Deadly Renton accident raises question - should teens have ‘speed limiters’ in their vehicles?

RENTON, Wash. — The March 19th deadly crash in Renton has some asking whether teen drivers who speed should face harsher penalties.  We go to the suspect’s home in search of answers.

Suspect Chase Jones had a history of speeding, even before he allegedly slammed into a mini van last week, killing four people, including three children.

The first time he was caught driving too fast, he was just 17-years-old.

Both Jones and two children from the deadly crash are still hospitalized.  Two victims from this terrible crash are in satisfactory condition. Nolan and Charlotte Hudson survived the accident that claimed their mother, Andrea’s life.

Now there are questions about whether there were enough red flags to place speed restrictions on the teenager suspected of killing her and three other children.

Chase Jones has made no bones about it. He drives fast.

“I saw an open road so, I was definitely going above the speed limit, 25,” Jones said in May, 2023.  How fast would he guess?  “Forty, 50.”

He was just 17 then, confessing to a Kent police officer that he was speeding when he collided with another vehicle.

Then just eight months later, in January, he was involved in another collision, also in Kent. The driver with whom collided accused him of speeding then, too.  By then, he had turned 18.

Yet, investigators say that apparently didn’t stop him from speeding through a red light at an an estimated 112 miles per hour eight days ago, instantly killing four people, a mother and three young children.

“Obviously with a kid like that doesn’t have a problem with the rules,” said Seattle defense attorney James Egan.

Egan has made a career of defending impaired drivers.  But this tragedy, he says, begs for some action.

“Licenses get suspended for all kinds of reasons,” said Egan. “And right now, they include alcohol consumption or a series of too many tickets on the road. And maybe there could be other conditions added.”

Jones’s parents have shown up during his speeding run-ins with the law.

So, KIRO 7 went to their Kent home to ask them about their son’s driving habits.  But there was no answer.

James Egan thinks Washington lawmakers should follow California’s lead and introduce legislation forcing teenagers to install “speed limiters” to reduce speeding, in a bid to save lives.