UPDATE: DUI investigation after driver hits pedestrian at 26th/Genesee

10:50 AM: Thanks for the tips and the texted photo. SW Genesee is blocked by police just west of Delridge. The 911 log shows a medical call there just after 9 am; we’re on the way to find out more.

11:10 AM: The police here are from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad. The medical call was from the incident – a female pedestrian hit by a driver on Genesee at 26th and taken to Harborview.

11:20 AM: Police here also tell us it’s a DUI investigation.

A ReachNow car still on the scene has visible driver-side windshield damage.

11:56 AM: SFD says the victim is an “adult female with serious injuries.”

1:04 PM: Still blocked off with investigators working.

2:19 PM: SDOT has since tweeted that the street is open again.

ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: The 30-year-old suspect got out of jail this evening; the register says it was a “conditional release.”

40 Replies to "UPDATE: DUI investigation after driver hits pedestrian at 26th/Genesee"

    • WSB February 19, 2018 (11:47 am)

      “Near the golf course”? More like right next to Delridge Community Center Park and Skatepark. Anyway, got it now, somehow missed the dispatch at 9 am and didn’t get any texts but for some reason – once TCI got there, about 10 people messaged us in the span of a few minutes, so we headed over. Will do what we can to find out more about the victim and suspect. And if anyone heard/saw a helicopter, another TV station flew in just as we were leaving. – TR

  • MJ February 19, 2018 (11:45 am)

    I hope the ped is not too seriously hurt.  And if the driver was a DUI I hope they get prosecuted to fullest extent possible.  DUI is just plane inexcusable as is using your cell phone when driving!

    • Frogger February 20, 2018 (8:22 pm)

      “I hope the ped is not too seriously hurt.”

      I hope you handle disappointment well.

  • CH February 19, 2018 (11:47 am)

    So sad to hear about pedestrian getting hit, really hope she will be okay. Too many drivers speed through there even though it is clearly marked to go 20mph on Genesee. I walk that intersection everyday and always watch out for speeding cars. Even if I would have time to cross the street before car comes, I wait and let them pass. I understand a roundabout cannot be installed there due to Metro buses using Genesee as main arterial but some speed bumps would be nice. I was there at 26th & Genesee earlier this morning when driver was getting arrested and saw the damage to ReachNow car. After speaking with eye witness about what happened, sounds like pedestrian was hit pretty hard. And you can see that from just the damage on the car’s window too. Hopefully pedestrian does not have internal bleeding and will be okay. For those drivers always in a rush, please slow down and leave earlier than usual. Families with kids, people with dogs and runners are always using this same crosswalk including myself. Follow the speed limit signs and be aware of your surroundings. This driver might’ve been impaired like story states, but drivers speed through this intersection and neighborhood on a daily basis. Slow down, please. And if you walk in this neighborhood, be extra cautious at intersections and crossing street. 

  • MJ February 19, 2018 (12:02 pm)

    CH from the initial report it is a potential DUI situation, and speed limits that are inconsistent with street design are not effective.

    • CH February 19, 2018 (12:24 pm)

      MJ, I understand and mentioned in my comment driver might’ve been impaired like story states. Was just making it a point to also mention that drivers speed through Genesee all the time and side streets nearby. And what do you mean by ‘speed limits that are inconsistent with street design are not effective’? By that are you saying drivers should be able to go faster on Genesee because of the down hill? Just curious what you are meaning. It’s hard sometimes to understand through typing online as opposed to face-to-face conversation.

    • TreeHouse February 19, 2018 (5:32 pm)

      CH – MJ is trying to say the speed limits are ineffective so he is advocating for a faster speed limit in this area which makes zero sense. The answer to a pedestrian getting hit by a car is not to increase the speed limit. Ridiculous! 

      • CH February 19, 2018 (8:51 pm)

        Treehouse, thanks for explaining. That’s what I thought MJ was trying to say but I was confused…because why would you want to increase speed limit in residential area where there’s a lot of foot traffic and like you said (where a pedestrian got hit). Makes no sense.

