Teenager killed in Graham rollover crash

by: Rick Price Updated:

GRAHAM, Wash. - An 18-year-old student at Graham-Kapowsin High School is dead after the car in which he was riding bottomed out at a high speed, sending it rolling. 

It missed hitting a house by a few feet. 

State troopers said the crash occurred about midnight at the corner of Meridian Road, which is State Route 161, and 237th Street Court East, in Graham. 

The car came to rest without striking the house just outside a bedroom window.

 Lori Jeffries was sleeping in that bedroom when the noise of the car rolling woke her.  She looked out just in time to see the car slide to a stop. 


The rear-seat passenger was ejected and hit the house, leaving a visible gash.  

The 18-year-old’s body was found in the garden near Jeffries’ window.

  "I kind of feel sick,” she said.  “My mind's racing a million miles an hour. My body's shaking. I just can't believe it's even happening.  I'm more upset that somebody had to die in my yard over it." 

Police don’t think the victim, identified as Zach Statezni, was wearing a seat belt.

Troopers don’t suspect alcohol or drugs as a factor in the crash, and said that speed appeared to be the primary cause.

 Troopers followed as an ambulance transported the 17-year-old driver to Tacoma General Hospital.  He was wearing a seat belt and was not badly injured.

He has since been arrested on vehicular homicide charges.

Troopers said the driver admitted to traveling at speeds of 80-85 miles an hour before the car bottomed out.

The front seat passenger, also 17, was belted in, and had non-life-threatening injuries.  He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup as a precaution.

The driver and other passenger were also students at Graham-Kapowsin High School.

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