A volatile mix of speed, alcohol and road rage claimed the life of an innocent victim Sunday who happened to be driving in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Washington State Patrol says the incident began at about 2 p.m. when a man driving a black Hyundai SUV was involved in a road rage incident on Interstate 405.
Witnesses told troopers the Hyundai driver began following a driver who he believed had cut him off as he headed south down the freeway.
As the Hyundai driver took the Northeast 85th Street off-ramp, he was speeding and lost control, flying across the eastbound lanes of Northeast 85th into the westbound traffic.
At that point, the Hyundai slammed into a gray BMW that was heading west on 85th Street and had not been involved in the earlier road rage incident.
The impact killed the driver of the BMW. He was identified as Steve Lacey, a software engineer at Google and father of two young children.
I have driven on both that freeway and that street countless time. I’ve even walked up and down that street more times than I can count. Sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do about it when death comes calling.
Steve came to the U.S. from the U.K. when Microsoft purchased the company he worked for. This company had a 3-D graphics rendering package. Steve wrote a lot of the code that is now known as Direct-X 3D. Every time you play a video game on a Windows machine that does 3-D rendering you are executing code that Steve wrote. The world is a poorer place now not only because of the contributions he would have continued to make but because he was also a really nice guy.