FOLLOWUP: 35th/Morgan crash charges say driver was DUI, going twice the speed limit


(WSB photo, April 20th)

The driver in the crash that closed 35th/Morgan for four hours two weeks ago is charged wth vehicular assault, felony hit and run, and reckless endangerment. The charges filed against 27-year-old Treveon R. Smith were first reported by seattlepi.com; we just obtained the court documents, which summarize what investigators say happened as Smith drove his 2002 Dodge Intrepid northbound on 35th SW with “three acquaintances” inside on the afternoon of April 20th:

He was speeding at highway speeds on a 30 mph arterial. He lost control and crashed into a parked van and then spun into trees coming to an explosive uncontrolled stop. The defendant was ejected during the crash. Witnesses to the crash rushed to help the passengers exit from the car which caught on fire and began to burn. The defendant was seen “jogging” away from the scene wearing only a t-shirt and boxers, but was soon caught in an alley. He initially fought, but became more cooperative when it was pointed out that he had injuries and the firefighters were trying to help him. The defendant admitted he was the driver and admitted smoking PCP or methamphetamine and marijuana earlier.

One of Smith’s passengers, a 35-year-old woman, was described as still being hospitalized in critical condition as of the court filing last week. Another passenger suffered minor injuries, and the third was reported to have declined medical attention. The police report accompanying the charging documents says Smith, a South Seattle resident, was likely going at least 60 mph when he first crashed into a parked Seattle Housing Authority van before his car went on to stop in the 35th/Morgan intersection. He remains in the King County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.

25 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 35th/Morgan crash charges say driver was DUI, going twice the speed limit"

  • newnative May 4, 2017 (11:20 am)

    omg. and someone is still in the hospital. how horrible. 

  • Swede. May 4, 2017 (11:39 am)

    Wow! 

    Scary stuff! 

  • Jort May 4, 2017 (12:08 pm)

    The lane re-striping on the rest of 35th should happen as soon as possible. Deliberate street design changes can make roads safer and help to prevent high-speed collisions like this. It’s very difficult for a driver to go 60 miles per hour when the car in front of you is only going 35.

    I know that people will be quick to blame the drugs, and that is certainly a major factor. But let’s not neglect the fact that, when you make a street look like a highway (2 lanes in each direction with wide shoulder buffers), don’t be surprised when people drive on it like a highway.

    Make 35th safe! Now!

    • WSB May 4, 2017 (12:14 pm)

      If you are not familiar with that exact point of the road, he ran into the Housing Authority van right where the northbound rechannelization ends, so there wasn’t much freeway driving likely going on prior to this aside from what you can do in any one lane outside of peak periods (this was 1:30 pm). Our original coverage (linked atop this) shows where the van was pushed up onto the sidewalk. As for future restriping, haven’t heard a peep on the project in nine months. Last discussion was in August.

      http://westseattleblog.com/2016/08/the-roadway-redesign-is-improving-safety-says-sdot-as-35th-avenue-sw-phase-2-is-unveiled/

      • sam-c May 4, 2017 (1:48 pm)

        re the re-channelization. Seems like they are maybe collecting more data?  I saw those wires  (on the ground) running across northbound and southbound lanes over around near the stadium and Prov. Mt. St. Vincent area-ish?

        • WSB May 4, 2017 (2:02 pm)

          Could be, or that could be related to the three blocks of 35th SW paving planned to go along with Avalon, or could be related to the Fauntleroy Boulevard project, or … Anyway, I have the question out.

    • DarkHawke May 4, 2017 (12:28 pm)

      Let’s just reiterate that for emphasis: you’re not only saying that “lane re-striping” is an answer to this kind of reckless behavior, but also that it’s hard for someone to go 60 mph when everyone else is going 35.  I submit that anyone else driving their car on 35th while on PCP, meth AND pot will as cheerfully ignore any lane stripes anyone would care to paint.  I’m also pretty sure that everyone else on 35th that afternoon was doing a reasonable job of obeying the posted speed limit AND the lane stripes.

    • Swede7 May 4, 2017 (1:59 pm)

      Yes, it must be the need for lane re-striping. There is no way the alcohol was the cause of that crash! Ignorance!

      • Andros May 4, 2017 (8:05 pm)

        Exactly.  We have become a culture of ignorance.  

    • TheKing May 4, 2017 (8:47 pm)

      Any incident becomes a cry to restripe the roads and get your way. If you are on pcp, meth and weed you don’t suddenly become aware of rules. Jeeez 

  • Gene May 4, 2017 (1:58 pm)

    You know- you can restripe- you can lower the speed limit- whatever- there will still be reckless idiots like this guy who will drive impaired- or just drive however the hell he wants. You’ll never make any road safe enough to make up for them.

