Highland Park crash blocks road, sends 1 to hospital

A crash has drawn a crowd and blocked a major street in Highland Park. The car hit a pole, according to a witness, and came to a stop at Highland Park Way and SW Holden, and the emergency response is blocking Holden at the spot for now. One person was being taken to the hospital. The witness told us that the driver appeared impaired and tried to get out of the car and walk away after the impact, but bystanders kept her from doing that.

Also of note: The first Seattle Fire crew sent to the scene was Ladder 13, which, as reported here last Thursday, is scheduled to be taken out of service tomorrow morning. The crash scene is just a few blocks east of Station 11, where it had been based for almost a year and a half. Meantime, we’ll check with SPD later this morning regarding any investigation findings from the crash.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: SPD did confirm the driver was “processed for DUI.” However, we haven’t been able to find out anything else about her, either her condition or age, as she was not taken to a hospital by Seattle Fire’s medic crew, so it’s not on their records, according to spokesperson Kyle Moore. Meantime, Kay from Highland Park Improvement Club mentioned in comments that they’d lost a street tree when the driver veered off the road by their building, a couple blocks west of the crash scene on Holden. We went over to take a look today:

The utility pole that was hit didn’t look much the worse for wear, except for a field of small debris around it, and what appeared to be automotive fluid on the sidewalk:

21 Replies to "Highland Park crash blocks road, sends 1 to hospital"

  • MB July 1, 2012 (11:53 pm)

    This vehicle swerved and almost hit me while I was driving west on holden as this person turned left onto holden from what mustve been 11th or 12th ave. They made a left off of a street that heads to the park there. One head light out and the front of the car dragging on the ground with sparks. I initially thought it was a hit and run. On my way back from Admiral I saw all of the medics and KNEW it was for this car. I don’t know where they claim to have hit the pole because they continued driving and swerving all over the road and again the car was smashed far before even getting onto Holden. Something is fishy.

    • WSB July 1, 2012 (11:59 pm)

      I don’t know that the driver claimed to have hit the pole – that’s where the witness told me it came to a rest. She also said the car had been in trouble of some sort coming down the street, but I won’t be able to get official info out of police before morning so I will await their results. Glad you are OK. – TR

  • MB July 2, 2012 (12:22 am)

    Thank you! We just went to the precinct it was closed, so we reported what we saw to the guys at Ladder 13. Glad nobody else was hurt. Im sure tomorrow when someone wakes up to their vehicle damaged we will know where to turn! Dang full moons!

    • WSB July 2, 2012 (12:28 am)

      You can also call 911 and give them that kind of information – especially since this is an active investigation.

  • MB July 2, 2012 (12:32 am)

    Ok will do, thanks again.

  • PW July 2, 2012 (7:22 am)

    She hit the pole next to HPIC. People were yelling for her not to leave, she did anyways then BAM! And of course they all ran off like cowards, didn’t even check if she was ok or try to stop her again as she backed up and drove the mangled car down Holden; mostly in the on-coming lane.

  • mehud7 July 2, 2012 (7:24 am)

    MB-hopefully you called 911 to report the driver’s erractic behavior when you first encountered them.

  • Kay K July 2, 2012 (8:02 am)

    Thank you Ladder 13 crew. Good thing they were just 3 blocks away.

  • IloveWestSeattle July 2, 2012 (8:29 am)

    Ummmm…”We just went to the precinct it was closed”. CLOSED??? I had always thought that police stations were staffed 24/7…no?

  • Kay K July 2, 2012 (9:00 am)

    Well we found out what she hit first-the street tree in front of Highland Park Improvement Club, our door bollard and the lightpole at the alley between 12th and 11th. Trail of tears.
    Explains why the witness saw her coming left onto Holden maybe.

  • datamuse July 2, 2012 (9:33 am)

    The precinct’s website says front desk hours are 8-4 M-F, but patrol and 911 response are 24/7.
    I’m curious, PW, just how were a bunch of people on foot supposed to stop someone in a car who’d already demonstrated a fair amount of heedlessness for her own and others’ personal safety? Did YOU try to stop her?

  • Norman July 2, 2012 (9:55 am)

    So what time do the precincts close? that would be good to know.

    • WSB July 2, 2012 (10:05 am)

      There are no consistent hours for precinct front desks – if they are staffed at all – if there is someone to spare, there might be somebody at the desk, but they’re supposed to keep as many people in the field as possible. Police leadership has long stressed that going to the precinct isn’t how you’re supposed to report a crime or seek help – 911 is.

  • jvc July 2, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Any further information on this incident/accident?

    • WSB July 2, 2012 (11:43 am)

      I have a message out to SPD. Will publish an update soon as we get info. – TR

  • MB July 2, 2012 (11:44 am)

    The sign on the door said, “if doors were closed then there is not an on duty police officer available”.

    I didn’t call 911, although I should’ve, however a few months ago I got in an accident mid day on i5 parked it in kent for the remaining daylight hours and returned for it at night because it was far too embarrassing to drive the accordion looking car home. So that Idea crossed my mind and I was already late picking up my sister from work, so I didn’t do anything. Sad that those people that saw her actually hit that first pole didn’t call the police. Just crazy!! She’s lucky to be alive.

    • WSB July 2, 2012 (11:48 am)

      I do want to say that we don’t know for sure who else called. The reason I rolled to this one in the first place – though on the scanner and 911 log, it did not initially appear that notable – is that subsequent scanner traffic said “We are getting multiple calls on this.” Once I got there and saw a fairly sizable number of onlookers – lots of multifamily buildings around that intersection – that made sense. Sorry to hear HPIC got banged up too; it’s cared for, managed, and used by a devoted community group. – TR

  • Kay K July 2, 2012 (9:15 pm)

    Thanks for the nice comment TR. It’s been hard for us to try and “green up” the street there with street trees as we have lost 3 in the last 2 years to cars.

    That stretch of Holden is very dangerous, folks using it as an arterial (many) go too fast for site conditions. You may have noted that the city has heard our plea for a crossing, and is adding pedestrian bulbs at 11th and Holden so people can walk to the park and the Highland Park elementary school. Now they need to address the intersection at Highland Park Way and Holden where it is so confusing that traffic backs up there all the time.


    • WSB July 2, 2012 (9:18 pm)

      We did go over for some followup pix that I’m posting a bit later – the poor little tree, and the debris field around the pole.

  • datamuse July 2, 2012 (10:13 pm)

    That is good to hear, Kay K. Indeed, that’s a tricky street, with all the curves and bends, and people do go too fast. Trying to cross is an adventure, and walkers can be hard to see when driving even if you’re going pretty slowly because the sightlines on the street are awful. Anything that helps that situation is good…before somebody gets hit.
    I’ve lived near Highland/Holden for over 10 years and I’m amazed there aren’t more accidents at that intersection.

  • jw July 2, 2012 (10:38 pm)

    The multiple calls makes sense. I was driving by and pulled over because we saw she was lying on the ground and at first only a few people were around her. I was ready to call but somebody said they already had, and meanwhile a couple other people standing in different locations w/in 100 feet were still calling and reporting even after I heard the call had been placed… including people walking up the street who, as it turned out, were also already on the phone w/ 911. One benefit to cell phones… even if I generally find them annoying they were quite helpful here.

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