UPDATE: Crash on California SW sends 1 to hospital, damages 2 parked cars

(SCROLL DOWN for Monday afternoon update)

(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)

10:17 PM: Big Seattle Fire, police response on the way to the 3900 block of California SW (map), where a multiple-car crash is drawing a “heavy rescue” response because someone might be trapped. More to come.

10:22 PM: Adding a photo from WSB’s Katie Meyer, who is at the scene. It shows one vehicle on its side blocking the sidewalk. She says firefighters are using the “jaws of life” to get to someone. Scanner: California is closed both ways between Bradford and Andover.

10:30 PM: If you are seeing police in nearby neighborhoods, they are investigating witnesses’ reports of at least two people who may have been involved and got out of vehicle(s) and fled the scene, “white males with white or light colored T-shirts, one in shorts, one in pants, both late teens, early 20s, slender build, about 6′ tall” (per scanner). No word yet on injuries; we do know a female was the person cut out of one car, the white one off to the right side of our first photo.

10:39 PM: From Katie at the scene: Witnesses say the two young men were in the white car (photo added above) and took off, apparently carrying a dog, leaving the woman trapped inside. The car that’s on its side (added: a Honda Element) was parked, no one inside. WSB’s Patrick Sand at the scene talked with precinct Capt. Pierre Davis, who says the woman was conscious and talking to paramedics at last report, and says they have conflicting reports on whether the two got away on foot or in a vehicle.

(This & next 2 photos by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
10:50 PM: Police are bringing in the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad, which likely means California SW will be closed at the scene for some hours while they investigate. The 17-year-old girl rescued from the white car has been taken to the hospital; SFD says she’s in stable condition.

11:56 PM: Investigation continues. No word yet on whether police have found either or both of the people they’re looking for. As noted in comments, the car’s owner came to the scene, saying he wasn’t involved, that someone else (who he reportedly knew) had been driving his car. The aforementioned dog was reported to be his.

Also in case you were wondering, the owners of the parked car that was hit and flipped (above) are aware of it … they told us they heard the crash and came out to find out it had been hit. (Added: You’ll note at the left of Christopher’s photo above, a second parked car was damaged too.) We’ll update when California reopens, and of course if there’s any other new information in the meantime.

2:45 AM: California SW is opening again – police are reopening the northbound lane and will route southbound traffic into the center lane for now.

3:19 AM: A commenter identifying herself as the injured girl’s mom says that the 17-year-old has “a broken collarbone, broken pelvis, and a collapsed lung.”

6:46 AM: Traffic flow at the scene was reported to be back to normal by daybreak. We expect to get an update from SPD later this morning and will add the info here.

ADDED 3:06 PM: Police say they’ve found everyone they were looking for, but no arrests so far, explains Det. Patrick Michaud: “We have spoken to all parties involved and they have denied racing. We will continue our investigation and if we determine that they were actually racing we can pursue charges after the fact. If anyone has videos or pictures to the contrary please call 206-684-8923.”

94 Replies to "UPDATE: Crash on California SW sends 1 to hospital, damages 2 parked cars "

  • 4000 Block California April 19, 2015 (10:22 pm)

    I live right at Dakota and California. I heard a car FLYING by, loud motor and so fast. I couldn’t even get to the window and it was already by me. Then I heard screeching tires but didn’t hear a crash. Within a few mins a cop car then a fire truck with full sirens came by. Someone was driving like an idiot. Hope nobody was hurt bad esp someone who was ran into by this maniac

  • 4000 Block California April 19, 2015 (10:23 pm)

    PS – always amazed how on top of things you guys are! Awesome work!

    • WSB April 19, 2015 (10:35 pm)

      Thanks. We want to be careful here because while *somebody* might have been driving like a maniac – we don’t know which if either of the cars at the scene might have been that car, or whether it was the one that possibly got away and is being sought by police. We’ve added the description of two young men who witnesses say they saw walking/running away.

  • 4100 block California ave April 19, 2015 (10:39 pm)

    I heard the same car fly down the road but my unit doesn’t face California ave so I do not know a description of the car either. Someone was definately trying to get away as fast as they could.

  • 3900 block April 19, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    Heard exact same thing as OP. Speeding cars and screeching but no crash. A pause then More screeching then a pause then sirens.

  • Dave April 19, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    I live at 42nd and Andover. Heard the car racing down the street with a souped up engine. Then screeching tires and a crash. Pretty sure I heard the souped up car peel out and leave the scene.

