Woman hit and killed by SPD car identified; officer was responding to call nearby

SEATTLE — The King County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed with KIRO 7 that 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula was the woman who was struck and killed by a Seattle police car earlier this week.

The Seattle police and fire departments are also sharing new information about what led up to the tragedy.

According to police, the officer was heading north on Dexter Avenue North on Monday night, responding to a ‘priority one’ call.

SPD categorizes priority one calls as immediate, high-priority responses or those that pose a threat to life.

SFD said the officer was heading to the 700 block of 6th Ave North, not far from where the crash happened.

One man who claims to have heard the collision said, from his view, the officer looked distraught afterward.

“I feel bad for the officer. I can’t imagine how he feels. And I saw the emotion from him, and he seemed pretty bent out of shape about it,” the man told KIRO 7.

Some who work in the area also share concerns about the intersection.

From Ryan Gibson’s experience, crossing at the intersection can get tough.

“I will never look at my phone when I cross the street here. And I always try to look both ways and be really smart about it just knowing people have gotten hit out here,” Gibson said.

KIRO 7 has learned the intersection has been slated for safety improvements for years, but reductions in the city’s budget late last year paused the improvement project indefinitely.

“Whether it’s putting, like, the crosswalk lights up. But hopefully, people can be just a little more careful going through here moving forward,” Gibson said.

Gibson and others in the area believe this accident could’ve been avoided.

“It’s like one, extremely sad. And two, feels like it should be pretty preventable,” Gibson said.

SPD said their Traffic Collision Squad is still investigating the crash.

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