Update: Suspected drunk driver arrested after crash at 35th/Alaska

8:13 PM: Avoid 35th SW in the Alaska/Edmunds vicinity – a car took out a pole and hit at least one other car, and traffic is being rerouted. No major injuries reported so far. More to come.

8:28 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Katie Meyer reports that if you’re headed eastbound on Alaska, you’ll be detoured onto 36th. If you’re headed southbound on 35th, you’ll have to turn westbound onto Alaska. This reportedly is a hit-and-run that damaged at least one other vehicle, which Katie says has just been towed.

8:35 PM UPDATE: Katie reports the roads have reopened.

9 PM UPDATE: Metro has confirmed via text alert that buses are back on their regular routes.

11:05 PM UPDATE: Tipsters on Twitter reported seeing someone in handcuffs near the scene, and we’ve confirmed with police that the suspected drunk driver, a man in his 20s, was indeed arrested, and had minor injuries. Some passengers in the vehicle were reported to have fled on foot. And police confirm that after the pole was sheared off, another vehicle was hit but its occupants weren’t hurt (see this comment).

14 Replies to "Update: Suspected drunk driver arrested after crash at 35th/Alaska"

  • Alan December 4, 2014 (9:00 pm)

    My nephew reported that a “crazy” driver sped by him, hit a car in front of him, and went into a telephone pole. The driver then hopped out of the car and ran.

  • AmyB December 4, 2014 (9:05 pm)

    I was one of the people almost hit by the totally out-of-control car. I was returning home after picking up dinner at Husky Deli, and had turned onto 35th just a minute or two before this red car came screeching at me, diagonally across all lanes (I was going up the hill, south, he was coming north). I was nearly hit, may have even been slightly tapped as he went by. I heard horrible crashing noises, pulled my car over, put on my hazard lights. Car was totaled, people in the car had fled. I was exceedingly lucky. If I’d been 30 seconds later, he would have plowed into me or I would have been hit by the falling powerpole. Scary evening, but other than still feeling a bit wired, I’m fine, and apparently nobody else was hurt (although it’s possible the people in the car who fled might have had some injuries, but that’s just guesswork.)

    • WSB December 4, 2014 (9:23 pm)

      Thanks for the info. Again, all we saw was a 911 “motor vehicle accident” call that closed fairly quickly, indicating no injuries or minor injuries. Appreciate everyone who sent word of road closures, and now further info – I’m checking with police about whether someone reported in cuffs nearby was the hit-run suspect, BUT right now they’re dealing with ANOTHER crash – at east end of Roxbury.

  • pupsarebest December 4, 2014 (9:45 pm)

    What do you want to bet, even if this maniacal threat to public safety is ultimately apprehended, he/she will be released within a day or two to potentially wreak further havoc?

  • MaryG December 4, 2014 (9:53 pm)

    It was my husband and son (5 yrs old) who got hit by the “crazy” driver in the red car. They are both fine but definitely shaken up. Many thanks to the Fire Department & Seattle Police for your response. I also want to thank AmyB and another young couple who stayed and gave their eye- witness account. Also another thank you to the folks who live on the top floor on the condo right next to the accident, your concern is much appreciated. I was all too worried about my boy and husband that I didn’t get to thank you all personally. Speeding, overtaking onto oncoming traffic is never a good thing. Thank goodness no one is seriously hurt.

    • WSB December 4, 2014 (10:54 pm)

      I did just get confirmation from police that the driver was “arrested and processed for DUI” plus a few other details – adding to story. Thanks to all for sharing more information 0 TR

  • Kami December 4, 2014 (10:09 pm)

    I also saw this accident! Didn’t realize what was evening happening but a tire from one of the vehicles rolled down hill and lodged under my car. Happy hear there were no more injuries than reported because it looked terrible

  • Just Wow December 4, 2014 (10:53 pm)

    “Yay! Another hit-and-run in West Seattle,” said no responsible citizen who pays for car insurance ever.

    We certainly have our share of morons in this part of the world. Thieves? Kids? Standard deadbeats? Guess we’ll never know since the jerk ran. Glad no one was hurt.

  • NW December 5, 2014 (4:55 pm)

    Countless amount of times gotten behind the wheel or left my car somehow finding it the next day. Now this was in the past this could have very well been me 20 years back right here in west seattle. Park it get a ride walk bus sleep it off just don’t get behind the wheel.

  • Alan December 5, 2014 (5:17 pm)


    The “young couple” were my niece and nephew. They were heading home after saying a last goodbye to my father who passed this morning.

    In this one instance, they almost were hit by this car which went airborne at Alaska, then drove under the telephone pole as it was falling and then they were threatened by one of the passengers from the car, who appeared to be about to pull a gun from under his coat when the fire truck arrived.

    One of the passengers had jumped from the car at fault and was standing as an observer on the side. When he heard my nephew telling a bystander what had happened, the passenger became verbally abusive and physically threatening, saying to STFU (no, he did NOT use the acronym).

    Interestingly, the police only wanted the phone number of my niece and nephew and did not take a statement.

    This is all third-person, so hopefully I have not misrepresented the facts. I have passed the thanks on to the young couple’s proud mother. They are nice young adults who are to be forever teased about being a “couple”.

  • wb December 5, 2014 (5:46 pm)

    MaryG I am sorry to hear this and glad your husband and son are OK.
    I hope the prep is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

    Another one on 35th. Time to shut it down.

  • KM December 6, 2014 (2:36 pm)


    Unfortunately, you’re probably right. The courts in this region usually wait until drunk drivers actually injure or kill someone to throw the book at them. Until then, one night in jail, slap on the wrist. Just not tragic enough to actual punish to the fullest extend of the law until they ruin someone’s life.

    Our justice system is an absolute embarrassment on so many levels.

  • Alan December 9, 2014 (7:22 am)

    For the sake of accuracy, in case someone looks back on this, I was incorrect when I said the car “caught air” on Alaska. It was Edmunds street.

  • Brian December 10, 2014 (11:39 am)

    I saw that red Cadillac as I was driving north on 35th that night. I was in the left lane headed north and the car sped past me in the opposite lane (across the double lines) and was swerving to avoid oncoming traffic.

    I just missed the actual wreck happening as I had yet to crest the top of the hill at Edmunds, but it looked pretty rough while I was stopped and the power lines going to the knocked over pole came down on top of my car and slid off.

    I am glad to see that there weren’t any major injuries to those involved with the wreck.

Sorry, comment time is over.