        • Jort February 20, 2018 (11:16 am)

          CH, it’s important to note that MJ is espousing ideology rooted in 1970s and 1980s street engineering principles.

          In those days, your success as a traffic engineer was tied directly to a specific measurement: “Level of Service.” What is Level of Service? It is a measure of how many cars can get through a street as quickly as possible. Automobile throughput was always the highest goal of any street design.

          Limitations, like speed limits, lower the theoretical “Level of Service” for a roadway. This causes old-school traffic engineers to curl their fingers, instinctively. In fact, MJ has said before that the speed limit should be set at “whatever speed drivers feel comfortable driving at.”

          Thankfully, as cities like Seattle adopt Vision Zero principles, we’re beginning to view our streets not only as a way for cars to get where they want to go as quickly as they want, but instead how streets can serve diverse transportation modes, including walking. This, in turn, will help prevent continued injuries and deaths on our neighborhood streets. 

          • Mike February 20, 2018 (7:08 pm)

            Jort – the philosophy behind speed limits is changing but the ideology MJ is talking about is about setting the right environment for the speed limit. If you design a road for a vehicle traveling 30 mph, you get a person driving at 30 mph. If you design for a lower speed limit, you get a lower speed limit. Unfortunately, the sign posted has limited effectiveness. That’s been shown in a number of traffic studies.

            I don’t agree with everything MJ has said on various threads relating to traffic but he is not wrong on this point.

            The challenge on Genessee is that at a certain point, there is little you can do to actually bring a driver to the desired speed on a straight roadway. Narrow lanes? Maybe needed to add parking for the north side with curb bulbs on the north side. Speeds? Maybe install speed cushions (speed bumps with spaces for fire trucks and buses). Finally, we need to develop the culture that speeding is not acceptable. It’s just as dangerous, if not more, than driving impaired.

  • NancyF February 19, 2018 (12:05 pm)

    Yup. The “Your Speed is” signage is so-so for effectiveness. By the way this is at the intersection with the marked cross-walk. I truly believe drivers generally do not know we’re supposed to yield for pedestrians at ANY intersection. FWIW, I’m pretty agressive about using my right-of-way crossing–of course not at risk of injury, but I definitely take position to cross and look to catch the driver’s eye. If they don’t stop, I do make a “slow-down” sign with my hand. I do this because it may help remind drivers to watch for pedestrians. I need reminding, too. We all can tend to get a little blase.

    • WSB February 19, 2018 (12:16 pm)

      And for those who aren’t familiar with the area … 26th is a “neighborhood greenway” through North Delridge, and people should expect more pedestrian/bicycle traffic there because of that, and like just about everywhere else, the surrounding area is densifying, with old houses on Delridge being redeveloped into townhouse clusters, and the new residential development on the east side of Delridge (formerly private greenbelt) just north of Genesee, with ever-busier Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on that side and the Community Center, Park, and skatepark on the other.

  • Swede. February 19, 2018 (1:36 pm)

    A DUI at nine in the morning on a Monday… that person ‘might’ have a record already since that’s pretty obviously a serious addiction problem. Hopefully the person mowed down survive. 

  • Robert February 19, 2018 (3:09 pm)

    Call Seattle Police non emergency, 206-733-9800, to report speeding issues. I called this past Saturday and filed a complaint for speeders on Delridge Way SW near SW Hudson Street.

  • Renee February 19, 2018 (4:46 pm)

    No surprise someone was hit on that street.  What is really needed is for cops to be handing out speeding tickets there….there is a nice alley way where they could hide and catch the idiots that go well beyond the posted speed limits.  A short time ago I slowed way down and stopped because someone was in the crosswalk and the hot shot in the car behind me passed my car on the left.  Luckily the woman just got onto the curb.

    I also cross Genesee when I walk my dog and I rarely enter the crosswalk when I see cars coming.

    Hope the woman is OK and her injuries aren’t too serious ultimately.

    • Marge E. February 19, 2018 (7:51 pm)


    • NancyF February 19, 2018 (8:36 pm)

      Yeah, I see that all the time on Avalon. Whether stopped for a bus or a pedestrian. Think, people, think. 

