Late-night crash lands van in West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park

(Photo by Katie Meyer for WSB)
There are a number of ways you could look at this crash. It struck us as “close call for the West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park totem pole.” Skid marks on SW Alaska across 35th SW (map) just west of the park suggest the van had trouble stopping until the westernmost raised planter in the little park, just past the sidewalk, managed to do the job, with the van ending up straddling the planter. The driver didn’t need medical attention, but could be heard with slurred speech as police questioned him before eventually driving off with him still in the back seat.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
A driver from ABC Towing spent about 45 minutes engaged in an intricate operation to lift, shift, push, and pull the van this way and that, to get it off the planter without further damage. He explained he lives in West Seattle and “it’s my park too.” It was a little too late at night for too many looky-loos, but one woman came downstairs from a nearby residential meeting, saying she was worried about the totem pole and wanted to make sure it hadn’t been hit. It hadn’t – thanks to that planter.

7 Replies to "Late-night crash lands van in West Seattle Rotary Viewpoint Park"

  • miws January 28, 2011 (4:09 am)

    Kudos to the tow truck driver, for taking pride in his job and community, by being extra cautious in extricating the van!



  • austin January 28, 2011 (7:48 am)

    Another one for the drivers. At least he wasn’t there to steal anything.

  • Que January 28, 2011 (7:49 am)

    Mike is right, a big thank you to the truck driver is definitely in order. Thanks for taking pride in your work and helping to make sure that the park wasn’t further damaged.

  • Ken January 28, 2011 (9:02 am)

    I can’t see the tag number, but that looks like a van that I have noted in the recent past as being unable to choose one of the two lanes on 35th and passing in the turn lane on California.

  • Hector January 28, 2011 (9:29 am)

    Geez, this is creepy.
    My toddlers love that totem pole, and have been asking
    to see it. So, we finally parked on Alaska (just hours before this incident) and walked
    down to have a look, and maybe touch it. We almost got hit by a careless
    driver when crossing 35th, and now reading about
    this van gives me the chills again. I don’t think we’ll go back there, (maybe it’s bad feng shui) but a nerve wracking destination with toddlers in tow. We do enjoy driving past the totem pole, and I’m glad it wasn’t damaged.

  • dsa January 28, 2011 (10:21 am)

    I think it’s great that the landscaping served double duty as a traffic barrier. I want to believe it was planned that way.

  • Citizen Sane January 28, 2011 (5:31 pm)

    I don’t think this would be a problem if people would drive the speed limit on 35th. Unfortunately, too many people think they are ‘special’, and The Rules are meant for everyone EXCEPT them, because they, or at least their situation at the time is — wait for it — unique. If there was ever a stretch of road begging for speed cameras, this is it. We will either solve the problem, or at least make a few bucks of the chuckleheads who can’t get their s**t together, and in these tight times, I’d rather have City government funded by the chuckleheads than by a tax increase on me.

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