Decatur swim coach Rob Hill dies in plane crash near Mt. Si

Decatur swim coach Rob Hill (pictured left) was killed in a plane crash Wednesday morning near Mt. Si. - Courtesy of Rebecca Sobus
Decatur swim coach Rob Hill (pictured left) was killed in a plane crash Wednesday morning near Mt. Si.
— image credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Sobus

Mirror staff reports:

A Cessna 172 that crashed near Mt. Si early Wednesday morning has brought tragedy to Federal Way's Decatur High School and the area's swim community.

While the King County Medical Examiner's office has not released the identities of the two men and one woman killed in the crash, there are reports that identify one of the victims as Decatur swim coach Rob Hill. According to a Feb. 15 Seattle Times article, Hill's sister, Becca Goode, identified Hill as the pilot.

The 30-year-old Hill was a 1999 graduate of Decatur, and had been the head swim coach at Decatur for the past five seasons. He was set to attend the state championships this weekend at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

According to Todd Beamer High School head swim coach Sue Bergman, there will be a moment of silence at the start of each session during the state meet Friday and Saturday.

A vigil for Hill is slated for Friday, Feb. 17, at Decatur, according to school district spokeswoman Diane Turner.

The other victims of the crash have been identified in media reports as Seth Dawson, 31, a swim coach at Valley Aquatics Swim Team and Kentlake High School, and Liz Redling, 29, of Federal Way.

The plane crash continues a streak of tragedies at Decatur over the past year and a half. In September, junior Robert Harris was at a family barbecue when he drowned in Lake Tapps after trying to retrieve a football that was floating in the water.

In June 2010, Decatur seniors Derek King and Nicholas Hodgins were killed when they were struck by a drunken driver on Interstate 5, just three days before their graduation.

Former Decatur grad Emmanuel Franco, 21, was killed Dec. 29, 2010, after a drunken driver crashed into him at the intersection of South 320th Street and Pacific Highway South.

A monument was dedicated in June to the students on the school’s front lawn. A charcoal-black granite stone is engraved with their names, birth dates and death dates.


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