Update: 2 students in hospital after driver hit them following fight across from Chief Sealth

(UPDATED with letter sent to Sealth families)

FIRST REPORT, 10:22 AM: SFD says two teenage girls are being treated after a vehicle hit them near Sealth. We have just arrived in the area. More shortly.

10:34 AM: The fire and police activity is focused in the street just east of the SWAC field across from the school. Principal Chris Kinsey (photo below) is on the scene and tells WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand that both girls are students.

They are on their way to Harborview Medical Center. This was originally broadcast via scanner as a hit-and-run. We are hearing talk of a possible suspect being found at a different scene.

10:48 AM: The possible suspect is at an address in White Center. Meantime, no word yet on the victims’ conditions. They were both described as conscious and alert, however.

10:55 AM: For those who are worried about students there – we just talked again with principal Kinsey and he says e-mail is about to go out to the Sealth community; we will be checking with SPS communications about that. We have learned that scanner traffic described one girl as 17 years old – we don’t know the age of the other.

11:05 AM: At the scene where police pulled over a possible suspect vehicle in White Center – two young women came over and talked with us and the rest of the media and say it was a case of mistaken identity.

11:28 AM: Here’s what SPD Blotter says about the incident:

A 30-year-old woman struck two female students following an altercation this morning. Just shortly after 10 a.m., a female suspect intentionally struck two female students with her car, in the 2600 block of SW Thistle.

An altercation between the two victims and the suspect preceded the assault. The female victims 17 and 18-years-old sustained minor injuries. Both victims were treated on scene by Seattle Fire and subsequently transported to Harborview Medical Center.

The female suspect was driving a black (unknown model) Honda. During the time of this posting, officers were still searching for the suspect and vehicle.

Most of the responders have cleared the scene – except for TV trucks, and some police presence outside the school.

12:23 PM UPDATE: Sealth principal Chris Kinsey is sending this short note to Sealth parents:

Dear Chief Sealth International High School families:

I wanted to let you know about an incident that occurred today near our school. At approximately 10:15 A.M. two Chief Sealth students were struck by a car while walking in the 2600 block of Southwest Thistle Street, across from the school.

Both students were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and both were able to communicate with medical personnel. Seattle police are investigating the details surrounding the incident.

Please be assured that the safety and security of our students is our number-one priority. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at (206) 252-8550.


Chris Kinsey
Chief Sealth International High School

The district says both students’ parents have been notified. One girl is a 17-year-old junior; the other, an 18-year-old senior.

3:21 PM UPDATE: The district says Harborview reports that the older girl is in intensive care, and the younger one is in satisfactory condition. No word of an arrest, yet.

4:30 PM UPDATE: Seattle Police now say the suspect was expected to turn herself in this afternoon – but has not. This is from an update just posted to SPD Blotter:

Witnesses stated that the suspect got into a physical fight with one of the victims because the victim struck her (suspect’s) dog. The fist fight ended and the suspect left and returned to the area and located and chased the victim with a Taser. The victim ran away and was returning to school when the suspect reappeared with her vehicle facing the two victims. The suspect accelerated and hit both victims with her car. She then fled the area. …

The female suspect was driving a black (unknown model) Honda. After fleeing the scene the 37-year-old suspect called 9-1-1 and advised that she would surrender to police at 4:00 p.m. today. The suspect is still at large.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1.

11:18 PM NOTE: Checked with police a short time ago. No word of any arrest, still.

NOON THURSDAY UPDATE: The 17-year-old victim is out of the hospital, Harborview Medical Center confirms. They also say the 18-year-old victim’s family is keeping information on her condition private.

74 Replies to "Update: 2 students in hospital after driver hit them following fight across from Chief Sealth"

  • que November 28, 2012 (10:27 am)

    Two circling helicopters over the area.

    People drive so fast in that area. I hope that the girls are OK.

  • Karla November 28, 2012 (10:31 am)

    Two helicopters are circling the area between the High School and where I am in Gatewood…

  • Heather November 28, 2012 (10:32 am)

    Oh, how awful. I see the helicopter overhead.

