UPDATE: Wrong-way driver kills two people on westbound West Seattle Bridge

(SDOT camera images unless otherwise attributed)

12:30 AM: A crash involving at least two vehicles is closing the westbound West Seattle Bridge to traffic near the crest. SFD is sending a “rescue extrication” response. Dispatch says this involves a wrong-way driver – there was a report shortly before the crash of someone going eastbound on the westbound side. At least one person is reported injured. Updates to come.

12:40 AM: Firefighters report they’ve extricated the person who was trapped in one vehicle (which appears to be a pickup truck). They’re reporting a second injured person.

12:52 AM: Responders also have blocked the two inside eastbound lanes of the bridge, as shown on the traffic camera.

12:59 AM: And now they’ve cleared, so the eastbound side is fully open again. Westbound still closed.

1:24 AM: Traffic Collision Investigation detectives have been mentioned, which means the closure won’t end any time soon.

3:06 AM: Investigators are still on scene. No updates so far on the victims’ condition.

3:37 AM: We’ve just learned this crash was deadly; SFD has been dispatched back to the scene to remove a body from one of the wrecked vehicles.

4:12 AM: The victim is now being taken away to the Medical Examiner’s Office. They were in what appeared to be the smaller of the two vehicles, a light-colored car shown closer to the median.

4:43 AM: Police have just said two people are dead. Here’s what they’ve just posted:

Police received multiple 911 calls of a white pickup truck traveling the wrong way in the westbound lane of the West Seattle Bridge Wednesday morning. Prior to arrival, witnesses advised the pickup truck collided with another vehicle.

(SPD photo)

Police arrived at approximately 12:20 a.m. and found a sedan and the pickup truck in the westbound lane of the bridge. Both vehicles had extensive damage. Seattle Fire Department personnel arrived and pronounced the male driver and female passenger of the sedan deceased. Both victims were 18 years old.

The male driver of the pickup truck was transported to the hospital for serious injuries. Based on the investigation, the male driver of the pickup showed signs of impairment and is under investigation for vehicular homicide.

5:54 AM: After 5 1/2 hours, the scene has been cleared, and the westbound bridge has just reopened.

11:56 AM: A company that records traffic-camera video has tweeted video from the same SDOT camera that we used for the screenshots above. You can see it here; it briefly shows a vehicle described as the wrong-way pickup just before the crash, and then shows Good Samaritans who rushed over to try to help before SPD and SFD arrived. (Added: Commenters have suggested this merits a content warning, as while it is not bloody, it is intense, and does include a brief flash of the crash impact.)

2:02 PM: While the victims’ age was made public, the pickup driver’s age was not. We followed up with SPD and spokesperson Det. Judinna Gulpan explained, “We have not yet been able to identify him yet, therefore can not confirm age.” He will be booked into jail, she said, when “medically cleared.”

6:12 PM: The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has released the crash victims’ names via its daily media list: Khalea Thoeuk and Riley Danard, both, as police had said, 18 years old. While the KCMEO announcement did not include information on the victims’ cities of residence, KING 5 TV reports the two were current and past Snohomish High School students.

143 Replies to "UPDATE: Wrong-way driver kills two people on westbound West Seattle Bridge"

  • Kar March 22, 2023 (1:22 am)

    Praying for those involved. How in the world did this happen? 

    • Rhonda March 22, 2023 (2:03 pm)

      Intoxicated wrong-way driver and lax DUI laws.

  • Passing By March 22, 2023 (1:24 am)

    I pulled up to this around 12:20am. Very happy that we all were able to preemptively pull to the sides of the bridge to make way for emergency vehicles before they arrived. It had looked like the car in the lower right of the SDOT image had started to catch fire a couple minutes prior to the first police vehicle showing, but couldn’t see the rest when we moved over some more to the edge of the bridge. Pretty quick response from everyone. One of the firefighters ran back to their truck and I heard them say, “We need to cut them out!” Then ran back with a saw. I hope everyone will be okay.

    Photo was taken a few minutes after I pulled over.

  • Odd son March 22, 2023 (1:36 am)

    For some reason I have seen people try to enter the eastbound bridge from 35th by driving in the westbound lane that exits to northbound 35th. The people I have seen do this correct themselves. I wonder if this is what happened in this case. Impaired?

