Update: ‘Heavy rescue’ response in Seaview after driver goes sideways

April 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 55 Comments

12:23 PM: Police and fire are responding to a potential “heavy rescue” in the 5900 block of 44th SW in Seaview (map).

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
12:35 PM: Added a photo. No word yet on injuries – waiting to hear from our crew at the scene.

(Photo by Patrick Sand for WSB)
12:47 PM: Here’s what police tell us – the vehicle that’s on its side spun, flipped, and wound up sideways against the parked vehicle in our photo after colliding with a third car at 44th and Raymond. The sideways vehicle’s driver was headed north at the time but the vehicle ended up facing south. The driver went to the hospital by private ambulance to be checked out, but is not believed to have serious injuries. No one else needed to go to the hospital.

7:11 PM: The other vehicle involved is shown in this photo by Christopher – its driver had been heading westbound on Raymond, and was not hurt:

A friend of the driver of the vehicle that ended up sideways says she’s out of the hospital.

55 Comments

  1. Not sure what happened but hoping everyone is ok!

    Comment by L — 12:44 pm April 4, 2014 #

  2. One person hurt, not major – I’m adding some more details from the scene right now.

    Comment by WSB — 12:47 pm April 4, 2014 #

  3. Randomness. Looks like you could just flip it back over and drive away..

    Comment by WilbeHonest — 12:49 pm April 4, 2014 #

  4. We heard the impact and ran over. The other cars occupants are from Arizona and apparently just arrived here a few days ago. They just kept saying “but there isn’t a stop sign.” Seriously?? It’s an uncontrolled intersection so slow down and look around. We have lived in this spot for over 5 years and I am shocked that this is the first accident we’ve seen. People barrel down the road all the time without slowing or looking around. It’s crazy.

    Comment by A — 1:05 pm April 4, 2014 #

  5. Not being from Seattle, I have found the lack of stop signs confusing and dangerous. I’ve never come across this in other cities. I choose to stop at all 4-way intersections that don’t have stop signs but I can understand why someone wouldn’t know if they weren’t from here.

    Comment by Kristin — 1:19 pm April 4, 2014 #

  6. I’ve always told people that when I finally get nailed in an accident, it’s going to be right there. I agree with A, people really barrel down these two streets and I’ve had cars nearly rear-end me because I slow down when I head along Raymond (the street I live on).

    Comment by walkinggirl — 1:22 pm April 4, 2014 #

  7. Lots of people have never seen an uncontrolled intersection before. After living in TN for 16 years and St. Louis for another 12 I had never seen on in my life. St. Louis quite literally has a stop sign controlling one way at every single intersection in the city (and suburbs). I felt like I was in crazyland when we moved here, but now I just go by the only rule of the road that matters “Don’t get hit.”

    Comment by Michael — 1:27 pm April 4, 2014 #

  8. Is there a reason why we go by largely uncontrolled intersections? Back in Connecticut I can’t recall a single uncontrolled 4-way or more intersection in the towns I lived in. T/3 ways were usually uncontrolled except for the direction entering the flow.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 1:34 pm April 4, 2014 #

  9. There has been a rash of these types of accidents at uncontrolled intersections. There were 5 or 6 in about a year near east/west Genesee. I think it was Genesee, CJB listed all of the accidents in a comment in that story.
    .
    My opinion is that uncontrolled intersections may work in a neighborhood with primarily single family dwellings/a lower population but the city has greenlighted a major density push (as everyone knows). My point is, with more and more people driving, it seems the accident potential has increased. I’ve tried to get the city to look at making changes, at least near schools, but they don’t see my point.
    .
    It could be this happened because someone was from out of town but there have been a lot of these accidents lately and I doubt in each case it was because one of the drivers was from out of town.

    Comment by enough — 1:48 pm April 4, 2014 #

  10. Kinda amazed at the responses of people indicating Seattle is the only city with uncontrolled intersections.

    I have lived in Las Vegas, Wichita Falls, Phoenix and have traveled extensively back east from OBX, NC, to D.C just recently. I can tell you right now, there is a lot of uncontrolled intersections around those places as well. This is not some “Only in Seattle” thing. It would be insane to have a stop sign at every single intersection. Folks just need to slow down and stop flexing cause you ain’t from here.

    Comment by F16CrewChief — 1:48 pm April 4, 2014 #

  11. When people move to different states they should just download or grab the drivers book.

    People drive way to fast anyways on these residentials and don’t follow the rule of “right of way”.

    Hope everyone involved will be ok.

    Comment by JK — 1:55 pm April 4, 2014 #

  12. what kind of car is that on its side? Honda? Nissan? Toyota? I can’t quite tell, and I have family in the area with a similar car.

