Lynnwood woman killed in crash with impaired driver suspected of kidnapping

The suspect’s vehicle after the crash. (Photo courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation)

An 83-year-old Lynnwood woman died Thursday night after a kidnapping suspect who was driving the wrong direction on State Route 525 collided head-on with her truck. 

According to Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe, Kenmore resident Robert Rowland, 37, was suspected of felony assault and kidnapping and was being pursued by sheriff’s office deputies when he began driving southbound in the northwest freeway lane. Deputies terminated the pursuit after Rowland began driving the wrong direction, O’Keefe said.

Map of the crash scene. (Courtesy Washington State Patrol)

A 34-year-old woman who had been kidnapped by Rowland was still in his SUV when he collided with Lynnwood resident Trudy Slanger at around 8 p.m. His vehicle rolled over and began to catch fire before coming to a stop on top of the barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes. Rowland and his captive were transported to Harborview and Providence medical centers, respectively. Slanger, whose car came to rest a short distance from the crash site, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Both sides of SR-525 remained closed until early Friday morning around 3:30 a.m. while first responders cleared the scene. 

According to Washington State Patrol spokesperson Patrick Wise, Rowland has been charged with vehicular assault, felony assault, DUI and second-degree murder.

— By Jasmine Contreras-Lewis

  1. So heartbreaking ! On her way home from church and 2 miles from her house ! Unbelievable

  2. I listened to this live on the Police Scanner 5-0 App. The Snohomish County officers conduct was incredibly professional during the incident. Condolences to the victims and their families.

  3. This tragedy is absolutely a travesty to me. Trudy Slanger was an amazing woman who gave so much to this world and the people around her. She had so much life left to give. The fact that a complete waste of a human ended her time on our earth so tragically is completely devastating and beyond words.

    All of Trudy’s joy, love, and beauty will live on in memories of her, and through her family and friends who treasured her so much.

    May justice be served for Trudy. Rest in Heaven Angel.

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