Professional skateboarder suspected of fatal DUI crash on Vashon Island

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. — He has made his mark in the daring sport of professional skateboarding.

But 26-year-old Cory Kennedy is now likely facing the greatest challenge of his young life, a deadly accident on Vashon Island, where he lives.

Kennedy is featured in several YouTube videos for his skateboarding – including one from Nike.

"It appears the driver was traveling too fast," said Sgt. Jason Escobar, "failed to negotiate the turn to the left, drove off the roadway."

Escobar, King County Sheriff's acting public information officer, says Kennedy was the driver who crashed into this tree. He had two passengers. The passenger in front wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

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"So the vehicle drives off the road, slides into a tree on the passenger side, pretty high rate of speed, we believe, because a lot of damage on that side," Escobar said. "And then it spins into another tree on the driver's side of the vehicle."

Forty-five-year-old Preston Maigetter, a skateboarder known as Big Dog, died at the scene. A bouquet of flowers and a wreath mark the spot.

Maigetter was a video producer for the publication “Thrasher,” and he worked with Kennedy on videos.

Thrasher released a statement on Friday that read in part, "there isn't a stronger, more brimming-with-life person on this planet. I'm certain of it. Preston was everything you could ever want in a human being. He loved his family and friends and skateboarding and life like no other person I've ever known."

In court, the King County deputy prosecutor confirmed that Kennedy has a history of speeding while driving.  He has at least four speeding tickets in as many years. Shane Harrison asked for $250,000 to ensure Kennedy's appearance in court.

But his attorney argued that Kennedy has no reason to flee.

"He's got ties to the community," said Francisco Duarte, a lawyer specializing in DUI cases. "I spoke to his mother. They indicate that they don't believe that there is a history of mental or substance abuse."

District Court Judge Arthur Chapman agreed.

He released Kennedy on his personal recognizance.

The second passenger was treated at Harborview Medical Center and released. Duarte said all three of them lived in Kennedy's house on Vashon Island.

The prosecutor has until the day after Labor Day to charge him or let him go.

Nothing is more heartbreaking than hearing news that a loved one has passed away. It hits you like a ton of bricks. As...

Posted by Thrasher Magazine on Thursday, August 31, 2017