UPDATE: 4 crashes in 4 days on westbound West Seattle Bridge by 99 ramp

2:43 PM: For the third time in four days, there’s a crash blocking lanes on the westbound West Seattle Bridge at the spot where it meets the ramp from southbound Highway 99. The other two happened on Saturday – morning (involving a Metro bus) and afternoon.

3:27 PM: Tow truck has just taken a damaged vehicle away. (The scene was fully cleared shortly afterward.)

5:25 PM: As commenters are pointing out, there’s yet another crash in that spot – here’s the SDOT camera image:

6:17 PM: That scene is clear.

74 Replies to "UPDATE: 4 crashes in 4 days on westbound West Seattle Bridge by 99 ramp"

  • waikikigirl October 25, 2022 (3:13 pm)

    I wonder was “something” applied on the road in that spot from the repair work or is it just “speed” and all the dry weather we’ve had?

    • WSB October 25, 2022 (3:26 pm)

      In our various visits during the repair project, the work was not happening that far east, but nonetheless I’m asking if SDOT is checking.

    • Smoosh October 25, 2022 (4:33 pm)

      Based on how so many people drive it like it’s an actual freeway (it’s not) I would be shocked if the cause is attributable to anything more than speed mismatch. 

      • AW October 26, 2022 (10:56 am)

        So is Admiral Way a “freeway” as well? I mean if you are going to speed, do it someplace will you won’t kill a pedestrian, cyclist, or child. I would much rather have idiots speed on the WS Bridge (and crash there) then through my neighborhood (apparently, 50 in a 25 mph zone is the “normal” speed in my neighborhood).Fix to all this? Lobby the state legislature to allow cities to have speed cameras in residential and high crash areas. 

        • JM October 26, 2022 (12:18 pm)

          When I actually go the speed limit on Admiral I feel as if i’m not even moving as every other car is racing by me so fast it’s unreal!!!! We definitely need more patrols on the the roadways they have literally become a free for all. I dread even leaving my house to drive or walk anywhere as it seems no one obeys the road rules it has become appallingly dangerous!!!!!!!! 

  • Ride Safe October 25, 2022 (3:17 pm)

    I feel like maaaaaybe after this happening 3 out of 4 days in a row in the exact same spot, the city should hit that stretch of ramp with a few rounds of a pressure washer and dawn. Before more people get seriously injured? Who’s in charge around here? 🫣

  • Lola October 25, 2022 (3:34 pm)

    I come home that way everyday and I have not noticed any grease spots or slick spots on that stretch of road.  Not sure if people are speeding up in the middle lane so no one coming off the ramp can get in front of them?

    • Sam-c October 25, 2022 (8:28 pm)

      Same. I drove that stretch from SB 99 to the bridge at 12:30pm today and didn’t feel anything more slippery than the rest of 99 and rain soaked I-5.

  • Luke October 25, 2022 (3:36 pm)

    I drove by this accident westbound at roughly 2:40pm. I checked my rear view and noticed another pickup truck almost spin out not even 200 feet west of the accident pictured. It was pretty close to hitting other cars too. Very slick. 

  • Chris S October 25, 2022 (3:39 pm)

    I was on a motorcycle and passed the wreck this afternoon, on a low powered bike with good tires, as I accelerated after passing the wreck site, my back wheel started to spin, in my opinion, there is something going on with that stretch.  Something has been done to the concrete there. 

  • vee October 25, 2022 (4:06 pm)

    people are speeding, it is difficult when you take that exit to get over in middle lane , to move left, you dont have much time or you exit on 1st ave, and other drivers in middle or far left   lanes are going too fast and dont let get  over

  • StevenCook October 25, 2022 (4:19 pm)

    Too bad speed enforcement and common sense are casualties of the Covid time.

    • CarDriver October 25, 2022 (6:23 pm)

      StevenCook. Based on eyewitness accounts speed was NOT involved. As far as speed enforcement. Careful what you ask for as YOU may be the next ticket written. As far as common sense…that was a casualty long before covid….  

