Bridge not to blame for death of Lakewood runner

Bridge not to blame

Narrow span didn't cause fatal Lakewood crash, police say

By Diana Hefley and Scott Pesznecker
Everett Herald Writers

LAKEWOOD - The narrow lanes of a bridge cannot be blamed for a crash that took the life of a Lakewood High School student earlier this week, police said Thursday.

The 60-year-old bridge is narrower than current standards and is on a list for the county to replace in coming years. Neighbors have complained that the bridge, spanning West Fork Quilceda Creek, is dangerous.

Snohomish County sheriff\'s detectives, however, say the narrow width of the two-lane bridge wasn\'t the reason Scott Skiles collided head-on with a dump truck Tuesday.

Scott, 17, died at the scene of the crash.

\"The bridge is ruled out based on the actual point of contact in the roadway,\" sheriff\'s deputy Rich Niebusch said.

Detectives continue to investigate the cause of the crash. As part of their investigation, police will look at whether speed, traveling within the correct lane, distractions or even a medical emergency contributed to the collision, Niebusch said.

\"It\'s just too early in the investigation to speculate about those things,\" he said.

Meanwhile, more than 100 of Scott\'s peers gathered Thursday night at Lakewood High School to mourn the death of the talented runner, pianist and honor student.

One by one, people who knew Scott knelt down on the sidewalk, near where the buses park after school. They used large pieces of colored chalk to write messages to their friend.

Some left flowers along the base of the school building. A picture of Scott was taped on the wall above.

School officials asked that a reporter not question the students, giving them the space they needed to grieve.

Behind the mourners, a half moon hung in the twilight sky above the school stadium. Scott had recently pressure-washed and repainted the stadium for his Eagle Scout service project.

\"I loved you from the start! You are my hero!\" one of the many chalk messages read. \"They say life isn\'t fair. You were so great. I LOVE YOU BRO!\"