Last summer, on August 30, 2017, a car crashed into a group of trees off of Thorston Road Southwest on Vashon Island at about 10:14 pm. The crash killed 45-year-old passenger Preston “P-Stone” Maigetter, a father of two and beloved local skateboard videographer who worked for Thrasher magazine. A passenger in the back seat, Allan Wade, sustained some injuries including to his foot. No injuries were reported for the driver and owner of the car, 27-year-old pro skater Cory Kennedy.
Kennedy is fairly well-known in the skating community for appearing in films like “Pretty Sweet” and “Beware of Sasquatch,” but in February 2018 he was known for being charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault due to irresponsible circumstances possibly leading to his friend Maigetter’s death.
Vashon Island is a small and culturally lively island 17 miles south of the heart of downtown Seattle. The roads are notoriously a bit rough and winding, so at first this crash seemed like purely a fluke. Later it was revealed that Kennedy, a Vashon resident familiar with the curvy roads and posted 15 mph speed limit, was not only driving at “highway speeds” but also under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
On August 31, 2018, Kennedy was sentenced to four years in prison and one year of home-monitoring after his release because of his neglect and intoxication on the night of the crash. Kennedy was cooperative with authorities throughout the investigation and trial, and has shown major regret for his actions last year.
“This will forever be the biggest mistake of my life,” he told the court during his sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors were sympathetic, but insistent. King County deputy prosecuting attorney Amy Freedheim voiced the complicated feelings the court had about this unfortunate case.
“Mr. Kennedy might be a talented athlete and a good person,” Freedheim said, “but on Aug. 30, 2017, he was selfish and irresponsible.”
Kennedy has multiple previous speeding offenses, and prosecutors pointed out worries that Kennedy “cannot seem to drive safely”. He has no other indications of a past criminal record, but the average drunk driver has driven drunk around 80 times before their first arrest, so it’s quite possible that Kennedy driven under the influence in the past without running into law enforcement.
As for Vashon Island, they’re acutely aware of the dangerous state their local roadways can be in. Although they weren’t necessarily a factor in this particular crash, roads in poor conditions can still cause damage and inefficiency that costs drivers around $400 per vehicle each year. As of August 2018, about a year after the Kennedy accident, Vashon underwent a huge repaving project for its main highway. Part of the hope is that residents take advantage of the smoother roads and drive safely to avoid tragic accidents like the one that took the life of Maigetter.