Update: Westbound West Seattle Bridge reopening after chase/crash that left 1 officer hurt; 2 suspects arrested

(THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Adding info from Tukwila PD re: injured officer, more)

(Crash scene on westbound bridge curve, photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
6:59 PM: Thanks for all the tips about a big police/fire response on the westbound bridge near the Admiral exit – it’s on the 911 log as a crash -working to find out more.

(Part of the search scene off the bridge near Admiral/Manning, photo by Patrick Sand)
7:03 PM: This was a pursuit involving a pickup truck, we’ve learned, and the suspect reportedly went down the bridge, which is why police are searching beneath it, near where Avalon meets the bridge. We’re told the crash scene appears to involve a police vehicle.

7:10 PM: Comments have more information about what was seen unfolding and confirm the police vehicle involvement. There also is at least one helicopter in the area.

7:20 PM: Access is blocked off for some of the neighborhoods beneath the bridge – Bradford, Manning.

7:33 PM: From our crew covering this – the truck involved in the crash was stolen and had rammed a Tukwila Police vehicle. As commenters are saying (read below), the truck was seen dodging between vehicles on the westbound bridge, with officers in pursuit, before the crash.

(Photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
7:41 PM: The bridge is closed westbound before Admiral because of this – you will have to get off via Delridge.

7:50 PM: With the SPD Traffic Collision Investigation Squad investigating this, chances are the bridge will be closed westbound for a few hours, so if you are headed this way any time before late evening, plan an alternate route.

7:55 PM: An update from Seattle Police via Twitter:

8:01 PM: As noted by commenters, it’s believed the white truck that was being chased hit at least two other vehicles. No word of major injuries so far. Also an update from commenters: The closure is now after the Admiral/Harbor exit- you can get off there now.

8:19 PM UPDATE: Just talked to SPD’s Det. Mark Jamieson. He says a Tukwila Police officer was hurt, apparently in the foot chase that followed the crash. SPD is handling the crash investigation, but the rest of the case involves King County Sheriffs/Tukwila PD – Jamieson did not know where the pursuit began. No details yet on the person who is in custody.

(WSB video from back seat while going eastbound past investigation/crash scene)
9 PM UPDATE: Adding more photos. We just headed eastbound on the bridge for a passing glimpse at how it’s going, and the bridge remains closed just west of the Admiral exit, with investigators working at the scene. The previous search scene below the bridge is clear and open again, by the way, in case you weren’t sure. Also, though some comment discussion wondered about a suspect jumping off the bridge, no, Det. Jamieson said, their understanding was what we had reported – the suspect fled down the ramp.

10:28 PM UPDATE: Police have announced via radio communications that the bridge is reopening. Meantime, our partners at The Seattle Times report that this began in the Southcenter Mall area; Tukwila Police began pursuing the stolen vehicle northbound on I-5 and continued westbound onto the West Seattle Bridge.

8:37 AM THURSDAY: We’re checking with Tukwila PD for any additional details. For starters – spokesperson Mike Murphy tells us the officer who was hurt “is fine” and already out of the hospital. Otherwise, this news release excerpt from overnight is all TPD has so far:

Tukwila Officers responded to the Westfield Mall/Southcenter area to reports of a stolen vehicle. Officers located the stolen vehicle, and attempted to make a high-risk stop. The vehicle failed to stop for the officers and started northbound on Interstate 5.

Officers continued to follow and attempt to stop the stolen truck as it traveled on Interstate 5 towards Seattle. The fleeing vehicle then continued onto the West Seattle Bridge. The truck then lost control and crashed on the bridge. As the police vehicles were arriving, the stolen truck drove at one of the police vehicles, and rammed it. The suspects in the stolen truck then fled on foot after ramming the police vehicle, and all were quickly apprehended. All suspects are in custody.

9:31 AM: And a little more info about the two people arrested – a 26-year-old woman from Federal Way was driving and faces charges, Murphy says, including felony eluding and possession of suspected methamphetamine. The passenger, also facing charges, is a 23-year-old man from Seattle.

58 Replies to "Update: Westbound West Seattle Bridge reopening after chase/crash that left 1 officer hurt; 2 suspects arrested"

  • Urbanhiker January 29, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    It’s no “accident”. There are at least 9 police cars. Some from Tukwila & Sheriffs too. Guy in White truck sped past me with cops in pursuit.

