Sailor dead after possible street racing

A 19-year-old sailor is dead following a high-speed crash on State Route 16 just past the Tremont exit on Sunday.

According to witnesses, two cars, including the deceased’s 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse, were racing along the highway toward Bremerton just after 4:15 p.m., reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph. Rain was falling and the road was slippery.

As the cars passed Tremont, the 19-year-old apparently lost control of his car. It slid off the highway, colliding head-on with a tree just beyond the grass shoulder. The vehicle then rolled, coming to rest upside-down.

The man, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected and probably died instantly. His car was totaled.

State Patrol spokesman Trooper Glen Tyrrell said the cause of the accident appears to be no more than excessive speed combined with a slippery roadway.

“There’s no indication of alcohol or drugs at this time,” Tyrrell said.

The two young men in the second car, who are also sailors based in Kitsap County, stayed by the scene of the accident until police arrived and were subsequently interviewed by State Patrol troopers. Tyrrell said no charges had been filed against either of the survivors as of Monday, but would not say whether charges are pending.

“The investigation is still in a preliminary stage,” Tyrrell said. “We have witness reports that the cars were racing.”

The military is handling notification of the deceased’s parents, who live in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Tyrrell said this fatal accident was not the only case of possible street racing the State Patrol happened upon on Sunday.

During a routine emphasis patrol on SR 16 by the Sedgwick interchange, which lasted from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., officers cited eight aggressive drivers. Of those, six were clocked doing more than 80 mph; two were clocked in excess of 90 mph.

Tyrrell did not know whether those drivers had any connection to the 19-year-old who died racing a little more than three hours later.

Aggressive driving is a misdemeanor offense that can carry with it a several-hundred-dollar fine and the possibility of jail time.

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