TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; Highland Park Way crash; I-5 fire

(WS Bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:01 AM: Quiet, sunny commute right now in and beyond West Seattle. An earlier problem on the Highland Park Way hill is reported to have cleared – please let us know if you’re seeing otherwise.

7:20 AM: We’re on our way to check firsthand but in the meantime, we just got a call that traffic is OK coming up the Highland Park Way hill toward HP, but that it’s still blocked headed out (downhill).

7:41 AM: Still closed and the closure might last a while – it appears that the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on scene.

7:53 AM: Andrea reports in comments that an uphill lane has been opened for downhill traffic – that’ll still be slow going. Meantime, unusual hazard reported via scanner at Delridge/Roxbury – “man who keeps running in and out of traffic.”

8:26 PM: The aforementioned person is now the subject of a medical call. Meantime, we’re headed back to Highland Park Way for a status check. Haven’t heard back from SPD for more details on the crash. One more note – if you are I-5 bound, there might be something of a distraction on the southbound side just north of the bridge – a vehicle-fire call.

8:31 AM: Our crew says the top of the hill is completely closed off – we’re not seeing the possible downhill lane. Meantime, Seattle Fire spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl tells us the crash victim is a 34-year-old man taken to the hospital “in serious condition.” And the aforementioned southbound I-5 incident near I-90 is now described as a truck fully involved in flames – lots of smoke too (see this traffic cam)

9:01 AM: Again, the I-5 situation is on the southbound side, but certainly a distraction if nothing else on the northbound side:

10:26 AM: SPD spokesperson Patrick Michaud says the Highland Park Way scene is now clear. He says the driver suffered a “life-threatening head injury.”

21 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; Highland Park Way crash; I-5 fire"

  • morgan May 12, 2014 (7:13 am)

    Traffic being diverted by police at 9th and Holden. Avoid

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (7:19 am)

      Thanks, Morgan – we’re off to look but it’ll take a few minutes to get there; how recently did you see that?

  • Shawn May 12, 2014 (7:23 am)

    Sirens for this were as early as 5:45am. I live at the top of the hill and noticed the call was for 7000 Highland Park Way SW. Once I left for work at 6:45, the cops had all of northbound Highland Park Way closed.

    Heading south to Roxbury is a good strategy to exit West Seattle until Highland Park Way is reopened.

  • morgan May 12, 2014 (7:39 am)

    Still closed at 7:15am

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (7:41 am)

      Thank you. We just got there. Looks like the major traffic-investigation squad is there so it might be a while (I’m checking with SPD by phone too).

  • Andrea May 12, 2014 (7:42 am)

    They have opened up an uphill lane for downhill traffic now.

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (7:52 am)


  • Mollie May 12, 2014 (7:52 am)

    I just came up the hill and its still closed.

  • Stephanie May 12, 2014 (8:09 am)

    Highland is still closed…..

  • KM May 12, 2014 (8:36 am)

    Downhill on Highland Park still closed. Slowish crawl down 9th and 8th to Roxbury.

  • Del Martini May 12, 2014 (8:38 am)

    Delridge Way very clogged with stop and go from Brandon north to bridge.

  • Ash May 12, 2014 (9:03 am)

    Housemate took the 131 around 7am, and they were let through, but she said there was a nearly totaled little car at the base of the hill. Looked like it hit a tree, and that someone may have been cut out as the door and the hood were next to the car. Lots of cops around.

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (9:05 am)

      I have a picture I’ve been trying to get time to add – not too clear but yes, that’s what it was. It wasn’t a heavy rescue call so likely not cut out but as I’ve added to the story, one person seriously hurt.

  • Alan May 12, 2014 (9:27 am)

    I just came up Highland Park. The downhill was still closed, though an officer was picking up cones. The car was still there, with no signs of a tow truck. Noticed a woman waiting for an eastbound bus who must not check the blog, get KC alerts, or be aware of her surroundings.

  • Andrea May 12, 2014 (9:37 am)

    I live on othello off hpw… I think the downhill traffic I saw was for folks in my neighborhood… Sorry to confuse…

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (9:52 am)

      Thanks! We won’t be able to check back at the scene for a few hours, so anyone who passes through the area and discovers it’s open, please advise. So far this morning there have been zero official updates on this situation, so it’s a full-on case of community collaboration.

  • Alan May 12, 2014 (9:52 am)

    Looking at Metro, it looks like buses are getting through on HPW, so I guess I was unfairly snarky about the woman waiting for the bus.

    • WSB May 12, 2014 (9:58 am)

      I never saw a Metro advisory, via text (I think I’m signed up for all the major local routes) or via Twitter. For some reason this whole thing landed in an official dead zone. A TCIS-involved crash investigation on a major arterial should have rung all the bells.

  • Trickycoolj May 12, 2014 (10:12 am)

    I noticed google maps didn’t have an accident reported either. I only knew because a colleague who starts earlier texted me to check WSB before leaving. With the I-5 mess too I just stayed home and worked virtually for a bit. Delridge south to Roxbury was pretty calm but 1st ave bridge exit to Michigan/4th was still backed up significantly at 10am.

  • Enough May 12, 2014 (6:08 pm)

    Stalled car in right lane coming up the hill by walking on logs

  • Mike May 12, 2014 (8:22 pm)

    The dump truck driver walked away with only a separated shoulder. He was cutoff by a Volvo, made a split second decision to hit the jersey barrier and avoid hitting vehicles. He was able to get out of the cab while it was on fire, first reaction was to ask a person who stopped if they knew where a motorcyclist was that he thought he might have clipped in the incident. The person he was asking WAS the motorcyclist and the motorcyclist thanked him for hitting the barrier and not killing him instead. The driver of this truck saved lives. It is 90,000 lbs. To put that in perspective, a 4Runner is about 5,000 lbs roughly. So imagine 18 4Runners trying to stop all in a few seconds without killing anyone.

Sorry, comment time is over.