  • Greg January 29, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    Black &. white police car head on w white pickup

  • Greta January 29, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    Is that the reason for the helicopters?

  • Kathy January 29, 2014 (7:04 pm)

    Take the Admiral exit, or one earlier if you can, It looks like a very bad accident just before the Fauntleroy exit. My heart goes out to anyone involved in it.

  • A January 29, 2014 (7:06 pm)

    Very large white truck speeding from I 5 south, exited onto west Seattle bridge. I saw the sea of blue and red following the truck as I entered west Seattle bridge from I 5 south bound. Crazy fool was driving 90-100 miles and hour and was right behind me. I moved over just in time to avoid being hit by this jerk in the white truck and many fast police cars followed. Crazy scene. I could see the police had the bridge blocked close to the walking on logs so I took the admiral exit. My kids were, however, cheering on the SPD. They thought the sea of blue and red was THE coolest thing all day. I hope nobody was hurt by this fool. Peace all.

  • Mike January 29, 2014 (7:07 pm)

    Compound that with 1st Ave bridge opening at5:45 and multiple car issues near on ramps to i5 aid 5pm, awesome

  • Cryslou January 29, 2014 (7:07 pm)

    There are 7 cop cars, two fire trucks and an ambulance (this is what we can see). It looks like the truck is on its side.

  • Mike D. January 29, 2014 (7:08 pm)

    Helicopter circling North Delridge/Luna Park area.

  • L Bui January 29, 2014 (7:10 pm)

    Pretty backed up. Nobody is getting through. Getting off at Admiral and Delridge

  • Julie January 29, 2014 (7:15 pm)

    Helicopters still hovering over my house on Fauntleroy near ped bridge. Hope everyone is ok.

  • CLL January 29, 2014 (7:18 pm)

    Passed the scene going eastbound just past The Walking on Logs about 15 minutes ago. Pickup truck on a flatbed, lots of police cars and a fire truck on the scene. Traffic was backed up westbound all the way to 99.

  • BG January 29, 2014 (7:19 pm)

    We also saw the white truck speeding past us, weaving in and out of lanes while the cops were chasing him. He made it to the uphill curve on the bridge past the admiral exit and it looks like the truck spun out. We’re parked about 15 cars back and not sure if the truck hit a cop car. I guess the guy jumped off the bridge because the cops were flashing their lights and looking below. There’s a few fire trucks and the ambulance was here but left. About 6-7 cop cars. And it doesn’t seem like we’re going to get thru anytime soon.

  • kam January 29, 2014 (7:21 pm)

    Why do all the criminals try to come to west Seattle in there get away?

  • Saralynn January 29, 2014 (7:22 pm)

    I live behind Luna park and there are at least 7 police- sheriff cars here in my buildings lot. Most out and some trying to get in the building across from us.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (7:27 pm)

      That is definitely where searching is under way for a suspect. If anyone sees anything/anyone suspicious call 911 immediately -if there’s not a police officer within shouting distance.

  • metpatrick January 29, 2014 (7:28 pm)

    Noticing a higher volume of cars going past my house on 26th SW, likely spillover or alternate route/s for folks not wanting to wait on the bridge

  • Steve January 29, 2014 (7:28 pm)

    This happened right behind me! The guy did a e-brake turn, deliberately trying to block traffic, lept out and jumped off the bridge! The irony is that the guy in front of me had just cut me off and forced me to slam on the brakes so I thought at first it might be our fault. But when I saw the herd of cop cars in pursuit I knew something was up.

  • alkiannie January 29, 2014 (7:30 pm)

    Just saw 2 police boats flying across the water In Alk iheading towards seacrest/bridge???

  • Kristina January 29, 2014 (7:31 pm)

    I am at my daughter’s gymnastics class in Columbia City and need to head home in 15 minutes, usually across the bridge. Suggestions for an alternate way home (near the West Seattle Nursery) in light of all this? L

  • E January 29, 2014 (7:31 pm)

    I exited the WS Bridge at Delridge and drove up to Sylvan to cross back to 35th and Fauntleroy to get back to Fauntleroy/Alaska.
    Called 911 after passing an abandoned pickup in the middle of the intersection of 40th and Edmunds.
    Helicopters over WS always give me a heart attack now.

  • Christina January 29, 2014 (7:31 pm)

    Any description of the suspect yet so we’ll have an idea of who they’re looking for just in case we see someone suspicious?

