4 dead, 4 hurt in three separate New Year's Day crashes

SEATTLE -- It was a deadly night on the roads around Puget Sound in the hours after the new year began with three separate crashes that claimed the lives of four men and injured four others.

Two people were killed in an early Wednesday morning crash near Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood.

Police say a Ford Mustang Convertible was traveling northbound on Lakeview Ave E around 3 a.m. when the driver lost control and struck a fire hydrant, causing the car to roll over onto its roof.

24-year-old Arthur Sawe and another person were killed, while a third person in the vehicle was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.

Police are still investigating what caused the crash.

Seattle Police Captain Neil Low said investigating officers found there had been witnesses who attended the same party and took a cab down to Lakeview.

"The other car maybe came by to check on them but then all of a sudden accelerated rapidly, lost control, hit something, knocked into the fire hydrant, sheered the fire hydrant off, flipped the car, debris everywhere," Low said.

The driver's father showed up at the crash site and sobbed as he retrieved a red fender from his son's car.

He said the two men killed in the rollover wreck had been best friends since 6th grade. They graduated from University Prep and for community service their senior year, the pair cleared and helped create the mountain bike trail and park just feet from where they crashed.

Sawe earned an invitation to the White House after his 4th grade campaign against violent video games for kids. His mother, Caroline, released a statement about her son.

"Arthur was the best son a mother could have. He was kind, smart, and full of life. He would do anything for a friend," the statement reads. "Arthur could capture a room simply by walking in. He was charismatic and genuinely interested in others. The more you got to know him, the more you liked and respected him. He'll be dearly missed by his mother, his family, his friends, and associates."

Meanwhile, another person was killed and three others were critically injured when their vehicle struck a pole in the Boulevard Park area of Seattle.

Police say the crash happened just after 3 a.m. near the Glen Acres Country Club at S. 112th Street and 12th Ave. South. It was very foggy at the time but police have not said exactly what led up to the crash.

In the South Sound, a 22-year-old Lacey man was killed when his pickup truck left the road and collided with a tree in the 2700 block of Pacific Avenue.

Police say it was around 1:15 a.m. when the man was speeding between 60 and 100 mph and then lost control and hit the tree. They are still looking into whether alcohol was a factor in that crash.