    I seem to hear the car with the loud engine several times a week racing up California Ave after 10 pm. Sure hope the woman pulled from the car is okay.

  • JanS April 19, 2015 (10:45 pm)

    nice afternoon in Seattle, speeding, “young men”, who may or may not have been drinking (running away seems like a good sign)….

    I so hope the victims of this accident are OK :(

    • WSB April 19, 2015 (10:46 pm)

      We’re continuing to add info and photos – we have three WSB team members now at the scene who’ve talked to witnesses, police, fire, etc. Seems the white car is the one that crashed; it hit a parked car, which is the one on its side on the sidewalk.

  • Larry April 19, 2015 (10:47 pm)

    I live on California by the 76 station where this happened. I heard a car flying northbound then tires screeching and a slight crash sound then the same sounding car hauling ass south toward Alaska junction.

  • JanS April 19, 2015 (10:47 pm)

    and pretty reprehensible, I might add, leaving an injured person at the scene and running away, if that’s truly the case…:(

    a 17 yo girl, probably in pain and scared as crap. Hopefully she’ll be fine, and in the future, pick better friends. Hope they find them and throw all the books at them…their parents must be so proud :-

  • mary April 19, 2015 (10:51 pm)

    I hope they catch the guy…geeeez what nice guys… leaving the girl trapped in the car

  • Alki resident April 19, 2015 (10:55 pm)

    Ive always told my kids that those kids who drive that like while you’re in their car are NOT your true friends. These boys were so desperate to get away,they left a girl behind and took a dog. Way to go boys, way to live up to your guilt. Thank God nobody was on that sidewalk. This could’ve been much worse.

  • RS April 19, 2015 (10:56 pm)

    Heard a “loud” car speeding on Hanford east of California just prior to this crash, but didn’t see the car…almost called it in though on account of the extremeness of the speed and acceleration.

  • 4000 Block California April 19, 2015 (11:01 pm)

    I am hearing it was drag racing. 2 guys fled the scene and police dogs are searching

    • WSB April 19, 2015 (11:08 pm)

      That is one possibility being investigated. We’ve continued to add info and photos above. The SPD squad that investigates major crashes is on its way and it usually takes a few hours to do its work. Good news is that the 17-year-old does not seem to have major injuries. No other victims reported unless one of the two who fled is injured … the Element that’s on the sidewalk, again, was parked – TR

  • 4000 Block California April 19, 2015 (11:10 pm)

    The other car that was racing looked like a Nissan Z

    • WSB April 19, 2015 (11:16 pm)

      Thanks. We’re asking at the scene if there’s a description of the other car believed to have been involved.

  • Emily April 19, 2015 (11:20 pm)

    I saw the whole thing. They almost hit me and my friends. I called 911 right when it happened. Two cars racing, at least 60-70mph. One lost control and slammed into the parked car. Second car pulled over for a second, then took off.

  • Momoftwo April 19, 2015 (11:30 pm)

    My home faces Califirnia Ave and it happened right outside my house. I heard two cars racing up and down California. I heard what sounded like a backfire. I looked out my window when I heard yelling. I saw a car with its four open and thought maybe there was a fight. I went out to look and saw the aftermath of the wreck. I held the girls hand while s gentleman held her held still as we waited for the fire department etc. Someone there saw the whole thing and go t the other cars license plate number. Two guys got out of the white car, put a dog in the other car and took off running. The owner of the white car showed up about a half hour ago. Not sure if he knows who the people were but he is distraught over his missing dog.

  • Mookie April 19, 2015 (11:35 pm)

    At the scene I heard someone mentioning they got the license plate of the second car, the one that took off, and the cops now have that information.

  • JanS April 19, 2015 (11:48 pm)

    so, they were not the owners of the car….stolen, perhaps? And drag racing on Calif. Ave.? There is no limit to the craziness around here, at times…

    • WSB April 19, 2015 (11:52 pm)

      Again, this will all be sorted out by police, but it sounded at the scene as if the car’s owner told police he knew who had been out with his car, possibly a relative. As for whether that’s who was driving – and/or whether the person had permission to take the car – don’t know.

  • Alki resident April 19, 2015 (11:52 pm)

    Kudos for all involved who paid attention and got license plate numbers.
    Emily- I glad you’re ok. I hope you can sleep tonite.