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (7:46 pm)

      Only description we have is bald, male, white.

  • harriet h January 29, 2014 (7:32 pm)

    poor guy jumped off the bridge?? i hope he is okay!

  • metpatrick January 29, 2014 (7:34 pm)

    listening to scanner and SPD says TCI is en-route and will be investigating and also rerouting ALL traffic OFF of WB bridge to Fauntleroy

  • quoryx January 29, 2014 (7:35 pm)

    As someone who is a few houses up from the jump off point, can someone please report they caught the guy. I don’t hear the dogs anymore, so hopefully they have.

  • Kathy January 29, 2014 (7:35 pm)

    More police cars still arriving. And cars backing down the stalled part of the bridge to take the Admiral exit. Pretty bad.

  • Grace January 29, 2014 (7:38 pm)

    Heading to WS now….is it better to go on the lower bridge? Or is that blocked too?

  • Saralynn January 29, 2014 (7:40 pm)

    I guess to elaborate more. The police are now knocking on all the doors in our building too. Apparently continuing the search. Nice to such police presence even if we can’t leave.

  • Bella January 29, 2014 (7:41 pm)

    My car was hit by the white truck on the West Seattle Bridge. Anyone else get hit?

  • HJC January 29, 2014 (7:42 pm)

    perhaps unrelated, but grey dodge charger head on into a tele pole on west marginal at the spot where they’ve had the right lane merge with the left southbound lane for construction this morning. one cop car on scene, one white car with driver sitting pulled over and it looked as if there was no one in the charger. strange night!

  • RN January 29, 2014 (7:42 pm)

    Just passed the scene. Police have pulled over a (the?) White truck and traffic is clear.

  • BG January 29, 2014 (7:47 pm)

    A police officer just came by our car and told us they are going to back us off the bridge and they will continue with their investigation.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (7:49 pm)

      It will likely be closed a few hours since as MetP mentions upthread, TCIS is apparently being called out, as they generally would with a serious crash.

  • alki resident January 29, 2014 (7:49 pm)

    This guy put so many people at risk for injuries. Be safe out there. No picking up hitchhikers. Im surprised he went so fast being its so dark and wet out. Its not worth it.

  • Danielle January 29, 2014 (7:50 pm)

    My boyfriend has been sitting in this for about 2 hours. He said the white tuck flew past him, nearly hitting him and many other drivers, but was soon pinned by a cop car. He saw a few people taken away by ambulance. An officer just approached all the drivers that were stuck by this incident and stated they have “everyone they need in custody or on their way to the emergency room”. Now officers will maneuver all the vehicles so that they would be diving the opposite way off the bridge. The officer stated they need to shut down the bridge for several more hours to do a full investigation.

  • Kathy January 29, 2014 (7:51 pm)

    Police officers are untangling the stuck traffic and helping drivers back down the ramp to the Admiral Way exit. Yay!

  • Beth January 29, 2014 (7:53 pm)

    Correction to the above. The bridge is blocked west of Admiral. You can still exit Admiral or Harbour.

  • Lf January 29, 2014 (7:54 pm)

    Bridge was fine right up to the Avalon/admiral exits as of a few minutes ago. However, best to go north on harbor and up fair mount or California – Avalon, admiral are both backed up. Delridge looked clear when I passed, but not sure once you get down underneath.

  • MAP January 29, 2014 (7:59 pm)

    Does anyone know why the police were chasing him in the first place?

  • alki_2008 January 29, 2014 (8:02 pm)

    Westbound blockage is after the Admiral exit. Can exit on Admiral and/or Harbor now.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (8:03 pm)

      Thanks for the update. Also please note, police say a suspect is in custody.

  • quoryx January 29, 2014 (8:02 pm)

    Still see police searching. :/ They sure didn’t send much of a force uphill. If he went straight up under the highway, he could be sitting quietly hidden in the bushes. The one officer/dog that they brought up didn’t even notice me and I am wearing a white jacket. C’mon guys.

  • alki resident January 29, 2014 (8:24 pm)

    YEAH!!!! Wish I knew if he stole my truck a month ago,sigh.

  • Kristina January 29, 2014 (8:33 pm)

    We got home easily by taking the Delridge exit off the bridge, going down to Genesee, then up Avalon back towards Fauntleroy. There was a huge police presence at the top of the bridge, but Delridge exit and beyond was an uneventful drive.

