Pedestrian hit during WSP chase in SeaTac dies

VIDEO: Pedestrian hit during WSP chase in SeaTac dies

An elderly man who was was hit by a driver, who thought he was being chased by the Washington State Patrol, has died.

The suspect took off after he was stopped on Interstate 5 for speeding, then drove into SeaTac on Monday afternoon.

A relative of the 74-year-old pedestrian said he was doing what he always does after lunch: go for a walk. This time, he was apparently in the path of this vehicle that struck him, then a tree.

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“Just going for a walk, and there’s a car up a tree down the street,” said Kim.

This was the first moment she knew something horrific had happened in her neighborhood.

Kim said she didn’t hear a thing. “No, which is crazy,” she said. “We’re just a couple houses down.”

On Friday morning, family told KIRO 7 the man died from his injuries.

Chopper 7 was overhead soon after the terrible crash happened.


According to the Washington State Patrol, the driver was clocked at 95 miles per hour on northbound I-5. A motorcycle trooper pulled him over. But the man gave him a couple of false IDs.

“When the trooper indicated other troopers were coming, the individual put the car in drive and took off,” said Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson.

Sources tell us the driver is 32-year-old Gerald Cowles. He was pulled over for speeding. But when the motorcycle trooper ran his ID, the trooper discovered he was wanted on a Department of Corrections Escape warrant for first-degree rape of a child.

Johnson said the motorcycle trooper gave chase but suspended the chase when Cowles took the Military Road exit off I-5.

But Cowles continued until he turned right onto South 220th, apparently right into the path of a 74-year-old resident.

“It’s horrible,” said Johnson. “I’ve been doing this 29 years, and these incidents are sad. And that’s one of the reasons why we terminate pursuits.”

Cowles had not been booked into the King County Jail by 6:30. But the jail roster indicates he was in jail as recently as Aug. 26.

He was being held then for investigation of burglary and vehicle theft.