UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck crashes down embankment near Hamilton Viewpoint

7:50 PM: SFD and SPD are arriving at what’s reported as a car-over-embankment crash at the north end of California SW, near Hamilton Viewpoint. A tree and/or utility pole is reported involved too. Updates to come.

7:57 PM: They’re trying to get California Way blocked (the section that comes up from Harbor) while they work to stabilize the vehicle. Firefighters have told dispatch there was one person in the vehicle but they’re “unaccounted for” so far.

(This photo and next one by Christopher Boffoli)

8:05 PM: SFD says the vehicle is 10 feet down the embankment. Meantime, California will be closed, according to dispatch, starting at SW Donald [map].

8:11 PM: Firefighters have just told dispatch that their search hasn’t turned up anyone, so they’re downsizing the response.

8:25 PM: Above, photographed by WSB’s Patrick Sand, that’s the empty pickup found down the embankment beneath Hamilton Viewpoint. SFD is clearing; it’s been secured from further movement until a tow truck arrives to remove it.

10:14 PM: WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli talked with police at the scene, and they confirmed to him that the pickup was stolen; the owners apparently saw the theft happen, chased after it, and called police. Exactly where it was stolen, we don’t know, but we’ll be following up.

36 Replies to "UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck crashes down embankment near Hamilton Viewpoint"

  • Alki resident September 18, 2021 (7:58 pm)

    Sounds horrible. I hope they’re ok. Geez

  • Mariem September 18, 2021 (8:01 pm)


  • Boinsted September 18, 2021 (8:09 pm)

    At the scene 

  • Auntie September 18, 2021 (8:11 pm)

    I, too, am praying that people will calm down, slow down. It is wet and slippery out there. Don’t be in such a hurry that you don’t get where you want to go.

  • ~Hockeywitch~ September 18, 2021 (8:16 pm)

    Guessing rain, wet roads, and a little bit too high of a speed for that loop MAY have been at fault.. It’s so icky outside… Hope the driver is okay.. Scanner just said no victim was found in the search.. Be careful driving out there neighbors.. Roads haven’t had water on them for A LONG TIME… a bit slippery with the oils rising to the surface now… So grateful for the wet stuff though.. Boy have we needed it.. just not all in one day though..LOL

  • Boinsted September 18, 2021 (8:17 pm)

    Just spoke with the police and fire on the scene. It appears the driver took off running after the accident. They are calling the vehicle in stolen. 

  • Gary September 18, 2021 (8:25 pm)

    KOMO just reported it as happening near Fauntleroy. Prayers for all involved.

    • WSB September 18, 2021 (8:34 pm)

      Have no idea why they would say that unless they are confused by the fragment of Fauntleroy Avenue that is over Harbor. We have been to the scene and it’s NOWHERE near Fauntleroy. Or, maybe they’re confused about the FAIRMOUNT pole fire/small power outage (which we’ve added to our ongoing outage coverage).

  • Alki resident September 18, 2021 (8:28 pm)

    This is nuts. Was the car driverless? Was driver ejected? So baffling 

    • ltfd September 19, 2021 (3:41 pm)

      Felon steals vehicle, flees after wrecking it. Hope he doesn’t have any permanent injury that would prevent him from stealing others’ cars in the future.

  • Vee September 18, 2021 (8:46 pm)

    I’m almost positive that’s the truck I saw speeding like crazy down California  with another car behind speeding I  was walking south up California and they were heading north I remember hoping they weren’t  going to hit anyone  or cause an accident 

    • cjboffoli September 18, 2021 (9:18 pm)

      Vee: That seems to follow with what the SPD told me at the scene. Apparently the owners of the black pickup truck saw their truck being stolen and gave chase while they called it in to 911.

      • Herongrrrl September 18, 2021 (10:40 pm)

        Yes, I heard LOUD squealing brakes on California but couldn’t see the street from where I was, and a short time later happened to drive past the scene before California was closed. I wondered if the two were related.

  • Mary Wyllie September 18, 2021 (9:41 pm)

    And, our power is out up Fairmount Ave SW because someone did something stupid. A–hole.

    • WSB September 18, 2021 (9:57 pm)

      No, your power is NOT out because of this crash. We noted in our ongoing power outage story, there was a transformer fire at Harbor/Fairmount and that took out 20 customers.

  • Seaglassgal September 18, 2021 (9:57 pm)

    I’m guessing truck was stolen or driver was impaired and ran off.  So sad to cause time and labor, stress by emergency teams, 911, etc. when others could use their help.