  • Lori April 20, 2015 (12:07 am)

    We’re the owners of the flipped Honda and we are still looking to WSB for the most current information and we’re right here! Thank you so much for being on it.

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (12:19 am)

      So sorry about your car. We’re adding some more of Christopher’s images from the scene, and we’ll be monitoring at least until the road reopens … we’re usually on watch at least until 2 or so (and 24/7 on call at 206-293-6302), often later.

  • Catherine April 20, 2015 (12:20 am)

    WSB is awesome!

  • ChefJoe April 20, 2015 (12:43 am)

    Boy, JanS, throwing in drinking theories so soon ?
    Maybe they were quickly rushing the (probably innocent) dog to the vet ?

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (12:56 am)

      Just learned while talking to Christopher that the car’s owner did get his dog back, but no info on how.

  • ws_suzanne April 20, 2015 (12:55 am)

    I was on that strech of California a minute or two before this happened, with my friend who just arrived from Okinawa Japan two days ago for a short visit. Feeling very, very fortunate right now. So close. So crazy. Holy cow.

  • Ron Swansom April 20, 2015 (3:03 am)

    Man, who drag races on California when there’s a perfectly good Marginal Way for that sort of thing? Ah, the stupidity of youth.

  • Holly April 20, 2015 (3:06 am)

    I was on the phone with my daughter who was crying and hysterical saying that her cousin who was driving was looking for the cars owner who they left at the store. That didn’t make sense. The phone went dead and then it just went to voice mail. As soon as I heard the sirens I got on the blog and instantly recognized the car. I’m convinced her cousin is on drugs for taking the owners car after he entered a store and convinced my daughter that he was suddenly missing. She has a broken collarbone, broken pelvis, and a collapsed lung. Thank you all who helped my daughter. I’m hoping that her cousin gets every charge that prosecutors can throw at him. He could have killed people!

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (3:18 am)

      Holly – I hope your daughter heals swiftly.

  • Lori April 20, 2015 (3:28 am)

    Just heard from the company that towed our car (and had to wait through the four hour investigation!) that apparently the driver of the white car didn’t even stop, which is why the impact and flip sounded like backfire. Also, another neighbor’s car was pushed about 10 feet back and out of their parking spot (originally back bumper on the south end of the driveway, now front bumper on the north side of the driveway). A lot of impact!

  • Delridge Res. April 20, 2015 (4:59 am)

    Me being a teen and used to be out doing these things it’s more of a possibility* that they were high of Marijuana rather than Alcohol. But that’s if the investigation turns out something was involved. As for the crash Street racing is very popular with teens now and if it was a race gone bad than I wouldn’t be surprised. It happens all to often especially in the California Ave/WSHH area at night. Either way my heart goes out to that 17yr old girl I hope she has a speedy recovery since prom and grad day are around the corner hopefully it’ll bring some happiness.

  • Wsrez April 20, 2015 (5:54 am)

    What a bunch of cowards to leave their female friend in the car and flee the scene. I pray this girls parents sue the s–t out of these hopelessly irresponsibly kids. Disgusting behavior.

  • Gini April 20, 2015 (6:55 am)

    That poor girl has months of pain ahead of her. She will have to learn to walk again. With a broken pelvis and collarbone it is hard to support your weight. Heartbreaking. I’m pretty sure that I saw the young boys in the white car on Beach Dr around 6pm “acting out”.

  • Russ S April 20, 2015 (6:57 am)

    As father of/co-owner of the vehicle, I am saddened by the injury and loss of property while relieved there was no fatality.
    The individual driving did not have consent of either owner of the vehicle, which is quite troubling. That they would take flight from the scene, leaving an injured family member trapped in a vehicle in such a manner is simply beyond my understanding.
    Holly, I am hopeful your daughter is on the mend with no lasting repercussions from this event. My son and his grandmother were off to the hospital once we got him calmed down. He is devastated.
    Again, while this whole circumstance is unfortunate, at least there was no loss of life or such irreversible tragedy.

  • sophista-tiki April 20, 2015 (7:28 am)

    FYI if you are stoned you will NOT be speeding.

  • Jason April 20, 2015 (7:46 am)

    Holly I’m glad your daughter made it out of this and I hope she heals quickly. I’m sure the kids involved have a tough legal road ahead of them.

  • alki resident April 20, 2015 (9:09 am)

    Holly- Im so sorry this has happened. Its every parents worse nightmare. She obviously has severe injuries and wasn’t deserving of this treatment by her cousin but must’ve trusted him. I too agree, he must pay for this. What a horrible scene. Its a miracle more people weren’t hurt or killed here.