  • Karla November 28, 2012 (10:32 am)

    BTW thanks to WSB for always being the best source of information. There’s a helicopter? Go to the blog and see what’s up – the information is always there :-)

  • Jordan November 28, 2012 (10:34 am)

    Well tht explains the helicopter over my house.

  • JR November 28, 2012 (10:34 am)

    I live up the street and there is a large response. I sure hope the girls are okay!

  • Desertdweller November 28, 2012 (10:37 am)

    That must be why the helicopter is hovering ’round the area.

  • AG November 28, 2012 (10:42 am)

    Thank you for the report. I heard multiple copters and immediately checked WSB of course. Hope everyone is ok.

    Also, SLOW DOWN through the neighborhoods!!!! Two cars were racing down 31st on Monday(?) evening – had to be going well over 70, too fast to even see what kind of car or color or anything. I regularly see people barrel down the street well over the limit. I’m not saying this had ANYthing to do with speed – just saying slow down, please.

  • matt November 28, 2012 (10:42 am)

    Two helo’s hovering around the school and westwood village, hope they catch her

  • Amy B November 28, 2012 (10:44 am)

    Was wondering what the helicopters were. And definitely second what AG said: PLEASE slow down!

  • Sally November 28, 2012 (10:55 am)

    2 helicopters hovering over 15th in White Center? Part of the same incident? Been there for 10 minutes or so

  • bL November 28, 2012 (10:55 am)

    Agree, that area is always dicey. Drivers going too fast as well as kids crossing the street not in the crossing areas. (Not saying that was the case here)
    Be extra alert and slow down over those crests of hills!

  • Jordan November 28, 2012 (10:55 am)

    Although I will add, kids stand at that corner in groups….right at the crosswalk…..it is so hard to know if they are crossing or loitering. I don’t think they should be allowed to congregate on that corner. That way if someone is actually using the crosswalk they are more visible. And if the girls weren’t using the crosswalk….well you can’t play frogger without getting squished.

  • JR November 28, 2012 (10:56 am)

    I live on the residential street above the schools (27th) and regularly see cars going at what I’d guess 35-40mph down the street. We have students walking here at all times of the day/evening. It’s not just the high school kids driving that fast, either! It can be scary loading and unloading my toddler from the car.

  • sophista-tiki November 28, 2012 (11:02 am)

    I’ve noticed more than one school area without properly posted speed limit signs. AND all kinds of people randomly dart across the street infront of traffic. A bad combination of not paying attention .

  • JoB November 28, 2012 (11:05 am)

    the helicopters are still up there. I can hear them as i type.

  • marty November 28, 2012 (11:16 am)

    KIRO news said that they were intentionally struck by the driver of the vehicle after some kind of altercation.

  • Dj carpenter November 28, 2012 (11:17 am)

    Thanks for keeping us west seattleites aware of ongoing… Good, bad, n ugly events.

  • Patty November 28, 2012 (11:20 am)


  • sam-c November 28, 2012 (11:25 am)

    the SPD blotter has info indicating the vehicular attack was intentional after an altercation (with info on the suspect also). How awful. hope these girls are ok

  • G November 28, 2012 (11:31 am)

    Was just listening to interviews with kids outside the school. There is talk of an altercation before the hit. Apparently the driver was threatening the girls with a taser before she hauled off and hit them. This happened right outside my condo.

  • Leeann November 28, 2012 (11:31 am)

    Komo is reporting that they were hit intentionally


    • WSB November 28, 2012 (11:50 am)

      We have all the *officially known* information about the circumstances in the story. We were second to the scene (after a KIRO photographer) and will be continuing to follow this throughout the day. As for a suspect, no, not so far. I went to the White Center scene (12th/102nd) where officers pulled over a car and was there as two girls came over and told us all (the media gaggle) that it was a case of mistaken identity. – TR

  • G November 28, 2012 (11:33 am)

    One of the kids, a boy named Mohamed, described the scene, how he saw the girls get hit. He described their condition a bit, but I think I will hold off until the official word gets out. Lots of kids were hanging out at the time.

  • concerned mom November 28, 2012 (11:48 am)

    There are constantly unsavory characters hanging around that intersection and back on that street. I am not justifying this violence I am just saying it was only a matter of time before some kind of altercation broke out. I am really surprised it wasn’t more tragic. I have complained to the school about this in the past. There is more SPD presence and the principal stands out there after school but the group just keeps moving further off campus and growing larger. I see this everyday as I drop off and pick up.

  • marty November 28, 2012 (11:57 am)

    Well, they must know who the driver is or she wouldn’t be described by police as a “30 year-old white woman”.

  • Greg November 28, 2012 (12:13 pm)

    The people who always comment about “people driving too fast” might have a point, but this incident appears to have nothing to do with that based upon the official reports.

  • LSWS November 28, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    Those “unsavory characters” are other people’s children…teenagers that go to Sealth.

  • G November 28, 2012 (12:28 pm)

    Concerned Mom ~ those ‘unsavory characters’ you are referring to are high school kids, mostly. They have every right to walk up and down 26th Ave, which happens to be where I live. I don’t always like the mess they make back there, and I’ve called the cops on a few occasions, but most of them are good kids.

  • concerned mom November 28, 2012 (12:38 pm)

    LSWS & G . Helllo. I have one of those teens who goes to school there. I understand exactly what is going on. I am a parent of a student at that school. And I have every right to be concerned by the drug deals and fights that I see happen almost every day. If you have a student who goes there I suggest you spend and afternoon out there and see for yourself. I am not referring to the kids who are up and down thistle I am strictly referring to the kids who loiter on that corner and openly deal drugs and threaten others.

  • bridge to somewhere November 28, 2012 (12:49 pm)

    I’m guessing there’s a lot more to this story than simply two good kids walking to school and a crazy woman targeting them and running them over. Not at all to condone that level of violence and the driver should be in jail, but c’mon, it’s pretty clear this wasn’t a random act of violence, no?

  • bridge to somewhere November 28, 2012 (12:53 pm)

    Just want to point out that high schoolers *can* be “unsavory characters”; those concepts aren’t mutually exclusive. Same of “other people’s children.”

  • WSB November 28, 2012 (2:35 pm)

    Tried to post this earlier but it didn’t go through. PLEASE reserve the discussion of perceived problems around the campus for another time. Two girls are in the hospital – one, I’ve just learned, in intensive care – and police are looking for the person who is reported to have deliberately hit them. They have families and friends hoping they’ll be OK; police are trying to find someone who by all accounts so far committed a criminal, injurious act. No, it apparently was not random, but there is NO excuse for violence. None. Whatever the victim’s age. If you have already taken your concerns to the school leadership and gotten nowhere, I invite you to open a discussion topic in the WSB Forums sometime. Thanks. – Tracy

  • concerned mom November 28, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    ok WSB, point well taken. Of course my thoughts and best wishes are with the injured girls and their families. Please keep us updated on their condition.

  • 26th Ave Resident November 28, 2012 (3:06 pm)

    The purpose for my post above is not to “excuse” this type of violence. It’s simply an effort to help those who don’t live on my street to better understand the daily routine there.

    Also, I’m not trying to downplay the crime here, but these aren’t “perceived” problems, they’re facts. And frankly this is exactly the kind of incident that it takes to bring the attention necessary to enact positive change in a problem area.

    I completely agree that this is a terrible crime, and as I mentioned earlier I hope the girls recover quickly. I’ll certainly be keeping a lookout for that black Honda sedan.

  • bridge to somewhere November 28, 2012 (3:13 pm)

    Yes, there is certainly no excuse for violence. Period. Thanks for that perspective Tracy.

  • H November 28, 2012 (3:25 pm)

    Yes, point taken. I am very sorry that it takes something terrible like this to get everyone’s attention when the conferences and police reports aren’t enough. I hope that it will make students, parents and neighbors more aware of their own behaviors so that some good can come of all this. Best wishes for a quick recovery for the girls.

  • Lolaleah November 28, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    My heart is sad for these girls and their friends and families. There is no excuse for a 30 year old woman to be having an altercation with high school age kids that leads to this kind of violence.
    A woman of that age should be mature enough to handle an “altercation” in a more responsible way.
    Sending healing thoughts to both girls and to the friends who witnessed this terrible action taken by an adult.

  • Mary T November 28, 2012 (3:53 pm)

    INTENTIONALLY. OMG. I don’t care what kind of exchange was had, and I well remember being a teenager myself. There is NO excuse for this. That is sociopathic (and obviously criminal) behavior. All the best to those two girls and their families.

  • M S November 28, 2012 (4:08 pm)


  • justwow November 28, 2012 (4:16 pm)

    Send those drivers to jail for good!

  • miws November 28, 2012 (4:23 pm)

    Sending healing thoughts to these young ladies, especially the one in ICU. Harborview is a top-notch facility, with a great Staff.


    I was up there earlier this afternoon, and saw KOMO News interviewing what appeared to be High-School aged kids, so I presume it was in regards to this incident.



  • SaraS November 28, 2012 (4:26 pm)

    Why were those girls outside their school at 10:15am? They must have known the driver in some way…
    Looking forward to hearing the end of this sad story.

    Oh and also, for those saying “Slow down!”, I’d like to point out that there is always plenty of police coverage in that area during the day. Whenever I drive by Chief Sealth (there is a community center and the southwest court right across the street) I always see several police cars – driving, parked, etc.

  • WSratsinacage November 28, 2012 (4:54 pm)

    As the 4:30 update states, the incident started over an off leash dog. According to KING 5 the owner of the dog didn’t like the fact that one of the teens hit the dog as it ran up to them so the dog owner hit one of the teens with her hand then got in her car to run them over.
    So many levels of wrong here, it’s amazing!

  • sam-c November 28, 2012 (5:02 pm)

    wow, I didn’t think this story could be any worse, but to hear of the actual altercation that preceded the vehicular attack, I’m in shock. I hope they find this person soon.

  • AG November 28, 2012 (5:15 pm)

    SOMEbody knows who this jackass is. I don’t care who hit whose dog or who may have smarted off about it. At some point in this incident, a grown woman intentionally hit two kids with her car.

    In my book, that just crossed a line into pre-meditation and willful intent. I can’t help but wonder if she went home to sober up. She likely lives in the area if she was walking a dog and went to get her car. To her friends and family, turn her in. Do the right thing. She at minimum has an anger problem and needs major help.

  • Pat November 28, 2012 (5:17 pm)

    How do you know it was an off-leash dog? The update doesn’t actually say that.

  • krissy November 28, 2012 (5:31 pm)

    My thoughts go out to the girl’s and their families. Yes teens can be mouthy, even confritational, but this was way out of line! I really hope they send this women away for a long time. I could care less what the kids did, as an adult you should be able to come up with a way better way to solve the problem!

  • SaraS November 28, 2012 (6:35 pm)

    Komo reported it was a 37-year-old. I want to know how they know that specific detail if they can’t find the woman? Do you think they know who the suspect is?

    • WSB November 28, 2012 (6:36 pm)

      All indications, SaraS, is that they do. So it’s probably just a matter of time before she is in custody.

  • Rachael November 28, 2012 (7:09 pm)

    ‘Tis the season. Let’s hope they find this person and throw the book at them. The kids might have been wrong initially, but you don’t chase them with a Taser and then run them down with your car. Adults need to start acting like adults. Hope the girls make a full recovery.

  • Seriously? November 28, 2012 (7:29 pm)

    So a lady with a pit bull who hits kids with her car on purpose? And we wonder why people blame dogs for their behaviors. As they say, there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Here is the poster child, er woman for that! So now we know…I wonder why she had a taser? This lady needs to spend some time getting her head together. First thing, turn yourself in. Second, be prepared to lose everything when these folks see you in civil court. No excuses for this violence. None.

  • Tchr November 28, 2012 (7:49 pm)

    Oh my gosh.. Words escape me… So sorry to hear this.

  • Jim P. November 28, 2012 (8:14 pm)

    I don’t know who started what or why or even if the girls should have been in class: The woman went and got a vehicle and tried to kill them. That’s some serious anger management issues there.

    You can’t even argue “heat of the moment” if you have time to go get your car and try to run them down.

    I hope we hear more on this story, someone has some serious explaining to do.