    I hope that the officer is okay.

  • cryslou January 29, 2014 (8:43 pm)

    Thankfully the awesome SPD was able to free all of us who were stuck on the bridge! Thank you SPD! They had us turn around and exit on Admiral (I think). My bladder also thanks you! I’m sorry to hear of the injury. I am sending happy thoughts and hope it’s not serious. Thank you for getting this dangerous person off the streets. Cheers to SPD, Tukwila Police and the Sheriff’s office.

  • Willis January 29, 2014 (8:48 pm)

    Great.. I live up manning on the hillside.. Almost off work. Hope it clears up.

  • W January 29, 2014 (9:15 pm)

    Someone jumped the bridge the other day tho. Friend of mine saw it.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (9:25 pm)

      Yes, unfortunately, they did, W. We covered that here.

  • Mitch January 29, 2014 (11:00 pm)

    I don’t ever understand this sort of thing: Some petty thief steals a truck and the police then decide that escalating this property crime into a dangerous and prolonged high speed chase through rush hour traffic, endangering untold numbers of lives, is the best way to protect the public, which is the job we hired them for in the first place. Do a Google search some time on the number of police chases that result in innocent bystanders being killed or injured. It’s shocking. 60 Minutes has even done stories on the problem.

    Ironically, most car thieves probably error on the side of caution when driving a stolen car, trying to avoid detection. I would. And it’s a freaking car – not the Lindbergh baby – so what if they temporarily get away? Is it really worth putting lives at risk over a car. No, it’s not.

    And what’s with tying up thousands of commuters for hours, during rush hour, while the investigation continues? Some creep steals a car, a cop rams him, they get him, end of story. Why does that require a small army of cops hours to investigate?

    I know, I’m evil. You love the cops. You hate me.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (11:07 pm)

      I don’t know the pursuit policy of Tukwila Police but it is certainly different between departments. Seattle PD have had a virtual don’t-pursue policy. Everything we have so far indicates they got involved with this after the crash/ramming on the bridge.

  • West Seattle Wanderer January 30, 2014 (7:12 am)

    Mitch – you’re making an assumption that this was simply a car theft. There could have been something else behind this. Just sayin’.

  • Anne January 30, 2014 (7:18 am)

    Gee Mitch-I don’t hate you-but maybe–just maybe-you & the rest of us don’t have ALL the details surrounding this incident???

  • schwaggy January 30, 2014 (9:01 am)

    Why do the reports on these types of incidents always describe the vehicle involved doing the actions and not the driver? Are these vehicles thought to have a brain and feelings too?

    “The fleeing vehicle then continued onto the West Seattle Bridge. The truck then lost control and crashed on the bridge. As the police vehicles were arriving, the stolen truck drove at one of the police vehicles, and rammed it.

    • WSB January 30, 2014 (9:12 am)

      Sorry, I didn’t write that part. Am probably still guilty, but have tried to be more aware of that point recently – see 35th/Othello crash coverage, for example (motorcycle rider hit by driver, as opposed to motorcycle hit by car).

  • Jayne January 30, 2014 (9:31 am)

    Schwaggy the reason behind it is to uphold a status quo of car culture being a necessary evil. It’s the same reason that people who injure or kill others as a result of inattentive driving are rarely charged with the severity of the crime they committed; No judge or lawyer would want to find themselves in the position of facing a murder charge for making a distracted mistake behind the wheel, so they won’t set the precedent. This is a result of one of the most successful ad campaigns in history, the idea that an automobile represents Freedom. Another result is the wholesale slaughter of tens of thousands of our fellow citizens each year, ignored as an inconvenient truth.

  • AE January 30, 2014 (10:16 am)

    Another lowlife methhead endangering people. So glad the cop is okay, but I’m sorry for all the people whose cars were damaged. I really hate these scum. No regard for their victims and the angst they cause. I wish the same on them. Yep, I do.

  • schwaggy January 30, 2014 (11:54 am)

    TR – no need to apologize, I know you didn’t write that part of the report. It’s just everywhere these days, and I tend to agree with Jayne. I just dislike anthropomorphizing vehicles when it’s clearly a human behind the wheel – at least for a few more years – lol.

  • chase January 30, 2014 (12:41 pm)

    It was a friends of mine’s white pickup truck stolen from the Maple Valley Park n Ride yesterday afternoon

Sorry, comment time is over.