    Comment by sacatosh — 1:57 pm April 4, 2014 #

  13. I hate hate hate the uncontrolled intersections here and avoid them whenever possible. When not possible I come to a near stop at all of them. People really do just barrel through without slowing.

    Comment by squareeyes — 2:04 pm April 4, 2014 #

  14. So how do they determine who is at fault?

    Comment by Rose — 2:07 pm April 4, 2014 #

  15. I had no idea that uncontrolled intersections weren’t common throughout the US. I hope everyone is alright. It does make me curious though, how fast the vehicles involved were going? Regardless of an uncontrolled or controlled intersection, we all need to slow down a bit through these residential neighborhoods–especially if we’re unfamiliar with the area. Also, isn’t there a general rule of yielding to the vehicle that is on your right (i.e. Right of way”)?

    Comment by Kravitz — 2:19 pm April 4, 2014 #

  16. Both AZ and MO drivers’ guides cover uncontrolled intersections. I have relatives in AZ and there are uncontrolled intersections in their neighborhood. They really aren’t that unusual.

    Comment by KBear — 2:21 pm April 4, 2014 #

  17. Rose – when coming to an uncontrolled intersection one is always supposed to yield to a driver to the right if you are there at the same time (or ‘about the same time’, in reality). If you area ahead of someone approaching from the right then you have the right-of-way.

    Comment by JeffK — 2:40 pm April 4, 2014 #

  18. Glad no one was hurt.

    To bad there isn’t a web site one can go to, put where you are from and were you’er visiting and see the difference in traffic laws

    Comment by patt — 2:43 pm April 4, 2014 #

  19. Well, you don’t always know it’s an uncontrolled intersection b/c if you have no stop or yield sign, you might assume cross-traffic does. I chalk it up to laziness of SDOT. At least you can file a claim with the city if fault can’t be determined by the SPD. That also looks like a Toyota 4-Runner to me, but it’s hard to say. Hope all involved are okay physically and mentally!

    Comment by CMP — 2:47 pm April 4, 2014 #

  20. enough: I believe it was SW Andover (west of California) that seemed to have a lot of incidents/coverage. And I expect the list of MVAs is much longer as the links I provided back then were just for the stories I covered and that were severe enough to respond to.
    .
    sacatosh: The car on its side today was a Toyota.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 2:47 pm April 4, 2014 #

  21. This is a residential neighborhood (I live 3 blocks from the crash)…who the hell is driving fast enough on these types of streets to flip their vehicle? Slow down people.

    Comment by Oakley34BLAM — 2:56 pm April 4, 2014 #

  22. There won’t be any claims to the city and the SPD will be able to determine which vehicle was at fault because one of the vehicles had to be to the right of the other. Simple. Vehicle to the right has right of way. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

    PS–Driving and making assumptions about other drivers is risky at best.

    Comment by A-Red — 3:03 pm April 4, 2014 #

  23. You know I’ve never bothered to respond or add to the various interesting,surprising or even shocking commentary that follows a significant number of WSB entries, but for some reason reading this has motivated me to do so.

    First let me say, thank goodness, I don’t have to come to a stop sign at every intersection on a grid based city plan where there are 3-4 streets converging. That is 100% ridiculous. I have driven a good deal in over 20 major US cities and lived in a couple different ones and how this is even being discussed is silly! Even if the “yield to the right” common sense rule of the road wasn’t taught to most properly trained drivers in most states of USA, is it really that hard to know what a reasonable speed is and how to make a safe crossing of an intersection? How far away a car needs to be from you to NOT have to worry about the common sense “yield?” Let me tell you, if you can’t figure that out, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. Period.

    Second, unbelievable to me how this could be a problem. The only scary part is how many people clearly shouldn’t be allowed to drive based on how things like this happen. On a side street in a residential area where someone should rarely, if ever, be going 30mph…flipping your car like this should NEVER happen. And if it does, that person should immediately be relieved of their license. I would happily turn mine over if I did such a thing, because clearly it means I shouldn’t be driving anymore.

    It shouldn’t take a stop sign to help you to figure out how to use common sense. It shouldn’t take any manner of “intersection control” to help you figure out simple things like that. Crazy how true the saying “ever notice how common sense isn’t so common?” really is.

    All that said, I’m glad nobody was seriously hurt, but I sure hope they learn a lesson from this occurrence.

    RH

    Comment by RH — 3:09 pm April 4, 2014 #

  24. Seems to me that people need to slow down in residential neighborhoods! People barrel through this area all the time!