      • JM October 26, 2022 (12:20 pm)

        Why would you be concerned about a ticket if you’re following the law…….DUH!

    • Odd son October 25, 2022 (6:25 pm)

      Those 2 were gone long before covid.

  • Odd son October 25, 2022 (4:31 pm)

    I sent 684 road an email after the first 2 accidents on Saturday.. I don’t think I heard back but hopefully they are investigating at this point after 3 accidents in the same location.

  • justme October 25, 2022 (4:52 pm)

    I believe that’s also the vicinity of the unfortunate motorcycle accident a few years back where the rider was thrown over the edge. It’s a really bad merge spot.

    • Frank October 25, 2022 (10:40 pm)

      But, like, there’s no merge there…Both lanes continue on up the hill of the West Seattle bridge without needing to merge. That’s what’s confusing about all of this.

  • Another commuter October 25, 2022 (5:02 pm)

    Make that a fourth crash

  • Bus rider October 25, 2022 (5:05 pm)

    Another accident at this gore point. 5:00.

  • Sukie October 25, 2022 (5:10 pm)

    II don’t know if this is the same one but a fire truck arrived for an accident in the same spot. If the tow truck had arrived at 3:30, wouldn’t it have cleared by 5pm?

  • Mark B October 25, 2022 (5:15 pm)

    …and we now have a fourth. 

  • Still? October 25, 2022 (5:17 pm)

    It’s 5:15 and there is still a fire truck and a backup all the way to downtown. Is this still the same accident??

  • DRW October 25, 2022 (5:21 pm)

    There’s definitely something on the surface there. That’s where I had a BIG shimmy Friday on my way home. I wasn’t speeding or driving aggressively. Scared the heck out of me.

    • Flapjack October 25, 2022 (5:32 pm)

      I had the same experience last Friday. It wasn’t just normal slick. It was slick, slick. And I might have been going 20 miles/hr because I was going around another accident ( maybe the first?). A pickup was pulled over, so no lanes were closed and the truck  damage wasn’t terrible.  

    • Adam October 25, 2022 (5:44 pm)

      Yeah I swear any incline, decline, or turn on that crappy bridge is a danger 

    • Pigeon Point October 25, 2022 (6:52 pm)

      I also had the same experience on Friday afternoon. Not speeding, driving normally over that area and my back tires spun with normal acceleration. Scary.

      • Davis October 26, 2022 (6:05 am)

        Same thing happened to me 5 days ago, truck started to spin out right in that spot.

    • Robert October 25, 2022 (8:00 pm)

      Same, happened to me today on way home from work. It was very strange, almost skidded through the turn. Was going to ask previous owner of the car if they’d ever experienced anything like it before. Glad to know it isn’t the car, but that’s dangerous.

  • SS October 25, 2022 (5:21 pm)

    There was another crash with 4 cars as I commuted home around 5 pm

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy October 25, 2022 (5:26 pm)

    I think there is another one right now. 

  • m October 25, 2022 (5:33 pm)

    I was just driving over the bridge 15 minutes ago and a black car lost control from the left lane, swerved over to the right side, almost hit my car, and smashed into the wall. Something is definitely wrong with the road right there. 

  • sw October 25, 2022 (5:36 pm)

    Something is definitely going on in that spot.  Stay on SDOT for answers, WSB overlords.

  • Alkibean October 25, 2022 (5:36 pm)

    I remember that, before the bridge closed, in that very spot  there would be standing water when it rained…I think that is what is going on. People are suddenly hitting a big puddle and skidding out of control.

  • M October 25, 2022 (5:40 pm)

    If the same spot has reoccurring crashes all within hours/days, does SDOT automatically investigate?

  • Mj October 25, 2022 (5:43 pm)

    Maybe it’s simply that people forgot how to drive the WSB, it was closed for far too long!