    I do think we need more SPD presence around here, the vandalism/grafitti and just unsavory characters hanging about the school, especially late at night do not enliven the neighborhood and this sort of thing is plain wrong.

  • JN November 28, 2012 (8:41 pm)

    Sounds like she should be charged with two counts of attempted murder.

  • scout 1 November 28, 2012 (8:56 pm)

    Update from SPD blog:
    “Witnesses stated that the suspect got into a physical fight with one of the victims because the victim struck her (suspect’s) dog. The fist fight ended and the suspect left and returned to the area and located and chased the victim with a Taser. The victim ran away and was returning to school when the suspect reappeared with her vehicle facing the two victims. The suspect accelerated and hit both victims with her car. She then fled the area. “

    • WSB November 28, 2012 (9:06 pm)

      Thanks, Scout, I added that to the story almost immediately after SPDB posted it.

  • Nitro November 28, 2012 (9:25 pm)

    Just curious…. What is the schedule at Sealth? Shouldn’t students be in school at 10:15 in the morning and not outside on a street corner?

    • WSB November 28, 2012 (10:03 pm)

      Nitro – you can have an open period, our in-house expert tells us. I don’t know that this was the case, but so he says.

  • scout 1 November 28, 2012 (9:25 pm)

    First Degree Assault:

    You may be charged with and found guilty if first degree assault if you assault someone with a firearm or other deadly weapon in a way likely to cause great bodily harm or death and you do so with the intent to cause such harm as well.

    This offense is a class A felony seriousness level XII. This means for a first time offender with no criminal record, the potential sentence is 93-123 months in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

  • Tracey November 28, 2012 (9:51 pm)

    I read one report somewhere that one of the witnesses stated the woman told the girls that she was 37, during the confrontation. So, that seems to be how/why they know the person’s age.

  • m November 28, 2012 (10:26 pm)

    re: kids being outside of school at that time…some kids choose the swimming option for p.e. and cross thistle each day to go to the southwest pool for class. not saying these girls were doing that, but i’m just responding to the few posters whom questioned why kids aren’t in the building at that time.

  • Mike November 28, 2012 (11:26 pm)

    KOMO’s article states “Witnesses say the woman became angry when she thought Cassandra hit her dog, who’d gotten loose from her home across the street from the school. ”
    Which tells me the Police would know who the lady is, what her license plate would be, which make/model/year her car is, able to get a photo of her, etc. OR The people talking to the news are not telling the truth and the Police have no leads yet.

  • Evergreen November 28, 2012 (11:40 pm)

    In what way was the dog “struck”? Just wondering.

    Hope the girl in the ICU is OK.

  • SJoy November 29, 2012 (8:58 am)

    I may have missed it… where did it say that the dog was a pitbull?

    Also, people need to remember that the news outlets are getting their information from multiple sources and the information that they give out may not always be accurate.

    I had a friend who was a police detective… he would ask me what the news said about an incident and then he would tell me what REALLY happened. It’s amazing how the facts are mixed up and sometimes completely wrong. So just take everything you hear/read with a grain of salt.

    I also would like to add that I have much respect for the WSBlog and they seem to work really hard at keeping the facts straight and trying to report the truth to the best of their ability. I very rarely watch the news or read the news papers anymore… but I do read the WSBlog many times a day!!!!

    • WSB November 29, 2012 (10:09 am)

      SJoy – the pit-bull identification has come up in a number of places but is not in the official police account. I don’t know how relevant the dog’s breed is in this case, either, whether it’s true or not. As for your assessment of multiple news sources’ versions of the story, that’s an important side note … Having been a journalist now for 35 years (dating back to my college newspaper), I know that you can’t always take the official account as gospel, but in a case like this, we are sticking to the basics of what’s known. I spent more than 20 years as a TV-news producer and manager and know how those stories are assembled … in most places I worked, reporters were pretty much under orders to get a “real person” soundbite (police, firefighters, etc. don’t count), so anyone who will talk on camera, usually gets to talk on camera. Not to denigrate the crews’ skills or integrity; that’s just the way they have to work. Most important thing right now remains how the girls are doing and whether the suspect’s been arrested yet, and we’re continuing to check on both.

