The SUV was driven by the victim's father, who state troopers say may have been under the influence of a prescription medication.
A 12-year-old Hamilton Middle School student was killed, his father jailed and three other middle-school students badly injured after a rollover accident Monday near Cle Elum, Kittitas County, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The victim was identified as Max Cohen, who was among four passengers in the small SUV, none of whom were wearing seat belts, said Trooper Brian Moore. All were ejected from the car when it rolled, he said.
The three injured boys — one age 12 and two 13-year-olds — were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where two of them were in critical condition. The third boy’s condition was serious. All three boys are in intensive care, said Susan Gregg, Harborview spokeswoman.
Cohen’s father, David J. Cohen, 51, was booked into the Kittitas County Jail for investigation of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault. Moore said there is evidence that Cohen was driving under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the crash.
Most Read Local Stories
- Inslee sets goal of 45,000 COVID-19 vaccinations a day in Washington; everyone 65 and older eligible now
- Body cam footage captures Seattle officers directing homeless person to Cal Anderson Park for services
- How to know when it's your turn to get a coronavirus vaccine
- Coronavirus daily news updates, January 18: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world
- SPD reaffirms mask guidelines after hospital incident that blew up on Twitter
The senior Cohen was wearing a restraint and was not seriously hurt.
The State Patrol said a second car was involved, but that it sustained only minor damage and nobody in it was hurt.
The accident occurred Monday afternoon about 2 miles east of Cle Elum on Highway 970. The patrol said Cohen was attempting to pass another vehicle when his SUV — a Mazda Tribute — left the road and rolled several times, coming to rest on its roof.
“It’s a collision that could have been avoided,” said Moore. “The underlying message is if you have a valid prescription you can still be arrested for DUI. This accident had tragic consequences.”
The boys in the SUV were middle-school students and Cohen attended Hamilton International Middle School in Wallingford. The school said a candlelight vigil is being held for the victims at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Wallingford Playground.
Hamilton’s principal, Dorian Manza, sent an email to parents providing suggestions on how to speak with their children about the accident and what can be done to help them cope. Counselors will be available when school resumes next week, Manza wrote.
State Trooper Jeff Anderson told Ellensburg’s Daily Record newspaper that, “the full investigation will likely take months.”