SR-509crash Photo shows the extreme damage to the two vehicles on Dec. 18, 2013. [/caption] [caption id="attachment_78918" align="aligncenter" width="490"]SR509embankment The embankment that the suspect vehicle drove down before it “exploded into the passenger side of the Eakins’ vehicle.” Photos courtesy Washington State Patrol.[/caption] By Jack Mayne A lawsuit filed by a survivor and family of a woman killed in a fiery two-car accident in Burien a week before Christmas 2013 has been settled out of court with the help of a mediator, according to papers released after a freedom of information request by The B-Town Blog. A mediator on Jan. 27 granted $3.5 million to the Snohomish County survivor and family of the dead woman. King County and Burien each paid $1.75 million to settle the case, which was later dismissed. The City of Burien’s portion of the settlement was paid through its participation in the Washington Cities Insurance Association (WCIA). Clay Eakin and Rhonda Malland, daughter of Barbara Eakin – who was killed – said King County and the city of Burien set the stage for a deadly 2013 crash by failing to block off the end of a dead-end street above State Route 509, where the crash occurred. The couple was on their way from their Snohomish County home to Sea-Tac Airport for a post-marriage trip to Hawaii when Barbara Eakin was killed. The now dismissed lawsuit papers described the accident. The suit said that “without warning,” the Eakins’ vehicle was struck on its passenger side by a Chevy Malibu driven by Christopher Wittman, whose car had “plowed through the dead-end on the roadway above.” The suit said the vehicle came to rest on South 116th Street in Burien, traveled down the hill and onto the west side of SR 509, and “exploded into the passenger side of the Eakins’ vehicle,” killing Barbara Eakin and severely injuring Clay Eakin. He suffered “permanent and severe physical, cognitive, neurological, emotional and other injuries…” Prosecutors claimed that the defendant, Christopher Wittman, 25, was impaired by a combination of alcohol and marijuana and was distracted by using a cell phone. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of Vehicular Homicide (DUI), Vehicular Assault (DUI) and Reckless Endangerment. The now-closed lawsuit – which was originally filed for $16.5 million – said that King County and Burien were responsible for the “design, construction, maintenance and repair, signage and safety of the roadways in Burien,” and therefore responsible for the severity of the accident. Burien had annexed the area from the county in 2010 and the original lawsuit said the city should have fixed the problems with the street-end, perhaps with the assistance of the county. Read our previous coverage of this incident here.]]>