West Seattle traffic alert: Hit-run crash in South Admiral

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
7:41 PM: Another crash under investigation right now – this time at California and Spokane, with the driver possibly having left the scene after reportedly hitting parked cars and shrubs. On the way to check out.

7:46 PM: The suspect being sought in connection with the crash is described as blonde, male, wearing a dark hoodie, and jeans, last seen headed west on SW Spokane from the California vicinity.

8:01 PM: Our crew at the scene says the vehicle is a white pickup truck with equipment of some kind in the back. Police say it’s NOT a stolen vehicle. It went up into the bushes in front of an apartment building in the 3400 block of California, after hitting two vehicles out front. No injuries reported (unless the driver, who hasn’t been found yet, turns out to be hurt).

(This photo and next one by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
10:35 PM UPDATE: WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli went back out to the scene while the truck was being towed. He caught that scene (above) and also found police checking out one of the other damaged vehicles:

Christopher talked to one of the building’s owners, who said that they had just redone the landscaping, but at least the truck didn’t hit the building. Towing the truck, meantime, was a challenge, the driver told him, because the front axle was broken and a tree was in the way, so, Christopher explains, “He had to hook up the front and gingerly pivot the truck around, going back and forth. He finally got it out just around 9:30. SPD had southbound California closed for a bit but it is open now. As of 9:35, SPD said they still did not have the driver in custody.”

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14 Replies to "West Seattle traffic alert: Hit-run crash in South Admiral"

  • comment-avatar
    West Seattle luv January 1, 2013 (8:42 pm)

    Thanks for being on top of this, WSB. Watched the whole thing from my window. He was going well over the speed limit when it happened. SO grateful no one was walking on the sidewalk when it occurred.

  • comment-avatar
    alavine1 January 1, 2013 (9:39 pm)

    Our car got hit (and run) earlier today too, on 3400 block of 41st!

    • comment-avatar
      WSB January 1, 2013 (9:40 pm)

      Unfortunately sounds like a 2012 trend continuing into 2013. Sorry to hear it. That’s not far from this scene – do you know if it was related? – TR

  • comment-avatar
    alavine1 January 1, 2013 (9:42 pm)

    I have no idea if the two are related…unfortunately we’d just left to go out of town, and got a call a few hours afterward that our car was all banged up :(

  • comment-avatar
    JanS January 1, 2013 (11:25 pm)

    so….my first thought…driver was impaired, drinking perhaps. NY Day, football games…if he lies low until tomorrow they can’t get him for DUI..just an idea…

    lots of accidents today. Hope those on Delridge will be OK..

  • comment-avatar
    Eric January 1, 2013 (11:43 pm)

    I was out twice earlier in the day (walking from alki to seacrest and back) and saw what I’m SURE is this same pickup driving towards california and honking at slower cars just in front, then pulling around and JUST barely passing in front of them by about a foot. The second time the car pulled over to let him pass at california, then he turned right in front of it (from harbor ave) barely avoiding hitting it. It had the ladder on top, and at least one of the two times had some cargo (looked like carpet) in the back.

  • comment-avatar
    cjboffoli January 2, 2013 (6:53 am)

    The truck did appear to have carpet loosely rolled up in the back. It also had an aluminum ladder on a rack and it was leaking white paint as they towed it back onto the street. It certainly appeared that the driver/owner of the truck was a contractor of some kind.

  • comment-avatar
    Irukandji January 2, 2013 (10:42 am)

    Any chance the driver was freakishly tall? A friend of mine endured an abusive exchange with a guy in a white pick-up truck as she was walking in the Junction a couple weeks ago.

  • comment-avatar
    jozy January 2, 2013 (11:45 am)

    I’m one of the tenants in this building and funny how 2 years ago in August 2010 a drunk driver side swiped 10 cars park on the very block between Spokane and Hinds. Whew! the building was saved by the shrub that blocked the vehicle from pounding into the first floor tenant’s apartment. It would have been very bad! Though it happened on the first day of 2013, we have to be glad for what we escaped. I’m glad no injuries or fatality as it’s a busy pedestrian sidewalk here.

  • comment-avatar
    McGruff January 2, 2013 (3:48 pm)

    Boy, there sure is a lot of this ‘driver-abandons-car-after-crashing-into-parked-cars/buildings’ stuff. It sure sounds like they figure it’s better that way if they’ve had a few to do this and dodge a DUI. I wonder if we can put some teeth into ‘leaving the scene of the accident’?
    .
    The takeaway for me is this: if you have a garage, by all means use it; don’t leave your car in the street at night; too many drunks and people stealing cars just to joyride/crash them.

  • comment-avatar
    West Seattle Hipster January 2, 2013 (5:02 pm)

    If this was indeed a case of an agressive road rager crashing because of recklessness, it makes me think that there should be stiffer penalties for agressive driving. Far too many people tailgate, weave in and out of lanes without signaling, demand that people driving the limit move over so they can pass, etc.

    When did driving become a competition?

  • comment-avatar
    Ajax January 2, 2013 (6:49 pm)

    I’m wondering if this is the same road rager that I encountered about 9 months ago – it certainly looks like it. I was shocked that someone in an obvious work truck with a ladder on top would actually swerve and stop in front of me and get out and run up toward my car. Still not sure what I did to set him off, but he was seriously jumping up and down enraged when I laughed and drove around him and left him throwing a fit in the middle of Avalon.

  • comment-avatar
    Eric January 2, 2013 (7:01 pm)

    When I saw what I’m sure is this truck, it was earlier in the afternoon on alki ave/harbor ave, and he was honking at cars in front, tailgating, and then passing JUST in front of them almost hitting them. Saw him do it twice in about a 30 minute span (he was heading from alki towards and then up california)

  • comment-avatar
    Luckyone January 3, 2013 (8:09 am)

    Wouldn’t the police be able to find this guy from the registration?

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