  • Lives nearby April 20, 2015 (9:45 am)

    I am thankful there are so many kind people in WS who help out and send good wishes to victims in cases like this. I wish things like this didn’t happen in WS.

  • I. Ponder April 20, 2015 (9:46 am)

    I was at Alki Point on bicycle last night just past sunset. There were about 20 fast cars parked there. Owners hanging out in groups. Lots of weed in the air. I could hear one or more cars burning rubber and speeding down the road by the point ahead of me. The tire marks are no doubt still in the street. The street was wide open, vacated by all resident vehicles. I didn’t like the race-track look of it. I was riding in the street but didn’t want to become road kill so quickly got out of there in case they came around again or another group raced. I suspect someone may have called the police because cars started speeding away heading south on Beach Drive. I assume they are using all of West Seattle as their race track, not just California Ave. I don’t necessarily believe the story about the person who claims to have not been driving the car. That someone else was driving the car. That’s why they fled. So they can come back with a BS story and avoid arrest.

  • carol April 20, 2015 (10:51 am)

    Seattle Times reporting this as potential street racing. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/street-racing-may-have-been-involved-in-3-car-w-seattle-accident/

  • SomeGuy April 20, 2015 (11:02 am)

    I am convinced movies like “Too Fast, Too Furious” encourage reckless driving like this. Ironic one of the main actors died in a speed-related car accident.

  • Jana April 20, 2015 (11:08 am)

    Holly, Praying for you your daughter, for her to not have reoccurring nightmares from this, for her to heal quickly with as little pain as possible and for God to comfort her and lead her through every step of the way. Praying also for these young men, to own their part in this, step up and deal with the consequences of his or their foolish actions. May God some how, some way bring good from the ashes of this horrible accident. He is with you sweet friend, every step of the way and goes a head of your sweet girl J into every surgery and every appt. Praying for you.


  • wtf April 20, 2015 (11:58 am)

    So it appears quite a few people know who was driving the car that crashes and yet still no word on an arrest or description of suspect(s) Maybe I’m just missing something.

  • tk April 20, 2015 (12:02 pm)

    I think it’s so unique that parties of incidents like these actually converse with each other on the blog.

    Was that a Ford Taurus SHO?

  • tk April 20, 2015 (12:07 pm)

    “Man, who drag races on California when there’s a perfectly good Marginal Way for that sort of thing? Ah, the stupidity of youth.” ~Ron Swansom

    My neighbor hit and killed a bicyclist on West Marginal Way racing his Ford Mustang.

  • I. Ponder April 20, 2015 (12:15 pm)

    Are surveillance cameras active? I was standing under one last night at Alki Point watching street racers.

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (12:22 pm)


  • Christne cannon April 20, 2015 (12:34 pm)

    I too wish Holly a speedy recovery. We live in Beach Drive yesterday was a particularly bad day for high speed driving on our street as well. Mainly motorcyclists. Each time this occurs we are concerned that its only a matter of time before some one looses control and there is another loss of life or serious injury. I hope this boys will learn from this horrible accident.


  • Jeff April 20, 2015 (1:31 pm)

    It’s probably been long enough to sober up and mouth the correct words about having panicked and being really sorry. Any update this afternoon?

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (1:52 pm)

      Jeff – I have just spoken with SPD media relations (I was expecting they would have long since put up a blotter post on this one, but they didn’t) and they are looking into a few questions for me. Once we have some info we’ll update.
      IP – If you want them turned on, I would suggest contacting the mayor, council, etc. They seem to be on semi-permanent hold. The last few times we’ve asked, it was an issue of the finalization of the city privacy policies PLUS they were talking about moving the cameras out of SPD control and into the hands of some other city department, like IT. The assistant chief who was in charge of the project, who we interviewed several times in the early going, was one of those demoted during Chief O’Toole’s recent re-org. – TR

  • I. Ponder April 20, 2015 (1:39 pm)

    I am for turning on surveillance cameras along Alki. I think they will have a greater effect than hopes and prayers.

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man April 20, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    Ron Swansom brings his own level of stupidity to these forums.

  • Rerun April 20, 2015 (1:49 pm)

    We live on California Ave right next to the 76 station. The owner of the 76 station mentioned to my wife that the same male drivers who left the scene were trying to buy alcohol minutes before the accident. The owner Dan refused to sell them alcohol and if I am not mistaken has a video camera inside the store to identify the drivers.

