FOLLOWUP: Hit-run crash survivor in intensive care as family asks for help finding the driver who hit him

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

At 24, Levi Gryniewski had already been working hard for five years to build up his landscaping business in West Seattle.

Now a hit-and-run driver has left him in the hospital, seriously injured, in danger of losing everything he’s worked for, says his father Bruce.

The crash almost cost Levi even more … his life.

He is the driver who was hit – at high speed, witnesses say – around 1:30 pm last Wednesday (December 14th) at 16th SW and SW Thistle. As reported here that afternoon, firefighters had to cut him out of this crumpled car:

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(12/14/2016 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

Today Levi’s family is putting out a public call for anyone who saw anything that might lead police to the driver who ran from the scene after the crash.

That driver left the other car (2000 white 4-door Honda Accord) behind, and police impounded it. Detectives have not yet been able to trace him through the car, SPD tells us, because it had been reported as sold, and, according to Det. Mark Jamieson, “there’s no accurate record of who owns it.” Investigators are tracking down previous owners in hopes of finding a clue.

The only description police have of the driver seen fleeing is white, male, 20s, about 6 feet tall, wearing a purple shirt.

Levi, meantime, remains in intensive care. His dad says, “He suffered many traumatic injuries from the crime and his recovery will be long and painful.”

The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is handling the case – contact SPD and refer to 2016-448519, if you have any information.

ADDED TUESDAY: Levi’s family has set up this GoFundMe account, after suggestions from community members who wanted a way to help.

20 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Hit-run crash survivor in intensive care as family asks for help finding the driver who hit him"

  • Chuck December 19, 2016 (12:29 pm)

    I’m so sorry this happened to such a good person with so much ahead of him. I wish you a heartfelt speedy recovery. And, I hope that the SPD digs deep on this one. Find the 6 foot tall white guy with bruises or likely lacerations who has no alibi for that day, who might have once owned the vehicle. Dig. Don’t stop. This one feels solve-able and certainly worth the effort. He needs to be in jail for a very long time. 

  • waikikigirl December 19, 2016 (1:10 pm)

    Come on…man-up to the man that caused this accident and I’m saying MAN so be a MAN and come forward and take responsibility for this! 

    It’s the best thing to do and the RIGHT thing to do…just think if it was you or a  family member of yours as it is to Levi come forward.

     

    Levi and family, hoping you a speedy recovery          

  • Beto December 19, 2016 (1:42 pm)

    So sad this happened to that young man.  I hope SPD catches the criminal.  Our prayers to his family,

  • norskgirl December 19, 2016 (1:53 pm)

    I agree Chuck.  I also wonder if the hit-n-run driver was under the influence.   Speeding, high impact hit with violent damage to car and driver seems often seen in DUIs.  Could this person have been drinking and/or drugging at an establishment or person’s residence?  This sounds like a made-for-tv cliché but it I believe someone out there knows who did this.  By the driver talking/bragging, bruises/cuts, seen drinking prior to the wreck, something.  And if anyone even suspects they know who it is, please contact the Police.  If you “run” with the person who did this, please don’t let friendship, some sort of membership, whatever affiliation you have with the driver stop you from contacting the police.  Value human life by helping out.  The hit-n-run driver certainly does not.  He/she must be accountable (either voluntarily or involuntarily) for the terrible short and long term trauma he/she has caused. 

  • Alki Resident December 19, 2016 (2:07 pm)

    Please turn yourself in , do what’s right. What if this was your kid? It’s time to clear your conscience,  it’s worth it and so is Levi.

  • I. Ponder December 19, 2016 (3:06 pm)

    If a photo of the car the hit him can be posted, perhaps someone will recognize it. Photo of crashed car as well as photo of similar uncrashed car with make & model.

  • Mark December 19, 2016 (5:44 pm)

    The person who caused this needs to man/woman up.  From the damage to the vehicle this was not an accident it was the result of being reckless and the person responsible needs to be held accountable and pay the medical bills

  • Gracie December 19, 2016 (6:10 pm)

    Speedy recovery wishes for this victim involved. So sad the way many people drive on 16th ave sw daily. I almost never make left turns onto 16th since it can be so hard to see with all the parked cars, not to mention the careless speeding drivers. I often times walk this area with my dog and feel this could’ve been any of us who live in and travel this area on a daily basis. I think more 4 ways stops on 16th are most definitely needed as well as a slower speed. I really do see careless drivers going 50mhp on up to 70 and 80 at times on 16th ave sw past my house daily. 

    • Paul December 19, 2016 (6:39 pm)

      Bingo! We live on the stretch between the college and 7-11. The speeds are crazy- busses doing 45 and cars doing 50+. We have lobbied SDOT for traffic calming, but apparently honey badger don’t care. 

      • Darryll December 19, 2016 (7:31 pm)

        Thanks for mentioning the buses, Paul. I’ve tried to shame a few bus drivers for speeding, but they act like I’m being ridiculous. Obviously they’ve never had to cross 16th during rush hour to catch the bus, and apparently they don’t care that there putting their customers’ lives at risk. 

        I’ve been capturing video of the cars and buses speeding in front of my bus stop and will share them with SPD and Metro. It sickens me that people’s lives have to be damaged or ended before public agencies act responsibly.
    • Erika December 19, 2016 (9:47 pm)

      It’s not just 16th. I live on one of the side streets and I see people racing through the neighborhood in the area regularly. The new speed bumps on 17th have helped but the traffic on the side streets is no different, even with the new Stop signs. About a month ago, I saw someone run one of the Stop signs at a very high rate of speed – I heard them accelerate toward the intersection and through the Stop sign. If someone had been traveling through the intersection, along 17th where there is no Stop sign, they would have suffered a similar fate as this poor fellow. The problem is high speed and people wanting to avoid the light at 16th and Holden, by going through the neighborhood.

  • Robin December 19, 2016 (9:36 pm)

    I too live on 16th Ave SW near the college and cars and busses fly down the street. Some nights, I just wait for a crash sound from my bed. When I walk my dog and they speed, I’m always afraid they’ll lose control and hit us. 

  • McGruff December 19, 2016 (10:12 pm)

    Go after the seller; they’re supposed to get information on the buyer and submit a Report of Sale. Did they do that? 

    The car hasn’t been reported stolen, and apparently the buyer didn’t register it. The whole thing smells. I’ve always checked ID on people who buy my vehicles when I sell them. Sweat the seller a little bit and see if it improves their memory. When the driver is found, nail them to the wall. If he’s a minor, go after his parents as well. Make an example of them.

    • McGruff December 19, 2016 (10:20 pm)

      They ruined this young man’s life, so Colin Powell’s ‘Pottery Barn’ rule applies: ‘You break it, you own it’.

  • Old runner December 19, 2016 (11:04 pm)

    Anyone know whether there is a go-fund-me account set up for Levi?

  • john December 20, 2016 (7:42 am)

    What a senseless, cowardice act…  Go and destroy someone’s life with your own selfishness… Karma will catch up to you, dude… 

  • Marcia Ventura December 20, 2016 (11:00 am)

    Levi is a sweet young man who is a good neighbor. I am so sorry this happened. Wishing Levi a speedy and full recovery. 

  • Melody Kadlub-Barr December 20, 2016 (12:13 pm)

    The family has set up a Go Fund Me:

    https://www.gofundme.com/levi-gryniewski-medical-fund

    Please consider donating.  

    • WSB December 20, 2016 (12:27 pm)

      They just sent us that info; adding to the story when back at HQ.

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