    Comment by MR — 3:14 pm April 4, 2014 #

  25. We just automatically pause at intersections due to “watching out for others.” Way too many times we have seen people go through these intersections looking neither right nor left even if we would have the right of way. We were noticing people on their phones today not paying a bit of attention even at a stop sign, which they breezed right through. Even though we have the laws, unfortunately, we have to watch out for the other drivers. We even had someone, as we were just about at a stop sign to turn right, suddenly swoosh in and do a u-turn immediately in front of us. One more second and there would have been a crash. They probably have done it hundreds of times and no one was there. We have to drive & be alert to other drivers who just do not get it to keep ourselves out of an accident. It is too sad – however, it can keep us out of an accident.

    Comment by Bree — 3:22 pm April 4, 2014 #

  26. WOW… I am amazed at some of the comments on here. Basically what I have read is that:
    - people don’t know the rules to the road in their city
    - people don’t pay attention or are driving too fast when they come to an intersection to see if there are signs at the corners
    - people love to blame the city and the SDOT on everything, even their uneducated, self-absorbed driving habits.

    I get that there are always exceptions, every once in awhile you may get to an intersection that is really not clear… so what do you do – barrel through it??? No, you slow down even more and pay attention…

    But I feel better now because in the future when I come to an intersection and I am on the right, and a car comes barreling in front of me – I will no longer think that they are rude, self-absorbed jerks who think that the road belongs to them, I will instead think that they are uneducated jerks who need to take a driving class.

    Seriously people, you need to know the rules of the road… and a little courtesy and patience won’t hurt either!!!

    I am however, very thankful that nobody was hurt.

    Comment by SJoy — 3:27 pm April 4, 2014 #

  27. SJ, it is not true that no one was hurt. I have just heard from a friend of the driver of the car on its side, who does have minor injuries and is undergoing a precautionary scan right now.

    Comment by WSB — 3:34 pm April 4, 2014 #

  28. Unmarked ” yield ” intersections without a round-about are just ambushes for visitors. So are our many bikes & walking citizens who kinda force you to stop in the middle of the block instead of @ the labeled crosswalks. I inform anyone visiting me/Seattle about the many traffic/ferry differences but those 3 are THE most important. Sure… In a perfect world, everyone should do their research…

    Comment by C — 3:34 pm April 4, 2014 #

  29. I very much apologize, I really meant to add “seriously hurt”, I did catch that someone had minor injuries and it is very sad. I hope they heal fully and quickly…

    Comment by SJoy — 3:35 pm April 4, 2014 #

  30. A-Red is correct, pretty simple:
    *
    SMC Title 11
    *
    11.55.010 Right-of-way of vehicles approaching an intersection.
    *
    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)
    *
    This also applies to T-intersections.
    *
    11.14.265 Intersection.
    *
    A. “Intersection” means the area enclosed within the projection of the lateral curbs, or if no curbs, then the projection of the lateral roadway boundaries of two (2) or more streets which join one another at an angle, whether or not such streets cross each other.

    Comment by aj — 4:39 pm April 4, 2014 #

  31. Whenever vehicles connect at the intersection of Lander and 45th, the driver that is on 45th gets the ticket. The intersection had a stop sign on 45th that was removed when Lander became no turn onto at California and Admiral. The reasoning at the time (@1973) was that too many signs would confuse drivers. But the driver at fault in a collision is still ticketed as if the signs were still there. Boy, are people surprised.

    Comment by Gina — 5:19 pm April 4, 2014 #

  32. I certainly hope no one is assuming that I’m the “self-absorbed, uneducated” crappy driver out there for defending these people. I do know the rules of the road and am fully aware that probably half of Seattle drivers don’t which is why you have to pay attention. I also recognize unsafe situations and email SDOT more frequently than the average citizen about potential problems. And guess what? Those morons brush me off then end up doing what I recommended six months later because, gee, I have common sense and had a good suggestion. This is coming from someone who just got in an accident b/c another driver completely ran a red light and almost t-boned me. At a controlled intersection. So, yeah, I recommend you enter any intersection cautiously b/c there are plenty of drivers out there who aren’t because they either truly don’t know or don’t care.

    Comment by CMP — 5:37 pm April 4, 2014 #

  33. People are driving way too fast and common courtesy is out the window. I used to travel back roads to avoid traffic on California Avenue, But soon realized many others were doing the same, Who obviously don’t know the yield to the person at your right rule. I now sit in traffic on California Avenue so I can avoid an accident.

    It’s amazing how many people get upset that I am doing the speed limit. Or that I pause and let somebody take time to parallel park.

