Police: Brake failure factored in Tacoma pedestrian’s death

Police ask public’s help to identify man found in Columbia

Investigators say it appears that brake failure caused a crash that killed a man who was walking near an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Tacoma last November.

The News Tribune reports that 50-year-old Kevin Lee Cochran was going about 43 mph as he swerved and honked off the highway, striking a traffic light pole and killing 42-year-old Peter Tuaau.

Police say Cochran had marijuana and a drug used to treat depression, anxiety and PTSD in his system, but that the main cause of the crash appears to have been that his rear brake pads on the Cadillac Escalade he was driving were worn away. A mechanic who inspected them reported that the brakes would have been extremely noisy for a long time before they failed.

Cochran is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 15 on a charge of vehicular homicide.