  • Susie October 25, 2022 (5:48 pm)

    I was right next to the truck this afternoon when it crashed. It was mild traffic, no one was speeding, tailgating or changing lanes. The truck just suddenly started sliding side to side as if it hit an oil spot.  It was as dramatic as if someone had reached over and wrenched the wheel to the right. The driver was not doing anything that could have caused that, unless he had a medical emergency.  

    • Also John October 25, 2022 (6:09 pm)

      Susie….did the driver just exit from south bound 99 onto the bridge?

      • Susie October 25, 2022 (6:40 pm)

        Not sure, possible though. I was heading west into WS and had just started climbing to the top, or mid span, of the bridge when it happened. There was no reason for me to take notice of the truck before that. The truck ended up careening across all lanes and smashed head on into the barrier. Truly scary and strange. Until something is done about it, I plan to take west marginal. I commute with my child and after today I don’t feel safe on the bridge. The truck went so wildly out of control…I don’t want to be next. 

    • Also John October 25, 2022 (6:15 pm)

      I see it’s a pickup truck.  I wonder if the owner had added extra weight in the bed?   I add 240 lbs over the rear axel each rain season.  Makes a big difference.

  • Tony October 25, 2022 (5:54 pm)

    Same thing happened to me today. It’s definitely a slick surface coming off the ramp. Take it easy there!

  • WSeaRes October 25, 2022 (6:01 pm)

    It’s 6p and traffic on 99 south is bumper to bumper and I assume due to an accident on W Seattle bridge on ramp from 99 south again. SDOT should definitely make this a priority to exam why so many accidents in a single spot within 1 week. I would say yes speed can be a contributing factor in accidents and especially with inclement weather after a dry last few months. But I think there in something causing these accidents especially with a full sized metro bus also crashed here. They may need to add traction to that stretch of the road or examine what’s causing this and no not a multiple month study costing millions but close it down and take a look tomorrow morning and what’s going on here. Safety first SDOT! 

  • Whittym October 25, 2022 (6:04 pm)

    I slid twice just south of where this accident happened this afternoon around 4pm. I thought it was my truck, but my front tires slid too and almost put me into the barrier.  It was unsettling for sure. Hope SDOT looks into it.

  • Michelle October 25, 2022 (6:05 pm)

    I saw the accident this evening and conditions were as Susie said. The driver was not speeding, just executing a simple lane change and started sliding. The driver appeared ok but shaken. 

  • S.Mathews October 25, 2022 (6:12 pm)

    I drove over that today just after that white truck spun out and noticed it was slippery.

  • Cogburn October 25, 2022 (6:28 pm)

    might be that puddle behind the bus

  • H20K9 October 25, 2022 (6:42 pm)

    SDOT – Business as usual.

  • Fix This Too!!! October 25, 2022 (6:57 pm)

    While they fix whatever is happening with that slick area, perhaps someone can ask them to address the very long standing problem of poor drainage from the bridge in general. If one is driving Westbound in the left lane and there are puddles on the Eastbound side, cars and particularly trucks splash SO MUCH WATER onto the windshields of Westbound cars that there are multiple moments when one has little to no vision due to the deluge, even if wipers are on full blast! It startles me every single time even though I know it’s coming. Having driven this bridge for over 20yrs this problem gets worse by the year. WSB who can I contact about this issue? If they put up those plastic things that block the light from oncoming cars that would help with TWO issues. The deluge of water AND the absolute nonsense that is the overly bright and blinding headlights people use now.Help us SDOT! After the long closure these unsolved and the new issues are a disappointment. One last thing, if one goes the speed limit on the bridge it feels super dangerous because people who want to go 60-70+ miles an hour swerve between the cars going the speed limit. It’s absolutely ridiculous how much I see this happening and while I don’t expect it will change, is it really worth the bridge getting shut down and backed up because of accidents? Wouldn’t it be nicer to just have a predictably safe trip across? I get it. I liked it when I could drive fast too when I was younger, but I suppose I’m officially getting too old for this 20-30miles over the speed limit. I mean, 50-55mph is one thing… 75-80+mph is another. And YES, all you nitpicking folks, I DID pace a few people who were speeding one day when traffic was light. Plus, we regularly hear over and over on WSB about people who are ticketed going extremely fast. 

