Update: SPD car in collision at 35th/Barton, while headed to carjacker search near Delridge/Trenton

(Added: WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:50 PM: Just a quick mention while we’re gathering details – two incidents involving police right now in south West Seattle, don’t know yet if they are at all related. There is a crash at 35th and Barton and a foot chase near the 8800 block of Delridge. More details as we get them. Both are likely to be affecting traffic on those major arterials.

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
6:12 PM: The crash, involving police, is at 35th/Barton, and 35th is blocked north of the intersection. No injuries, we are told at scene. Meantime, a reportedly carjacked vehicle was abandoned in South Delridge, and that’s what the search is about.

6:47 PM: Back from both scenes.
Medics have now been called to 35th/Barton to check out an 11-year-old girl who was in the civilian car that collided with a police vehicle – she is reported to have neck pain.

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
That car (above) is currently in the parking lot of Tony’s Market; 35th remains closed at that spot, just north of Barton.

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
The stolen car (above) was abandoned blocks away in an alley. No arrest yet. Police told WSB’s Christopher Boffoli that it was stolen outside West Seattle.

7:09 PM: SPD has just confirmed that the officer involved in 35th/Barton collision was indeed headed to carjacker search, and that the 11-year-old has been taken to the hospital.

8:25 PM: Our partners at The Seattle Times have a bit more detail on exactly how the collision happened – quoting police as saying the officer was headed south in case the suspect being tracked on Delridge headed west, but then got word of a direction change, so was U-turning at 35th/Barton when the collision happened.

9 PM: 35th is still closed north of Barton while investigators work.

11:07 PM: Thanks to commenter “Hosedown” for the update that 35th is open again. Meantime, SPD Blotter has just published the full summary of how this happened, including details of the carjacking incident that started it all, and news that the driver who hit the SPD car at 35th/Barton is suspected of DUI:

A woman called 911 to report two men stole her car while she left it running in the 2700 block of 4th Ave. South.

Plainclothes officers in the area quickly located the car and requested marked patrol units to stop the car. When officers tried to pull the car over at 21st Ave. SW and SW Henderson St. the occupants jumped out and ran away on foot. Officers flooded the area, but were unable to capture either suspect.

An officer responding to the call for help made a U-turn at 35 Ave. SW and SW Barton St. using his lights and sirens stopping all traffic. The officer had completed his turn when a vehicle broadsided the police car on the passenger side.

Seattle Fire Department medics responded and evaluated the officer, other driver, and her 11-year-old female passenger. The girl complained of a headache and nausea and was transported to Harborview Medical Center via ambulance. The officer was uninjured in the collision.

A Drug Recognition Expert was called to the scene to evaluate the driver, who was eventually arrested for driving under the influence.

Officers continue to search for the original carjacking suspects. They are described as a mid 30’s white male, 6 foot, 180 pounds and unshaven. The second suspect is described as a 30-year-old black male, 6 foot and 180 pounds.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call 911 and speak with officers.

26 Replies to "Update: SPD car in collision at 35th/Barton, while headed to carjacker search near Delridge/Trenton"

  • hutch September 1, 2014 (6:10 pm)

    Yep…been hearing the sirens for a while now…sounded like police sirens.

  • EugeneUtopia September 1, 2014 (6:12 pm)

    I’m going to assume it was a stolen/jacked car + chase + crash = suspect on foot in the immediate area.

    SPD was at Trenton and Delridge for a while with 5+ cars, a supervisor SUV and an unmarked black unit (I hear a dog barking in that general area, so maybe the K9 unit).

    Not much going on at the moment though. Pretty large dispatch though.

    I was working on my car in the alley. One officer asked me “Where is my Officer” in an out-of-breath, excited query. I told him what I’d seen and he walked to another civilian in the alley. I figured it couldn’t be TOO dangerous, since he (or the other 3 officers I made eye contact with) didn’t suggest I go inside.

    – Former LEO

  • Katie September 1, 2014 (6:26 pm)

    35th is closed between Barton and Henderson.

  • Brian September 1, 2014 (6:38 pm)

    The scene at 35th and Barton has a smashed up white sedan in the fruit stand parking lot and about four cop cars. 35th is cordoned off on the north side of the intersection.

    There are two news vans filming right now n

    • WSB September 1, 2014 (6:46 pm)

      Thanks, Brian. I’ve been to both scenes and am adding more information now. Saw the TV people, who arrived long after I had been there and gone.

  • dick murray September 1, 2014 (6:46 pm)

    Great stuff, saw 3 guys running fast across Barton thru traffic. Thought they were carrying a ribbon together.Then realized it was a Taser wire. Kudos to the officers for use of non-lethal devices

  • Donovan September 1, 2014 (7:01 pm)

    Just drove by 35th/Barton scene. There were about 8 police vehicles at this intersection (not counting any at Henderson). There was someone on an aid car gurney (presumably the girl) and a woman talking with the officers. Hope she will be OK.
    How many accidents does it take to get left turn signals at this dangerous intersection?

  • Cammie September 1, 2014 (7:31 pm)

    I saw around 5 blue police cars, a blue SUV police car and black unmarked SPD on Delridge just north of where 17th ave SW crosses at around 6:15, the had a man “in custody” meaning they had him against the hood of one SPD car, so many police around, this is just near the 7-11 on south Delridge.

    • WSB September 1, 2014 (7:36 pm)

      Cammie, that guy was not involved with the car theft. I was feet away when that happened and that was confirmed over the radio. Not sure what they stopped him for, but the dispatcher had them confirm it wasn’t the theft.

