West Seattle, Washington
10:21 PM: A police and fire response has shut down California/Findlay. Police are looking for a vehicle involved in a reported hit-run, described as a white Subaru hatchback with front-end damage. More as we get it.
10:27 PM: Police say a pedestrian is injured.
10:54 PM: Police now say the person did not survive. (added) The victim is the second pedestrian hit and killed in West Seattle this year, after a 64-year-old woman who died after being hit near 2nd SW and Highland Park Way on March 25th.
11:39 PM: We’ve just talked at the scene with SPD spokesperson Det. Valerie Carson. She says the victim, a man, died at the scene, and that he and two other people had just been dropped off by someone and were crossing California at Findlay west to east when hit. She also says the hit-run driver has since returned to the scene and is being questioned by officers. The road is likely to be closed for a few more hours as the investigation continues.
12 MIDNIGHT: Here’s our video of what Det. Carson said at the scene:
One more note – though Det. Carson wouldn’t comment on a vehicle description, subsequent scanner traffic suggests it may have been a different type of vehicle from what was initially broadcast. We’ll be following up as the case proceeds.
1:22 AM: Police have reopened the road.
1:57 AM: A few additional details from what was just posted on SPD Blotter – that the collision happened midblock, and that the driver “showed no sign of impairment.”
11:22 AM: While the victim’s name has not been released, SFD said he was in his thirties.
ADDED MONDAY: We confirmed with SPD today that the driver was not arrested, pending further investigation. … As posted in comments below, a GoFundMe crowdfunding page on behalf of the victim’s widow identifies him as Nicholas Wolf.
The community coalition planning a celebration for the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge (no date yet) has unveiled three finalists in the design contest (announced last month). See them, and vote for your favorite, by going here. Winner gets $500 and “VIP treatment” at reopening events.
The Brace Point area south of Fauntleroy has underground electricity, and underground problems – with another outage just this past Monday. Finally, a major repair project that had been years in the making was supposed to start last year – Seattle City Light and its contractor even had a public pre-construction meeting in August. But then – major work never started. After questions from frustrated residents, we checked with SCL, repeatedly, and the answer was generally something about permit problems. Today, two residents reported that the contractor, Olson Brothers Excavating, had packed up their remaining equipment, with one worker telling a resident that they were pulling out and the city would have to put the project out to bid again. We asked SCL’s Jenn Strang about it – and she says yes, they’ll be looking for a new contractor, which means the work won’t resume any sooner than next year:
Over the past six months, we have been working through challenges with the Brace Point conduit repair project. In fall 2021, City Light encountered an unforeseen delay in issuing the notice to proceed (NTP) when it took longer to receive a required Department of Ecology permit than anticipated. During this time, a further complication arose with the contractor not being able to meet the Durkan administration’s policy for vaccine attestation for contractors working on City projects. As we negotiated with the contractor to ensure all requirements were met before issuing the NTP, our SDOT Utility Major Permit expired. With work delayed and the contractor’s non-compliance, we recently canceled the original contract.
We have been focused on reacquiring the SDOT permit. This process will likely take several months as we implement required design changes to comply with updated standards and coordinate review processes with relevant City departments. Once we have a permit in hand, City Light will proceed to advertise for bids, review submittals, and issue intent to award to the selected contractor.
City Light is working to expedite these steps to begin work as quickly as possible. The best-case timeline would allow issuance of an NTP as soon as early 2023 to late spring 2023. However, it is important to note that continued issues with supply chain and staffing shortages could create uncertainty with this timeline.
Even before all this, the Brace Point project was originally expected to start in 2020. At last year’s meeting with the now-former contractor, it was estimated that the work will last “two or three years” – once it begins.
Two more crime reports today:
ASSAULTED WITH SPRAY: Received from a reader:
I wanted to alert you to an assault on Alki at the lighthouse by a middle aged white man on a red bicycle spraying people along the walking path with some sort of spray that burns. This happened at 3:10 this afternoon while I was walking right in front of the lighthouse. He was on his red bicycle riding on the sidewalk going very fast, and as he passed me and my husband he sprayed me with something that got into my mouth and burned my tongue. The woman walking behind us was sprayed and it got into her eyes and she said it was burning her eyes. Another man walking his dog said that he had gotten sprayed on his neck. I filed a police report and the incident number is 2022-113816. This man was white, with balding gray hair, blue eyes, and a shaggy close beard with dark sweatshirt and bright neon green construction rain pants. Another report had been filed by another person that was assaulted by him earlier.
