Update: 3 cars collide at 48th/Spokane, 1 person to hospital

ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:57 AM: The big fire/police response is for a crash reported at 48th and Spokane, which is between Madison and Schmitz Park. More shortly.

8:27 AM UPDATE: From the scene and from police: Three vehicles were involved. Our crew saw two – including one on its side. (Added – here’s the other one:)

Tow trucks were already there as of about 10 minutes ago, so the scene will be clear soon if it’s not already. One person was taken to the hospital by private ambulance – which means the injuries were not believed to be major.

39 Replies to "Update: 3 cars collide at 48th/Spokane, 1 person to hospital"

  • norsk girl October 16, 2012 (8:11 am)

    I wonder if it involved the car that blasted through the stop signs/intersection of 49th and Charlestown closely in front of several cars. Shortly after that I heard nearby a car horn start and sound continuously. ? Happened around 7:40 ish.

  • Concerned Parent October 16, 2012 (8:13 am)

    I saw one of the cars involved was on it’s side. I didn’t see the accident happen, but noticed it after dropping my kids off at Madison this morning. I certainly hope everyone is ok. What really concerns me is that there are so many kids walking to Madison from ALL directions, so many cars moving way too quickly through the neighborhood streets. Being late to school or work is not that big of a deal compared to risking the safety of your community. I notice that cars don’t often yield to other cars and especially aren’t looking for our kids crossing the streets. I imagine as the weather gets worse and the mornings are darker this is only going to be harder. Please slow down in the mornings!

  • Jamo October 16, 2012 (8:31 am)

    Bronze Honda Element roll over. Looked like a hard collision with a black car at the intersection 48th and Spokane at the base of the hill between Madison and Schmitz Park Schools.

  • sou'wester October 16, 2012 (8:32 am)

    Was the car that ran the stop sign a black VW -type car?

    If so, that’s the vehicle with the horn that was stuck on, and it would seem the same car that hit the Honda that was toppled over on its side.

    Beyond crazy to be driving like that so near two schools (Madison/Schmitz Park) with kids all about at that time.

    • WSB October 16, 2012 (8:42 am)

      Sou – while the initial call to police said three vehicles, according to Media Relations, our crew only saw two at the scene, and those are both shown in the photos above. The one person who was taken to a hospital was in the red vehicle that ended up on its side. You may not be able to tell from the photo but in higher resolution/size it appears to be dark green.

  • Mark October 16, 2012 (8:42 am)

    Simply asking that everybody slow down a bit. It’s a busy world, but the stakes are too high for accidents to happen. And put your phone down please – it can wait.

  • Todd October 16, 2012 (8:49 am)

    True Mark. With 3 schools within blocks of each other, that have doubled in size in the last 3-4 years, people need to slow down at the many uncontrolled intersections. Put down your phone, leave your house earlier so you’re not rushing whether dropping your child off or trying to get to work. Too many accidents in this area.

  • Kim October 16, 2012 (9:03 am)

    If you go the speed limit on California, you get tail-gated. People regularly drive through our neighborhood at 35+ MPH.

    Neighbors, this is OUR community. Have some respect and common sense. Slow down.

  • GAnative October 16, 2012 (9:05 am)

    I hope everyone is OK but I’m not surprised at all.
    I drop my daughter off at Madison every day and just in the last week I’ve seen 3 kids in the crosswalks almost get run over, someone making a u-turn in the middle of the intersection of 45th and Spokane with cars coming in all 4 directions and more.
    Cars going down the hill, away from Madison, on Spokane and Hinds never hit the brakes until they get to the stop signs at 49th blowing through the intersections at both 47th and 48th.
    The intersections at all 4 corners of Madison should be 4-way stops.

  • Julie October 16, 2012 (9:07 am)

    I walk a lot in this neighborhood and the majority of the cars that have almost run me over have kids in the car…

  • Laurie October 16, 2012 (9:25 am)

    I was the witness to this accident. The police told me that at an uncontrolled intersection, meaning no stop signs on either street, that the cars going North/South have the right away.

    I assume the orange honda didn’t slow down when approaching the intersection and that is where the car on 48th came out and clipped the honda. The honda rolled 2-3 times and landed on the sidewalk. When I stopped I didn’t know what I would find in the honda… windows broken out and a mess. Another person jumped on the top of the car and pulled the person out.

    The other car had children in it which is scary. There were many kids walking to school at that time. I had just dropped of my son. There are no signals that tell people to slow down by the middle school like the elementary schools. I believe more kids walk alone to middle school and something needs to be done for their safety.

    And people using those roads for commuting to work need to know the rules of school zones.