  • David March 22, 2023 (4:58 am)

    When the F*** are we finally going to address the fact that if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk, you should immediately face jail time? Why do we continually allow this to happen in a society where the perpetrator survives and innocent victims are killed? A first time offense for DUI (if proven) should be an immediate 2 year sentence, (NO good time) BS either.God forbid a second offense occurs, immediate and mandatory 10 years NO EXCEPTIONS.In this particular case if the causing driver is found to be at fault through proven evidence, video, facts, etc. should immediately get a life sentence. Also, it should not matter if the causing driver was never in trouble or convicted of any crime, MURDER IS MURDER.There should be NO excuse for this behavior when we see time and time and time again what the inevitable outcome is.There are MORE than enough safe options in our modern society for someone who drinks to get home safely and it DOESNT result in this type of tragedy.Throw the damn book at this POS!

    • Hdw March 22, 2023 (6:10 am)


    • Anonymous March 22, 2023 (6:25 am)

      Being the victim of a drunk hit and run driver….I couldn’t agree with you more. I have lived with it’s consequences for 56 years. If there was an award  for the person with the most metal in their body….I would win. I was fortunate enough to be one victim who miraculously survived.

    • Seattlite March 22, 2023 (8:29 am)

      Driving while high or drunk should be a valid reason to take away a person’s license permanently.  These high or drunk drivers are impaired to such an extent that they cannot read signs, 100% numb to everything around them, and have no ability to think or react with common sense.  And, to think they are driving vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds.

      • Kathy March 22, 2023 (10:21 am)

        And please impound their car so they have to take the bus, walk or bike to their job so they will do less damage the next time they are traveling impaired. Maybe put a red flag on trying to buy a replacement car?

      • Hank March 22, 2023 (2:40 pm)

        That is a good idea, but unfortunately many people would continue to drive without a license. The real problem is the alcoholism or drug addiction problems of the perpetrators. Those problems are extremely difficult do deal with and require a will to overcome them by the afflicted. My wife just suggested that these drunk driving homicides could instantly be eliminated with universal breathalyzer tests in all vehicles. I remember some discussion about that some years back but it never gained any traction. I imagine the suggestion would be greeted with howls of protests along the lines of “Why should I have to deal with that if I am not part of the problem.”

    • Lisab March 22, 2023 (9:58 am)

      I couldn’t agree more!

    • Mel March 22, 2023 (12:40 pm)

      100% agree. This state spends so much time focused on legislation that’s useless. Let’s make some changes around DUIs and save lives.

  • Marcus March 22, 2023 (5:06 am)

    So many years of the same configuration.  This is the first time I have heard of such a horrendous outcome.  Those two kids did not make it home to their families.  This is so sad!

  • Pigeon point March 22, 2023 (5:14 am)

    The off ramp near the Chelan Cafe  (next to the fire station) is a menace. I’ve seen so many people enter this off ramp going the wrong way. Its very confusing and the signage is not visible enough. 

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (5:27 am)

      So far we haven’t heard where this driver entered the bridge going the wrong way – I’ve listened back to the pre-crash dispatch audio three times now. Only that 911 callers saw “a white truck with lights off” going eastbound on the westbound side. And then a few minutes later, the crash.

    • Chels P March 22, 2023 (5:43 am)

      I can agree with this as I have almost been hit head on twice in the last year coming in west bound and someone turns head on into my lane trying to get east.

    • Seattelite March 24, 2023 (8:57 am)

      I do deliveries for a living, and I hate that area as a whole. Singage is terrible. It’s especially hard when you are trying to read GPS and GPS is wrong or tells you to go the wrong way, and then you do and may cause an accident. Reading bad GPS + poor confusing singage is a recipe for a disaster. There is a spot like that in Tacoma as well. I messed up that left turn, almost got into a wreck. Pulled over, then 2 minutes later another car made the same mistake and honked at. It’s not always DUI, sometimes it’s poor planning.

  • Marcus March 22, 2023 (5:59 am)

    My god, so many people are reporting wrong way instances.  I think it is time to place one-way spikes on some of these exits.  That will stop a drunk or otherwise inattentive driver.  

  • Anxious Driver March 22, 2023 (6:02 am)

    Here’s an idea (I did not give it a ton of thought, ran out of coffee yesterday): DOL can give drivers an option to install a breathalyzer into registered cars that prevents the car from turning on if above a certain BAC. Installation and maintenance will be free, and there will be no extra costs associated with filters or replacements. Those that opt out will need to pay an annual fee equivalent to installing and maintaining 5 breathalyzers.Sure , the breathalyzer can easily be circumvented by having a passenger blow into it, if the driver is under the influence.One can also argue that this would be penalizing the good drivers and that the bad drivers will keep driving drunk regardless. But we’re already penalized; some innocent are penalized for life (ie . This post)A quick search says that alcohol can also be detected in sweat. I wonder if steering wheels can have alcohol detection in them?

