Steve Lacey, a popular and experienced software engineer at Google, died this weekend from a suspected road rage crash, state officials have said.
Authorities say Lacey, 43, was caught in the path of a separate incident involving two other cars.
State officials believe the driver of a black Hyundai SUV was chasing another car that is thought to have cut him off on the motorway.
As the Hyundai driver chased, state officials believe he lost control when rounding a corner and met the path of Lacey’s vehicle.
Lacey died instantly from the impact.
“It’s a horrible loss, losing Steve," friend and neighbour Anna Rising said.
“It’s horrible for his family, his friends, his co-workers and our community. We’re a very close-knit neighbourhood and he’s a big part of our neighbourhood,” Rising added, as quoted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Lacey was working as a software engineer at Google. Until 2006 he spent eleven years at Microsoft working on technologies from DirectX through to games – most notably Microsoft Flight Simulator.
He is credited for contributions on franchises such as Flight Simulator 2000, Combat Flight Simulator 2, Munch’s Oddysee, NFL Fever and Crimson Skies.
He also worked on DirectX and RenderMorphics.
Lacey had a 7 year-old boy and 5 year-old girl, friends said. He had been married to his wife for ten years.
The man suspected of road rage, 56, survived the incident. Investigators believe he had been drinking. The second driver, who was being chased, is unknown.