UPDATE: Child hit by driver in Highland Park

1:45 PM: Just one block south of the problematic Highland Park Way/Holden intersection, an emergency response is on the way right now to HP Way/Portland [map]. The initial report is that a driver hit a child. We don’t know yet whether those involved were crossing HP Way or Portland, but we have a crew on the way to find out more.

2:04 PM: Police tell our crew that the child apparently “ran into the street” midblock between Portland and Holden, and the driver couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting the boy, whose age is believed to be in the 10-12 vicinity. No serious injury – he is being taken to Children’s Hospital by private ambulance to be checked out.

29 Replies to "UPDATE: Child hit by driver in Highland Park"

  • Sassy February 24, 2017 (1:49 pm)

    All I can hear are continual sirens. So hope that child is OK. 

  • Gia C February 24, 2017 (1:53 pm)

    We actually live right off of Highland Park Way, a stone’s throw from the Portland intersection. My boyfriend is home & when taking the trash out he did see two children running around outside. When he saw the trucks & police later, he had a sinking feeling it was one of those kids. We are both very saddened to hear this news & our thoughts are with this child & their family today.

    The intersection is SO unsafe. It’s largely because people speed up & down the HP Way Hill. I urge parents in the neighborhood to have kids play in the backyard or at one of the parks in the area… and I urge the city to consider putting a crosswalk there – with flashing lights like the one off of Holden & 11th. I love Highland Park. I love my neighborhood, but I hate that this is a HUGE safety hazard for pedestrians just trying to cross the road.

    WSB, my boyfriend took a picture of the fire & EMT crews. I will go ahead & email it to you. I wouldn’t want to post it here in case it’s unsettling to anyone.

  • PangolinPie February 24, 2017 (2:04 pm)

    This is so sad and frustrating. I have lived near this intersection and it seems that there is a never-ending flow of accidents happening there. Who in state or city government can we talk to, to finally have this situation addressed??

  • Melissa February 24, 2017 (2:06 pm)

    Gia –  please contact Mike O’Brien as he is the head of the Transportation Commitee.  The neighborhood is trying to get funding for a feasibility study.  He can be reached at 684-8800 or mike.o’brien@seattle.gov

    You can copy and paste what you just wrote in this blog post.  It is a very powerful account.

    • WSB February 24, 2017 (2:09 pm)

      I have updated the story with what we learned at the scene. Glad to report the boy is not seriously hurt. Also, a reminder that the Highland Park Action Committee continues to agitate and organize for getting something done in this area, particularly the roundabout proposal. The West Seattle Transportation Coalition, which met last night (we’re finishing that story shortly, barring more breaking news), also has added the HP roundabout to its top-priorities list. – TR

      • Gia C February 24, 2017 (2:44 pm)

        Excellent news about the transportation committee. Thank you WSB!

        Melissa, I will be sure to contact Mike as well. Thank you for this information. As someone who lives almost directly in front of this intersection (and as a pedestrian that often has to be extra cautious & quick when crossing HP Way in this spot!) maybe it’ll add even the tiniest bit of weight to sway the scales for funding :)

    • Alan February 26, 2017 (12:28 pm)

      Note: The mike.o’brien@seattle.gov is not correct. It is just mike.obrien@seattle.gov.

      If you include the address with the apostrophe in it, the city server will reject it with the very helpful message of “local-part of envelope RCPT address contains utf8 but remote server did not offer SMTPUTF8”. It will also reject any other city contacts on the email distribution, which caused me to think there was some issue with the email. I will not admit how much time I spent figuring out the actual error.

  • uncle loco February 24, 2017 (2:26 pm)

    I heard a chopper above my house and WSB has  reported on it before I can even log on. I’m glad that it sounds like the kid will be ok. It doesn’t sound like this accident is speed related but I have noticed that 9th ave has become more dangerous lately. I drive it every day. If people would just do the speed limit the road would be much safer, afternoons are the worst traveling south. It seems that folks fail to let off the gas once the reach the top of the hill. I wouldn’t mind seeing an occasional speed trap set up there since it is a residential area.