  • NW October 25, 2022 (7:00 pm)

    I drive for a living and I will avoid this area for awhile. I wonder if someone intentionally spilled oil here as a prank? 

  • Larry October 25, 2022 (7:36 pm)

    Same thing happened to me today at about 4:00 PM. Going about 25mph and I fishtailed just it was black ice.

  • April October 25, 2022 (7:40 pm)

    I saw a dark red mini-van spin out in the same spot on Monday October 24 a little before 10am. Traffic was light. By the time I saw him, he had swerved a huge figure 8 across all lanes of traffic and landed in the far right (north) lane. The 5 or 6 cars that were behind him (westbound) all slowed and nobody was hit. Someone stopped to help. When I drove by, it looked like the airbags had gone off. It has bothered me ever since, not knowing if he had a medical emergency or what. Now it sounds like the surface was slippery. I’m going to slow down if I have a need to travel that route again. Be careful out there!

    • Meade Thayer October 25, 2022 (8:37 pm)

      This is the same accident I saw…not on the Sunday as I mentioned in my message. 

  • salal October 25, 2022 (7:49 pm)

    SDOT will be on it by next summer ! 

  • Neighbor October 25, 2022 (8:01 pm)

    There was also a dark grey pickup that hit the center barrier on 99 south just after the on ramp from the West Seattle Bridge.  I think it is just wet roads.

    • GMan October 25, 2022 (9:39 pm)

      Yes there was an accident there last Friday around noon just as it started raining, what in the Sam hell is going on?

  • Mj October 25, 2022 (10:30 pm)

    Built up oil finding a low spot that is near the SR-99 ramp to the WSB mixed with rain could be the culprit generating work for auto rebuild shops.

  • TM October 26, 2022 (2:43 am)

    I was directly behind the truck Friday afternoon that lost control and hit the center median just before noon(driver was ok). Roads didnt have puddles of rain yet, no one speeding, just saw his tail end spin out then I started fishtailing as soon as I braked to try and avoid hitting him as well.I could see after the impact with the center median,  the truck was leaking oil underneath as it passed back in front of me to settle on the right side of the road. 

  • Alkibean October 26, 2022 (5:32 am)

    Maybe all these people are just in need of new tires?

  • Greg October 26, 2022 (6:58 am)

    I drove by that spot around the 3:30 accident at 10 mph.  My traction engaged on my Jetta.  Had to correct in the wheel.  Simplest explanation is the first accident spilled oil.  No conjecture needed.

  • Jeepney October 26, 2022 (7:24 am)

    Coming home from a sportsball event last weekend, the Metro driver took the low bridge.  At first my partner and I thought the driver took a wrong turn, but looking back on it they might have just been playing it safe.  Maybe the west bound lanes should be shut down until there is a safe resolution.

  • Jay October 26, 2022 (8:59 am)

    Does it have visible lines separating the lanes? I remember before it was closed, the bridge was painted with non-reflective paint that disappeared in a light rain so you couldn’t see lanes from a driver’s perspective. It was quite nerve-wracking at the spot where that accident took place. I haven’t driven it at night or in the rain since reopening.

  • Pete October 26, 2022 (10:14 am)

    I came off the 99 ramp doing no more than 15mph I moved lane to avoid the 5pm accident and my whole car wiggled as if on ice. I know how fast I was going because I made a point to slow down with all the trouble there recently. I drive a Prius so front wheel drive and pretty sluggish if that makes a difference. 