  • Rico May 4, 2017 (2:12 pm)

    None of those realities take place in the theoretical mind of the Jort

    • Jort Sandwich May 4, 2017 (3:09 pm)

      Rest assured, my mind does, in fact, exist, and is not merely a theory. 

      The realities of which I speak are the dozens and dozens of examples from municipalities, towns and cities, large and small, rich and poor, across the country and the globe, which have implemented road diets and seen reduced injuries and deaths on their roads. 

      Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, road diets have been proven to improve road safety.

      On the other hand, they do hurt peoples’ internet feelings, which of course is very sad. 

      • Swede7 May 4, 2017 (4:22 pm)

        Very irresponsible of Jort to not blame the real cause of this accident…a DRUNK driver!

        • WSB May 4, 2017 (4:24 pm)

          Drugged, per the court documents. But that still translates to DUI.

      • Anti-Jort May 4, 2017 (4:56 pm)

        OF COURSE it improves safety! I don’t believe anyone is arguing that point. If you slow traffic to a complete stop, you’ll have zero accidents, too.  Haranguing that argument is superfluous. You have to balance mobility, time constraints and a livable city into the equation, too. Something Jort-man seems to gleefully ignore.

        35th “like a freeway”? Cut the hyperbolic posting. It’s been a four lane road since before you were born, that road is not a new thing. It’s a major arterial to get in and out of WS. There’s a practical reason to have a road that can handle the egress and ingress (think physics). 35mph is practical.

        • Paul May 16, 2017 (12:26 pm)

          Don’t sweat Jort.  There’s a misunderstanding in this country about tradeoffs between utility and safety.  Also, there are very complex unintended consequences where something that seems intuitively safer actually endangers people more.

      • Andros May 4, 2017 (8:07 pm)

        I wish folks like Jort would just go troll somewhere else.

  • Wendell May 4, 2017 (2:40 pm)

    I’m quick to blame the drugs… and an idiot behind the wheel.

  • Seattlite May 4, 2017 (4:30 pm)

    I hope his license is taken away forever.  I hope all of the injured passengers will survive.

    Driving today, I saw two different cars go through red lights at high speeds:  intersection of Alaska and Fauntleroy and on Aurora N.  I was tailgated by another aggressive driver from the Alaska/Fauntleroy intersection going south until I turned west on Graham.  I was going the speed limit 30mph.

    Aggressive, unsafe drivers are so dangerous to everyone else on the road or pedestrians.   Drugs, alcohol, texters, phones all contribute to making driving extremely hazardous to one’s health.

  • New Thinking Needed May 4, 2017 (8:47 pm)

    Impaired driving or simply poor decision making – regardless – I have seen plenty of driver’s make use of the center turn lane as a higher speed passing lane. Or use the right turn only lane at the Roxbury & 26th intersection as a passing lane to keep driving without turning right. Those bad moves of course never happened when there were 2 lanes in each direction on 35th and Roxbury as the traffic moved along. 

  • AH Rez May 5, 2017 (1:12 pm)

    Two days ago, in heavy traffic on southbound 35th, I was aggressively passed by some jerk that decided to haul A in the median turn lane  from Holden to Thistle  at very unsafe speeds .  Apparently didn’t feel like waiting in traffic.  Luckily there were no pedestrians, or they  definitely would have been killed.  If only they would road diet that section of 35th to prevent such possible catastrophes. . . . . oh wait . . .    #RoadDietFail.

    • Sam-c May 5, 2017 (2:07 pm)

      Shoot, there was no road diet here, but i got passed by a yahoo using the center lane on delridge. All because i was going 20mph while the school zone lights were flashing.  Luckily no kids in sight, but i don’t want to get a photo enforced ticket. Maybe they did? Hopefully?

    • Sara B May 5, 2017 (2:29 pm)

      I’ve recently seen similar behavior to what AH Rez describes, going south on 35th, where the driver crossed the median and raced to make the light to turn left on Morgan.  It was kind of terrifying.  I do not agree that a road diet is going to solve this behavior – frustrated idiots will risk all our lives to get where they want to go.   Another issue I see on this road is that the left lane southbound is too narrow and people routinely cross the lane marker striping and encroach into the right lane. I’ve nearly been sideswiped several times.  

  • Paul May 16, 2017 (12:22 pm)

    I don’t understand why someone on PCP and meth wouldn’t obey the new safer lower speed limit.  

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