    My son and I were almost hit in our vehicle at the light of 41st and admiral Way Yesterday my light was green for at least two seconds as I watched someone barrel through at 30 mph with enough time to notice she had a red light I was so mad. Seriously slowdown, pay attention, and watch out for pedestrians

    Comment by Sandal 41 — 5:45 pm April 4, 2014 #

  34. RH and SJoy hit the nail on the head with their observations.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 6:44 pm April 4, 2014 #

  35. A lot of drivers these days drive agressively instead of defensively. Frankly, I don’t know how half the drivers passed the driving test. The Q&A below is from DOT’s site:

    “Who has the right-of-way at an intersection?

    Under State law, when two vehicles approach an intersection with no stop signs at about the same time, the driver on the left shall always yield to the driver on the right. This is also true for intersections that have a traffic circle or all-way stops.”
    “Wouldn’t additional speed limit signs help to slow traffic?

    Speed limit signs alone don’t necessarily slow traffic. In Seattle, the speed limit on residential streets is 25 mph and 30 mph on arterial streets unless otherwise posted. Drivers are expected to know and obey the speed limit. The City does not install speed limit signs on non-arterial streets. Speed limit signs are installed on arterial streets where the speed limit changes, and at periodic intervals along the street.”

    Comment by Seattlite — 6:54 pm April 4, 2014 #

  36. Just pay attention! Driver common sense is not what we pay SDOT to regulate. Have some common courtesy, look around, pay attention, and there you have it. You shouldn’t need a sign to tell you how to avoid grave bodily damage no matter where you’re from. Speaking as a MA transplant. Geez, this isn’t a small town. Don’t treat it as such.

    Comment by julie — 7:27 pm April 4, 2014 #

  37. People should have to take a knowlege test at the DMV more often.
    .
    CMP . Glad I’m not the only one getting blown off by the city.

    Comment by Enough — 7:48 pm April 4, 2014 #

  38. I have a car, but I don’t use it often. Mostly to go to doc appts. Today, I had to use it. First encounter was under the bridge near the Chelan Cafe. Two lanes on each side of divider. both lanes occupied, me, and a guy next to me. Guy comes off the bridge, turns and heads for us, had to divert at last minute and go back up to the bridge right by the fire station. Second thing…I get to the WS Bridge in my lane, guy in far left lane tries to merge with me, he had to swerve back into his lane so he wouldn’t nail me…never put his cell phone down from his ear. I get to First Hill, going down Boren, intersection clearly marked with a BIG no left turn lane…two cars in front of me, both sit through light, and as it’s about to change both make a left turn. This is just me, just today. I chalked it up to headuptheirass Friday, but…people don’t care, they just want to do what they want to do when they want to do it. It’s not privilege, it’s selfishness…and stupidity.

    I had to laugh at the person who mentioned that you never know if the person coming from the right (or left) does or doesn’t have a yield sign. If you can’t see an obvious sign there, you can’t see to drive – get off the road. :) Glad to see that there were no serious injuries in the accident.

    Comment by JanS — 9:09 pm April 4, 2014 #

  39. julie — Just an FYI — Both items I listed are State Law. DOT just has it on their website.

    Comment by Seattlite — 9:19 pm April 4, 2014 #

  40. I think the unmarked intersection issues are compounded by the fact cars are parked along the streets, on both sides, all the way up to the intersection, making it extremely difficult to actually see if there are cars approaching from other sides of the intersection until it is almost too late. Perhaps one solution might be to not allows cars to park within X number of feet from an intersection (or if there already is such a rule, to enforce it).

    Comment by snowball — 10:54 pm April 4, 2014 #

  41. Snowball is exactly right. One of the most perilous intersections in West Seattle is California and Frontenac.
    It is signed (and signaled, for pedestrians) but the way people are allowed to park on California make for a dangerous west/east-east/west crossing on Frontenac across California.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 11:46 pm April 4, 2014 #

  42. Cars parked right up to intersections create blind spots. And apparently no one follows the 30 ft from a stop sign rule…most cars park maybe 5 to 6 ft, or less.

    Comment by carole — 11:47 pm April 4, 2014 #

  43. Carole- Seriously! I wonder why it’s not enforced more. It makes it very difficult to see what’s coming.

    Comment by M — 12:15 am April 5, 2014 #

  44. I was taught yield to the right in unmarked intersections and have been driving like that since I’ve started driving. Unfortunately it seems there are a lot of people who think the right of way goes to the driver who is in a bigger hurry. Traffic signals, stop signs and yield signs are not physical barriers from the stupid so having the right of way doesn’t always mean it’s safe to proceed.

    Comment by howdy — 6:04 am April 5, 2014 #

  45. RH and SJoy – Another round of a applause for your spot-on.comments.
    -
    My number one personal driving rule is expect other drivers to do something stupid, hazardous and illegal. Defensive driving is not enough anymore.

