Monday, November 19, 2007

Man killed in SR 512 crash may have been street racing


PUYALLUP, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol is looking for two drivers who may have been involved in a fatal crash that troopers say was probably partly caused by street racing on SR 512 west of Puyallup early Monday.

Troopers say at about 1:45 a.m., 30-year-old Matthew Shipman was driving in the westbound direction, most likely racing another unidentified vehicle, when he lost control of his 2002 Volkswagen Golf, crossed the median under the barrier and slammed head-on into a semi truck.

"According to witnesses a second vehicle possibly racing the Volkswagen, cut the Volkswagen off. The Volkswagen had to make an erratic movement," said Brandy Kessler, Washington State Patrol.

Shipman's car blasted under the cable median and smashed into a semi-truck head-on.

Shipman was killed. The driver of the semi was okay, but very shaken up.

"He had no time to react or respond to this car it was just immediately was in front of him," said Kessler.

The drivers of the two other vehicles that may have been racing did not stop. Now, the state patrol wants to track them down.

If this is indeed an accident related to racing, it is one of several such deadly accidents in Pierce County as of late. State troopers say it should serve as a reminder of how quickly things can go wrong at high speeds.

"There's so many factors involved that can cause you to go off the road in a split second and be tragic and fatal," said Kessler.

A friend of Shipman says the young father was not the type that would be racing down the freeway.

The State Patrol wants to know if there is more to this story, that's why they want the drivers of those two other vehicles or anyone who witnessed the crash to step forward.

As for why Shipman's car crashed through the cable barriers, the Washington State Department of Transportation says it is waiting for results of the state patrol investigation to see if they need to make any changes with that cable barrier.

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