  • Cammie September 1, 2014 (7:32 pm)

    @ Donovan, no doubt about the left hand signals. I was involved in an accident in a dangerous intersection on Admiral just last week. Please, MORE LEFT HAND SIGNALS!!!!

  • John September 1, 2014 (7:39 pm)

    I have been nearly hit by speeding police cars in this area twice in the past few months and seen other close calls.
    Once near hit the police car was without flashers or siren.
    Few situations are worth putting the public in danger, particularly a stolen car.

  • Sunny.206 September 1, 2014 (7:42 pm)

    I hope the little girl will be ok. I have to wonder if the police car had his sirens on as he should, an if so why the white car didn’t yield?

  • Brian September 1, 2014 (7:45 pm)

    @Donovan: How would having a protected left hand turn signal have prevented this from happening? It wouldn’t.
    It was a police officer in pursuit of a carjacker and he hit a civilian vehicle while using his authority to override traffic signals while a crime is in progress.

  • Donovan September 1, 2014 (8:00 pm)

    @Brian – you’re probably right that left turn signals may not have prevented this particular accident.
    Fire trucks can turn the lights red in all directions. Police cannot???
    A few months ago I was in an Uber car northbound on 35th at a red light in the left turn lane at Barton. When the light turned green, the incompetent Uber driver started to turn left, even though there were a couple of cars barreling down towards us and nearing the signal, he proceeded to begin his turn – until I screamed. I’m quite sure he assumed there was a left turn arrow. I use this intersection frequently and have seen lots of near-misses, people sneaking by on the right on Barton to avoid left-turners, etc. I’d like to see the lights function like 35th/Roxbury.

  • Junior Brown September 1, 2014 (8:40 pm)

    @Donovan: No, police cannot turn all lights red.

    @John: Dispatchers don’t always have all of the details initially, so officers that are dispatched often have to respond assuming the worse and with urgency (i.e. speeding to the scene). As citizens it’s our duty to pull over ASAP and get out of their way.
    Source: My brother is an SPD officer and I have done many a ride along.

  • WSborn&bred September 1, 2014 (9:20 pm)

    This is sad, but it also confuses me how people get in accidents with police cars if the sirens are going. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like I notice that a lot of people don’t pull over for police/fire/ambulence sirens. Don’t know what happened here, but maybe this is a reminder that sirens are supposed to mean get out of the way because there’s an emergency?

  • hosedown September 1, 2014 (9:49 pm)

    I live right here on 35th and Henderson and an officer told me the civilian driver was arrested for DUI.

    Can someone please shout when 35th is reopened? I can’t access my garage until it is. Thanks!

  • Mike September 1, 2014 (10:01 pm)

    We saw the police car involved in the collision heading southbound on 35th while we were headed northbound. We pulled off to the right to allow adequate room… The police car involved went into oncoming traffic just north of Morgan because the people travelling southbound did not even pull off to the right. Looks like this collision occurred a bit south of there. People really need to learn to pull over when an emergency vehicle is approaching – Both directions, for everyone’s safety.

  • hosedown September 1, 2014 (10:30 pm)

    35th is now open. Probably because the all had to head to Highland.

    • WSB September 1, 2014 (10:53 pm)

      Thank you, Hosedown. We have just spent the past hour and a half or so on the Highland Park scene and I completely forgot to check on 35th/Barton on the way home.

  • Jennifer Arlem Molina September 1, 2014 (11:01 pm)

    That’s the blue fence to my backyard!! I was hosting a BBQ at my house and next thing you know, we were surrounded by police. This is sad because this area is always so quiet and safe.

    • WSB September 1, 2014 (11:03 pm)

      We’re just getting the SPD wrapup on this so I’m adding more info. If it’s any consolation, of course the theft itself didn’t happen in your area … the thief just happened to ditch there …

  • sophista-tiki September 2, 2014 (9:10 am)

    Im on top of QA for the week thinking I finally get a break from random crime for a little while. , 4 house away from the incident on W Prospect over the weekend. Good grief.
    I can see theres no getting away from it anywhere in Seattle.
    Heres a clue about not getting into an accident with a police car while they’re speeding down the street- Get the hell out of the way! You know what they’re going to tell you as they’re either hauling you in or writing you a ticket???? ” Ignorance of the law is no excuse” and thats a direct quote. Everyone goes around thinking their personal agenda is the only thing on earth that matters. Pay attention and do what you’re expected to do. Super easy way to avoid a lot of unnecessary problems. It sucks that Seattle is getting swallowed up by out of control crime. Nice to see the cops working their asses off. Im sticking with my new motto. ” a crime a day keeps gentrification away”. Nobodys going to want to live here if this crap keeps up.

  • michael waldo September 2, 2014 (12:29 pm)

    People with their stereos turned up real loud or have ear buds in listening to music are not going to hear sirens.

  • WSLiz September 2, 2014 (2:31 pm)

    It’s illegal to drive with Ear Buds in: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/pasfaqs.htm
    (second question on the page and links directly to the RCW).

    People do it but it isn’t legal. The stereo is a good point but if it’s loud enough to block out a siren that close to you, you’ve probably got it louder than the legal limit there too. If you’re texting or DUI, you’ll probably miss sirens too – either way, you’re breaking the law and finding out what the law is there for.

  • If the sirens September 3, 2014 (11:28 pm)

    WSborn&Bred- you are absolutely right. If the sirens are on, why not pull over? Thing is, the police cars racing down 35th don’t always have them on. Sometimes they do, some times they chirp them at some intersections, and sometimes not at all.
    15 plus years on 35th and I’ve seen it all.
    SPD, if you are going to haul ass down the road, turn on the sirens

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