A team of local detectives that investigates officer use of force is investigating the crash, and the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
A Mill Creek police officer apparently ran over a person in the road while pursuing a driver who was speeding on Saturday night, authorities said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Snohomish County sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sheri Ireton.
According to Ireton, the officer’s radar picked up someone driving in the opposite direction at 40 mph in a 25 mph zone at 11 p.m. The officer activated his emergency lights, turned around and began pursuit, Ireton said.
A short time later, the speeding vehicle rounded a corner at the tree-lined 1800 block of Village Green Drive, and the officer lost sight of the car, Ireton said.
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The officer then felt his vehicle strike something in the road, according to the sheriff’s office. He stopped his police cruiser, got out and saw a man lying in the road.
At the same time, the officer looked around the corner and saw the vehicle he had been pursuing had crashed, and was flipped upside down, off the road.
The death is still under investigation, but Ireton said officials are assuming the man was ejected from his vehicle after crashing, landed in the road and was then hit by the officer’s vehicle.
Ireton said it’s not yet clear if the man died from the impact of the crash or being hit by the officer in his vehicle. An autopsy will determine cause of death.
Police said there were no eyewitnesses, and any dashcam video would not have captured the crash since it happened around a bend and out of sight of the officer. The Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team — detectives from around the region who investigate officers’ use of force — is investigating.
The officer, who is in his 40s, was not identified. The sheriff’s office said he’s been with Mill Creek police for a little over a year, but has more than 10 years of law enforcement experience.
Ireton said local authorities typically wait 72 hours to release officer names when they are involved in use of force incidents. The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave, per Mill Creek police policy.
The man who died has not yet been identified.