UPDATE: Roadside vigil on Highland Park Way


8:26 PM: A crowd is gathered right now for a candlelight vigil at the site of Thursday morning’s deadly crash, in memory of 21-year-old Devin Francis.


They are filling both uphill lanes of Highland Park Way, so please avoid the area for a while.

9:07 PM: The vigil was breaking up as of about quarter till. We will go back in a while to check.

24 Replies to "UPDATE: Roadside vigil on Highland Park Way"

  • GRC April 8, 2016 (8:56 pm)

    As a resident on the top of Highland Park Way, I’m not pleased. I was trying to get home after a dinner & grocery run and it was just a cluster of cars & people, no real order.

    I understand vigils & respect what they’re trying to do, however this hill isn’t exactly safe for people on foot – it’s not the most well-lit place, and people tend to race up & down the hill in their vehicles. Two men are directing traffic – both civilians – and they’re not exactly doing a good job, as I almost hit two people who tried to run out to cross the road despite it not being clear for them to cross.

    There is ONE SPD car away from everything, up the hill.  I spoke to the SPD non-emergency line to tell them about this issue. She says there are additional officers in route. Hopefully they take over with directing the traffic so no one gets hurt.

    • WSB April 8, 2016 (9:04 pm)

      It was breaking up around 8:40, with some talk of a drive around Alki.

      • GRC April 8, 2016 (9:14 pm)

        I’m glad to hear that. It just did not seem like a very safe situation for vigil goers or drivers.

    • pupsarebest April 9, 2016 (12:58 am)

      Sorry your comment is being misconstrued—clearly your main concern is for safety of others, and preventing further tragedy being heaped upon the one from early Friday AM.

      • GRC April 13, 2016 (12:22 pm)

        LOL WOW! I should really check comment replies more often, huh?

        No surprises here, pupsarebest. Instead of reading the entirety of my comment, people only rely on the first two sentences of information. I guess it’s my fault for assuming people would bother to read any further than that?

        Obviously this is all done & over with now. I’m glad no one did get hurt, because again, the two civilians trying to direct traffic were not doing a very good job at all. It was such a cluster in a very high-traffic, high-speed area. Very dangerous.

        Thanks to those that did read my entire comment & were willing to go to bat for me in the comments here. For those that didn’t & would like to pass judgement on how I was “worried about my groceries” (LOL what?!) … enjoy this friendly reminder to try to read through to the end of someone’s comment before attacking them next time.

        Happy Wednesday.

  • Andrea April 8, 2016 (9:14 pm)

    I can’t believe that you are worried about bringing your groceries home after work.  Lives were lost and there were so many cars and people there is no way anyone was going fast enough to hurt anyone.  I hope you hug your family tight tonight and be thankful you’re not there mournin the loss of a loved one.  I too live right off HPW and was more than ok with it taking, what 5 minutes to  get up the hill vs. maybe 1 or 2.

  • Steev Mansfield April 8, 2016 (9:30 pm)

    When I left at 8:10 there were no police, and I too was concerned as things were primed for more sadness.  On my way back, there were 3 police, 1 downhill and 2 uphill.  So things were much safer.

    I’m sorry you felt inconvenienced, but that part of your comment is, frankly, petty and unnecessary.  I am a resident up here too, and a couple minutes delay in the context of a lost life is, to me, nothing at all.  While the organization was initially lacking, I found it quite uplifting to see.

  • Alki Resident April 8, 2016 (9:51 pm)

    GRC I have so much I could say to you right now. But non of it would make sense to you as you are too self absorbed.

    God Bless you Devin, you had so many friends. I hope his family can find peace knowing our community is kind, loving, strong and supportive of each other.

  • Marianne April 8, 2016 (9:51 pm)

    GRC- I am sure Devin and his dog were “just trying to get home” too when they were hit and killed.  I am glad nothing tragic happened during the vigil tonight, but yes, your comment does seem very petty considering an innocent man and his dog died.

    • AMD April 9, 2016 (8:50 am)

      His comment was concern for the people at the vigil…  Seriously.  Read it.  

      How anyone can get anything else from what was written is baffling.  

  • West Seattle Hipster April 8, 2016 (9:54 pm)

    What I gathered from GRC’s post was that they were worried about the safety of those attending the vigil. 




    RIP Devin Francis. 

  • Heather Craul April 8, 2016 (10:21 pm)

    I live at the top of the hill, I read WSB and was informed there would be a vigil this evening, I choose to take a different route home. RIP Devin, and your dog. I’m praying for your family. 