ARRESTED ACROSS TOWN: If you’re noticing police activity in the low bridge/Harbor Island vicinity, we have been listening to police track a carjacking suspect from an incident north of downtown; somehow so she turned up here, first reported in the Chelan Café vicinity, though we’ve also heard an officer mention 11th/Spokane. No other details except that the victim has been brought to the arrest scene to verify the suspect’s identity, and the stolen car was abandoned somewhere else.
Reminder – if you need shredding, tomorrow’s your opportunity to get some done at no charge: 10 am-noon Saturday (May 7th), sponsored by John L. Scott Real Estate-Westwood (WSB sponsor), in the northwest lot at Westwood Village. If you can donate non-perishable food, bring something for the White Center Food Bank (cash donations are welcome too).
In our report on this morning’s stolen-car crash in South Delridge, we mentioned the officer who spotted the car pre-crash was on his way to another call. We’ve confirmed that call was a bank robbery in The Junction, at the US Bank branch at 42nd/Edmunds. It was closed when we went over, with an officer still inside and a “temporarily closed due to emergency” note on the door. SPD referred us to the FBI for details, and we’re waiting to hear back.
It’s happening here at WSB HQ, just this past hour. We called the appropriate Seattle Public Utilities number – 206-386-1800 – and they noted ours was the fourth call they’ve received. They had no ready response but promised a call from a water-quality inspector. Discolored water is usually the result of sediment getting stirred up in the pipes – usually rust – but the cause can be anything from hydrant testing/use to a break somewhere.
Police are on the scene of a crash at 18th/Henderson involving a stolen car (above). According to emergency-radio traffic we were monitoring before the crash, the car drew the attention of an officer responding to something else. He was following it for a while, then lost track of it – until discovering it had crashed into other vehicles at 18th/Henderson. The driver, described so far only as “a white female,” ran. According to subsequent radio communication, the car, a beige Toyota Camry, was reported stolen from Federal Way. At the scene, our photographer was told that the Camry driver clipped at least two other vehicles, including this one:
Finally, the driver hit a Honda, pushing it up onto the sidewalk. No injuries reported at this point.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAST DAY TO BID: Gatewood Elementary‘s Online Silent Auction ends today – get your bid(s) in!
FIT4MOM 4 FREE: 9:30 am today, FIT4MOM offers the first of four free classes in honor of Mother’s Day weekend. If you miss this one, the other three are on Saturday morning – register here.
TEQUILA TASTING: At West Seattle Liquor and Wine (4714 42nd SW; WSB sponsor), 4-6 pm.
BLUE MERCY: Live music at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor), 7 pm. All ages, no cover.
SPORTS: At 7 pm, Chief Sealth IHS plays baseball vs. Seattle Prep at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd) in White Center.
Have an event for our calendar/daily lists? We’re adding more daily – email email@example.com – thank you!
7:42 AM: Kersti Muul reports transient killer whales are back in Elliott Bay this morning. Look toward downtown.
8:42 AM: See Kersti’s update below – they’re now in the central Sound and southbound.
11:21 AM: In addition to the updates in comments, Kersti called to say the orcas, now back in Elliott Bay, are headed toward Alki, close to shore, and “Chainsaw” is with them again.
1:22 PM: Added photos by David Hutchinson – above, you can see why this whale is nicknamed “Chainsaw.” (Also, see Kersti’s photo in comments.)
4:25 PM: Here’s a photo from Robin Sinner, also showing “Chainsaw”:
6 AM: Good morning and welcome to Friday, May 6th.
The National Weather Service again predicts rain today – high near 55. (Thursday’s high was 52, a dozen degrees below the seasonal norm.)
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
Check the West Seattle Water Taxi status here.
Use an ORCA card? Start thinking about the changes ahead.
Ferries: WSF continues using the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
STADIUM ZONE TONIGHT
Mariners are home vs. Tampa Bay at 6:40 pm.
ROAD WORK TONIGHT & THIS WEEKEND
Tonight and all weekend: Closure of 3 left lanes on SB I-5 between I-90 and S. Spokane for pavement and expansion joint repairs. 10 pm tonight to 5 am Monday.
This weekend: SDOT’s area alert:
On Saturday from 7 AM to 4 PM, we’ll be working in South Park to replace the sidewalk on Dallas Ave S in the vicinity of 12th Ave S. We will remove the sidewalk and there will be a pedestrian detour in place as we complete the upgrade. This work will take multiple days to complete and there will be minimal traffic impacts as we will be primarily working from the parking area however there may be delays for drivers.
On Sunday, we’ll be replacing two traffic signs on SW Spokane St in the westbound direction. We anticipate this work to begin as early as 7 AM and conclude as soon as 5 PM. We’ll need to reduce the two travel lanes to a single lane and there may be delays for people driving.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
774th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.