    • Question Authority March 22, 2023 (7:28 am)

      That unfortunately wouldn’t work for all possible methods of intoxication or influence and others would see it as an infringement on personal rights.  

    • Nic March 22, 2023 (7:53 am)

      Literally over half the cars here don’t even have two working headlights. Headlights. Light bulbs. You want to install public mandated breathalyzers for…. everyone? Lol man that’s wild.

      • andreea March 22, 2023 (9:05 am)

        Actually, my mother-in-law is in France right now and this is quite literally what they encountered last weekend: a random DUI checkpoint where every driver was tested. If we gave enough of a crap, we certainly could do it.

        • alch0 March 22, 2023 (10:08 am)

          Once again as in our gun laws, but without a constitutional amendment, our country is lacking laws to protect the innocent.  
          We have a .08% BAC, while some countries (Poland, Sweden)  have one fourth that allowance, at .02%.

          Developed countries now have .02%, 0.3% with most at .05% BAC. 

          Please support efforts to lower our BAC levels for the safety of all. 

          As a father of a young adult, I gave my daughter a key-chain blood alcohol meter.  
          It may have been more of a conversation piece and some say that device assumes or encourages drinking.  

          The devices may not be ‘police accurate,’ but I have one myself that has kept me from wrong-way driving,
          so far. 

          • Stephen March 23, 2023 (5:23 pm)

            This was a horrible and avoidable tragedy.  However, I don’t agree that lower BAC level rules offer a solution. DUI wrecks commonly involve drivers who are well above the .08% limit. If we don’t have the resources to police DUIs under current law, we certainly wouldn’t at .05% or lower.   

        • florida March 22, 2023 (12:27 pm)

          the US has a unique idea of what it means to be the land of the free —  to a lot of ppl, it pretty much means doing whatever the f you want — they refuse  masks and background checks. But if we were honest, we all love being in the mythical land of the free.

    • Question Authority March 22, 2023 (8:13 am)

      Then people would wear gloves to beat the system.

    • Wseattleite March 22, 2023 (9:30 am)

      Cars are required to have seat belts, and anyone in a car is required to wear them. Proof of not being drunk to start a car makes even more sense than seat belts. And what sober passenger is going to blow into an interlock so that an impaired driver can drive them somewhere?  Most would not who are not small kids. I have often wondered why cars don’t have this feature built in. There may be some who would yell about their “rights” being blocked by being forced to have an interlock, but that argument holds no weight once a small amount of thought is put into the argument.  Interlocks in every car make a lot of sense. 

      • Neighbor March 22, 2023 (10:32 am)

        It’s impractical and ineffective.  The cost is prohibitive and the devices can be bypassed.  We can make a bigger difference applying those resources elsewhere.  Fund a bar bus or subsidize cabs or Ubers for impaired drivers.  Hire more bus drivers.  Look at how many cars on the road already don’t comply with our existing laws.  Adding more won’t work.

  • Anjani March 22, 2023 (6:08 am)

    At 5:37, both vehicles were preparing to be towed. 

  • 22blades March 22, 2023 (6:19 am)

    Traffic engineering & design by SDOT & WSDOT is abysmal. Signage, layout & education is terrible or non-exsistant. Much if it may also be bad execution of complying with DOT regulations. I realize you can’t fix stupid like impaired driving but better can be done over more. We are terrible drivers.

    • LyndaB March 22, 2023 (9:41 am)

      I’m saddened to hear about 2 lives lost.  I agree with you how our signs could be improved.   My frustration are “Freeway entrance” signs at the entrance that do not say the direction.  There are signs to get you in the general direction but after that you better pay attention because you could miss it.  I don’t have a good example but it has been an issue for me. 

      • ay March 22, 2023 (11:35 am)

        Yes agree signage is severely lacking. There should be a “Yield to Right of Way” for vehicles turning right from 35th Ave SW and onto the east bound bridge ramp. These drivers from 35th are not slowing or yielding to the right of way vehicles/traffic coming through the intersection from Fauntleroy on their green light. About time that is corrected!

