Deadly Westwood crash: Victim’s family still has questions

mama4.jpgWe now know a lot more about the woman hit and killed while crossing Barton by Westwood Village a week and a half ago — 55-year-old Therese (Teri) Marie Soike — the first pedestrian killed in West Seattle since 85-year-old Oswald Clement last October. The photo you see at left was provided by Teri’s daughter Shelby Hampton, who says the family is “still in shock” and “completely devastated” — Shelby adds, “My sister and I were very close to our mother and nothing can prepare you for a death like this.” They are hoping to find witnesses to the crash, and agreed to talk with WSB:

We got word of the crash not long after it happened, mentioning it briefly atop this Crime Watch roundup we posted that night, with additional information added in comments on that item, after police told us it seemed to be just a tragic accident, someone hit while crossing outside a crosswalk on a dark, rainy night; then on Thursday we reported news of Teri’s death.

Shelby says her mother was a retired teacher who lived in an apartment across from Westwood Village. The family still doesn’t know much about the circumstances of the crash; Shelby told WSB in an e-mail interview, “My sister and I were contacted shortly after the accident occurred. We headed straight for Harborview and all we knew was that she was hit by a car. [Later that] night, it was announced that she had suffered severe brain injuries/damage that was irreversible, and surgery was not an option that would change the outcome. Saturday morning she was taken off life support. Our whole family stayed by her side until she passed on Sunday evening [2/10] around 8:30 pm.”

Now, they are planning and preparing for Teri’s memorial, scheduled for 11 am this Saturday at St. Catherine Parish in Northgate. They shared with us her obituary, which includes these highlights of her teaching career: “She taught in alternative high schools and developed a program for pregnant teens and teen mothers, later receiving the Washington State Vocational Teacher of the Year Award.” More whimsically and personally, Teri’s obituary also describes her as “a pixie with a killer smile.” (The full obituary is published here.)

While dealing with the grief, Teri’s daughters also are dealing with unanswered questions. Shelby says, “Police were at the ER shortly after we arrived but we were taken back to see our mom and the police did not wait for us. We still haven’t seen a police report. My husband spoke with the detective handling the case after much waiting (I think it was 2/13 when we finally got a response) and he gave us more information, but we’ve still yet to receive an actual report in hand. Until then, we were given no information other than she was hit by a car … we didn’t even know if it was a hit and run or if the driver remained on the scene. The nurses at the hospital made mention of the car going 40 mph. We now obviously know the driver and his family were on the scene as police arrived. We are still waiting for an actual copy of the report and we want our family’s lawyer to review it simply because we have no idea how to handle a situation like this.”

She adds that the family is concerned about safety conditions on Barton: “It’s not well marked or well lit, many people speed, and many residents who live in the apartments close by are elderly.”

Shelby is hoping to hear from anyone who saw the accident or has other relevant information – again, it happened on Barton along the south side of Westwood Village on Friday night 2/8; the 911 log for that night shows the first medic callout at 7:17 pm. The family has set up a special e-mailbox:

1 Reply to "Deadly Westwood crash: Victim's family still has questions"

  • Melissa February 19, 2008 (9:48 am)

    This is just so awful and tragic. My heart goes out to Teri’s family and friends. She sounds like an amazing woman.

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