The white balls on the road serve as evidence markers.

Photos courtesy Joey Hopps Gerretsen.

Manoj Siwakoti, a 20-year old Kent man accused of causing a deadly crash in Burien on Oct. 24, told police he was distracted by a GPS unit mounted to his windshield when he drove through a red light. Siwakoti has been charged with vehicular homicide for the death of Lilliam Portillo, a 41-year-old mother, according to the Seattle P-I. As we previously reported, Siwakoti rammed into the driver’s side of a Toyota Corolla driven by Portillo, killing her and injuring her 10-year old son. The tragic, two-car collision happened on eastbound SR 518 at the intersection of SR 509 shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Police say that Portillo pulled into the intersection as the light turned green, then that Siwakoti’s Nissan Rogue ran a red light and slammed into her car as she entered the intersection. The P-I says that Siwakoti claims that his GPS device told him to make a U-turn at that intersection. Read the P-I’s full story here.]]>

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7 replies on “Man accused of causing deadly Burien crash says he was distracted by GPS unit”

  1. I wonder if the family has any legal recourse with the state/county department that should have kept the plantings cut back. I noticed they trimmed them down very quickly after this accident. It was always a crap shoot pulling out there before at least if you were driving a car. That whole intersection is ridiculous as far as drivers running red lights.

  2. What does shrubs have to do with someone running a red light (possibly under the influence of prescription meds)? Suing the govt because some idiot wasn’t paying attention? Do you enjoy paying higher taxes to cover the cost of frivolous law suits?

    1. It has nothing to do with the idiots running the light and everything to do with being able to see those idiots coming before pulling out in front of them. The shrubbery was at least four feet tall and completely blocked the view of oncoming traffic for the cars pulling out.
      Have you ever actually driven this spot?

  3. He ran the light, period. sad, prosecute him to the fullest extent. Driving is a responsibility and he was not. Shrubs? bs.

    1. If it’s BS why did they cut the shrubs down to about 12″ tall in a trianglular patch so you can now see the oncoming traffic from that lane? What part of pulling out into traffic from a blind spot being a bad idea is bs?
      Go to the linked story and look at the picture of the police officer walking along the side of the road & you can see how tall those shrubs were the day of the accident.
      I’m not saying the improved visibility will stop anyone from running a red light but she might have had time to stop if she had been able to see the other car coming.

  4. Woulda shoulda coulda…and overgrown shrubs – does not bring the family back, stop idiots from running red lights, stop even bigger idiots from ‘being distracted by the GPS’, or colossal idiots from driving drunk.

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