    • Krissi w March 23, 2023 (6:18 am)

      Signage is needed – it’s highly confusing AVALON / HABOR VIEW + under the bridge.  

    • Norma Dailey March 24, 2023 (12:12 am)

      Drunks don’t read signs.

  • Scubafrog March 22, 2023 (6:19 am)

    What a tragedy, the victims were basically kids – just teeing off in life.  My deepest, most sincere condolences to their families and friends.

  • Jeepney March 22, 2023 (6:30 am)

    This is the saddest article I have ever read on the WSB.  Two 18 year olds needlessly killed by a person who chose to drive intoxicated.  Our laws are far too lenient for drunk drivers.

  • Michelle March 22, 2023 (7:09 am)

    Oh those poor kids and their families!!!

  • CarDriver March 22, 2023 (7:18 am)

    If that driver was served at an establishment-assuming impaired by alcohol they’re also liable.

  • Admiral March 22, 2023 (7:19 am)

    The Gorilla rears his head again.  DUI is the number one cause of serious injuries and death’s involving motor vehicles, by far.  DUI driver’s need to be held accountable, be forced to purchase significantly higher insurance policies and made to pay for the installation of a vehicle breathalyzer in their car.  Two innocent teens lost their lives because of this idiot.  This idiot belongs in jail for a very very long time!

    • Driving requires all of your attention March 22, 2023 (10:21 am)

      @Admiral is correct that DUI is the number one cause of serious injury and deaths involving motor vehicles with about one-third of the cases in Washington and even higher in neighboring states. Speed and distracted driving are also proportionally large causes and no less serious. Condolences to the families.

      • What March 22, 2023 (10:33 pm)

        Driving under the influence is the 3rd or maybe 4th reason for accidents in Washington state. Distracted drivers is the number one. If you can’t have honest conversations you can’t have honest solutions. Washington doesn’t have lacks drinking driving laws. So based on that fact and what I read here, you need some device that won’t let you stop at a drive thru to buy and eat food while driving, your phone should only be in the trunk of your car so you can’t text, talk, or google while driving. 

  • NativetoSeattle March 22, 2023 (7:34 am)

    Absolutely heartbreaking. Two, young lives are gone and everyone who loves them will be forever impacted by this. I hope that they can find strength in each other to face this tragedy. I like how Anxious Driver and Marcus are thinking of possible ways to prevent this from happening again. We have got to keep trying ideas until these horrific deaths are not happening. 

    • Anne March 22, 2023 (8:58 am)

      Possible ways to prevent this from happening again???? People have got to stop drinking/drugging & driving & the penalty for doing so should be severe. 

  • wlcg06 March 22, 2023 (7:37 am)

    Sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of the two teens. This is just so sad to hear this story on the news and WSB this morning. I am going to pause andd hug my kids closely this morning before they go out the door.

  • MB March 22, 2023 (7:38 am)

    Agree we need stronger penalties for impaired driving. Also agree that the traffic design, signage (and lack of signage) around and under the bridge is a mess to the point of being irresponsible. Even those of us who are familiar with driving there sometimes get confused. I still remember the first few times I had to drive under the bridge (way before shutdown detour). It was confusing to the point of unsafe and scary. 

  • TT March 22, 2023 (7:41 am)

     Agree we need stronger penalties for impaired driving. Also agree that the traffic design, signage (and lack of signage) around and under the bridge is a mess to the point of being irresponsible. Even those of us who are familiar with driving there sometimes get confused. I still remember the first few times I had to drive under the bridge (way before shutdown detour). It was confusing to the point of unsafe and scary. 

  • WestSEAResident March 22, 2023 (7:42 am)

    Very sad especially hearing that 2 innocent 18 year old lives were taken from them way too early… My thoughts go to their family & friends. We truly never know when our last day on earth will be, we should live life to the fullest, treat others with kindness and live our best lives each day we have. I feel horrible for the parents who received that phone call about their children’s lives being taken away from them last night. Hopefully the driver of this crash is held fully accountable for this egregious act of recklessness that was fully preventable if they just ordered an Uber or stayed home. They must of been very intoxicated to get on the bridge the wrong direction as most all who travel to W Seattle know which side is going in which direction into and out of West Seattle. Be safe, be kind and take care of eachother out there. 

  • Clutch March 22, 2023 (8:03 am)

    Drove by around 5 as they were cleaning up. Knew it was bad. Got on here to see if there was any info.Tragic misery. Hearts out, prayers up.

