Family mourns young mother killed in early morning Parkland crash

Kati Shackelford leaves behind a 5-year-old son, Rocco. (Family photo)

PUYALLUP, Washington -- A Puyallup family is mourning the loss of a young mother killed in a crash early Wednesday morning on state Route 512 in Parkland. It was one of two crashes at the same location. The other resulted in the arrest of another young woman for drunken driving.

This occurred at 2:30 a.m. when one crash happened, then the second one happen as the driver plowed into a state DOT truck protecting the scene of the first crash.

"It's just a tragic tragic accident," said Jason Shackelford. He's talking about his sister Kati. "The world lost a wonderful person." The 30-year-old mother for an unknown reason drifted off state Route 512 and ran right into the back of a semi that had stopped off the road in the gore point to check his GPS.

"It was a pretty awful crash," said Washington State Patrol Trooper Brooke Bova. "There was no breaking, and the front end of the vehicle was completely totaled."

Although troopers say it's not illegal to stop in the gore point, which is the triangle between the main roadway and the off ramp, they say it's not a good idea.

Troopers said they found a lot of hiking gear in Kati's car. Shackelford, "She had just started dating somebody who was new and went hiking and had a date and this is how it ended," Jason Schackelford said.

She leaves behind her 5-year-old son, Rocco. "Kati really loved life, loved animals, loved the outdoors. She was an amazing mother, " her brother said. The family said Rocco will now be raised by his father.

"She will be greatly missed," said Jason Shackelford

Her family said she'd just earned a degree in the medical field and had a job interview that same day trying to launch a new career.

Thirty minutes after the fatal crash another young woman rammed into a parked truck. This time it was state Transportation Department truck protecting the scene of the first crash. That 21-year-old was slightly injured, and troopers said she'll be arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Her female passenger was critically injured.

The WSDOT driver is OK. "She saw the vehicle coming and so she was able to jump over the guard rail to protect herself," Bova said.

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