Sneezing fit causes fatal crash


Staff writer

A sneezing fit led to a fatal car crash in Normandy Park about 7 p.m. Monday, and state troopers say there isn’t much that could have been done to prevent the collision.

Cindee Jean Gohs, 51, of Des Moines, was driving south in the 19600 block of First Avenue South when a car driven by a 17-year-old Seattle boy swerved into her lane. The two vehicles collided almost head-on, and Gohs died later.

The Mirror is not naming the teenager because troopers didn’t arrest him and he’s not being charged with a crime.

State Patrol spokeswoman Monica Hunter characterized the crash as a fluke and said the teenager hadn’t been drinking, taking drugs or speeding. The teenager apparently just sneezed several times in a row, she said, which caused him to veer into the oncoming lane of traffic.

“It’d be different if he was eating or messing around with his CD player,” Hunter said. “I can’t even say pay attention, because when you sneeze, you sneeze.”

Gohs was checked into Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in serious condition and later died, Hunter said.

The teenage driver was uninjured.

Hunter said drivers should be aware of how easily their vehicles can travel out of their lanes.

“People underestimate how much you can veer just in a second,” she said. “Be aware of how easily a vehicle can stray.”

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and

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