Steve Lacey

Google engineer Steve Lacey, 43, a veteran of the Seattle region’s tech community who worked for more than a decade at Microsoft, died Sunday in a car crash in Kirkland.

KING 5 News reports that that Lacey was the victim of a road rage incident in which he hadn’t been involved. A widely respected software engineer who often displayed his sense of humor on his well-read blog, Lacey had two children, ages 5 and 7. He and his wife had recently celebrated their 10th anniversary.

Lacey, who received his master’s in software engineering in his native U.K., moved to Redmond in 1997 from London, two years after the 3D graphics startup where he worked was acquired by Microsoft. His online bio describes his work at Microsoft and demonstrates his passion for technology.

Steve led feature teams on Flight Simulator 2000, Combat Flight Simulator 2, Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX, as well as finding time along the way to run the development team at a new studio; work on a bunch of Xbox stuff including Munch’s Oddysee, NFL Fever and Crimson Skies; build a game engine and scripting engine/language completely from scratch and generally get his fingers into a lot of incredibly interesting pies.

Lacey left Microsoft in January 2006 to start SwitchGear software with another former Microsoftie, Joe Stacy. Later that year, Lacey joined Google’s Kirkland office.

“The food was too good to be ignored,” he explained in his bio.

He also worked briefly at Facebook last year, according to his Google+ profile, but he had been working most recently at Google, focusing on Chrome video.

In the incident Sunday afternoon, state troopers told KING-5 that the driver of a Hyundai Sonata lost control, rolled and crashed into a BMW being driven by Lacey on NE 85th Street. The Hyundai driver had exited Interstate 405 at high speed in pursuit of another car that the Hyundai driver says cut him off on the freeway. KING reports that investigators believe the Hyundai driver had been drinking.

Update: Robert Scoble remembers Lacey in this post.

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  • Tom Ryan

    Just terribly sad news.  A brilliant and funny guy. 

  • Anonymous

    My prayers go to his family. Drinking and road rage takes a father and a creative mind. Something has got to change.

  • Anonymous

    Whoopsie, guess someone was busy texting lol.

  • Bryan Starbuck

    Steve was an amazing guy.  This is very sad.   My heart goes out to his children and family.

  • MSA

    Very sad news. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew him closely.

  • Lauren Gold

    Very sad. Nice piece GeekWire.

  • SwearyGeek

    RIP Steve. 

  • Sdfasffwe

    Steve Lacey’s last project was on it’s too bad He passed away before He got any visitors  to his website….

    Deep condolcense

  • Seo agencies

    that sucks, speeds must have been pretty insane, since BMWs tend to be very safe cars.

    • ebpp

      yeah they are very safe, I got tboned in my M3, and I barely felt the impact.

  • Audrey Price

    Very sad news.

  • Diomidis Spinellis

    How sad and unjust. We’ll miss you Steve…

  • Pam Miller

    I met Steve a few times way back in his Microsoft days.  What a nice nice man. Humble, sweet and clearly great at what he did. What a damn shame.

  • Anonymous

    Such sad news. My deepest condolences to the family. A huge loss for the tech community!

  • jc

    I drove by right after the crash occurred and it was a horrific crash with a direct impact on his driver’s side door. Reckless drunk driver kills innocent passerby. Another sad and tragic alcohol related death. 

  • Anon

    So sad…. Blessings to Steve’s family, wife and children… 

  • Beth

    How tragic.  I think some bright hacker should get the name of the driver that killed Mr. Lacey in a fit of road rage so that we on the Net can virtually punish him, since undoubtably the law will not.  Drunk drivers are rarely given more than a slap on the wrist.

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