How rugby, social media helped capture SeaTac deadly hit-and-run suspect

State troopers say they had one important clue at the scene.

A man suspected in a deadly hit-and-run in SeaTac Friday was captured, state troopers said Friday night.

The incident occurred on the eastbound State Route 518 on-ramp from Des Moines Way near SeaTac just after 2 a.m. A Chevrolet Blazer had run out of gas and was in the gore point, according to Washington State Patrol.

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The suspect allegedly drove on the on-ramp to 518, then veered into the stopped vehicle, striking and killing the 44-year-old man standing outside the passenger door of the SUV. The driver was still in his seat.

The Washington State Patrol says social media played a huge role in the arrest. They had one important clue at the scene.

"A large bag of rugby balls that had fallen out of the truck," said Trooper Chase Van Cleave.

Bag of rugby balls troopers say fell out of truck of suspected hit-and-run driver (credit:Washington State Patrol)

They tweeted out their clues and it didn't take very long.

"The rugby community across the country saw that tweet and we started to receive information and tips," said Van Cleave.

With detectives closing in, ultimately, the suspect chose to give up.

"The peer pressure, the commitment to do the right thing by the people who weren't involved and by the rugby community convinced him to contact his lawyer and turn himself in," he said.

Troopers were then were told where to find the vehicle, hidden on private property in Des Moines. The entire driver's side is badly damaged and it's missing the driver's side rear wheel.


"I think there's just some determination to not be at the scene anymore," said Van Cleave.

Now the truck is impounded, the suspect in jail awaiting his first court appearance.

Additionally the tuck has several toolboxes, a winch and has heavy drivers side damage. It lost this rugby equipment during the incident: