Update: 1 hurt in head-on hit-run crash on 35th near Camp Long

(Photo courtesy Tina D)
FIRST REPORT, 11:29 PM: Via the scanner, police say southbound 35th is closed at Dawson right now (by Camp Long) because of a crash – described as a hit-run. They say witnesses report the vehicle that took off after the crash was a black Jeep Liberty likely to have serious front-end damage. (Call 911 if you have any information on that.) No word of injuries so far; we’re off to check it out.

12:22 AM: Back from the scene. Thanks to Tina for sharing the photo added atop the story; WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli was already there when we arrived to check it out – the next three images are his:

Witnesses told us the driver of the mangled Mini, hit head-on, was taken to the hospital, but did not seem seriously hurt; the scene, however, was aptly described by Christopher as a “car-parts explosion.”

The Mini’s engine wound up on the west sidewalk of 35th; other pieces and parts were in the planting strip and the street, the full width of 35th. There was word a car on the other side might have been “nicked.” One tree on the west side was knocked down, and witnesses told us two others were damaged.

1:36 AM: Added photos from Christopher. The wrecked Mini has been taken away on a flatbed tow truck; a standard tow truck arrived fairly quickly, but the car was in no shape to roll away with that kind of truck, so a flatbed had to be brought in instead.

9:38 AM UPDATE: Just checked with SPD to ask if there was any news of the reported second car having been found. According to media liaison Det. Mark Jamieson, while the final report is not available yet, information in the system matches what we reported above; officers checked 35th as far south as Barton for any sign of the other vehicle (that’s the direction in which it was reported to be traveling) and found nothing. SDOT crews had to be called to help clean up the scene, since the debris (including the downed tree) had spread so widely.

63 Replies to "Update: 1 hurt in head-on hit-run crash on 35th near Camp Long"

  • Cole August 23, 2012 (11:35 pm)

    Something has got to be done about the driving issues on 35th. This is the second serious accident in two days.

  • Ssfshari August 23, 2012 (11:44 pm)

    I was the first person to call it in. I heard someone speeding which is pretty normal then we heard the crash. Though didn’t see anything. We got home 10 minutes earlier feeling lucky but sad for the person hit.

  • RarelyEver August 23, 2012 (11:49 pm)

    got there right after the crash… the mini was anihilated.. never seen a wreck like that – car is unrecognizable & the engine was found on the sidewalk. the driver walked out, thank god, and was put on a stretcher at the scene by sfd. hope he is ok. respect for this mini cooper, even though it’s unrecognizable it saved its driver!

  • northboundpasserby August 24, 2012 (12:18 am)

    Just drove by on my way home from work and this was a serious collision. The front end of the car in the intersection was smashed all the way in. I can’t imagine the other car being able to drive away from that! Hopefully they won’t get far.

  • Wild One August 24, 2012 (12:46 am)

    I just passed the scene of the cleanup a little while ago. Saw the car and it gave me goosebumps. I was pretty sure that whoever was in that car was no longer living. I’m very glad to read this report that the driver was not seriously hurt. Wow. Just wow. Thanks West Seattle Blog.

  • Val Vashon August 24, 2012 (2:03 am)

    R.I.P. R53. You did your job protecting the driver. I’m actually not surprised the driver got out on their own. This type of crash protection is why I drive a MINI, too.

  • alittlebirdtoldme August 24, 2012 (6:23 am)

    Huzzah for German engineering and British design. Makes me feel better driving around in my CooperS. Hope the Mini driver really is okay.
    There is a heartless, gutless hit and run driver with no conscience alive today. Unfathomable how someone could drive away from that scene.

  • anonyme August 24, 2012 (6:24 am)

    Speeds on 35th have increased lately, if that’s possible. No enforcement in sight. This is NOT just a school zone issue. The lives of children are valuable, but the rest of us who live on this corridor have a right to some protection as well.

  • Mike August 24, 2012 (8:10 am)

    Glad the driver is in ‘ok’ condition considering. The aftermath of the wreck looks aweful, but it’s engineered to absorb impact and do that in head on accidents. That’s what saved the life of the driver in the Mini. Luckily nobody was hit by flying debris too, that engine flying around could have killed a pedestrian.

  • Westcoastdeb August 24, 2012 (8:11 am)

    Wow. So glad the driver made it out of there alive. Those are incredible pictures. I’ve never seen anything like that.

  • (required) August 24, 2012 (8:12 am)

    It’s about time more people died on 35th, right? What, beside the last serious accident, we haven’t seen enough blood on 35th lately — or so the city seems to think.
    Don’t take the bitter, sarcastic start of my comment wrong — I am pissed. PISSED! Seriously pissed. I am so sorry for the victims’ families’ losses and pain! My heart and prayers go out to them all! We all should be OUTRAGED that more blood has been needlessly spilled on 35th and that more lives have been lost on 35th — NEEDLESSLY. This danger could have been abated long ago — but the city has either ignored it or chosed to allow the danger to continue. I have written comments on this blog for years about the danger I-35 poses — over and over I have pleaded that we need to re-design 35th the way Fauntleroy has been redesigned. I have urged victims’ families to sue Seattle for knowing this danger and doing nothing about it. It is PAST time for families to sue the ever loving $%#! out of Seattle for this completely dangerous and reckless road design. Does the city have no shame? Does no one care about safety? There is NO rational argument for not getting rid of this stupid 4-lane high-speed danger and replacing it with the same layout that Fauntleroy now has — one lane each way with a center turn lane. I am so sorry for the needless loss of lives we’ve seen lately, and again, once again, all because our city and its inept leaders have refused to fix this danger. SHAME on mayor McFatty for this hideous ignorant failure! There are more suffering families right now who lost loved ones FOR NO GOOD REASON!!
    We have wasted public dollars hiring police to babysit 35th drivers — for what? Nothing’s really changed — the danger is still real. This horrific accident is a reminder. It could have been avoided.
    Now, sit back and watch and wait: there will be more blood and more death from more needless traffic accidents like this one on 35th. It’s just a matter of time. And if you’re not outraged at this, you’re not paying attention.

  • kayo August 24, 2012 (8:35 am)

    Wow. I can’t believe the driver was not killed or even seriously injured. Gives me new respect for the safety of the Mini Cooper.

  • Amanda August 24, 2012 (8:44 am)

    The mini driver WALKED away? No way! I never thought a small little car like that would protect a driver so well in a crash of that magnitude. Wow. Just wow.

  • Smiles By Bond August 24, 2012 (8:50 am)

    Local West Seattle Business Owner,Dr. Bond of Smiles By Bond, was coming home after working late at his office. Dr suffered minor injuries and will be ok. Thanks for all your well wishes.

  • WSratsinacage August 24, 2012 (8:52 am)

    I agree Cole. People have been killed crossing the street in the past, plus numerous car accidents. Not sure what the answer is. Police have been catching speeders off and on but people don’t get the message.

  • rockergirl5678 August 24, 2012 (8:58 am)

    WOW, WOW, WOW! So glad Dr. Bond survived this horrific scene. Can’t believe the engine ended up on the sidewalk and how mangled the car is and he is alive! Slow down people and remember your driving affects others! Prayers for a speedy recovery!

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (9:20 am)

      Thanks for the update, SBB. Meantime, we have an inquiry out to police to see if the investigation turned up anything new afterward, such as the reported second car – TR

  • The Original MB August 24, 2012 (9:18 am)

    Thank god he’s ok!

  • HelperMonkey August 24, 2012 (9:26 am)

    amazing pictures, so glad Dr. Bond is alright! Here’s hoping they catch the hit and run driver.

  • Citizen Sane August 24, 2012 (9:34 am)

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: PHOTO RADAR. You can’t have a cop on 35th all the time, but photo radar never sleeps. Nobody wants it because they don’t want to get tagged when they’re speeding, but they want all the other guys to slow down.

    There are a lot of selfish people out there who don’t think the rules apply to them; let’s start hitting them consistently in the wallet until they get a clue.

    Think I’m wrong? Ask yourself: if you KNOW with certitude that you will be mailed a ticket if you speed on 35th/Admiral Way/WS Bridge, etc., as opposed to taking your chances that a cop might be there (and they usually arent), would YOU still speed?

    Didn’t think so.

    I realize that this won’t solve every case. If the speeder in this case was a car thief, they probably don’t give a darn, but photo radar will solve 99% of the speeding problem, and can pay for itself.

  • Brandon August 24, 2012 (9:37 am)

    actually redesigning the street more like fauntleroy would help. Im not sure what it would do to traffic but at least it would get people to slow down.

  • miws August 24, 2012 (9:43 am)

    Thanks, SBB. Dr. Bond is a great guy.


    I’m so glad to hear that he is going to be okay.


    (Formerly Seattle FilmWorks/PhotoWorks).

  • old timer August 24, 2012 (10:01 am)

    These speeders are, for the most part, West Seattle dwellers.
    Your families, neighbors, friends, relatives – all
    who change into speed demons when they get into their vehicles.
    Hey, it might even be YOU.
    Short of speed/traffic cams with very expensive tickets that
    will go to the insurance record, not much will change.

  • Tracy White August 24, 2012 (10:23 am)

    @ Citizen Sane:
    I don’t want photo radar, not because I speed, but because I don’t want to live in a police state. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of law enforcement, but I’m a bigger fan of freedom and privacy.
    Personally, I think we should be pushing for self-driving cars.

  • JanS August 24, 2012 (10:37 am)

    now…please keep your eyes open in your neighborhoods for a mangled black jeep. How anyone can leave an accident that they caused like this is beyond me. Betting that other driver was alcohol impaired, but testing won’t show that now. Hope they find him soon.

  • 2 Much Whine August 24, 2012 (11:09 am)

    Why do so many people blame the city? The city has posted speed limits. It’s PEOPLE that are driving too fast and too carelessly – not the city. They’ve posted radar signs to let folks know how fast they are going. They’ve posted signs indicating there are speed cameras. Short of putting in roundabouts and speed bumps or a constant police presence what will it take?

  • Darren August 24, 2012 (11:21 am)

    What needs to be done is the city of Seattle should put in a two way turn lane and one lane each way. That would slow people down.

  • Anne August 24, 2012 (11:26 am)

    Pushing for self- driving cars–huh? Let’s face it there are always going to be those who don’t obey the speed limits -drive impaired & some who do both. Changing the configuration of 35 th might work– but how far would you take it– from Alaska to Roxbury? How much would that cost & how would we push for that? If it’s a possibility- maybe we could use photo radar until a project like that is completed? There might be a better chance of something like this happening than self- driving cars.?!

  • JN August 24, 2012 (12:00 pm)

    Yup, self-driving cars are the answer. Of course they would be constantly running over pedestrians and cyclists, but hey, at least they wouldn’t be scratching other cars’ paint jobs! People need to admit the problem is allowing multi-ton vehicles capable of speeds exceeding 100mph to dominate our cities and neighborhoods.

  • C August 24, 2012 (12:04 pm)

    I really don’t think having a suicide lane down the middle is the answer folks. Seems that would just make things worse. If 35th is suddenly only two lanes where do you think those cars are gonna go? They will split on over to 36th and 34th and all over the “interior” roads where it would be even more of a problem. I think the signs that show your speed work pretty well and I think if we had about four more of them then it would make a difference. Here’s the thing. At 11:30 at night, there is hardly any traffic at all on the road. So to me this isn’t about the road, it is about what the people behind the wheel were doing. Obviously one or both weren’t driving safely! I mean is it possible that the victim in this scenario may have also been speeding or texting or doing something distracting? We can only assume the guilty party is the one that fled the scene and it seems the most obvious, but the point I am making is that just because someone is the victim doesn’t mean they were making perfect choices either. One could speculate all day long.

  • Tracey August 24, 2012 (12:26 pm)

    I could have sworn I’ve seen signs on that stretch of 35th that indicate there already are speed cameras enforced. Maybe they aren’t really working (or enforcing them).

  • Kayleigh August 24, 2012 (12:29 pm)

    Driving 35th has truly become a nerve-jangling experience. I have no idea why people think it’s OK to speed on what is really still a residential road on which people make left- and right-hand turns, sometimes abruptly. We have started avoiding 35th altogether.

  • Physics August 24, 2012 (12:30 pm)

    Lots of good talk about speeding and indeed there is a lot of that going on down 35th. It was a head-on collision, though, so it’s much more relevant to talk about street design than speed. The key is that one of the two cars was in the wrong lane, at least by a little bit, right? Even at the posted speed limit, that is a lot of force created and a terrible accident. The width and lane separation is more important than whatever speed was observed. The middle two lanes are just too narrow and too close together. Personally, when I drive it, I stay in the right lane as much as I can and keep my eyes peeled … you see cars riding the lines and creeping lanes all the time.

  • heather August 24, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Wow. Everyone else has said it but I cannot believe 1) Dr. Bond walked away from that accident and 2) no pedestrians were injured by debris.

    My best to Dr. Bond and his loved ones during all the aches and pains that come with a car accident.

    Maybe my next car sb a Mini Cooper.

  • Mike August 24, 2012 (1:45 pm)

    We have several of these speedways in West Seattle. Highland Drive, 35th, Admiral Way (especially the downhill to the bridge), Alaska between Fauntleroy and 35th. Police traffic enforcement helps, but cannot eliminate the dangers. We need the “Fauntleroy treatment” on all of these raceways.

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen August 24, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    One of my favorite features of the MINI Cooper is that if the airbags deploy, the doors unlock and the windows unroll automatically. This is so an unconscious driver or passenger could be extricated from the vehicle by others, or you can swim out if you hit water. The MINI includes 6 airbags in the cockpit.

    It really is one of the safest vehicle out there. You do not have to be in a big vehicle to be safe. But you do have to drive something better built than a tin can Kia or Hyundai. You get what you pay for. I have had my car for almost nine and a half years and just hit 114,000 miles. I will buy another one (hopefully electric or diesel) when this car’s useful life is expired.

  • Tracy White August 24, 2012 (2:30 pm)

    Anne & JN – nice. :P Check into the Google self-driving cars. I submit that they would be SAFER around pedestrians than most human drivers.

    They’re approaching a half-million miles without accident.

  • Carole August 24, 2012 (2:43 pm)

    I’m with you, Wendy. I have a 2010 MINI Cooper hardtop, and, yes, I paid more for her than I might have paid for a different car, but she is built strong. This accident proves it. I’m also keeping mine for a long time and when I need another car, I’ll be back at the MINI dealership.

  • Anne August 24, 2012 (3:13 pm)

    Tracy– Someday perhaps self- driving cars may be the answer–but right NOW another alternative seems more practical & honestly more likely to happen.

  • cascadianone August 24, 2012 (3:23 pm)

    I am so happy reading the calls for Google-style self-driving cars. It’s a great idea we should be pushing, better than photo radar, road diets and suicide lanes because it would fix the dangers of driving EVERYWHERE it was implemented, rather than just on one stretch of road. Plus, I’m fairly sure once the majority of vehicles are Googlecars, we’ll see travel times drop as the far better reaction times and “intuitive” understanding of other vehicles’ behavior allows the “safe” speed to rise dramatically. Let’s be real- if networked computers were driving our cars down 35th, 90mph+ would probably still be a safe speed with fewer accidents and injuries than we have now driving at 45mph or whatever the real-world average on 35th is…

  • Wb August 24, 2012 (3:47 pm)

    I was sleeping when this happened. By the time I realized what it was, the police, the ambulance and other emergency personnel were there. Kudos to all for their speedy arrival. And here’s hoping Mr Bond is truly unharmed.

  • Hapa Haole August 24, 2012 (4:05 pm)

    First of all, I’m glad Dr. Bond is okay… As far as the MINI Cooper, that’s why I own one. I’m a firefighter just south of Seattle, and I have responded to quite a few vehicle crashes on I-5 and major highways. I can attest that MINIs are built tough with safety in mind. European crash requirements are very stringent. The engines are made to “break away” from the body to diminish the shearing force and inertia caused from collisions such as this motor vehicle crash. It’s better the engine lay in the sidewalk than in the driver’s lap. Also, there will always be idiot drivers out on the roads. Unfortunately, not all are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • Chris August 24, 2012 (5:22 pm)

    Well, I’m all for giving 35th a diet, two lanes with a turning/suicide lane, until it actually narrows down to two lanes, like Fauntleroy and Admiral. I’ve been on that street at all hours, and four lanes are simply unnecessary. I’m not aware of evidence from other cases in Seattle of traffic diverting to non-arterial side streets.