  • WSratsinacage November 29, 2012 (9:34 am)

    Hi Pat. What I read on KING was that the dog ran up to the girls so that I what led me to believe it was off leash or maybe it was on a leash but it ran up to the girls when it was out of the control of the owner. The owner needs to be in control of the animal and it needs to be on a leash so the bottom line is the dog got away from the owner which led to this whole bust up.
    The reports are that that the teens hit the dog because they felt threatened. Whether this is true or not, I don’t think it is right to hit a dog or a human.
    I hope they catch this person. I know people who have dogs think of them the same as people feel about their children which is probably why the owner reacted the way that they did by allegedly striking with her hand or using a taser or commiting vehicular assault.
    As has been stated before, there is no excuse for violence.
    I hope the teens are ok and that justice is eventually served.

  • G November 29, 2012 (12:20 pm)

    Whoever this person is, she’s a neighbor of mine, since she apparently lives across the street from the school. Pretty chilling thought. I don’t think it’s anyone I know personally, but I’ve probably met her, since I see people walking dogs around here all the time. Just goes to show that this is not a case of ‘unsavory characters hanging out on the corner,’ but of a homeowner and dog-owner who doesn’t know how to control her dog or herself.

  • G November 29, 2012 (12:24 pm)

    To answer Sjoy’s question, I read on the MSNBC website that it was a Pit Bull. That story had the most detail of any I’ve seen so far. It says that the girl was pushing the dog away because she was scared (rather than hitting it) and that when the woman came back with her car, she weaved in and out of other students so that she could hit these particular kids. But as others have pointed out, there are too many conflicting accounts here to really know the full story of what happened. I’m still reeling over it.

  • M November 29, 2012 (6:14 pm)

    Why is it relevant what the breed of the dog is? What on earth does the breed of the dog have to do with this story AT ALL?! This is how stupid stereotypes keep going. Nowhere in the story – ANY of them – did it state that the dog attacked them. There is no reason to strike an innocent animal, threatened or not. Not saying that it’s ok for the owner to retaliate…that was completely uncalled for! This thread is now sounding more like a high school gossip board. Stick the the RELEVANT facts of the story. Hope both girls recover fully!

  • Joe November 30, 2012 (1:12 am)

    This is all I know.

    You don’t hit dogs.
    You don’t hit people.

    You certainly don’t use a car as a weapon.

    That said, according to my neighbor’s kid and the guy in the apartment directly across from us, the woman with the dog was being beaten by two young adults when he ran outside, downstairs, and “pulled them off of her.”

    The dog is a pitbull puppy… he’s about six months to a year old and full of puppiness. He was a runaway that she found a few blocks away, and she was taking care of him until the owners could be found. She was going to adopt him if the owner couldn’t be found.

    Everyone always wants to rush to judgment on matters like this, and use the event as an excuse to reinforce some pre-existing world view.

    And don’t compare the guilt of the parties. Judge the actions of each party individually. My neighbor was wrong. She could have killed one of those girls, and she deserves to be punished… but that has 0% to do with whether these girls are total innocents or hooligans who deserved to get their a$$es whooped (but never with a car… please)

    This incident says NOTHING about our neighborhood or people in general, unless you know the WHOLE story… and I don’t even know the whole story and she’s my neighbor.

    I love you all… you’re my neighbors :) Try not to kill each other.

  • Diverlaura November 30, 2012 (2:08 am)

    Thank you Joe for more info… And I agree… Please be kind… But will add, to ALL parties/readers/posters/etc… The story is rarely what it seems at first blush.

  • rdlrhome November 30, 2012 (4:47 pm)

    The kids were on break at the time of the incident. The woman had alternatives. If she had been attacked she should have called the police to respond. After leaving, she should not have returned to escalate the situation. This is simply assault with a deadly weapon. No excuse. It does not matter what happened before. She should have been old enough to know better and to have set an example of how to de-escalate the situation.

  • M December 4, 2012 (9:13 pm)


    Yours is the best post, by far. You’re right, all people in this seem to be at blame to some degree. Sounds like all parties need some anger management!

Sorry, comment time is over.