Update: Van crashes on Harbor Avenue, lands on side, 3 to hospital

(Photo by @lolomatic via Twitter)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:50 AM: Emergency crews are on their way to the 2500 block of Harbor Avenue for a “heavy-rescue” call. So are we. More to come.

10:06 AM UPDATE: A car is on its side. Harbor Ave is closed at the bridge.

(Photo by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
10:33 AM UPDATE: As a WSB commenter notes, at least one parked car was damaged in the crash. Our crew at the scene says it appears at least two people are being transported by private ambulance; we’re checking on the total number of people injured. If you hear/see helicopter(s) in the area, at least one TV helicopter has come over to check out the scene.

11:02 AM UPDATE: Harbor will be closed for at least two hours, per radio communications – the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad has been called out to investigate this crash.

(Photo by Leo Shaw)
11:19 AM UPDATE: As noted in comments, some people ran from the scene after the crash. At least one person was seen in handcuffs at the scene later. SPD can’t confirm for us yet whether anyone has been arrested, but they say one vehicle involved, either the van or a parked car, was confirmed as stolen. We’ll continue to update, once the scene reopens, and once SPD has more information on how this all shakes out.

1:38 PM UPDATE: Police are reopening southbound Harbor Avenue.

4:34 PM UPDATE: Just in case you were still wondering – we’ve verified in person, Harbor has since fully reopened. We also have an update on injuries from Seattle Fire spokesperson Kyle Moore: “There were 5 people inside the minivan. All of the patients self-extricated. We treated a 52-year-old male, 21-year-old female, and 17-year-old female. AMR transported all three to HMC. We did not treat the male driver or another male passenger.”

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: A summary is now on SPD Blotter; aside from what we’ve already reported, the only additional note is confirmation the Lexus SUV was indeed the stolen vehicle police mentioned when we first spoke with them.

28 Replies to "Update: Van crashes on Harbor Avenue, lands on side, 3 to hospital"

  • WSmama June 4, 2013 (10:01 am)

    I work down here on Harbor Ave. right where the accident happened. One car is flipped and three are injured. The driver ran off into the woods once the cops showed up.. My coworkers car they hit is totaled.. :(

  • WSmama June 4, 2013 (10:20 am)

    One of the passengers is in hand cuffs now..

    • WSB June 4, 2013 (10:33 am)

      That doesn’t always mean they have been arrested – please note. Sometimes people are cuffed for questioning and then released; we will be checking with police later to see how it shook out. My co-publisher is at the scene – since it is blocked off for quite some ways, he had a long hike in. Thanks for the updates. He sees two damaged vehicles, BTW – besides the flipped car? – Tracy

  • WSmama June 4, 2013 (10:38 am)

    We saw the passengers and driver run off after the police got to the scene. Not sure why but two ran north on Harbor Ave. and the driver ran east into the woods behind the warehouse I work in.

  • rocky raccoon June 4, 2013 (10:42 am)

    I guess I’m just lucky. I’ve never had a big problem with keeping my car from tipping over. Seems to be the latest West Seattle fad.

  • thugbee June 4, 2013 (10:43 am)

    I didn’t realize how many car crashes,accidents, rollovers took place in W. Sea until “The Blog” appeared. Now seems like every time I visit the site there’s a new pix of a vehicle incident.

    More people? More cars? More coverage? More driver stupidity??

    Keep up the enlightening and sobering reporting of these. Drive safely!

    • WSB June 4, 2013 (10:48 am)

      Thugbee – more coverage. We certainly don’t cover EVERY crash – anecdotally from watching the 911 log, listening to the scanner, etc., I’d say there are several every day. Our coverage bar usually involves traffic-impeding effects that will last for a while, life-threatening injuries, etc. And if there’s a heavy-rescue call, we go. Coincidentally, when this call came out, co-publisher Patrick and I were at Denny Int’l Middle School with the Engine 37 crew, who were about to give a demonstration as part of a celebration for fire-safety training – they got the call, bolted, and after checking the live 911 log via the iPhone, Patrick was right on their heels. E-37 got sent back fairly quickly, though (as we often note, rules require a BIG response but as soon as the situation is evaluated, often some are turned back if not needed), so they proceeded with their demonstration, which I was able to cover (story on that later – it also was a celebration of gang-resistance training, taught in the same class, and new Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel was on hand too). – TR

  • DWS June 4, 2013 (10:47 am)

    All of the above Thug.

  • Joe Szilagyi June 4, 2013 (10:55 am)

    It would be interesting to see which streets and locations in the city are most accident prone, and then by neighborhood as well.

    • WSB June 4, 2013 (11:05 am)

      The city has a lot of crunchable data but it takes some time. Harbor Avenue has had a couple of high-profile wrecks lately, including this one …

  • Wendell June 4, 2013 (11:43 am)

    It sounds like co-publisher Patrick needs a compact car with a folding bicycle :)

  • chuck and sally's van man June 4, 2013 (11:47 am)

    ^^^ “Crunchable data.” I see what you did there :)

  • smokeycretin9 June 4, 2013 (11:52 am)

    Some people seem to be missing the point here. The car/van whatever it is was stolen and multiple people ran off. This is not a case of Harbor Ave being dangerous or there being too many cars on our roads. Its a case of out of control hoodlums that luckily hit a parked car and NOT a pedestrian or cyclist and then ran off.

