UPDATE: Police Need Help Finding Vehicle In Hit-And-Run Of Jeff Kearney

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The King County Sheriff’s Department announced Thursday morning (Nov. 19th) that they need help in finding the vehicle that struck and critically injured Jeff Kearney, who was struck in a White Center crosswalk on Tuesday.

Kearney, 36, well-known in Burien as part of “Team Clean Sweep,” was crossing 16th Ave SW in the crosswalk at SW 106th.  The suspect vehicle was southbound on 16th when it struck him.  The vehicle slowed but did not stop and was last seen driving off southbound on 16th.

Kearney was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, where he remains.

According to police, a driver’s side exterior mirror was found at the scene.  There will also be damage to the left front fender.

The vehicle is probably maroon in color, a Chevrolet or GMC product, and is likely one of the following models:

  • GM or Chevrolet full size pick-up: 1988-1989
  • Blazer or Jimmy: 1992-1994
  • Suburban: 1992-1999
  • GMC Yukon: 1992-1999
  • Chevrolet Tahoe: 1995-1999

If anyone recognizes the suspect vehicle they are asked to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at (206) 296-3311 (24 hours) or 911.


Sad news for Burien – a hit and run accident late Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 17th) on 16th SW in White Center has put Jeff Kearney (pictured, left) in critical condition in a medically-induced coma in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Jeff is known to most everyone in Burien as a huge part of “Team Clean Sweep,” and you’ve probably seen him or talked to him at one of the city’s many local events over the last several years. Despite being mentally-challenged, he is a very happy, gregarious, kind and hard-working 36-year old who seemingly knows everyone in town (especially the ladies).

On a personal note, we would often see Jeff at the weekly Farmer’s Market, and he’d always ask us how we were doing, where Janet was, how our parents were, how our spouses were and more, and we thoroughly enjoyed his company.

According to the King County Sheriff’s Department, the hit and run happened around 5:33pm Tuesday (Nov. 17th), when Jeff was crossing a marked crosswalk in White Center. The suspect vehicle was driving southbound on 16th SW at around 35mph, and struck him while he was still in the crosswalk, throwing Jeff some 30 feet. The vehicle, identified as a black SUV or truck, slowed down, then took off southbound on 16th. Reports are that an external side rear-view mirror fell off the vehicle. The driver is still at large.

Jeff Kearney, left, with Debra George.

“Jeff’s in a medically-induced coma right now,” said Mike Lindorff, his legal guardian and uncle. “He’s got minor fractures on his back and face, but the most concerning thing right now is that he has bleeding on the brain. They have drilled a hole in his head and are trying to reduce pressure so they can wake him up, and they won’t know if he has brain damage until then.”

Everyone here at The B-Town Blog, especially the ladies who were all well-known by him, send our hopes, prayers and meditations to our friend Jeff Kearney for a full and speedy recovery.

We ask also that our Readers take a moment to look at Jeff’s photo and send positive vibes his way.

Also, according to Debra George, who worked closely with Jeff:

“If you’d like to drop anything off you can drop it off at the Mark Restaurant & Bar (918 SW 152nd Street) and I will make sure it gets to him as soon as he is out of ICU.

Thank you for your kindness.”

On another note, we hope that the police catch the hit and run driver and that justice is fully served.

If you have any information on a suspect black SUV or truck that is missing a side rear-view mirror, please call 911 immediately.

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39 Responses to “UPDATE: Police Need Help Finding Vehicle In Hit-And-Run Of Jeff Kearney”
  1. Mark Neuman says:

    I am thinking of you, Jeff. I saw you almost exactly one week ago,

    when I was sitting in my car, in White Center, preparing for the

    Food Bank Drive.

    You crossed the street and I saw cars and trucks rushing past you,

    almost uncaring.

    I know 16th SW has been dangerous for a long time.

    Heal fast, good man, and may all the world’s love be with you.

  2. Jeff always has a smile and a kind word to say to everyone. My thoughts and prayers are for a speedy recovery for Jeff, and also to his family. Downtown Burien won’t be the same till you return. Get well soon.

  3. Carrie says:

    Scott-Can you please update us on where we can send get well wishes to Jeff? or in care of whom?

    • Debra George says:

      If you like to drop anything off you can drop it off at Mark Restaurant & Bar 918 SW 152nd Street and I will make sure it gets to him as soon as he is out of ICU. Thank you for you kindness.

  4. Lori Alden says:

    This is a very sad day. Sending good thoughts your way Jeff . You are a huge part of our Burien family. Get well soon!

  5. janet says:

    This is just horrible news. I hope all goes well with Jeff’s recovery. He is so proud of his job on the Clean Sweep team, and knowing Debra George and Linda Iserno. He’s a very hard worker and a great Mariners fan. This is the first thing i’ve read on btb that actually made me weep. Last night 16th ave was still closed down at around 7 when i came through…..it must have been one heck of a hit and run. Jeff’s a fine young man, and an asset to our community. do keep us updated on his recovery, scott.