    So glad no one died and that parked car was there to be a buffer in case there were pedestrians or dogs walking on the side walk.

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (1:56 pm)

      Rerun, I hope the store owner has contacted the police about that. Unless they’d gone around the block or something, would seem difficult for anyone to have gained speed within the same block like that, but, well, that’s what an investigation is for.

  • Roger April 20, 2015 (2:03 pm)

    Street racers — go back to Kent.

  • cjboffoli April 20, 2015 (2:45 pm)

    Apparently, someone sold them alcohol as there was a small pile of Coors Light cans spilling out the passenger side of the wreck. I also noticed that the SPD search turned up a prescription drug bottle as I photographed one placed out on the trunk of the wrecked car.

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (3:06 pm)

      I have just heard back from police. Might write this into a separate story later but, from Det. Patrick Michaud: “We have spoken to all parties involved and they have denied racing. We will continue our investigation and if we determine that they were actually racing we can pursue charges after the fact. If anyone has videos or pictures to the contrary, please call 206-684-8923.”

  • I. Ponder April 20, 2015 (3:20 pm)

    I can believe they weren’t racing. Racing indicates a competition. They were just speeding, burning rubber, (drifting?) and showing off their amazing driving skills. FAILED AT THAT! I’m not in the know about the names for all the amazing car tricks that can be done. What I saw at Alki Point may not have been racing. Is that a threshold for charges?

  • Dave April 20, 2015 (3:21 pm)

    There were two racing down Alki last night around 56 st going East during that time. I didn’t see who it was.

  • momoftwo April 20, 2015 (3:28 pm)

    I could hear them outside of my bedroom window that faces California Ave. They were diffantly racing!!!

  • debra April 20, 2015 (3:40 pm)

    Unfortuate what so many of us heard the gunning of the motor going up the street cant be used as evidence
    Also if these kids are all minors and they can’t prove they were racing and “just lost control of the car” even if there is ETOH and pills most likely nothing will happen or at least the community won’t be privy to the judicial system
    Most likely won’t be acountability and another free pass…

  • KHB April 20, 2015 (4:09 pm)

    Holly I am so glad to hear your daughter is okay. My fiance and I were the first ones to reach her and get in the car with her. We weren’t certain about the extent of her injuries and her breathing was labored, so we just stabilized her. She was unconscious when we got to her, but she started coming to as soon as the firefighters and paramedics arrived. Honestly, the response time was incredible and those guys did not waste any time using the jaws of life and getting her out. She is very fortunate, and we are so relieved to hear she is stable.

  • JeffK April 20, 2015 (4:21 pm)

    Please call the number then!

  • M April 20, 2015 (4:34 pm)

    Does it matter if they were racing? Isn’t driving way too fast (obviously), in a stolen car, hitting two parked cars and seriously injuring someone enough to be charged?

  • M April 20, 2015 (4:49 pm)

    When I was in high school (Ballard) back in the late 90s, one of the things that helped keep me from making these stupid life choices (beyond common sense) was attending all of the mandatory school assemblies where we heard from real people living with the consequences of their actions.

    I never got in a car with someone who was drunk or “raced” my car because I sat through school talks where people were confined to a wheelchair because of their bad decisions.

    I never had unprotected sex because I saw people living with their decision of an incurable STD or young pregnancy.

    I never did heroin, meth or coke because I was able to see first hand with hep c or destroyed futures.

    Do they still Scared kids straight in our WS high schools??

    • WSB April 20, 2015 (4:52 pm)

      We actually covered (but I haven’t written the story yet) an assembly for 7th/8th graders last week at OLG, student-organized, with the Not One More group (parents who lost teens/young adults to heroin). Our kid is one year out of high school and I don’t recall hearing about any presentations but then again by that age they don’t necessarily have to tell the parents …

  • BJames April 20, 2015 (5:24 pm)

    Regardless of whether or not they can prove they were racing, fleeing the scene of an accident applies, no?

  • RG April 20, 2015 (6:22 pm)

    Holly, so sorry that your daughter was injured but happy that she is ok. It could have been worse. KHB and her fiancé did such and wonderful job keeping your daughter stabilized and calm! They jumped right in until the fire department arrived which was very fast! Sending hugs and prayers to you and your daughter!

  • Left the scene April 20, 2015 (6:44 pm)

    Isn’t leaving the scene of an accident a crime in and of itself? Why does racing have to be present for arrests to be made?