  • West Seattleite August 24, 2012 (5:31 pm)

    I love my 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk with the blower…plus the air in the tires protects me.

    When it wears out I am going straight to the local Studebaker dealer for a new one.

  • JN August 24, 2012 (6:36 pm)

    I seriously doubt these driverless cars are able to cope with anything other than other motorized vehicles. Do they give cyclists the proper three feet when passing (of course, current motorists can’t even manage that)? Can they deal with a small child chasing a ball? And if/when a pedestrian or cyclist is injured or killed, who is liable? The car manufacturer, the “driver”, or the car itself? I don’t think that there is even a remote possibility of these robot cars being allowed on anything more than a trial basis. And they still don’t solve the problems of congestion, pollution, or the prohibitive cost of installing thousands of charging stations into an already overloaded, outdated infrastructure.

  • Livin' in West Seattle since '91 August 24, 2012 (6:44 pm)

    As another Mini owner, I was thankful to hear of Dr. Bond’s outcome after this accident, as well as to hear how great his Mini protected him. I always knew they were safe, but never knew how safe until viewing these photos.

  • Furor Scribendi August 24, 2012 (8:32 pm)

    Bond dodged a real bullet in his Mini! Time for real enforcement (speed radar camera) or other alternatives to nab speeders, and heftier penalties for hit ‘n run drivers. I’ve been hit six times (one by a Chevy, one by an MG convertable, and four by Volvos) and the only way to stop hit ‘n run drivers is to permanently relieve them of their driver’s license.

    Wendy, Hyundai/Kias are much better cars than you give them credit for. I’ve got a Mini, too, so I know. More expensive cars aren’t necessarily safer, and in every accident the interplay between vehicle size, speed, angle of impact, etc, vary a lot. That Bond survived that horrific collision is a divine accident itself.

  • Paul August 24, 2012 (8:36 pm)

    Dr. Bond is my dentist. He is a terrific guy and a dedicated professional. I wish him a very speedy recovery and hope whomever committed this crime does some serious prison time.

  • seatown August 24, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    I’m sure the Mayor and his ‘bike squad’ is salivating reading this thinking of another road he can convert (and ruin) during his tenure. I’m amazed its remained untouched up until now.

    Likely the person that hit this person was drunk.

    So happy to hear the good doctor walked away. And I have ridden in a Mini and the ‘cage’ in the front of the vehicle is amazing. Solid, like driving in a mini-tank.

  • marcus ativalu August 24, 2012 (10:48 pm)

    ok first this is not a serious wreck if
    the driver walked away period
    i35? u guys must live somewhere other than the 35th ive known my whole life
    i cant believe how many people drive 25mph down it.
    going 40 down your i35 is fine

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (11:00 pm)

      “Walked away” is not exactly the case. He left the scene in an ambulance. Just in case that’s gotten lost along the way. As for 25 mph – I drive the stretch from Avalon to Thistle almost every day and driving the speed limit almost always draws somebody ready to take your bumpers off. As for bike lanes being lame … not if you’re a bicyclist. At least one has been killed on 35th: Suzanne Scaringi, almost six years ago: https://westseattleblog.com/2006/09/one-story-of-sadness-another-of-hope

  • cjboffoli August 24, 2012 (11:53 pm)

    Just out of curiosity, I took a look at other 35th Ave SW accidents in my archive of the past few years. There were a few. And these are only the ones I have covered. The WSB has surely covered more overall. Not to mention a few minor fender benders that may have slipped under the radar.
    February 10, 2012:

    November 27, 2011:

    January 27, 2011:

    October 4, 2010:

    January 10, 2010:

    March 26, 2009:

    March 17, 2009:

    February 13, 2009:

  • Sbond August 25, 2012 (7:02 am)

    Dr. Bond was discharged from Harborview yesterday afternoon with a fractured strenum, torn ankle ligmanent, and several cuts and bruises. He is now resting comfortably at home in the care of his daughter. After going to the car to retrieve his belongings, we realized not only was he very lucky to be alive, but that someone had stolen his wallet (although they took out his medical and auto insurance cards and placed them in his pocket first, which confirms it didn’t get ejected during the accident). So hopefully both the person who crossed the center line and hit him, and the person who took his wallet will eventually be compelled to do the right thing and come forward. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes.