  • george October 16, 2012 (9:34 am)

    North/South right-of-way?? Thats a new one. Spokane from Madison to 49th should have yield signs on the cross streets as there are many cars traveling between SP and California/Madison. To many kids and cars passing through that corridor to an elementary school (even if it is closing soon).

  • GAnative October 16, 2012 (9:37 am)

    “The police told me that at an uncontrolled intersection, meaning no stop signs on either street, that the cars going North/South have the right away.”
    Really? I have never heard that. I was taught that they should be treated as a 4-way stop and…
    Section 46.61.180 of the Revised Code of Washington and section 11.55.010 of the Seattle Municipal Code: When two (2) vehicles approach or enter an uncontrolled intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on
    the right. (RCW 46.61.180)

  • Sue October 16, 2012 (9:39 am)

    I live in the block next to Schmitz Park Elementary School and my neighbors have long been concerned about the many, many parents that drive our narrow street at too high of a speed — while taking their kids to school. Slowing down is a good idea for everyone.

  • GAnative October 16, 2012 (9:44 am)

    And since I have a new teen driver; this is from the Washington Driver Guide…

    At an intersection where there is no stop sign, yield sign, or traffic signal, drivers must yield to vehicles in the intersection and to those coming from the right.

    • WSB October 16, 2012 (9:47 am)

      Regardless of what the law is … please consider slowing down to look whenever you come to an uncontrolled four-way. That’s how I drive. Failed to do so about a month ago in Upper Fauntleroy and almost got T-boned by somebody approaching from the left.

  • george October 16, 2012 (9:46 am)

    I think that the officer may have meant in this accident, the car traveling north/south (the green sedan) had the right of way if the Honda was traveling east on Spokane.
    We’ve been told by officers that even if you enter the intersection first, the car to the right has/had the right of way if you can’t clear the intersection before they enter and hit you.

  • sw October 16, 2012 (9:51 am)

    Wow – if the Honda rolled 2-3 times, they were going too fast through that area no matter the circumstances. Slow down, folks – and please, please, put the phone away.

  • I. Ponder October 16, 2012 (9:52 am)

    I vote for abolishing use of the word ‘accident’. Like playing with a loaded gun, reckless driving that results in crashes, injury, death, property damage, is anything but an accident.

    It also implies that everyone had good intentions and it just happened for no good reason. Some people don’t care about you or your kids. I know that’s tough to hear. As a former Lafayette parent, I once yelled at a mom speeding through the school parking lot because she was late with a plate of cupcakes. I had to deal with her and grandma that day. Evil, selfishness, and stupidity come in many different packages.

    • WSB October 16, 2012 (10:00 am)

      IP – we don’t use “accident.” Ever. It was part of my stylebook at every newsroom I managed going back at least a decade. Can’t control comments, law-enforcement reports, etc., however. (Nor other media outlets)
      But I also do need to make the traditional statement here: We do NOT have a police statement on suspected cause here. We do have someone who says they saw it. But otherwise, please avoid the rush to judgment and assumption. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get information later on whether anyone was cited – traffic investigations are not always as (relatively) easy to follow up on – but we will try. – TR

  • MAS October 16, 2012 (10:05 am)

    A couple of folks have noted that as pedestrians in school zones we’ve seen more of the parents dropping off as problems than commuters, and I’ve noticed that as well. Often, the folks illegally dropping off their children in the alley behind my house drive carefully until THEIR children are inside, then blast down the alley with a cell phone in their ear, oblivious to the neighbors and other folks dropping off children.

    The other folks driving through the alley are generally respectful of pedestrians and driving at a moderate pace.

  • I. Ponder October 16, 2012 (10:06 am)

    TR: I respect your standards. Rarely a true accident. Black ice? Probably not.

  • Chris W October 16, 2012 (10:19 am)

    I have tried twice to ride my bike in that area on Sunday afternoons, to avoid the heavier traffic on California and Admiral, but with high speed vehicles on those sidestreets, have chosen instead to inch along on sidewalks on California. Please slow down everyone.

  • dubious October 16, 2012 (10:25 am)

    I am concerned that the electronic readerboard the Madison PTSA wants to put up on the Gymnasium will distract drivers at a busy, hazardous intersection. Not smart!

  • AJ October 16, 2012 (10:25 am)

    Do you have a description of the drivers? I have a close friend who drives a car like the dark green one above and just want to make sure she’s ok.

  • Todd October 16, 2012 (10:27 am)

    I emailed capacity management and SPS with my concerns and link to this incident. I feel a request to the city from SPS will carry more weight that from me/one conerned parent. I also filled out an online request with SPD. For everyones safety, we need better signage, enforcement, something… This is the 2nd roll over near Madison in a year. As many
    can attest, there is a pattern of unsafe driving between Schmitz Park,
    Madison, and Lafayette. Something needs to be done. The writing is on the wall. I pray we are not reading about a serious injury or fatality in the future.

