Seattle Police chief releases name of officer involved in deadly crash

Police have released the name of a Seattle police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed a 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula last week in a city crosswalk.

In a statement on the Seattle Police blotter, chief Adrian Diaz confirmed the name of the officer involved as Kevin A. Dave.  

Dave was hired in November 2019, according to police. It's unclear whether he is back to work. Police said last week that Dave would take a release day instead of working his next shift. Release days are part of the department’s officer wellness program after traumatic or upsetting events.

Dave was responding in a patrol vehicle around 8 p.m. Jan. 23 when Kandula was hit while walking in the crosswalk in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

"At the time of this collision, he was responding as an EMT to a Priority 1 emergency call. He did have his emergency lights on and was clearing intersections with his siren. As is protocol, a drug recognition expert responded to the collision scene and found no evidence of impairment in the officer," Diaz said in a release. 

Police officers and firefighters attempted CPR, but she died later that night at Harborview Medical Center, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. Her cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries.


Dispatch call reveals more details of woman hit, killed by patrol car as SPD remains tight-lipped

FOX 13 has obtained the audio of the dispatch call leading up to the moment a Northeastern University student was hit and killed by a Seattle police patrol vehicle.

The Seattle Police Department said online that the officer was responding to a priority one call, which is the highest priority and involves a threat to life. A Fire Department spokesperson told the newspaper that the call was an aid response for a 28-year-old man, who was evaluated and then declined to be taken to a hospital.

Detectives from the police department’s traffic collision investigation squad are leading an investigation, police have said.

"I also want to be clear about the investigation process. Unlike a Use of Force investigation, which under protocols established through the consent decree begins as an administrative investigation conducted by detectives with extensive training in force analysis, any serious traffic collision on City streets, whether officer-involved or not, is investigated as a potential criminal matter by the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.  We are treating this investigation as we would any fatal collision investigation," Diaz said. 

You can read Diaz's full statement on the incident here.

Kandula, a student at the Northeastern University campus in South Lake Union, was working to earn a master’s in information systems. She was from Adoni, India, a city in the southern part of the country.

This intersection was part of an area at one point set to receive a full redesign, but the project’s funding was cut by $2.2 million in Mayor Bruce Harrell’s 2023 budget and not restored by the Seattle City Council.

"I understand there are many questions, but to preserve the integrity of the investigation and respect the family’s right to privacy, the amount of information we can release at this time is limited. The Seattle Police Department continues to extend its deepest condolences to Ms. Kandula’s family and friends," Diaz said in the statement. 

Demonstrators who came out in Seattle Friday evening to protest the fatal police beating of a man in Memphis, Tennessee, paused for a minute of silence at the intersection where Kandula was hit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.