    • WSB February 24, 2017 (2:30 pm)

      Also note that Councilmember Lisa Herbold – who lives nearby – has said she’s trying to get some traction for HP Way safety improvements, most recently mentioned in this post. If anyone wants to go lobby her in person, I apologize that this wasn’t in our daily preview or calendar, but she has “in-district office hours” until 5:30 pm today over in South Park – her full list of office hours planned for the year is at the end of her newest post. – TR

    • Gia C February 24, 2017 (3:06 pm)

      I agree with 9th & HP Way being a lot more dangerous as of late! In the evenings I hear multiple cars whizzing past my house (one in particular is little, old & low to the ground. I’m wondering if it’s been modded. I’ve been trying to get the plate number for a while now, but I’m usually far from a street-facing window when they zip by).

      I know these cars can’t be going less than 40 mph down our street. There are so many kids & people with pets that are out walking about. I’ve almost been clipped quite a few times crossing the road to get to & from bus stops. Drivers on this road are far too careless! I’d love to see SPD set up speed traps in the area, too… at least until the Transportation Coalition gets things moving.

      • Megan Schall February 24, 2017 (7:58 pm)

        Could not agree more with your sediments. I walk our dogs up and down 9th and can believe how fast cars are going.

  • Gene February 24, 2017 (3:40 pm)

    Am so glad to hear this child will be ok- but do we know the driver was NOT going the speed limit? So far all I have read is that the child ran out into the street & driver was not able to stop in time. 

    I have no problem with putting in a roundabout- or anything else- but we don’t know that speed was an issue here. 

    We do know a child ran out into the street- so re-emphasizing safety to our children should be part of any discussion.

  • HPResident February 24, 2017 (4:02 pm)

    I live right by there and walk along HP Way/9th to work and back every day. Just crossing the side streets is dangerous. I’ve almost been hit 5 times this week alone by drivers not paying attention. 

  • Enid February 24, 2017 (4:20 pm)

    Some years ago I was hit and seriously injured in a controlled downtown intersection, by a bicycle cop who sped through a red light.  After a frightening interrogation by police, they wrote a single line in the report: “X says she ran across the street”.  The statement was completely false.  When I saw that notation in this narrative, it gave me the creeps.

  • trickycoolj February 24, 2017 (4:22 pm)

    Glad the child will be ok.  I imagine the driver is quite shaken as well.

    Visibility is so poor at the top of the hill, it might have looked like there were no cars coming.  You look once and no one is in the left (straight ahead lane) coming up hill, you look right, left again still open, make a left turn and next thing you know you’re almost being T-boned by a car that came over the crest in a split second or darted out of the right turn only lane at the last second.  If you use this corridor to commute south and don’t live in Highland Park but other parts of West Seattle make that known to city council so that they understand this is not just a simple HPIC request, ALL of West Seattle needs this dangerous intersection addressed.

    • datamuse February 24, 2017 (10:33 pm)

      I agree, the visibility there is terrible. That combined with speed (may or may not have been an issue here) and I’m amazed there aren’t more crashes, to be honest. It seems like more people are using this route to get in and out of West Seattle.

      • Trickycoolj February 24, 2017 (11:02 pm)

        because it’s the only way to get to employment centers to the south like Georgetown/Sodo, Tukwila, SeaTac, Renton, Kent, Auburn. It actually doubles my commute to take the high bridge or Roxbury. 

      • Alan February 25, 2017 (12:09 am)

        More and more people are using this route. The population continues to grow in West Seattle so, even if the percentage of residents using this route stays the same, the volume increases. Look at all the money being spent on Fauntleroy Boulevard, but we can’t even get a simple fix done to this intersection.

