Daily Archives: November 22, 2010

Bainbridge man killed in boat trailer accident

Longtime Bainbridge Islander Florentino “Sonny” Tabafunda was killed in a Suquamish Way collision on Saturday. He was 64.

Tabafunda was driving a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was hit by a boat trailer. The trailer, which was carrying a fishing boat, became unhitched from the truck that was hauling it along a 40-mph stretch of road.

Tabafunda was a well-known custodian at Bainbridge High School. The school issued a statement this morning:

“Mr. Tabafunda, known by all here at BHS as “Sonny”, was a wonderful employee who was always ready to lend a hand to anyone in need. His bright and sincere smile was reassuring and very welcoming to anyone who encountered him in any setting at our school. Beyond his impact on our school community, Sonny is a long time Bainbridge Island resident who has touched the lives of many Bainbridge Islanders.”

Tabafunda’s large family was rooted in farming. His father, Paul Tabafunda, came from the Philippines to farm on Bainbridge, according to a Seattle Times obituary.

The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. along NE Suquamish Way between NE Whale Dancer Court and NE Totten Road. Tabafunda was heading north while the 1997 Ford F-250 towing the fishing boat was being driven by a 44-year-old Suquamish man in the opposite direction.

The trailer unhitched from the Ford, crossing the centerline and hitting Tabafunda’s Jeep on its left, front corner. The impact caused the fishing boat — a 1976 Glaspy — to come off the trailer and into the passenger section of Tabafunda’s car. The size of the boat was not made available.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the accident, according to spokesman Scott Wilson. The Kitsap County Coroner will perform an autopsy Monday to confirm the cause and manner of Tabafunda’s death.

BHS Principal Brent Peterson invited students, staff and community members to add comments to a large memorial banner at the 200 Building’s main entrance on High School Road.