Update: Motorcyclist reported to have died after Viaduct crash

10:26 PM: Another crash potentially affecting West Seattle-bound drivers: It’s on southbound Highway 99, reported as parallel with Lander but not showing on that camera – rescue crews are getting on 99 by heading the “wrong way” up a ramp near the stadiums. The scanner says there’s “ongoing CPR” at the scene, so this might not clear for a while.

10:37 PM UPDATE: Per scanner – southbound 99 is completely closed by this, and they’ve blocked off onramps as well (including Denny/Aurora and Columbia downtown). They’re also trying to figure out what to do with cars that were already on 99 since as one voice on the radio said, “We’re going to be closed here for a while” – they may be trying to turn them around and get them off 99 via what would have been an onramp. We got a Twitter update from one stuck driver:

The seriously injured person is described as a motorcyclist in her 40s who is being rushed to Harborview Medical Center right now.

11 PM UPDATE: The “wrong way off the onramp” operation to clear vehicles off The Viaduct has indeed happened. And in comments, Karl clarifies the location, saying it’s parallel with Weller, on the lower deck of what’s left of the double-deck structure.

2:39 PM UPDATE: Watching the webcam for southbound 99 at Lander, we’re seeing occasional headlights, so it looks like the highway reopened.

8:10 AM UPDATE: Seattle Police have published a summary on SPD Blotter. Investigators believe the 48-year-old rider “failed to negotiate a curve” at the Viaduct’s south end and hit a concrete barrier.

2:56 PM: LA, in comments, says the motorcyclist was a friend of hers and did not survive. We had not yet confirmed that before her comment, but everything we were hearing indicated that too.

36 Replies to "Update: Motorcyclist reported to have died after Viaduct crash"

  • Brian April 1, 2012 (10:32 pm)

    Sitting on 99, people getting out of cars, traffic not close to moving…

    • WSB April 1, 2012 (10:36 pm)

      Via scanner – they are not only blocking off access ramps to 99, they are going to try to get cars that are on it now, off by possibly going backward. Don’t try it till you hear from/see an officer directing you, of course, but that’s what it sounds like they’re going to try. – TR

  • Chris April 1, 2012 (10:46 pm)

    Incident on 99 must be bad. Seattle police letting cars on Southbound 99 turn around on Viaduct and exit on Columbia ramp onramp.

  • Karl April 1, 2012 (10:58 pm)

    Incident is on South SR-99 (Viaduct’s lower deck) at Weller St. The Seattle Police Department is directing traffic off the Columbia Street “on-ramp”. Be careful out there.

    • WSB April 1, 2012 (11:00 pm)

      interesting, that is WAY far away from Lander, the original report, but makes more sense. Will update the main copy. Thanks, Karl! – TR

  • JanS April 1, 2012 (11:05 pm)

    King 5 just said it’s a motorcycle accident, rider taken to Harborview with “life threatening injuries”

    • WSB April 1, 2012 (11:05 pm)

      That’s in our copy already … thanks.

  • Jen April 1, 2012 (11:21 pm)

    Saw this right after it happened. Before any help had arrived. Lots of people got out to help and it looked bad.

  • Chris April 1, 2012 (11:30 pm)

    From my perspective in Pioneer Square there is no southbound traffic on 99 through downtown.

    • WSB April 1, 2012 (11:34 pm)

      Thanks. It’s still closed. And given that crashes with life-threatening injuries require more-painstaking investigations, I would imagine it’ll be that way for a while longer. We’ll be on duty to monitor, got hours of work left on unrelated stuff! – TR

  • Jen April 1, 2012 (11:43 pm)

    specifically this happened right after you get off the viaduct and onto the bypass.

  • Joy April 2, 2012 (12:31 am)

    I saw the motorcylcist splayed out on the pavement with a woman stabilizing her head while another guy was running back to one of the cars that had stopped to help… sad! Heard the ambulances a few min later. Praying for her. :(

  • Eddie April 2, 2012 (5:53 am)

    Radio says there is a rollover accident southbound in the tunnel Monday morning (5am-ish)

    • WSB April 2, 2012 (7:45 am)

      Yes, that one apparently happened separate from this – but according to our friends at KING, the driver was OK. – TR

  • Heywood April 2, 2012 (8:33 am)

    Driver condition?

    • WSB April 2, 2012 (8:44 am)

      Without a name, you usually can’t get that info, and we don’t know her name. But on the offhand chance that Harborview has been OK’d to release info without a name, we are checking, and will add here IF we find out anything. – TR

  • LAintheJunction April 2, 2012 (2:50 pm)

    I am heartbroken to report that the motorcyclist was a friend of mine and did not survive. Please keep her friends and family in your hearts through this difficult time.

    • WSB April 2, 2012 (2:54 pm)

      LA, so sorry to hear this. I contacted Harborview earlier and they said they didn’t believe she was still there – which tends to mean the worst in a case like this – but I hadn’t confirmed it in any reportable way so far … thanks for letting us all know … TR

  • Wendell April 2, 2012 (2:57 pm)

    No words are enough, I didn’t know her, but I have to say my thoughts and prayers are with the family. – From a fellow rider.

  • AE April 2, 2012 (3:08 pm)

    I don’t see it mentioned here, but she was a west seattlite. Please keep her loved ones in your thoughts. She touched many lives and is mourned terribly.