  • d February 24, 2017 (5:17 pm)

    How about we just put speed traps back up and actually enforce the speed limit what a concept

    • Jort February 24, 2017 (7:18 pm)

      I agree. One of the best ways to enforce speed laws is to automate the enforcement, which frees up our police from having to write speeding tickets so that they can focus on other community needs.

      Camera technology is readily available to write automatic speeding tickets. But the general public thinks there’s an unwritten “right” to speed, as long as you don’t get caught.

      Maybe it’s time to re-think this potential solution. It’s proven and has worked in countries around the world. But then again, other countries place a higher priority on reducing traffic violence than ours.

      • WS Dad February 24, 2017 (9:12 pm)

        Yes to automated speed enforcement! The mobile speed display units that SDOT/SPD occasionally set up show that the technology exists. And looking at my own speedometer, they appear very accurate. All they need to do is attach a camera and we’ll be in business.

        Does anyone know why we don’t see more automated speed enforcement? It seems to be limited only to school zones, which I think is a huge shame.

  • Jort February 24, 2017 (6:03 pm)

    I do my part to improve traffic safety on this road by partnering up with other drivers in the right lane that are going the speed limit,  and maintaining their speed in the left, so that cars are unable to pass either of us so they can dangerously speed up the hill. 

    Sure, this really annoys some drivers, but in the long run I just want to make sure we’re all following the speed limits, which have been set for our safety. 

    I would support transitioning this street from two lanes down to one, so that cars would be forced to drive slower, improving overall safety on the street.

    • TheKing February 24, 2017 (7:28 pm)

      Jort, I have seen others drive side by side as you are doing, cars get all backed up and an emergency vehicle approaches from behind turning it into a big mess as those who actually know they are supposed to pull off the road are mixed into a crowd that really doesn’t. 

  • Mark February 24, 2017 (6:16 pm)

    Jort annoying drivers is not good, it can lead to rage.

    It’s good to hear the kid is ok, I lived a stone’s throw from this location for 20 years and was not aware of any unusual incident history.

    The RoB at Holden Highland Park is interesting concept

    • Carole A Allen February 25, 2017 (10:22 am)

      Obeying the law by going the posted speed limit is annoying other drivers?  Smh

  • Kay K February 24, 2017 (9:34 pm)

    It is super frustrating that it looks like we have to have kids getting hit by vehicles to get anyone to look at this system-wide important arterial intersection. As everyone knows who tries to cross over 9th just to catch the bus in the morning, the first block north of Holden ther on 9th is very scary to navigate.

  • amy kramerhawks February 24, 2017 (11:18 pm)

    This area is busy, and the traffic at times is too fast. There are also a number of little kids playing in the street like its a playground. When my husband mentioned a child was hit, I was clear where it likely went down, because I have witnessed several close calls there in the past few months. Little boys on bikes with no noticeable supervisor and no noticeable sense of self preservation. I am really glad the child is ok.

  • Alan February 25, 2017 (12:43 am)

    Anyone that has had to cross this intersection on foot knows that it can only be done in the dead of night. I always walk south for a block so that I can at least see the cars so that I can dodge them. Besides the speed and the hill making it difficult, you are essentially crossing the same distance of a four-lane freeway. Likely wider than it should be in part due to the rail line that used to run up HP Way at this intersection, SDOT has pointed out the width as a problem.

    Don’t believe me? Here is a link to an ariel view of the intersection, zoomed all of the way in.


    Here is a section of 509 from the same height. Get out your rulers. Barrier to barrier, across four lanes, it is the same distance.


  • Nelson February 25, 2017 (9:47 am)

    I witnessed the accident. Comments  in this thread are all valid points. The young boy no doubt is in physical pain today and will be for some time. Hopefully injuries will not be permanent. His family and friends relieved it wasn’t worse. It was pretty shocking and a miracle it wasn’t worse considering the driver was going at least 40 MPH. 

Sorry, comment time is over.