved, but especially and most importantly, for Ms. Kandula’s family. I have reached out to her family and will be working with them as the investigation into this collision proceeds, and among my highest concerns is respecting the family’s privacy and their wishes concerning the release of information. 

What I can confirm at this point is – the officer involved is Kevin A. Dave. He has been with the department since 2019 and is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. At the time of this collision, he was responding as an EMT to a Priority 1 emergency call. He did have his emergency lights on and was clearing intersections with his siren. As is protocol, a drug recognition expert responded to the collision scene and found no evidence of impairment in the officer.

I also want to be clear about the investigation process. Unlike a Use of Force investigation, which under protocols established through the consent decree begins as an administrative investigation conducted by detectives with extensive training in force analysis, any serious traffic collision on City streets, whether officer-involved or not, is investigated as a potential criminal matter by the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.  We are treating this investigation as we would any fatal collision investigation.

The detectives in this squad are highly trained and certified in areas of physics, human factors, and other specialized matters specific to collision reconstruction. Their investigation includes, for example, calculations as to vehicle operation and speed, lines of sight, lighting, roadway and traffic conditions, witness observations, any camera footage in the area, and any other material factors. 

As is the case at the end of any traffic collision investigation, the report will be provided to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, who will make any decision regarding charging. On the administrative side, OPA has also opened an investigation as to whether the officer complied with policy and will proceed according to their timelines.

I understand there are many questions, but to preserve the integrity of the investigation and respect the family’s right to privacy, the amount of information we can release at this time is limited.

The Seattle Police Department continues to extend its deepest condolences to Ms. Kandula’s family and friends.

Thank you.