‘I was not kidnapped’: Ex-girlfriend of deadly Lynnwood crash suspect sets record straight

KING COUNTY, Wash. - The former girlfriend of a suspect accused of causing a deadly crash on SR 525 last month is now speaking out about what happened.

Kelsey Martin was in Robert Rowland's truck when he drove the wrong way on SR 525, killing an 83-year-old grandmother from Lynnwood.

On the day of the crash, police initially believed Rowland kidnapped Martin, but Martin tells FOX 13 that wasn't true.

"I was not kidnapped. He never took me against my will," said Rowland.

Charging documents say Rowland's alleged violence started the day before the crash on April 11.

It says Rowland became upset with Martin because she was going to undergo substance abuse treatment.

"He wasn't upset. I was going to rehab. He was upset I was going without him," said Martin. "He wanted to go to treatment and better his life too."

On the day of the crash, Martin says she was at the Tulalip Casino and willingly stepped into Rowland's truck.

"I got into his truck, and we hung out at a friend's house," said Martin. "We went to a 7-Eleven to get snacks and that's when everything went off. That's when police attempted to arrest him."

While Martin says she wasn't kidnapped from the casino, she remembers not wanting to be in Rowland's car during the police pursuit.

"I just kept thinking about my son," said Martin. "I was yelling, screaming, I can't die, stop, we need to stop."

Martin describes the pursuit as "terrifying" and says Rowland was saying he loved her until his truck slammed into Trudy Slanger's car on SR 525.

"Words can't even begin to describe how sorry I am for that woman's family," said Martin.

Martin says that was the last time she ever spoke with or saw Rowland.

"I do believe he needs to answer for what he did," said Martin.

In the month since the impact, Martin says she is no longer with Rowland.

She is focused on her injuries sustained in the deadly crash and staying with a friend in an undisclosed location in King County as she recovers.


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