  • Kathy February 19, 2018 (5:45 pm)

    This intersection is why I have always been very skeptical about using 26 Ave South as a Greenway alternative to Delridge Way for bicycles. Unless they install a ped/bike activated stop signal at this intersection, no matter what speed is posted it can never really be safe, there is too much traffic on Gennessee. I feel safer crossing Gennessee at Delridge on my bike where there is a signal and east bound traffic on Gennessee has to stop and turn. I realize this is not a solution for pedestrians because it is too far out of their way. This intersection needs to be made much safer for people walking and biking. 

    I hope the poor victim can fully recover from her injuries.

  • Sol February 19, 2018 (10:18 pm)

    I’ve been telling my partner for months that someone is going to get hit on that stretch. There are always kids running across the street and people walking dogs in that area, with cars flying down Genessee and up towards Delridge. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. The nature of that low hill coming down from Genessee just begs people to speed up and over it. Really, they need a speed camera there instead of a well-wishing sign, I think, to hold people accountable. One life is one-too-many. 

    I also think there aren’t enough crosswalks on Delridge as is. From Genessee, heading south, there aren’t any crosswalks (aside from the overpass immediately south of Genessee) for a mile or more, and you have families/kids trying to cross Delridge like playing Frogger to avoid the cars, with no crosswalks, let alone intersections. It’s dangerous and I fear the same will happen on that stretch. It happened late last year with a car smashing into a row of parked cars, fortunately nobody was in them. This mile long stretch needs at least one flashing crosswalk or an intersection with stop signs. There’s no reason for cars to consistently do 45mph on this stretch, especially with the high volume, and to not have a crosswalk for the kids field access or Pearl’s for some coffee.

  • Emily February 19, 2018 (10:39 pm)

    This should really be a 4-way stop, I cross Gennessee here on 26th all the time when I ride my bicycle and it makes me nervous every time. I make sure to always wait a while watching towards Avalon because you just can’t see if there’s cars coming up the hill and you have no idea how fast they’re going.

  • Cassandra February 20, 2018 (12:22 pm)

    I Live a little farther west on Genesee and I cannot stand the people who Haul butt down that street. Where I am its around 30 MPH but they bomb down our hill at like 45-50 its insane and dangerous. I hope the one who was hit is ok. 

    • WSB February 20, 2018 (12:36 pm)

      I’m hoping to have some followup info on this later today, via tracking the suspect through the justice system.

  • MJ February 20, 2018 (3:12 pm)

    CH and Jort

    Properly set speed limits based on sound engineering principals result in fewer accidents and improved safety for all users.

    The City’s own study showed no reduction in speed with lower speed limit signs, and in fact increased speeds occurred on several of the streets studied.

    Calming traffic requires changing the streetscape, simply changing a numbers on a sign is not effective and in fact can reduce safety.  

    And Jort I have a much more balanced approach to traffic, that is lacking at SDoT.  I have made numerous recommendations for street fitness projects, 4 to 3 lanes, over the years where it makes sense.


  • CarDriver February 20, 2018 (3:25 pm)

    To those complaining about speed. Unless WSB and other media are hiding the news I haven’t seen stories about all of you flooding city council chambers demanding action. How come?? Haven’t seen anyone outside the grocery store looking for signatures for an initiative. How come??. Could the answer be that YOU aren’t following all traffic laws all the time? You don’t want to actually do something because you haven’t figured out how to apply it to “other” drivers and not to yourselves. 

  • AJ February 20, 2018 (3:49 pm)

    Maybe all those rental cars should come with Breathalyzer interlocks. This all has nothing to do with the speed limit signs folks. DUI is what they are investigating.

    My best wishes to the victim and hopefully a speedy recovery.

    • WSB February 20, 2018 (3:55 pm)

      Without a name, I can’t check on the pedestrian’s condition. Meantime, the 30-year-old man who was arrested is not on today’s bail-hearing calendar, I’m told, so no further details are available yet.

