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Decisions made for two Kenmore hit-and-run suspects, one stalled

Flowers were laid at the crosswalk on 61st and 190th in Kenmore around March 24 in honor of Caleb Shoop, who was hit on his bicycle. - Sarah Kehoe, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter
Flowers were laid at the crosswalk on 61st and 190th in Kenmore around March 24 in honor of Caleb Shoop, who was hit on his bicycle.
— image credit: Sarah Kehoe, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

Three Kenmore residents have been struck and killed by motor vehicles during the past year.

All three suspects in the various accidents are in very different situations within the legal system.

There was no trial for the 29-year-old truck driver that hit Kenmore resident Caleb Shoop, 19, as the prosecutor’s office determined there wasn’t sufficient evidence to file any criminal charges. A King County detective in charge of the case has issued an infraction, which is a civil violation, according to Sergeant DB Gates, media relations officer for the county.

The Shoop family was not pleased with the decision.

"While we recognize that there is nothing that can be done to bring our son back to life, a ticket does not seem to be enough of a penalty to deter a distracted driver from taking another life," said Tammy Shoop, Caleb's mother. "We are disappointed that the state considers our son's life and violent death to be worth only $175."

Shoop was stopped at a crosswalk on 61st and 190th in Kenmore March 18, waiting for cars in both directions to stop, when he was struck by a truck in the last lane that failed to stop. Caleb was sent to Harborview with a brain injury and he passed away March 21 at 9:19 p.m.

There is no evidence of speed, drugs or alcohol on the 29-year-old truck driver that hit Caleb, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

Shoop was an Inglemoor High School graduate and was very active while attending school. He participated in marching band, track and field and water polo. He volunteered for Ski for All, an organization that works with teaching disabled children and veterans how to ski and snowboard.

He was hoping to become a firefighter.

"He was absolutely beloved of everyone who ever knew him," said Ben Shoop, Caleb's father, after the incident. "He embodied the spirit of giving to others."

Lynwood resident and Kirkland-area caregiver Kwesi Gyesi, 53, faces one count of felony hit-and-run for failing to get out of his vehicle and follow proper procedure. He struck and killed 20-year-old Sarah Paulson in a crosswalk at the intersection of Juanita Drive Northeast and Northeast 160th Street on March 14. Gyesi attorney withdrew from the case following a family emergency. The case setting was postponed to July 10 at 1 p.m. in the King County Courthouse.

Paulson was on her way to catch a metro bus that she typically rode to Bellevue College. Charging documents state Paulson was mid-way through the crosswalk, which was unlit and dark at the time of the accident, when a witness saw a vehicle strike her.

Paulson later died at Harborview Medical Center a couple hours later from collision-related injuries.

The witness saw the driver pull over but did not see the driver get out to check on the accident. A short while later, the driver drove off, charging documents state.

"Another driver did exit her car and ran to Ms. Paulson's body," the documents continue, adding the witness immediately called 911.

Gyesi called 911 sixteen minutes after the accident and police responded to a Kirkland apartment complex located at the 7300 block of Northeast 141st Place.

Gyesi said he was driving to the apartment complex to begin work. Charging documents state he is a caregiver with Shared Journeys in Seattle.

He told police he heard the hit, pulled over for 10 to 15 minutes and then drove away. He told police he did not know what he hit and that he had to relieve a coworker, charging documents state. Additionally, he had left his cell phone at work, which was three minutes from the accident.

Sydney Katelane Jones, 25, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in April after pleading guilty to a hit-and-run death last November. She will also have to serve 18 months of supervised community custody after her release. Jones hit and killed Joseph David Humphreys, 31, just after midnight on Oct. 21, 2013, while attempting to light a cigarette.

She told police that the accident occurred while she was “driving to the store,” south in the 18400 block of 62nd Ave. NE. Humphreys was also walking south on the side of the Kenmore street, which has no sidewalks. Jones allegedly struck Humphreys with the front right side of the truck, causing damage to the hood of the vehicle, front headlight and side mirror, according to court documents.

Jones called 911 at approximately 1:26 a.m. to report that she was out walking her dog and found an unconscious man on the side of the road. She stated that the “body was all twisted and looked like he was hit by a car because she could see car parts on the ground,” the documents continue.

Humphreys was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

Jones spoke with a deputy and never identified herself as the driver of the truck that struck the man. The deputy told Jones she was no longer needed at the scene and she walked home.

Jones turned herself in to police late in the afternoon on Oct. 21, 2013 at Kenmore City Hall. She told investigators she was “probably driving a little faster than she should have. She was lighting her cigarette when she felt a bump. She looked up and did not see anything.”

Jones continued on to the store where she accidentally hit a light pole.

“She got out of the truck and saw the damage. She thought that it was a lot of damage for a little hit,” the documents continue. After returning home, she went for a walk to see what she had hit in the road.

She said that after hearing media reports that police were looking for a Ford truck “it made sense to her that she was the one.”

Jones does not have a valid driver’s license in Washington state and reported to Court Services that she is attending out-patient substance abuse treatment.

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