Northwest NEWS

December 10, 2001


Driver charged in daughter's death

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   Anita Durrett, 42, of North Bend, was charged last week in Snohomish County Superior Court with vehicular homicide in the death of her 9-year-old daughter, LaDawna. Durrett, it is alleged, was fleeing a shoplifting incident at a Woodinville grocery store last June when the car she was driving crossed the centerline and crashed into a tree on the opposite side of the road. Her daughter, a passenger in the car, was killed in the accident. Durrett, herself, was seriously injured.
   Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kathleen Webber said her office "reviewed the case and the facts of the case fit the charging standards."
   Prosecutors were not pressured by relatives or outsiders to pursue the case, she said.
   According to Webber, if no prior criminal history is established, Durrett could serve 21 to 27 months in jail.
   Apparently Durrett left the supermarket just before 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, with a cart containing two unpaid for Styrofoam coolers filled with $266 worth of groceries.
   Store employees confronted her in the store parking lot, asking to see the receipt for her purchases. After pretending to look in her purse, Durrett allegedly jumped in her car and sped off, leaving some of the "taken" groceries in the parking lot and spilling what she had already loaded into her car onto the ground from an opened back car door as she drove away.
   On the advice of a supervisor, two store employees followed Durrett's car as it turned north on 156th Avenue Northeast off of the Woodinville-Duvall Road.
   Roughly 2-1/2 miles from the store, she passed one vehicle and apparently lost control of the car and slammed into a tree. The police report indicated the roads were wet and witnesses reported Durrett was speeding.
   Police have not specified whether Durrett knew she was being followed or whether she was driving recklessly because she was agitated due to the confrontation in the store parking lot.
   Arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 18.