  6. Lisa Bosques says:

    I’m praying for your recovery and looking forward to seeing you around town again. Get well soon Jeff!

  7. Stacy Reid says:

    This news breaks my heart. Jeff brightens our day once or twice a week, always remembering everyone’s spouse and history. He loves to play his video games and ride his bike in the summer, along with attending Mariner games. I am praying he pulls through and is able to come back and see us. I also pray the monster that hit him is caught and prosecuted.

  8. Lindsey says:

    How sad, but knowing Jeff he will pull through this stronger, better and happier. My thoughts are with him and I hope the people that did this turn themselves in.

  9. Bonnie says:

    I have met Jeff many times during the Strawberry Festival…what a sweet guy! My thoughts and prayers are with him!

  10. Lynda Isernio says:

    My heart breaks for Jeff and our community. Jeff is an intrical part of our community. His almost daily visits, questions about my family, hunting dogs, parents and grandparents-most of all his precious gifts. Today as I write this, I have sitting on my desk a plastic, orange and red flower Jeff made for me from the remnants of a plastic table cloth and pipe cleaner. He was so proud of the flower and often asked if my husband was jealous of his gifts. I assured him that he was and Jeff would giggle loudly. Jeff lives his life the way everyone should – treat people nicely, ask interesting questions about their families and go to every Mariner’s game possible. God bless you Jeff – I hope you get well quickly so I can give you a real hug…..

  11. Kathy says:

    I hope Jeff mends fast and has no lasting issues from the accident. He is such a happy, positive person and so friendly to everyone in B-Town. My prayers are with him and his family as they go through the recovery from the accident.

  12. CC says:

    Jeff is a great guy. Burien has been richer for his participation. He always has a kind word and a good word to say about things. I only hope he has medical coverage for the long road he has ahead of him. At least he is at Harborview. Thank goodness we have that kind of trauma center for our community. Prayers for a rapid and complete recovery.

  13. DH Zooms says:

    Watching Jeff work the crowd (especially the ladies!) made this year’s 4th of July parade extra fun. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

  14. rebecca dare says:

    We were diverted around police barricades last night in White Center. I didn’t know it would be because one of our own had been hit. I last saw Jeff (I didn’t know his name until this article) at the Night of the Thousand Pumpkins. He engaged me in conversation — I didn’t know what he was saying until figured it had something to do with sports. Now I understand — must have been the Mariners. We’re holding him in our thoughts. Hang in there Jeff!

  15. Susie says:

    Get well Jeff. He is such a fixture in Burien and we are all sending our thoughts for a quick recovery!!

  16. rene says:

    Can I have a hug? that is how we know Jeff… our prayers are with you!

  17. rene says:

    i wanted to add one more thing! maybe now they, after so many hurt and killed people, will put up a true crosswalk at this intersection. i lived on 104th and 17th and now 19th and it is always the same.. person hit in crosswalk, etc…. fix it now!!

  18. Laura says:

    Oh Jeff! This makes me so sad. You had me cracking up trick-or-treating at the Boo with Doug, and it was just last week I told someone you were easily one of the happiest people I have ever known. Burien misses your smiling face already! Heal quickly and come home. We’re all praying for you!!!!

  19. Jeff,our love and prayers are with you. You are so very special to all of us in Burien.
    [email protected]

  20. Jordan Yada says:

    Everytime Jeff walks through the doors, the room lights up with presence; always making people smile, laugh and even make peoples day! Just saying hello or hey, you look nice today can really make someones day an even better day. You are such a positive, respectful person who enjoys life to its fullest. Jeff, you and your family are in my prayers and we will see you soon with more flowers and gifts for Lynda! God bless you!!!

  21. Steve Reagin says:

    All of those lighted crosswalks were installed through White Center, and this still happens. People aren’t paying close enough attention to people crossing the streets and not just in White Center. I’ve almost been hit many times walking my kids to school while crossing SW 160th St. People….Slow down and pay attention!

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I have known Jeff for many years, begining at the bowling alley, then at the Dollar Store in Burien…Our prayers are with you Jeff and your family..And I hope I can have a hug soon…

  23. Jack says:

    I have to say that Jeff must be a great guy to have brought so much good out in other people. It is wonderful to read all of these kind thought from the people in our community.

  24. Carolyn says:

    My heart and prayers go out to Jeff and His Family, I knew Jeff because he loved to come into Value Village and I worked there and say Hi Pretty Lady and that would make my day
    God Bless

  25. WOW!
    I’m so heartfelt for Jeff, I use to work for moss chiropractic and remember for about 2 years at the farmers market his faithfulness to serving the community.Clean sweep was fun as well, HE ALWAYS had a smile and was very kind to everyone. I also saw his wonderful work on many other burien activities (strawberry festival, easter egg hunt, Burien sure was close to his heart, Now burien has his heart in prayer. Glory to god he wasnt killed instant and that burien will lift him up for healing and hope for full recovery. Take Care my friends of burien, Yvonne

  26. Ed says:

    It’s good to see that people care about someone who always cared for his community. I never got the chance to talk to him but i always saw him in Burien. Random it is, but I remembered his face when i saw this sad news this morning. I hope he gets well and that he gets back to the community he loved and was part of.