  • Holly April 20, 2015 (8:02 pm)

    My daughter is still waiting for surgery to repair her broken pelvis. She said they were racing a black Nissan 240sx and can identify the drivers. Those jerks can deny racing but they didn’t kill my daughter who is a witness to the horrific dangerous behavior. The driver of the car she was in was only out of jail for 6 days.

  • PT April 20, 2015 (8:18 pm)

    Racing is its own form of Reckless Driving and a separate misdemeanor from straight Reckless Driving. It can sometimes be easier to prove that two cars were “racing,” than it is to prove someone was driving with a “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Hit and Run is the charge for leaving the scene of an accident, and it is also a misdemeanor. However, in this instance the injuries to the girl make this potentially a Vehicular Assault, which is a Class B Felony and a “strike” offense.

  • Lori April 20, 2015 (8:25 pm)

    Holly, thank you so much for all of your communications. I’m happy to hear that you’re daughter is awake and, despite serious injury, doing fairly well. We are sending positive thoughts your way.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 20, 2015 (8:44 pm)

    Is that stretch of road in consideration for traffic calming modifications?

  • Gina April 20, 2015 (10:11 pm)

    Sending good thoughts to you, Holly, and your daughter and hoping some valuable and positive things can come out of this accident to benefit all involved. Great job to WSB for your hard work, as always!

  • ChefJoe April 20, 2015 (10:59 pm)

    @Hipster, with the center turn lane already present, you’d ahve to go big change to get “calmer”… maybe you want to add a dedicated bus lane, separated bike lane, and speed humps ?

    I guess you could always change california to one way to accomplish that. One way Northbound on the N side of Alaska and Southbond on the S side ?

  • Emily April 21, 2015 (3:00 am)

    Holly, I was in a car with two other people that saw the accident happen right in front of us. If you need witnesses. Not sure if they’re only looking for photos/video…

  • Born on Alki 59 April 21, 2015 (8:39 am)

    Hip..Doubtful any traffic calming measures would prevent the “Fast and Furious” mentality witnessed here. For the life of me, I can’t imagine how anyone could think its OK to drag race on California Avenue. Was one car in the turn lane during this drag race? How dumb must you be to attempt this type of behavior? Throw the book at them.
    Holly, I wish your daughter a speedy recovery. Hopefully it will be a valuable lesson in life for her, to choose your friends well.
    I agree with “M”, scared straight may be the answer to curb dangerous behavior. The Seattle School District used to show a film in drivers ed. classes called “Mechanized Death”. Very graphic but to the point. Doubtful it would be allowed to air today because we are too P.C. It would likely cause some sort of PTSD and SSD would get sued.

    • WSB April 21, 2015 (8:53 am)

      Actually, Seattle Public Schools don’t do driver’s ed any more. Dropped it a few years ago.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 21, 2015 (9:10 am)

    I agree that so called “traffic calming solutions” by SDOT won’t eliminate reckless behavior behind the wheel. The Fast and Furious drivers will still drive dangerously regardless of the street layout. I expect once 35th is slimmed down, there will still be bad drivers driving recklessly.

  • WESTSIDER April 21, 2015 (10:43 am)

    While the behavior is unacceptable, so is the SDOT (Slowing Down Our Traffic?)’s approach to traffic with the MASSIVE influx of new West Seattle residents:
    Brainstorming up wrong-headed “solutions”like squeezing MORE traffic into fewer lanes, building bulkheads that force buses to stop in traffic lanes, painting bikes on the road instead of spending our tax $$ on perhaps REPAIRING the WS streets.
    If this is an effort to discourage the fast and the furious out there, it is an abject failure.
    The resulting 2-block-in-all-direction bottlenecks at such intersections as Morgan Junction, Alaska junction, Fauntleroy do nothing but punish the innocent commuters.
    The behavior is what needs to be addressed, and not with bad policy that impacts commuters who would merely like to be able to get through such intersections in less than 2-3 light cycles.
    That said: How?
    Prosecution when appropriate.
    The punting of responsibility I see all around me these days disgusts me.

  • WESTSIDER April 21, 2015 (10:45 am)

    Meanwhile, let’s erect a couple more 1,000 unit mega-dwellings.

    ** Relieved noone was killed, but perhaps the scope of proposed action should be narrowed to the offending behavior, and not by removing available lanes of travel or creating traffic issues where none existed before.

