Investigators seek witnesses in crash that killed King County deputy

by: Kevin McCarty Updated:

FREDRICKSON, Wash. - An off-duty King County Sheriff’s Office deputy died late Wednesday, two days after a mysterious motorcycle crash in Fredrickson that left him with critical head injuries. 

Pierce County Sheriff’s investigators are trying to track down the driver of a white van that may have been a cause of the crash, or a possible witness. 

Martin Duran, 47,  was on his way home on his personal motorcycle around 5 p.m. Monday near the 7500 block of 176th Street when he was forced to make a sudden stop. 

 “He made an extreme maneuver to stop that bike from hitting something. What that was we don’t know,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Detective Ed Troyer.

Duran was thrown off the bike and struck his head on a curb. He was wearing a helmet but suffered serious injuries. 

“His injuries are grave, he’s in critical condition. The King County Sheriff’s Department  has been at the hospital with him and we’re making sure family gets there,” said Troyer before the deputy died. 

Pierce County investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding the driver of a white van seen making a U-turn near the scene of the crash. The deputy may have been forced to stop suddenly to avoid the van or the driver could be a witness, according to Troyer. He said the crash is not considered a hit-and-run. 

“Whether the white van was coming back to help and then took off, we don’t know that yet,” said Troyer. “That’s why we want to talk to anybody that may have seen it.”

Executive Dow Constantine released a statement Thursday afternoon on the passing of King County Sheriff’s deputy Duran:  

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sheriff’s Deputy Martin Duran. His was a life of service to others that was cut far too short.  It is a great loss for the King County family. Deputy Duran will be greatly missed. My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”