    • WSB April 2, 2012 (3:21 pm)

      Thanks, AE. I have no information on her name, much less her neighborhood, so had no way to report that. I have just listened to the entire daily “media release” recording the Medical Examiner’s Office puts on a phone hotline every day around this time, and nothing resembling this incident is listed (they list name, age, city of death, cause of death for each case), so at this point, unless they release it tomorrow, the only information available is that which is being informally shared here. If at any point there is anything more that anyone can share with us, or any way the community can help – a fund or ?? – please contact us at any time, by e-mail or phone … again, we are very sorry to hear she didn’t make it – TR

  • MelissaValette April 2, 2012 (5:13 pm)

    I’m so heartbroken to hear she didn’t make it. I do know her name but I don’t want to post it. My husband, Brother in law saw this happen right in front of us and we stopped and tried everything we could… Called 911 and stayed with her until they took her away. We’ll be praying for the family. I just can’t stop thinking about her… If anyone finds out where/if a service will be held my husband and I would want to go. My name is Melissa Valette. You can find me on facebook…

  • matt valette April 2, 2012 (6:04 pm)

    It breaks my heart to here that she didn’t make it my brother and I were the first to reach her and did all we could to stabilize her until medics arrived including cpr after I lost her pulse just before medics arrived. I didn’t know her but it tears me up. My prayer go out to the family and if it helps at all know she did not die alone. Rest in peace.

  • BF April 2, 2012 (6:17 pm)

    Her name was Lisa Mills. Prominant NW muscian and the lead singer of one of the best bands to come out of Washington, “Swamp Mama Johnson”. I’m sure that once arrangements are able to be made they will be published in many sources. Keep Googling and they’ll show up soon.
    You’re wonderful comments will be passed to those who loved her.

  • smokeycretin9 April 2, 2012 (6:56 pm)

    Rest in peace fellow two-wheeler and W.Seattlite. I have probably waved at you on my motorcycle rides around West Seattle. There is a long curvy 2 lane road waiting for you in heaven.

  • AE April 2, 2012 (10:31 pm)

    Thank you, Valettes, for being with our friend. Please email me at aiesposito@yahoo.com so I can get in touch with you.

  • ach April 3, 2012 (8:20 am)

    Matt and Melissa,
    thank you for your courage and kindness in helping Lisa on Sunday. It does comfort me to know she had immediate help that night. As you know, she did not make it. But like you, she will be helping others – she donated her body to the tissue center. Her eyes, heart valves, skin, and bones will probably help more than 50 people. She is paying your kindness forward. Thank you again. Alicia (Lisa’s partner).

  • T-Rex April 3, 2012 (10:55 am)


    Our thoughts are with you and we will all be thinking of you in our prayers.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Jack April 3, 2012 (10:41 pm)

    Matt and Melissa Valette
    My name is jack Brooks, thank you for helping Lisa. She was my best friend! And I was with her minutes before the accident. I can’t thank you enough for just being there! I have tired to find you on facebook, will keep looking. Please find me if I don’t find you. I have some unanswered questions. We all do.
    Thank you again

    • WSB April 3, 2012 (11:07 pm)

      I should note here that the Medical Examiner did release the victim’s name today, 48-year-old Lisa Mills of West Seattle. (An earlier reader comment including her name is published now, higher in this thread, but had been held in moderation until we heard confirmation.) I plan to write a story in the morning – it’s too late now and it would just be lost amid the couple other things I have to post overnight. If anyone reading this knows whether memorial plans have been announced yet (I haven’t started searching so maybe it’s out there) please consider letting us know so I can include that. – TR

  • Beach drive resident April 4, 2012 (9:50 am)

    RIP Lisa. We met her briefly when she did some work at our home. She seemed like a very nice person. My condolences to her friends and family.

  • MelissaValette April 4, 2012 (1:06 pm)

    Jack you can email us at mattandmelissavalette@gmail.com or matthewvalette@yahoo.com on facebook search or lissygurl56@yahoo.com on facebook search

  • Wendy April 4, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    Lisa was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a fellow Sunrise Heights neighbor, employed by a friend on mine, and I visited her for hypnosis. Please Alicia, if there is anything I can do to help let me know, Amy knows how to get in touch with me… and we are in the neighborhood. Prayers to the family.

  • Kerri April 4, 2012 (3:23 pm)

    Lisa was a fabulous person. I’m just heartbroken to hear of her passing. She was a great friend to my family and recently sang Amazing Grace at a celebration of life held for my father. I will always cherish that memory and the hugs we shared.

  • Karen Miller April 4, 2012 (10:13 pm)

    Lisa was a wonderful person.What a special talent she had.I follow her and Alica when they sang with Swamp Mama Johnson. I also had a chance to hang out with them years ago.Lisa you will be missed.Thanks for blessing all of us.To Alica and other family and friends please know that our prayers are with you all.

  • Sandy Valette April 5, 2012 (9:52 pm)

    Praying for Alica and Lisa’s family and friends during this time of loss in their lives. I thankful that my three children, Matt, Melissa, and Zech Valette were there to help her and that she wasn’t alone that night. This event has impacted our family as well as we all process through this loss. Whatever services are happening, may they be a time of celebrating her life.


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