  • brandon April 21, 2015 (10:46 am)

    So I rolled into Admiral Safeway Saturday night at 10:00pm. I see some teenagers/young adults stroll through the store to the liquor dept. As I shop in produce, I see two of them with a case of beer each heading up the aisle for the exit door at the NW corner. They stroll on out like they own the place, not running, but walking quickly. I notify the cashiers if anyone had bought the beer, they both say no, and I tell them it just walked out the door. OK thanks they say. They can’t do anything about it. WHAT? I know you can’t chase them. But the casual air about it that teens were walking out the door with cases of beer baffled me and makes me think this attitude makes Safeway part of the problem. If you’re not going to protect your merchandise, and contribute to minors/young adults with alcohol and no resistance, then the issues I see around theft, vandalism and driving are related to the store. After all the theft of hard liquor they incurred recently, they apparently still don’t feel the need to deter alcohol theft and how it might be impacting the community.

  • G April 21, 2015 (1:56 pm)


    I’m only a few blocks from the Admiral Safeway and shop there often when I’m in town. I’ve seen the same thing, people walk in and then stroll out with items that aren’t purchased. Homeless camped out in the dining area, kids leaving mounds of trash, etc. etc., and all with a shrug of the shoulders from Safeway and other patrons. (Do parents discipline their kids here? They fawn over them like nowhere else.)

  • Jen April 21, 2015 (2:22 pm)

    Really weird that there are no store detectives at Safeway. I was once almost knocked down by a man making a B Line for the door with stolen goods at Whole Foods. The in store detective was right behind him. Allowing blatant theft does not seem cost effective and also seems like a potential liability in the case of minors with alcohol but it certainly is not the cashier’s job to deal with it.

  • maplesyrup April 21, 2015 (2:24 pm)

    brandon and G, I saw the same thing a year or so ago. 2 scruffy looking guys walked in, grabbed 2 bottles of wine each, and walked right back out the door. One of them looked at me like, “that’s right, what are you going to do about it?”

    I told the customer service manager about it and she just stood there tongue-tied. I guess they’d rather lose some merchandise than risk someone being hurt.

    A few months later I saw a car pull up near the front door, a guy ran out with a full handheld basket and jumped in, and the car sped off. Less than a minute later I saw a cop and told him about it but he said there wasn’t a lot he could do.

    Kind of sad.

  • m April 21, 2015 (8:28 pm)

    I’d say stop shopping at and supporting Safeway.

  • Robert April 22, 2015 (8:53 am)

    almost all of the retailers have a policy that if employs chase an offender,[thief] out of the store YOU ARE FIRED. thank your ambulance chasing lawyers for that. the old days of taking them out back and giving the badly needed tune-up are un-fortunately gone..

  • Deb April 22, 2015 (4:52 pm)

    Re: Safeway shoplifting: I recently witnessed a group of people piling out of the Jefferson Square Safeway into 42nd St and start throwing punches. Turns out they were Safeway folks going after a known shoplifter – who had a habit of fighting back at those who tried to stop him. SPD was called and first on the scene were undercover cops in 2 unmarked cars, then 3 cruisers and finally a fire truck to check out the shoplifter. He got a ride downtown in a cruiser. Seems the Jefferson Square Safeway DOES care about shoplifters.

  • SPD Detective Parker April 24, 2015 (5:37 am)

    This is SPD Traffic Collision Investigation Squad Detective Aaron Parker. If anyone has not yet spoken with me and has information about this case, please call me at 206-233-0059. The SPD case number is #2015-128345.

    In an investigation like this, we don’t hastily make arrests just because we have information about the drivers’ identities. We spend a great deal of time putting together as much evidence as possible. This way the prosecutor has a lot to work with and can present a solid case to the jury. Making an arrest too soon can weaken the case.

    Thanks again to all the witnesses that have come forward with information and video evidence. These investigations go so much better with help from the public.

  • JanS April 24, 2015 (3:13 pm)

    ^^^^^ nice to see you posting here…

  • WSB April 24, 2015 (3:26 pm)

    Ditto. The more we hear from the police on **open** public community-news sites like this, the more collaborative people can be, and the more they understand how you work. This is a comment I will likely be able to link to in many future instances to reinforce an explanation we find ourselves making somewhat frequently. We also hope to hear when a case IS forwarded – I do my best to follow up and to watch court files but when time elapses, we don’t always get word! – Tracy (editor)

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