MAY 5, 1997
Dale Stack points past tire tracks to where his five-year-old daughter Katelin was playing when a maroon Toyota pickup plunged over an embankment from Woodinville-Duvall Road and careened through the farm, breaking fences and a gate April 21. Katelin's bike lays next to tracks left by the vehicle.
Photo by Andrew Walgamott/Northwest News.
by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter
On the afternoon of April 21, an early 1990s maroon Toyota pickup with a black canopy came barreling off the Woodinville-Duvall Road near Ring Hill and drove through a five-acre horse and duck farm at the junction of Woodinville-Duvall Road, NE 175th Street, and NE 170th Place.
The truck crashed through fences, drove over trees, and bent a metal gate on the farm before heading west on Woodinville-Duvall Road. King County Officer Michael Starritt, investigating the case, estimated the entire incident lasted less than 30 seconds. "I'm really surprised they retained control."
The Stack family, residents at the farm, are asking the public's help in locating the suspects, described as dark-haired white males in their mid-20s, or their vehicle, which had Washington license plates.
Dale Stack, who was at home at the time of the incident, later characterized it as "craziness."
"Somebody driving like this is going to hurt somebody," Stack said. His five-year-old daughter Katelin had been only 20 feet away in a sandbox from where the vehicle smashed through a second fence on its way through the farm.
"They obviously weren't going to stop for anything," Stack said.
The incident occurred between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Long skid marks on Woodinville-Duvall Road show where the truck slowed for an unknown obstacle. A driver on NE 171st Place had to pull her vehicle forward quickly as the truck drove behind the vehicle and plunged down a grassy embankment, flattening a 6x6 wooden fencepost and scattering 2x6 fencing.
Stack, who was picking rocks from an upper field on the farm, heard the pickup crash through the fence. "It sounded like an explosion," Stack said. Going down the steep 15-foot embankment, the vehicle sideswiped one pine and drove over another ten-foot pine. The truck jumped a rock-lined creek and drove through an orchard where the Stacks sometimes graze their horses. One apple tree was destroyed.
Stack, who was running down the hill by this time, said he thought there had been an accident. "I was worried about an injury. I was running to help the guy," said Stack.
The Toyota crashed through another fence not 25 feet from where Katelin was playing in a sandbox while Stack asked his wife to call 911. The truck then sped off over an earthen knoll, onto the Stack's driveway, and broke down their chained gate, bending the metal gate and bounced it aside. The truck fishtailed onto NE 170th Place and then hopped back onto Woodinville-Duvall Road headed west.
The reason for the incident was not readily apparent. Stack likened the suspects' driving to a video game and wondered who would crack their vehicle through solid fencing and a metal gate.
"You hate to say they're mad and all, but who would do that?" Stack asked. He said this was the second time in three months that his fence had been broken down by vehicles coming off of Woodinville-Duvall Road.