    Comment by Mike D. — 6:09 am April 5, 2014 #

  46. This discussion has brought up some good points. It sounds like every driver needs a review of the rules. I still vividly remember the chapter on uncontrolled intersections from my traffic safety course 20+ years ago. (Traffic safety was part of my high school cirriculum.). I’ve lived in West Seattle since 1996 and have always slowed down at the many uncontrolled intersections and am no longer surprised by all the people that just fly through them. Aren’t uncontrolled intersections taught at all driving schools? There seems to especially be a sense of entitlement with cars going E/W between 35th and California as they always fly through neighborhood streets.

    Another rule that a previous poster brought up was regarding crosswalks. How many citizens do not know that every intersection whether marked as a crosswalk or not is legally a crosswalk? My husband, while he was in college at the UW, received a ticket for not stopping so it is an enforced rule albeit probably not all to frequently.

    Tracy, maybe you can run a special article and highlight our rules of the road? Here are the links to a nice set of short articles SDOT did a few years ago. I think it’s worth everyone taking a few minutes to read them.

    Rules of the Road Part I
    http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2011/01/21/rules-of-the-road-part-i/

    Rules of the Road Part II
    http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2011/01/28/rules-of-the-road-part-ii/

    Rules of the Road Part III
    http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2011/02/04/rules-of-the-road-part-iii/

    As for this accident, I hope all parties involved will be ok. It must’ve been really scary for both of them.

    Comment by KM — 6:26 am April 5, 2014 #

  47. I chalked it up to headuptheirass Friday

    .

    No, that’s and every day Syndrome, Jan. ;-)

    .

    Probably the worst part of people disobeying the “No Parking Within 30ft” of the intersection rule, is the difficulty that Emergency Equipment may have maneuvering, especially at intersections with Traffic Circles.

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 7:47 am April 5, 2014 #

  48. Mike D. — Being aware of other drivers’ actions, including stupidity, is defensive driving. This quote is taken from the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course “…driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.”

    Comment by Seattlite — 7:56 am April 5, 2014 #

  49. sacatosh & CMP,

    Toyota 4Runner was headed North on 44th and VW was headed West on Raymond. Friends and I heard the crash and ran outside to see what was going on.

    Comment by norminws — 11:06 am April 5, 2014 #

  50. Lot’s of comments about right of way and assumptions that the cars entered the intersection at the same time. I believe the Toyota was hit behind it’s right rear passenger door which would indicate to me that it was more than halfway through the intersection when hit.

    Comment by cjk — 7:55 pm April 5, 2014 #

  51. Even if there is a 4 way stop that doesn’t make driving safer. I was hit by an 81 year old lady who failed to stop, and then denied that she ran into my car.

    Comment by AH neighbor — 9:26 pm April 5, 2014 #

  52. I don’t know the full circumstances of this accident, but I agree with a few others on how close people park to the intersection/crossing area and especially stop/yield signs. There are numerous people parking 10-15 feet away from a stop sign that says ‘no parking within 30 feet’. It’s as if they can’t read and measure distance…or they’re just above the law. I think it’s about time we start getting tow trucks to just come haul people’s vehicles away.

    Comment by Mike — 10:41 pm April 5, 2014 #

  53. Almost got it again as someone pulled up to a stop sign, looked right but not left as I was approaching & pulled out right out in front of me as I slammed on the brakes & hit the horn. They did not seem to care. Early this morning, noted someone behind me acted strangely and kept an eye on them. I was going the speed limit & they did not want to & suddenly they pulled around me and swerved in front of me & took off speeding. I do not know why, it just seems like there is more aggressive driving, speeding, etc. going on here. Sometimes we just get out of the way by pulling over rather than have them riding our bumper. One of our friends said it is almost as if you make trouble by going the speed limit with all the aggressive drivers out there. Just be careful & watch out….even if you have the right away….intersection, stop sign, light….be safe. Remember to look left, including right when turning.

    Comment by Bree — 9:41 am April 6, 2014 #

  54. Oh and it will only get worse in WS with all of the building happening and new people moving in. Good luck to those that stay here.

    Comment by A — 1:06 pm April 6, 2014 #

  55. Pages and pages of the Seattle freeze examples right here.

    If someone doesnt know, they are uneducated. If someone knows but doesnt follow, they are road hogs. Out of towners are “seriously” jerks for not slowing down at an uncontrolled intersection.

    Basically everyone that isnt YOU is doing it wrong, right A?

    Comment by Ano2 — 8:38 am April 7, 2014 #

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