The Seattle police officer who hit and killed a grad student in January while speeding without his siren on admitted he “f–ked up” after the tragic crash, newly released bodycam video shows.
Officer Kevin Dave was responding to a “high priority” call at upwards of 74 mph when he hit and killed Jaahnavi Kandula in a crosswalk at 8 p.m. on Jan. 23.
Dave had chirped his siren, but did not have it running consistently, as he plowed into Kandula — a 23-year-old master’s student at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus, footage released by prosecutors and published in part by PubliCola Thursday showed.
The video shared by the outlet did not include the moment Dave’s car hit the young woman, out of respect for Kandula’s family.
Prosecutors were reportedly weighing charges against Dave for his failure to deploy his siren to “warn others of the emergency nature of the situation,” as required by police protocol.
“I f–ked up,” Dave was heard saying after the deadly incident at the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street, where the speed limits are 25 and 20 mph respectively.
In the footage, a loud roar from Dave’s patrol car can be heard as the speedometer shows he accelerated up to 74 miles per hour at one point.
Moments after reaching the top speed, he can be seen slowing down the car before striking Kandula at the fateful intersection.
Bodycam video showed the officer then performing CPR on Kandula after the collision.
“Lights were on. I was chirping the sirens…she was in the crosswalk. She saw me, she started running through the crosswalk. Slammed on my breaks. Started staying back where she should before crossing,” Dave can be heard in the video telling a responding officer.
In other bodycam footage, Dave can be heard saying, “I can have a hundred minutes. I could have…there’s nothing for me to do right now, but sit. And that is the f–king worst thing that…you just have to sit here. So many questions that are unanswered, so many questions.”
The Office of Police Accountability continues investigating whether Dave complied with department policy.
Officials with the county prosecutors office said a decision on possible charges will likely come by early August.
Kandula arrived in Seattle from Bengaluru, India back in 2021 to receive a master’s degree at Northeastern University, according to the college. She was pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems at the College of Engineering and was set to graduate this December.
Her grieving family said they were “heartbroken” in January after the tragic accident, telling KJR-FM radioshe was the daughter of a single mother who always prioritized her education.
“Jaahnavi’s tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired,” the statement said. “She was a daughter to a single mother who teaches elementary school in India.”
“In spite of earning less than [$200] per month, her mother educated Jaahnavi and encouraged her to [travel to] the United States hoping Jaahnavi would have a better future and a better life abroad,” it said. “Her mother’s hopes and dreams are cut short now.”
In its own statement following the incident, the Seattle Police Department expressed its “deepest condolences to Kandula’s family, and called it “a terrible tragedy for everyone involved.”
This is so heartbreaking.