On July 6, Ron Dean, a longtime industry executive who worked for the Diamond Promotion Service and Gem East, died while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii, when a pickup truck collided with his car. He was 72.
Ron was traveling with his wife, Karen, 69, who also worked in the industry and has been in a coma since the accident. She is showing signs of progress, says daughter Jill. Karen formerly headed the Pacific Northwest Jewelers Association. She started working in the family business, Menti Jewelers, in Moses Lake, Wash., in her teens, and was the first female manager of a Ben Bridge store in state of Washington.
Ron’s step-grandson, Noah, 16, was also killed. Another child in the car was also injured.
Police are investigating whether the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to local news accounts. He has reportedly been charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the first degree and with two counts of negligent injury in the first degree.