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Colleagues mourn loss of friend in car collision

The Beaverton engineer and his daughter were killed July 3 in a 'horrific' crash in Washington

Co-workers at Hillsboro's Synopsys Inc. mourned the loss of a friend and colleague following the death July 3 of 43-year-old engineer Abani M. Biswas of Beaverton in a 'horrific' head-on collision in Washington state.

Biswas and his 7-year-old daughter Ankita were killed in the 1 p.m. collision on Highway 101 about five miles east of Port Angeles, Wash., on the Puget Sound.

Washington State Patrol officers said the accident also seriously injured 35-year-old Alakananda Biswas, Abani's wife. She remains in intensive care at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles. Their 3-year-old son Abheek, was treated at the Port Angeles hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released to the custody of Clallam County Child Protective Services.

State officials are trying to get an emergency visa for one of Biswas' relatives to come to the United States from India to care for the child. There is no immediate family in the United States.

A passenger in the second car involved in the collision, a Port Angeles man, also was killed.

'It's been pretty rough,' said Larry Melvin, Synopsys' research and development manager in Hillsboro who hired Abani Biswas out of the University of New Mexico in December to work on optics at the company. 'He was really a very nice guy.'

Yvette Huygen of Synopsys' Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, said employees in Hillsboro had been offered grief counseling and other help to get over the shock of losing a friend.

'It's a great tragedy for the company and we're very saddened by it,' Huygen said. 'The employees are very distressed. They knew him and liked him.'

Washington State Patrol said that at about 1 p.m. the Biswas family was driving a 2005 Toyota 4-Runner east on Highway 101 when a 2005 Ford Explorer traveling west on the four-lane highway crossed a painted median and slammed 'headlight to headlight' into the Biswas' vehicle. Both trucks were traveling about 60 mph at the time of the accident.

The crash threw 35-year-old Ericka L. Larson of Port Angeles out of the Explorer. Her passenger, 39-year-old Robert J. Norman of Port Angeles, died in the collision. Passersby pulled two children, a 3-year-old girl and a 9-month-old girl, from the Explorer as it burst into flames.

Patrol officers said it was one of the worst accidents they had seen in many years.

'It was a horrific crash, even by what we see nearly every day,' said Lt. Clint Casebolt, a Washington State Patrol spokesman.