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DUI Accident Kills Two Students


Decatur High School
Decatur High School

The car accident that claimed the lives of two high school students from Federal Way’s Decatur High School was caused by a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated. The DUI accident on Interstate 5 near Southcenter happened late last Wednesday and killed Nicholas A. Hodgins, 18, and Derek King, who was  turning 19 on Thursday.

The two young men who died were preparing to graduate with their classmates from Decatur High School on Saturday. The Honda Civic in which they were riding, driven by classmate Anthony Beaver, was rear ended by a sport utility vehicle driven by Alexander Peder, 50, of Kirkland.

DUI Accident Suspect Held On $1 Million Bail

State Troopers said Beaver’s car was sitting disabled in a lane southbound on Interstate 5 at about 10:30  Wednesday night just south of Southcenter. The Civics emergency hazard lights were flashing but Beaver was unable to move the car to the shoulder of the roadway before being struck from behind by the SUV driven by Peder.

King died at the scene. Hodgins died early Thursday afternoon at Harborview Medical Center. Beaver, was also injured in the car accident and received treatment and was released at Harborview. Peder, after being treated at Harborview, was booked into the King County Jail on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Troopers uncovered a half filled bottle of vodka in the SUV driven by Peder. Students and teachers at Federal Way’s Decatur High School mourned the deaths of their classmates on Thursday, many of the students parents also attended as the young men were well known and well liked in the community.

DUI Accident Victim’s Father Speaks Out

My heart goes out to the parents and friends of these innocent victims of this car crash. Lance Beaver, the father of the injury victim Anthony Beaver, spoke to the press on behalf of his son. He said his son is still shaken after losing his two best friends in Wednesday’s car crash.

“He’s devastated. It could’ve been my son,” said Lance. He’s keeping a close eye on his son as he recovers at home with his family by his side. “My son came home, but unfortunately it’s the worst day of my life because my son’s two best friends who came here every day – every day – are dead,” said Lance.

“He feels blame all the time now, but he did everything right,” said Anthony’s father. Peder was arrested after troopers said they could smell alcohol on the 50-year-old. “Derek’s dad had to go to a funeral home on his son’s birthday because of some guy.

That’s not fair,” said Lance, his voice filled with emotion. “He’s a strong kid. He surrounded himself with good people. I think that’s what’s going to carry him through,” said his dad. The young men’s school, Federal Way’s Decatur High School had counselors available for classmates.

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