Seattle police identify officer who struck, killed pedestrian in crash

SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department has identified the officer who struck and killed a pedestrian with a patrol vehicle last week as Officer Kevin Austin Dave.

Dave was responding to an emergency call on Jan. 23 when he hit 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula near Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street just after 8 p.m.

On Monday, SPD Chief Diaz released a statement regarding the fatal collision and provided further details on the timeline of the investigation into this incident.

“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,” said Diaz. “The Seattle Police Department continues to extend its deepest condolences to Ms. Kandula’s family and friends.”

Following the crash, officers performed CPR while waiting for Seattle Fire Department medics to arrive. Once medics were at the scene, they took over lifesaving measures and transported Kandula to Harborview Medical Center, where she later died.

A drug recognition expert responded to the scene and found no signs of impairment in Dave, according to Diaz.

Dave has been with the department since Nov. 2019 and is certified as an EMT. At the time of the collision, he was responding to a “priority one” call as an EMT at the request of the Seattle Fire Department.

The SPD traffic collision investigation squad is investigating this incident as a potential criminal matter, which is protocol for any “serious traffic collision,” according to Diaz.

Following its investigation, a report will be provided to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, which will then make any potential charging decisions.

The Seattle Office of Police Accountability, which is administratively within SPD but physically and operationally independent, has also opened an investigation into whether Dave complied with SPD policy.

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