Man dies in Milton crash that sent car airborne, launched engine from vehicle

A man died Sunday night when his car crossed the center line in Milton, launched off another vehicle and was hit by an oncoming truck with enough force to catapult the car’s engine 50 feet.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday identified the driver who died as 22-year-old Kyle Pike of Puyallup.

An on-duty officer saw Pike’s car about 8:30 p.m. traveling at high speed south on Pacific Highway East, where it crossed into the oncoming lane near the 7200 block, Milton Police Chief Mark Langford said.

A northbound car turned to avoid a crash and Pike’s car flew up and over it like a ramp, the chief said.

Upon landing, the car scraped the bed of a northbound truck before another northbound truck hit it hard enough to launch the engine from the car, Langford said.

A person in the second car and a person in the truck that hit Pike’s car were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the chief said.

Speed and erratic driving seemed to have contributed to the crash, and police were investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved, Langford said.