  • AM September 18, 2021 (10:21 pm)

    California still blocked at the top. We had to turn around and go back to Harbor. 

    • WSB September 18, 2021 (10:22 pm)

      Thanks. Sounds like they’ve re-blocked it to get the truck out of there.

  • crash test dummies September 18, 2021 (10:44 pm)

    Hope the person in the accident will be okay, and resolves to make better choices, get some help, starting immediately.

    Drive safe in the rain everyone.

    • Hmmm September 19, 2021 (7:46 am)

      You mean choices like not stealing other people’s cars and speeding off to escape putting people’s lives at risk. Yeah, I guess I would hope he/she would make better choices, but it would also be nice if they faced consequences if/when they are caught. 

      • Lisab September 19, 2021 (11:46 am)

        Couldn’t have said it better.  Thankful this idiot didn’t kill anyone but they sure used lots of wasted resources. 

      • crash test dummies September 19, 2021 (11:49 am)

        Yes, exactly, like these choices.

        And, being chased by the car owner and driving off a cliff and crashing, running away from the scene likely with injuries of unknown degree, seems some like some punishment in action, at least

        Some of us believe in a thing called karma.

  • Vanessa September 19, 2021 (11:30 am)

    I hope the driver will be in jail. 

  • TM7302 September 19, 2021 (12:04 pm)

    I have zero concern for the person who stole the truck.  It’s time to put victims first, but this is to be expected when we don’t punish those committing the crimes.

    • crash test dummies September 19, 2021 (7:17 pm)

      This kind of attitude is part of why there are so many repeat criminals.

      You don’t need to feel sorry for the criminal if he injured himself, but hoping they might take this incident as an opportunity to turn a new leaf and not commit such crimes anymore, is not a bad thing.

      We should be hoping people who committ such crimes and aren’t caught will make different choices in the future! Either this is really hard to grasp or it’s really easy to get outraged when you don’t hear the assumed response in a comment.

      Empathy and concern for the victim is a given, expressing some hope and encouragement for the criminal to turn their life around and be a better person, is next level.

      Good luck with all the status quo narrow thinking about issues people, that’s really going to help change things.

      • alki_2008 September 19, 2021 (10:06 pm)

        But why would the people committing the crimes decide to make different choices, if not for the threat or concern about being punished.  If there are no consequences for their poor choices, then why would they change them in the future. Think about that.

        • crash test dummies September 20, 2021 (5:21 am)

          ‘But why would the people committing the crimes decide to make different choices, if not for the threat or concern about being punished’

          The person in this story committing the crime crashed over an embankment and had to flee the scene under threat of being caught and punished, possibly while injured… can’t you see this might make them reconsider their career choice?

          Other reasons people committing crimes might decide to make different choices… I don’t know, their conscious, someone encouraging them to consider another path, hope for a better life, some help appearing for their circumstances, divine intervention, etc?

          Not saying we should do away with punishments for crimes, just saying we can also hold hope for people committing crimes to stop their criminal behavior and make better choices in the future.

  • Mj September 19, 2021 (12:28 pm)

    Hmmm – ditto.  

    My empathy is with the victim of the theft who are without their truck and will likely have to pay the deductible of the insurance presuming they had comprehensive coverage.  And after this face likely increased insurance premiums.  

  • crash test dummies September 19, 2021 (12:59 pm)

    Trusting that some of you out there get what I’m throwing down.

    • heartless September 20, 2021 (3:51 pm)

      Yes, you are heard and agreed with.

      • ctd September 22, 2021 (7:11 am)

        Thank you, ‘heartless.’ 

  • Derek September 19, 2021 (12:59 pm)

    I hope the driver is okay. Despite stealing the car. I hope they aren’t hurt. 

    • crash test dummies September 19, 2021 (8:11 pm)

      Me too. Also hope they stop committing these crimes. And, feel some empathy for whatever circumstances, challenges, personal issues, societal issues, etc. that have contributed to them getting on this path. They can make some new choices, find some inspiration, and help.

      • TM7302 September 20, 2021 (11:55 am)

        Maybe if you’ve been a victim of crime, you’d think differently.  

        • crash test dummies September 20, 2021 (2:35 pm)

          Maybe you should check your assumptions. Maybe I have been the victim of crime.

          Perhaps have even had my car stolen, once.

  • -LR- September 19, 2021 (6:27 pm)

    Can’t believe they just stole it from right in front of the owners in the middle of the day. 🤦🤦

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