  • West Seattle student March 22, 2023 (8:09 am)

    Is there any information on who these two 18 year olds were? 

    • Sophia March 22, 2023 (1:50 pm)

      I’m wondering that too. One of my friends (f18) isn’t responding and it’s really worrying me.

      • TJ March 22, 2023 (3:03 pm)

        I’m so sorry for your worries! Have you tried their parents or siblings, other friends that live by or work with them? 

  • Frustrated March 22, 2023 (8:10 am)

    Why do the drunk drivers always get away with minor injuries?  It’s infuriating that they are able to just walk away. No consequences.  Maybe some severe lifetime bodily injury would teach them a lesson.  

    • Mike March 22, 2023 (9:27 am)

      The height of the vehicles involved is often a factor. If the truck was raised, and the sedan was low, the bumpers don’t line up and are ineffective.

    • hard to believe March 22, 2023 (10:13 am)

      From what I’ve heard other people remark on, is often times when they are overly impaired, the driver is usually in an ultra relaxed bodily function where as a sober person would tense up when about to be impacted by another vehicle, your muscles and body is therefore tense which causes much more damage than a rag doll impaired person who just kind of absorbs the impact. Crazy messed up, that the good citizen usually gets the brunt of the pain in these situations…

      • Colby Cross March 22, 2023 (12:42 pm)

        This is a myth that holds no truth in science. The simple reason that most DUI drivers are not hurt is because they are not on the blunt end of the collision. “Tensing” your body up, or relaxing it, does nothing to prevent serious injury.

        • hj March 22, 2023 (5:47 pm)

          I’m not sure if that’s quite settled yet. While it’s true that the old explanation of loose limbs is an urban legend, statistically speaking, drunk drivers do have a lower mortality rate than sober ones. And they’re all on the blunt end of the collision, given that sober drivers cause accidents too.

        • Lamont March 22, 2023 (9:34 pm)

          The actual truth is that DUI drivers often kill themselves.  People just remember the tragic headlines like this one so it feels to people like DUI drivers often survive while killing others.

    • Jay March 23, 2023 (9:47 am)

      Vanity truck sizing puts them unnecessarily high up. It’s not necessary for trucks to be that tall and have such a high center of gravity, even a work truck. Maybe a rock crawler, but that’s 0.000000001% of trucks. Vanity sizing for pickup trucks causes a lot of unnecessary tragedy. Even a head-on collision like this, two cars meeting with their crumple zones may have been able to save these lives. A modern pickup truck makes all collisions much more deadly.

  • eastvashon March 22, 2023 (8:24 am)

    You can review the legislative priorities around traffic enforcement in Olympia to see what direction your local elected, including Joe Nguyen are headed, they all voted against ending the pursuit ban, and are pushing new legislation that will result in more dangerous drivers on the road ( ending fines in the name of social equity)State democrats have killed affordable housing, school lunch, and school funding this session as well.

    • J March 22, 2023 (9:37 am)

      How do police chases and traffic fines make things any safer?Since laws passed to reduce chases, it seems like collateral damage has gone down, not up: https://rpubs.com/moxbox/wa_pursuitsWhat do traffic fines accomplish other than make people who can’t afford them fall deeper in to poverty. If you’re making enough money a the cost of a traffic fine can be 1 less night out (if you cared) vs. months of not being able to afford your basic needs if you don’t make enough money. 

    • Melissa March 22, 2023 (9:43 am)

      They should vote against police pursuits. The number of injuries caused by high speed police pursuits is astronomical. Not sure how that’s relevant here. As for the rest of what you claim,  this is neither the time nor the place.

    • CAM March 22, 2023 (9:45 am)

      None of those provisions have anything to do with drunk driving or this incident or contributed to this incident. 

  • Local March 22, 2023 (8:27 am)

    Only lengthy prison time for crimes like these. When DUI extinguishes the lives of two 18 year old children, frankly, the man behind the wheel should reman in jail until they die.WSB: please name the pickup driver who survived. 

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (11:45 am)

      I don’t have names of anyone involved, so far. If and when the driver is charged, their name will be public. – TR

    • Dave March 22, 2023 (2:29 pm)

      Here is a link to the sentencing for vehicular homicide while impaired (DUI) – up to life in prison and a $50K fine. https://www.washingtondui.com/other-offenses/vehicular-homicide-washington/

      This won’t bring the two kids back but it is not a trivial consequence for the driver.

