Victims identified in early morning hit-and-run

BOTHELL, Wash. — Family and friends are mourning an Everett couple and calling for answers after a driver left the two to die.

Friends say the victims are a long-time couple. Troopers say they were hit and killed early Friday morning on State Route 524 near Nellis Road.

Several people have left flowers and balloons at a growing memorial near where they died. Many of them are strangers, but one woman said they “wanted to pay our respects.”

“She was one of my best friends,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified, as she left flowers at the memorial. “She was a beautiful person.”

She was talking about 39-year-old Sara Fox, an Everett woman killed, say her friends, with her boyfriend, 32-year-old Carson Cox. The couple was walking along busy Highway 524 at about 5:30 Friday morning when they were struck and left to die.

“And to find out the person that hit them like left the scene that really just angered me,” said Kristina Henninger.

The Redmond woman said she hadn’t seen the couple for a couple of years but still considered them special friends.

“And it’s upsetting knowing that I’m never going to talk to either one of them again,” she said.

Washington State patrol says a Bothell man struck them and left. They say 27-year-old Alec Gajdos stopped for a moment after the accident, then drove away, and later clocked into work.

Hours later, he pulled into a Seven-Eleven less than a mile from the scene while troopers were investigating the crime; his car still bearing the scars of the fatality. He was arrested on the spot.

Neighbors say they worry whenever they see pedestrians on this busy highway.

“Yes, they still walk down that way,” confirmed Cory Perez, who has lived in the area about 20 years. “They need to make a walkway or something.”

“The only thing I can really be thankful for is the last time we saw them spirits were up,” said Henninger, “and we were all in a good mood.”

Henninger says it is painful knowing the driver drove away.

“I just don’t think anybody should be going out like that,” she said. “But I’m hoping justice will prevail here and the driver will pay for what he did.”

She says she would like him to remain in prison for life.

He will likely make a court appearance Monday afternoon.