A Ukrainian family is desperate after their brand new KIA was stolen and then crashed into another car the next day.
The theft happened last Tuesday outside the family’s apartment building in Covington.
The very next day, Renton police say an 18-year-old driver ran a red light and plowed into an unsuspecting driver.
That driver wasn’t badly injured, but three teens in the KIA were critically injured, and the car is undrivable.
It has left this family with no way to get around.
The family really needs a car, as they are trying to build a new life in America.
“No, we don’t have a car,” said Olena Stasiuk. “And we don’t have money for another car.”
This is not how Olena imagined a new life in America. After all, her family was following in the footsteps of their neighbor and friend Olha Myrhodskay, fleeing the devastating war in their native Odessa, Ukraine.
Less than a month ago they paid $11,000 for this KIA.
“My car was parked in the place where now is a Lexus,” Olena said, pointing to a space filled by a different car.
Her husband discovered early Tuesday morning that their new car was gone, stolen in the parking lot across from their Covington apartment.
“We bought it for our family,” she said.
The day after their KIA was stolen, it ended up here in Renton.
Police say the 18-year-old driver ran a red light, struck an unsuspecting driver, and nearly slammed into the nearby Renton Laundry.
The innocent driver wasn’t badly hurt. But three teens in the KIA were critically injured.
It is part of a dangerous pattern, say police.
“Having these Hyundais and KIAs that are really easy to break into,” said Sgt. Darren Moss, Jr., Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman, “really makes it a lot easier for these kids to do all this really, really bad stuff.”
All of this has left Olena and her family in the lurch. Her husband needs a car to look for work as they adjust to life in this country.
Her friend says the theft has left Olena’s family nearly destitute.
“They spent money for the apartment, for traveling from Ukraine, and very expensive, and for the car,” said Olha. “They don’t have money for another car.”
And, she says, they couldn’t get insurance because they couldn’t get a company to agree to it.
The 18-year-old driver is in the King County jail. He already has a long rap sheet.
But, in the stolen car were presents for their daughter who turned eight years old on Sunday.
The family has started a GoFundMe account hoping to raise the money to buy a new car.