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Witness recalls moments following fatal I-405 road rage crash

Steve Lacey's BMW shown on I-405 after the collision. (Photo courtesy of KING-5)

“If I had been a little bit faster, it could have been me.”

A witness to a fatal accident on I-405 Sunday recalls what she experienced moments after the two cars collided.

“I was coming down the street and in front of my eyes two cars are crashing in the air and then they did a somersault and crashed. It was very obvious immediately there was very serious damage to somebody,” a woman who wishes to remain unnamed told 97.3 KIRO FM. “I stopped in the middle of the road and waited a second because I was so shocked.”

The woman said she went to the destroyed car because she knew that person was either dead or seriously injured.

“When I got there, I could pretty much see that he was dead, but I took a pulse,” she said.

A former EMT, who also stopped, confirmed Steve Lacey had been killed in the crash that law enforcement say was the result of road rage.

While the suspect, Patrick Rexroat, 56, was intoxicated three times beyond the legal limit, the witness said he did appear to pound his chest like a gorilla. Others described his behavior as ‘celebratory’ and that he did a ‘touchdown dance.’

“You know how a gorilla stands there and pounds his chest, he just stood there and did that. I have no idea why,” said the witness.

Apparently Rexroat also spent some time picking up pieces of his Hyundai until troopers arrived at the scene.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Rexroat later told an officer at booking that he would kill again.

“He told the trooper, ‘I can’t go to prison. I just can’t do it. I’ll kill somebody again,'” Satterberg said. “And then he asked the trooper to shoot him.”

A family friend of Steve Lacey’s told 97.3 KIRO FM’s Ron and Don Show she’s appalled by Rexroat’s behavior.

“I couldn’t believe the news when I heard that after Rexroat got out of his car he beat his chest like he was proud of himself and then walked over and saw that Steve was dead and said ‘Eh,'” said Samantha Idle. “To have that little disrespect for human life is unfathomable to me.”

Rexroat has been charged with Vehicular Homicide and Reckless Driving. His bail was set at $1 million during a hearing Wednesday.

About the Author

Stephanie Klein

Stephanie joined the team in February 2008. She has built the site into a two-time National Edward R. Murrow Award winner (Best Radio Website 2010, 2012).


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