  • momnmonkey April 8, 2016 (10:30 pm)

    From the start of the vigil news media were everywhere but there were no police . Several police drove by few stopped for a seconds but it wasnt until the vigil was coming to an end that police bothered show up. It sure would have been nice if even one of them would have stopped to help control traffic for cars and vigil attendants  safely.   Unfortunately they all just kept on driving by until the end when most people had  already gone home. 

  • ET April 9, 2016 (12:22 am)

    Just drove up the hill at 12:15am, candles still flickering, drivers slowing down to observe. Rest in peace, Devin and dog. 

  • Tim April 9, 2016 (1:35 am)

    Where the heck did all of these people park? I’m stunned police didn’t do a better job of protecting these folks on such a dangerous hill.

    • Mike April 9, 2016 (11:46 am)

      You’re stunned?  Why?  I’m stunned at how arrogant many in this community are that they feel it’s SPD’s responsibility to take care of every single event.

  • Stephen April 9, 2016 (7:42 am)

    I drove by it on my bike. It was very uplifting/ emotional to see this type of community response following such a tragic accident.

  • Andrea April 9, 2016 (8:06 am)

    They lined the uphill outside lane and some parked in the pioneer parking lot.

  • afrikando April 9, 2016 (11:20 am)

    I drove up Highland Park hill around 8:45 pm and it was a mess — frankly, the most dangerous situation I’ve seen on that hill in a decade or so. There was zero police assistance as we tried to weave our way through the crowd, which included very small children and dogs in the street crossing from the Pioneer lot and standing in the road. Cars were parked (facing north and south) all along the eastern lane and it was a melee. When I reached the top of the hill, I saw three police cars with lights flashing but I did not see any efforts to direct traffic. 

    Our entire community is stunned and heartbroken by what happened to Devin Francis but the impromptu vigil, in the dark, on an already treacherous road was very bad choice and could have easily resulted in another tragedy.

    RIP Devin and dog.


  • Kravitz April 9, 2016 (2:37 pm)

    Just reading all of the comments above is a little disheartening. We have people that are upset that SPD doesn’t do their job, and then when they do, people are upset that they do too much. Then we have people who are upset that they can’t get home in a timely manner, or people that misunderstand a comment and start making additional comments about one’s arrogance and being self absorbed. I could go on, but I think what I’m trying to get at is that WE — all of us — are neighbors. We don’t know one another, therefore we can’t possibly understand the meaning of all the comments and their tone via a blog post. We should be more patient and caring toward one another. This should be a reminder that we can all do a better job simply being neighborly. Slow down, be patient, be courteous, be grateful. And for everyone that is hurting because of this incident, be KIND. Lives have been lost, families, friends, and neighbors have been affected by it. If we all take a moment to just breathe before we write something snarky or ill-thought out… this place would be a kinder atmosphere to all of us that care about our neighborhoods. 

  • HappyOnAlki April 9, 2016 (3:36 pm)

    Amen, Kravitz.

  • FreeMason April 11, 2016 (12:26 pm)


        Why would they assist traffic control for a vigil that would’nt need to take place if they hadn’t of done what they did.The police killed Devin by pursuiting a 16 year old inexperienced driver at such a hi rate of speed once they seen how Kenny hit that hill they should of killed the sirens and either stopped or fell way behind allowing the matter to be dealt with in a more controlled environment.These officers have to much insight not to know who was behind that wheel .This isn’t their first pursuit that ended with injury at that same marker.Flashback to 12/15/13 .They were going down that hill just as fast chasing someone obviously scared of  the consequences that now faced him. Shame on You SPD.

  • Alan April 11, 2016 (1:16 pm)


    “once they seen how Kenny hit that hill they should have killed sirens and either stopped or fell way behind”? Seriously? Look at the video again. When Kenny hit the hill (Holden) the officer was not on his tail, but more than a block back, approaching Portland St. Even if the officer had come to a full stop, that would not have changed the outcome.  Kenny could have easily killed someone when he ran the stop sign at 9th & Trenton. I don’t think he was doing too much looking in the rear view mirror at that point.

    I am not going to debate whether high-speed chases should happen at all, but I think it is all too easy to sit back and second-guess the officer from the comfort of our homes. Whether they doubt their choice or not, that officer is going to have to live with the scene of that accident and their futile efforts to save two young men.

  • Rico April 11, 2016 (2:43 pm)



    How in the world you can possibly try to blame this on the police?


    One person was doing their job in a law abiding manner, the other person  was simply making one bad decision after another and took an innocent life.  And you want to divert blame from the criminal, really?



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