  27. Btownburgers says:

    Wishing Jeff a speedy recovery!!!

  28. Nancy says:

    We are so sorry to hear what happened to Jeff. He is a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and his smile is contagious – a truly good person with a pure heart. Not just White Center, but Burien too is a terrible place to be a pedestrian. People – slow down, watch the speed limit (yes, even if you are running late for church or school), and be a little more respectful. Community police, you are missing out on some serious ticket revenue.

  29. Kari says:

    I just saw that a $1000 reward is being offered by Burien. I am thinking of you Jeff and your whole family and friends. I love how you always SMILE at everyone and share your fun times with us!!

    Binner Family,
    James, Kari and Bethany

  30. Lindsay says:

    I grew up across the street from Jeff and his family. My mother and his mother were friends and he, his brother Andy and myself would have sleepovers on their covered porch during the summer, complete with footed pajamas and cartoon themed sleeping bags. Jeff was the one that introduced me to He-Man and R2D2 for which I will be forever grateful. 🙂

    My heart goes out to his family. Stay strong in your faith, and yourselves dear people. My thoughts are with you.


  31. Kathi says:

    We will be keeping Jeff in our thoughts and prayers.

  32. Jay says:

    We just met him the other week. He intoduced himself and wanted to know our names and what we did. We chatted breifly and he was so excited about an item he got at the market for his boss. Stephanie from “The House” restaurant helped wrap it in a beautiful bag and ribbon. Jeff was so pleased and couldn’t wait to give the gift! What a nice guy.

    Jeff you are in our thoughts and prayers. Your smile tells a wonderful story. God Bless

  33. James (Andy) Kearney says:

    I want to thank everyone for their warm thoughts and comments for Jeff. When I heard what happened, my heart sank. I think it’s still sinking in, even as I visit him in the ICU. I try to be optimistic, and I know in my heart that he is going to recover. The doctors are saying he will be in the hospital for several weeks. He’s pretty broken up from the impact; his hips and pelvis are broken, and several vertebrae are fractured. He has several broken facial bones, including his jaw. Bones mend, but the most worrisome injuries are to his head. He has some bleeding on his brain, and there is some generalized brain injuries from the impact. We won’t know the cognitive extent of his brain injuries until he wakes up. We’re hoping he will be off the ventilator in the next few days, and then he can wake up. We’re taking this day by day. He’s deep in the woods right now. He won’t be out of them for some time. I hope the terrible person who did this to Jeff steps forward. We all know it was an accident, but they didn’t have to drive away like a coward and leave a man dying in the street. With the community support, we WILL catch the person responsible and there WILL be justice. I want the person responsible to see Jeff lying in his hospital bed and experience the heartbreak we are all suffering.
    Once again, thank for your kind thoughts. Please help and keep an eye out for the vehicle matching the description and call the police if you spot it. Jeff doesn’t know what it’s like to ‘give up’. He is a strong person and he WILL get though this, especially with your support.

    • Peter says:

      I was so shocked and saddened by this news. What a cowardly act, for someone to take off like that. Jeff is a kind, good soul. Get better buddy!

  34. Kathleen Keene says:

    Oh Jeff, I am so sorry this happened to you. You are a true joy and delight to know. You helped me for years set up and take down my booth when I participated in the Farmer’s Market, that was such a help and kindness. You give great hugs, and always ask first. I loved your enthusiasm over the hydro races. You would start talking about the races weeks in advance and tell me you were going and did I know “how much the tickets cost…$25.00 THAT MUCH!” Your delight and pride of your job with Clean Sweep and your cool green vest are an example we can all follow when we look at our own jobs.

    I always was amazed that you could remember the names of spouses, friends and relatives, you even remembered my grandmother’s name!

    Get well Jeff, our community needs your innocent joy and positive outlook. We could all take a lesson from how you enjoy and live life – with love, laughter and joy.

    Namaste, Kathy

  35. Meche says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeffery and his family.
    We pray that whom ever is responsible for his injuries will be caught and brought to justice. Only a monster would run down a man and leave him for dead.
    We pray that Jeffery heal swiftly and be back, good as new, among his friends in Burien as soon as possible.
    May God comfort and bless him in his time of healing. May he feel very little pain and wake filled with joy as he most usually is.

    We love you Jeffery,


  36. Joy Henley says:

    Praying for you Jeff…remember you are God’s child. I used to love it when we were neighbors and you would stop by. Burien cannot possibly be the same until you return. Sending hugs and love…

  37. Patty says:

    Jeff we are sorry this happened to you and wish and pray for a speedy recovery so that we will see your smiling face back at the hot dog stand where you visited us often. We along with everyone else also hopes they catch the person who left you lying there.
    Patty & Sterling

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