Charges filed against driver in death of 91-year-old Belmont Ave woman – UPDATE

We have learned the identity of the 91-year-old Capitol Hill woman who and killed Monday by a man police say was driving drunk when he hit the woman as he backed his truck into a parking spot at an apartment building at Harvard and E. Thomas.

According to court documents, Marie Bush Fite was walking on the sidewalk in front of a parking space when she was hit by the truck and knocked to the ground as the driver continued to back into the space.

The Belmont Ave resident died of her injuries at the hospital Monday night. She was a few blocks from her home near Tashkent Park when she was struck. Fite was a Seattle native, born in the city in January, 1919.

Photo: Andrew Filer

UPDATE: The Seattle Times knocked on a few doors in the neighborhood tonight and have posted a detailed portrait of Fite’s life on the Hill:

In the more than three decades that Fite lived in the Capitol Hill building, neighbors said hers was a familiar face, someone known for her color-coordinated outfits, often topped off with a hat and overcoat. She proudly boasted that at 91 she didn’t need a cane to go for her daily walks.


Shawn Shipp, a 34-year-old north Seattle man with a lengthy criminal record, is charged with vehicular homicide and driving with a suspended license in the death. His charging papers say he attempted to flee but was stopped by police as paramedics raced to the scene.


Officers administered an alcohol and drug test because Shipp showed signs of impairment and told police he had taken Vicodin prior to the accident. The test revealed Shipp’s blood alcohol level to be twice the legal limit, according to court documents.

Shipp’s criminal record is lengthy with convictions for first-degree rape of a minor, failure to register as a sex offender, assault, auto theft, and drug charges in his past. On the roadways, he has been convicted for DUI, driving with a suspended license and speeding. The rape conviction was handed down in October 1991 when Shipp was 15 years old. According to records provided by law enforcement to track sex offenders, Shipp made his permanent home in north Seattle — though the last time the records were updated was August, 2008. The photo of Shipp from those records was taken in 2004.

Shipp is currently held in King County Jail on $500,000 bail.

There are currently no services scheduled for Marie Fite.

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2 thoughts on “Charges filed against driver in death of 91-year-old Belmont Ave woman – UPDATE

  1. I do hope this isn’t the spry old woman I always see at Online Coffee. She usually wore a red coat belted with a scarf and a little hat. She had a lot of interesting things to say about the neighborhood, but I never got her name. The description fits her too well.

    Is there any update on services? Is assistance needed?

  2. Information we’ve received says no services are planned but it can be hard to track this kind of thing. If anybody knows more, please let us know.