      • Mk February 21, 2018 (10:48 am)

        This is my niece who was hit by the car. Quick update. She’s still in ICU. The most concerning injury is to her head. She’s undergone surgery to remove part of her skull in case the brain swells. So far, no swelling. She is awake and responsive and, in my opinion, doing well so far. The doctors remain very optimistic because she’s young (36) and very healthy. 

        • WSB February 21, 2018 (12:16 pm)

          MK, thank you for the update, and healing wishes to your niece. This is generally the only way we ever hear how crash/crime survivors are doing, via a comment from a family member, as names are not made publicly available so we have no way to ask the hospital, etc. If there is anything the community can do to help her/her family, please let us know – you can also e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com – TR

          • MK February 21, 2018 (12:28 pm)

            Thank you

    • sam-c February 20, 2018 (4:41 pm)

      DUI or not, I’ve seen all sorts of drivers go through that intersection without stopping for pedestrians obviously waiting to cross.  Young, old, parents with kids in backseat carseats, drivers looking at phones, drivers looking at the road, speeders, speed limit drivers, bus drivers, delivery drivers…..  

      I don’t think thinks a stop sign is needed, I think one of those yellow blinking light pedestrian signals needs to go there.  Like the ones they recently installed on 16 th ave sw.

      Really hoping that there is an update that the pedestrian will make a full recovery.

  • Robert February 20, 2018 (7:54 pm)

    They need about 20 photo cops in that area. People drive high, drunk, and are just stupid.

  • waikiki..girl2 February 21, 2018 (11:27 am)

    @MK I hope your niece has a speedy recovery and no ill affects from her injuries.

     @WSB what is a conditional release, asking because I’ve never heard of that? 

    • WSB February 21, 2018 (12:08 pm)

      Unfortunately documents aren’t available online in this early stage of proceedings so I can’t find out specifics, but generally it means they were released with no bail requirements being set – either because they were released on their own recognizance, or because probable cause wasn’t found. Doesn’t mean they won’t ever be charged – charges could be filed in days, weeks, months.

  • SPD Detective Parker February 21, 2018 (12:26 pm)

    If you are a witness to this collision, please call SPD Detective Parker at 206-233-0059, reference SPD Case #2018-062040.   This is an important investigation, community assistance is much appreciated.  

  • waikiki..girl2 February 21, 2018 (1:01 pm)

    @WSB,,, thank you

  • PMP February 23, 2018 (1:23 pm)

    How is it a DUI investigation? If you injure a person while driving you are required to take a blood alcohol test. You don’t have the right to refuse. So either your over the limit or your not.

    • Detective Parker, SPD March 1, 2018 (5:40 am)

      Mandatory blood draws are no longer allowed in serious-injury or fatal collisions.  In cases like this, a search warrant is sought to collect a blood sample from the driver.  The blood is then tested by the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Laboratory, which usually takes several months (unfortunately they have a high volume of cases).  If a driver is impaired and causes serious bodily harm to another person, the crime is Vehicular Assault (a violent felony crime).  These investigations are important and are very complex. 

      Detective Parker, SPD 


  • Jeff February 26, 2018 (6:58 pm)

    Buses are even much, much worse.

    The #50 bus FLIES down Genesee Street.

    I’ve reported them online so many times, beyond count. And I’m continually ignored.

    I worry more so for all the CHILDREN that play in the park.

    Plus, there is a school bus stop at Genesee / 26th.

    One woman injured is terrible. How many children will need to be critically injured or KILLED until something is done?

    I agree that a simple start to a solution is for police cars to hang out at Genesee / 26th and give out tickets. Many tickets. Make people be hesitant to drive down Genessee, in fear of getting a massive ticket.

    Since it’s a play area, tickets should be doubled or tripled, just like they are in school zones and construction zones.

  • alyca amerson February 26, 2018 (8:18 pm)

    I live on 23rd and Genesee and (based on sound alone, because my house backs to a greenbelt that is now those new townhouses), cars race up and down Genesee late at night, especially on weekend nights and during the summer.  Really loud souped up sounding, very fast racing.  I’ve never seen coverage indicating that anyone has been injured/killed doing this, but it definitely happens after midnight some nights (I had a baby last May and was up at night a lot with an open bedroom window facing that way.

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