  • YoLo August 25, 2012 (8:38 am)

    Laws don’t stop people from breaking them — and the idea that police would be out spending their time in radar traps at midnight is a total joke. They are out cleaning up after drunk driving accidents like this one, not to mention shootings, domestic disputes etc etc.

  • miws August 25, 2012 (8:45 am)

    Thanks for the update, Sbond.


    Continuing to wish Dr. Bond a speedy and full recovery.



  • flynlo August 25, 2012 (12:34 pm)

    @cascadianone – Do you seriously believe that 90mph would be possible on 35 with a computer driven cars? Consider attempting to turn on to, off from or crossing 35th with cars traveling at 90 mph!! The acceleration/deceleration required would be mind blowing! You’ve got to be kidding!!!

  • Furor Scribendi August 25, 2012 (12:50 pm)

    Wow, not only the shame of a hit and run but also the indignity of picking an injured person’s wallet? Different people in each occasion, but how low can you go, people??

    If anyone reading out there knows anything about either of these instances, or have a hunch over knowing someone with a newly damaged Jeep or someone with credit cards/cash not their own, or find the wallet, you’ve got to come clean by calling the police and making a report. Anonymous reports are fine, too. C’mon, the westside is better than this….

  • anon August 25, 2012 (9:54 pm)

    the wallet thing sounds more like something a first responder would have done, perhaps a call to the police or hospital will find that it was put in safe keeping for him? I’m glad the victim is going to be ok , I’m so sad about the state of this vital corridor in our community.

  • Carol August 26, 2012 (6:55 pm)

    TWICE I have tried to get a stop light/crosswalk installed on 35th SW at Camp Long…..but both times the city told me the traffic along 35th didn’t warrant a crosswalk there. I pointed out that not only would it help everyone trying to get to Camp Long and the #21 bus stop from the west side of 35th but that it would also slow everyone down along that LONG stretch of 35th between Mt. St. Vincent and Highpoint. I don’t get it…..seems like a no brainer to me.

  • Pat August 27, 2012 (8:07 pm)

    I grew up in West Seattle and have driven 35th thousands upon thousands of times. My question is how many thousands of cars of cars drive that stretch every single day? The number of serious car wrecks has to be very small compared to the number of trips and cars that use that road. I don’t care how many camera’s you put up and how many bike lanes you put in, you simply cannot legislate common sense or prevent people from being idiots. They are going to do stupid things no matter what. It’s the same argument for gun control. It’s not the gun that does the damage it’s the idiot behind the gun. Same thing with cars. It’s not the car it’s the pinhead driving the car. It never ceases to amaze me how people continually wish to legislate their rights away trying to make people behave. Come on people wake up. The real solution is to put the drunks in jail that cause harm not let them drive with 4 DUI’s. You hear it every day in the news. Guy wrecks someone else he’s drunk and then you come to find out it’s the third or 4th DUI. Enough. One strike is all you get after that it’s 5 years in jail. The only caveat is that us law abiding citizens have to be willing to pay the price to keep the pinheads in jail. I’ll ante up if it keeps a lunatic off the street.
    But more laws are not going to make people NOT do stupid things.

    • WSB August 27, 2012 (8:14 pm)

      I don’t have time to look up the stats. We’ve reported the traffic volume before. Side note: There were at least three crashes on 35th today. At Myrtle, Holly, Fauntleroy. None with major injuries or we would have reported them; two we happened onto while on our way to something else. Just a data point …TR

  • Rick August 29, 2012 (9:14 am)

    Is there any word or update on the Jeep? I can’t believe there is nothing yet on a car that drove away from THAT…

Sorry, comment time is over.