  • Rachael October 16, 2012 (12:33 pm)

    How fast do you have to be going to put the thing on its side like that?! Come on everyone! SLOW DOWN!

  • bsmomma October 16, 2012 (1:03 pm)

    Maybe we need random Rules of the Road “reminder” signs strategically placed………. yield to your right……. speed limit xx unless otherwise posted…..pedestrians have the right away….. Smile! You’re in a school zone! Speed limit 20! just little picket signs. We put who we’re voting for in our yards, why not something like that?? On the corners and islands as well.

  • Resident3 October 16, 2012 (2:41 pm)

    How could there be a hard collision, in that area, strong enough to make the Honda Element flip like that? Were they both speeding or is an Element that easy to flip?

  • sgs October 16, 2012 (2:44 pm)

    Yeah bsmomma, we’ll order the “yield to your right” one for the intersection at 46th and Oregon for people flying westbound down Oregon street from Glenn Way.

  • Harry Reems October 16, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    After reading these comments, I was thinking perhaps it’s time for the Seattle Police Department’s Aggressive Driver Response Team to establish a presence in that area.


  • 4thGenWestSide October 16, 2012 (6:49 pm)

    My little brother, coming home from Schmitz Park school as a 4th Grader, was hit, and nearly killed by a speeding driver on that corner. Permanent damage and has never been the same. I guess someone needs to actually die for the City to take action. I hope no one does. C’mon Seattle. At least put in an island, speed bump or something.

  • WTF October 16, 2012 (8:59 pm)

    How in the H#!! does this happen?! Unbelievable.

    Why do people continue not to pay attention. Are you really in that much of a hurry you’d risk the lives of others let alone your own? God forbid you kill a child and have to live with that.

  • GWG October 17, 2012 (1:39 am)

    My house is located on 48th Ave,between Charlestown and Spokane. I too heard a car horn and a vehicle accelerating North Bound on 48th Ave then the sound of crashing cars.It sounded like 3 or 4 cars had wrecked. I walked up to the corner and saw exactly what you photographed. People constantly speed up this block.We seem to have probably 2-3 accidents at that intersection a year. I seem to recal that people in the neighborohood asked for a go round,but were told by the city that “there wasn’t enough accidents there to warrant a go round” So i suppose it will probably happen after after someone loses there life, due to a careless driver. Those people were lucky yesterday morning.I’ve lived in my home for 27 and have never seen an accident that bad.

  • WSratsinacage October 17, 2012 (9:58 am)

    ADRT is a good idea.
    Sorry to hear about your brother, 4thGen.
    Sounds like this intersection/area has been bad for more than the 6 years or so that I have been aware of it.
    I share in people’s frustration with the city and their reactive / statistics driven attidude.
    Thanks for your first hand account Laurie.

  • drb October 17, 2012 (12:09 pm)

    I have seen so many cars just blow through intersections even if there is a stop sign. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been clipped by one of these bozos. Like everyone is saying here..slow down.

  • eb October 17, 2012 (3:58 pm)

    Ok, in an uncontrolled intersection the car on the right has the right of way. So the flipped car was at fault.Also, the green car has hardly any damage, while the orange one is flipped. Maybe thats a sign that the person driving the orange one didnt try to gain control, just let the car do what it did?

  • gozer70 October 17, 2012 (4:05 pm)

    Sorry to say it folks, but nobody’s going to read this blog and heed your pleas to ‘slow down.’ People are selfish, period. As a daily motorcycle commuter who lives two blocks from this incident, I will tell you that you must save your own skins. I slow to a near stop at all uncontrolled intersections and yield to ANY vehichle coming from ANY direction. At intersections where cross traffic has a Stop and I don’t, I slow, cover my brakes, and try to make eye contact, preparing to panic stop if necessary. I have nearly been killed twice by people BLOWING the Stop sign at SW 49th and Spokane, just a block from this accident. Never assume that as a pedestrian you will get the right-of-way in a crosswalk. At SW 50th and Charlestown, when I cross on foot, I clutch my son close to me, wait ’till there’s no cars for several blocks, and run!

  • Jon October 17, 2012 (9:29 pm)

    I live one house in from this corner and I’ve witnessed a few accidents over the year from drivers going to fast. I had just left for work when this happened and probably missed it by minutes. Not only are there two schools nearby, but many children live in this block. We need a traffic circle; it’s getting to dangerous, especially people who fly down the Spokane hill or who avoid 49th to speed down 48th.

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