  • Mark47n October 26, 2022 (10:56 am)

     On Monday I was driving my pickup, empty except for a few sandbags (3/4T long bed) on that stretch, on the curve merging from 99 to the Bridge and I almost lost it. At one point I was probably about 60 deg out form the direction of travel…it was pretty spooky. I check my tires (air and condition) and my suspension and they were fine. Nothing on my truck to account for it. Last night I was driving that same ramp again, in the rain, and I could feel it starting to break free again but was able to get it under control quickly without starting to fishtail. So, something is definitely going on here and it’s not good, especially given the number of incidents I’m reading about.

  • Lincoln Park Mom October 26, 2022 (11:09 am)

    Record breaking drought all summer can cause extreme slickness on roads once it starts to rain.  We have a few more weeks of this while the roads clear months of gas and oil buildup.  Be cautious out there and stay safe neighbors.

  • Mike October 26, 2022 (12:34 pm)

    This is scary like Halloween never was. Thank you for covering this important public safety story.

  • Get Off My Lawn October 26, 2022 (1:36 pm)

    The same thing happened to me last night around 7 PM on that ramp to get onto the West Seattle Bridge.  Fishtailed 3 times and wasn’t going fast at all. Still so shaken up by it. I am grateful the car behind me gave me space and it was a one-lane situation because I would have definitely hit another car. Good to know others had this issue, but be careful out there! 

  • ALM October 26, 2022 (2:33 pm)

    A WSP officer was sitting near the spot where these crashes happened this afternoon during my commute to work. Hopefully if there was a spill of anything slick that they took care of it, otherwise might have just been checking for speed. 

    • WSB October 26, 2022 (2:44 pm)

      That might have been in relation to the vice president’s travels; we came back from downtown just under an hour ago and saw WSP vehicles at strategic places. Anyway, I’m still waiting to hear back from SDOT…

  • bill October 26, 2022 (3:17 pm)

    The problem with the built-up oils theory is that ramp has not been used for two years. One of the first crashes spilling oil or gas makes sense, though.

    • bolo October 26, 2022 (10:34 pm)

      Isn’t this the S/B 99 offramp to W/B Spokane Street Viaduct/West Seattle Bridge?

      It’s been open and in use for most of the WS high bridge closure, no? Folks could use it to then exit to Harbor Island, low bridge, famous 5-way intersection, Chelan Cafe, Delridge, Avalon, etc.

      If not, please correct.

      • bill October 26, 2022 (11:20 pm)

        The exit from southbound 99 divides into two separate ramps. The rightmost goes down to Harbor Island. It remained open. The other ramp goes to the viaduct, which is where the crashes are happening.I wonder if something got spilled there during the repair?

  • proudpugetridger October 27, 2022 (10:22 am)

    I’d be very curious to know what, if anything, was used as a concrete sealer or curing compound on that porous surface recently.  As you may remember,  investigations subsequent to the bridge failure/closure revealed that the maintenance required for that PT span was unintentionally ignored since it’s original opening.  Moisture penetration damaged the reinforcing steel, as well as the post-tension cables themselves.  I’m wondering if they flooded that surface, in reaction to the deferred maintenance accusation, with a siloxane or silane based penetrating topical sealer (or similar product).  If so, it becomes treacherously slick when wet…especially when still fresh after application.  If a bond inhibitive material was used, the substrate “bite” (grip ability) was significantly reduced.  The reason you can’t paint over silicone based product is that very few products adhere to “slippery’ silicone…I assume the same is true of auto tire tread material.  UV exposure breaks down the sealer, but it takes time.  Lastly, I think this theory makes sense because the residue from topical applications would be carried down to the base of the arch by normal rain runoff,  then collecting in heavy volume exactly where we’re seeing these accidents.

  • Driver October 27, 2022 (11:15 am)

    witnessed a car do a 360 on that spot and the car in front of me almost hit them and I almost hit the car in front of me, the road is VERY slick right there for some reason.

  • Julian October 27, 2022 (5:20 pm)

    I on my motorcycle, and my girlfriend in her car also fishtailed here around the time this article was posted. Glad to see we’re not alone, but would be even better if this issue didn’t exist. 

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