  • AE June 4, 2013 (11:54 am)

    Looks like there’s no rear plate on the van (SUV?). Would have to guess that’s the stolen vehicle (explaining why the passengers ran). Any word on whether the runners got caught (apart from the one in handcuffs)?
    Would love to see a car thief arrest come out of this. Doesn’t much help the owner of the other car, unless the thieves bought insurance before they stole it.

    • WSB June 4, 2013 (12:01 pm)

      SPD told us they expect a report with more details after the TCI Squad finishes its work – we’ll update as soon as that happens (as well as when Harbor reopens. The reason they couldn’t tell me for sure which is the stolen vehicle, is that apparently – and keep in mind, this is preliminary information (remember the 35th/Thistle arrest recently? preliminary information DOES sometimes change dramatically) – the vehicle’s owner didn’t know it was stolen until they were contacted to ask if they knew their vehicle’s whereabouts – TR
      P.S. to Wendell – seriously, we have been discussing such options, especially now that summer is here and beach-area responses, where parking is nigh well impossible, might increase.

  • trickycoolj June 4, 2013 (12:05 pm)

    A friend who had his car stolen told me his insurance covered property damage that is done with the car when it’s stolen (a good reason not to all together cancel the policy right away in case your car is recovered). Also probably varies by policy, but worth asking about before the situation applies.

  • sam-c June 4, 2013 (12:50 pm)

    trickycoolj- that is interesting. a few years ago (as the story was told to us), someone got into our neighbor’s car to riffle through (car was unlocked). supposedly they undid the parking brake, the car rolled down the hill, and came to a stop after sideswiping our car. the thief took off. according to our neighbor’s insurance company (State Farm), it was a hit and run, so they were not responsible for fixing our car….
    which sounds different than your friend’s policy…

  • Local resident June 4, 2013 (1:42 pm)

    I happened to be walking my dog on Harbor Ave around noon and was able to walk up to the crime/accident scene. I saw 3 parked cars that were damaged and the vehicle pictured above, still on its side. The owner of the vehicle, a local resident, was on the scene talking to police. The person who was with him told me they had been notified at 11:15 that his car had been involved in a crash and that the vehicle had apparently been taken. This person also said some occupants of the vehicle had been taken to the hospital with injuries, the extent of which was not known.

  • Leo Shaw June 4, 2013 (1:48 pm)

    There was a lic. plate on the back of the van that flipped. It appeared to me that the flipped vehicle had rear ended the red Toyota Tacoma which was pushed into the car (Honda?) ahead of it and that car was pushed into another….Those three vehicles were in the parking lane and I assumed had been parked when hit……if that’s what happened then the flipped vehicle did a 180 on its side once it flipped because it’s facing the opposite direction.

  • Local resident June 4, 2013 (2:26 pm)

    I concur with Leo Shaw’s description above. The three damaged parked cars I saw were the same ones and they were parked on the side of the road in a row, on the Salty’s side and facing Salty’s. The stolen vehicle that apparently caused the damage was on the same side of the street as these cars, but flipped on its side and facing the other direction (i.e., facing Avalon/West Seattle Bridge).

  • Leo Shaw June 4, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    Geeze….if you are going to steal a Lexus go crash it in Bellevue….stay away from Alki please…

  • rob June 4, 2013 (3:18 pm)

    Kinda funny… I used to live in the apartment building you see in the photo. One night I was standing out front and a car came zooming through and hit a parked car right there. The driver took off and it turns out the car was stolen…
    Deja vu.

  • Willis June 4, 2013 (3:58 pm)


  • nemobeansmom June 4, 2013 (4:04 pm)

    I think that there are so many car crashes in WS because there are so many cars parked on the streets (because of so many multi-family buildings) and no parking facilities for those MF Buildings, streets aren’t wide enough for all those cars to park on them and just because the hoodlums, they don’t care about anything they destroy and only about themselves!

  • Vermin Loser June 4, 2013 (7:09 pm)

    Were the vermin booked and sent to jail? Or were they released to mama and papa vermin?

    Just curious.

  • Ajax June 5, 2013 (1:57 am)

    I saw on TV news tonight that at least one was released to Mom and Pop Vermin. Guessing from previous stories such as this that Mom Vermin will be posting sometime tomorrow about how Precious Baby Vermin is misunderstood and simply made a big mistake that he will no doubt learn from.

  • k2 June 5, 2013 (8:20 am)

    sounds like papa vermin was driving.

  • wetone June 5, 2013 (10:56 am)

    Also starting to see a lot more close calls on streets that have trees planted on parking strips or islands between lanes. Blocking views entering the roads from alleys and corners of intersections for walkers, kids, bikes, vehicles. If the city is going to planting these they should be trimming them up 5ft or so to help with visibility issues. To many crashes lately.

Sorry, comment time is over.