      • wscommuter March 22, 2023 (6:16 pm)

        Your information, although well-intentioned, is inaccurate.  The link has misleading information.  Yes, hypothetically, vehicular homicide (DUI) is punishable by “up to life” as a Class A felony.  However, the sentencing judge is bound by the sentencing grid (see RCW 9.94A.510 – vehicular homicide being a Seriousness level XI offense).  Assuming this is the driver’s first felony, these two deaths lead to an offender score which reaches a standard range sentence of 86-114 months (about 8+ years) in prison.  Very unsatisfying if so.  But understand this is about the legislature – not judges or prosecutors.  

  • Wake up March 22, 2023 (8:30 am)

    Have other drivers done what the pickup driver here did – enter and go the wrong way on the bridge? Is this a signage issue?

    • Anne March 22, 2023 (9:00 am)

      This is an impairment issue. 

  • HS March 22, 2023 (8:32 am)

    My deepest condolences for the families and friends. Beyond tragic.

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul March 22, 2023 (8:46 am)

    Drunk driving is THE Ultimate selfish act.

  • kim March 22, 2023 (9:08 am)

    My heart goes out to the families of the kids killed. This is heartbreaking 

  • wetone March 22, 2023 (9:09 am)

     I feel for the families involved, and wish them great strength helping  them throughout these times. I do have questions  why everyone thinks “ impaired” automatically assumes driver was drunk though. Of course I would agree it seems most likely in cases as this one, but “impaired” could be from multiple other factors such as Fentanyl, Opioids, Marijuana or other drugs. It seems like a daily issue when driving around Seattle these days, seeing someone driving that should not be and the multiple drivers I see smoking marijuana. Driver could also be having a mental or medical issue. I’m not making any excuses for this driver, not even close. It will be really upsetting if this driver has past history with court system……. We need more eyes on the roads and accountability.

  • West Seattle Resident March 22, 2023 (9:24 am)

    I think we also need to acknowledge the issue of drug and alcohol use in our country. Three lives were ruined last night because of the culture of binge drinking that pervades our society. The topics of mental health and addiction certainly need to be present in the conversation. My heart goes out to all of the victims, especially the two young lives that were lost. The immediate aftermath will focus on our highway safety and the effectiveness of our criminal justice system, but we must also look to address the route cause of these tragedies. 

    • Jort March 22, 2023 (9:50 am)

      Alcohol use is much higher in many other well-developed countries. Yet they have lower DUI incidents and deaths. Why do you suppose that might be? I’ll give you a hint: what else does America uniquely do?

      • Hammer in Hand March 22, 2023 (9:56 pm)

        Condolences to everyone involved in this tragic event. For each of you who have commented the video was too graphic please write our elected people to move the laws and get really tough on this type of driving offense1 time 1year in jail if convicted. No loop hole!! 2nd time 5years no loop holes. 3rd it is life. Until there is real punishment as a deterrent this will continue. I say show it to every young driver show it in bars as a public service announcement at last callOther counties don’t have this issue because they have harsh punishment that meet the crime

        • Jort March 23, 2023 (7:53 am)

          I have some news for you about America’s approach to punishment and incarceration when compared to other countries …. did you know that they have better outcomes with less punitive discipline? 

    • Lisab March 22, 2023 (9:56 am)

      I’m only seeing TWO victims in this situation, and sadly THEY are dead. Prayers for their families and our society needs to get tough (long jail time) on these offenders.

    • Neighbor March 22, 2023 (10:27 am)

      Drinking didn’t kill anyone in this accident.  A drunk driver did.  The problem is we offer no viable alternatives to driving late at night.  It’s no excuse for this driver but if we offered more late night transit options fewer people would drive drunk.

      • Nope March 22, 2023 (11:58 am)

        Drinking or drugs 💯‼️Is what caused this! Absurd of you to imply anything else. From my experience you can have all the free/available rides you want. People who choose to drink/drug and drive know the consequences in this country are a JOKE! Until we as a society and a country make the punishment so severe we will continue to read about these horrendous unjust crimes. There is one solution you murder someone by driving impaired you’re convicted for life! No second chances, no plea deals, no interlock devices! 

        • CAM March 22, 2023 (5:15 pm)

          Hey Nope – that is the current sentencing available for vehicular homicide while impaired.

      • CarDriver March 22, 2023 (12:25 pm)

        Neighbor. That would mean the person who wants to drink enough to get themselves drunk would be taking the bus-when there IS plenty of transit to the establishment. If they drive there when sober you really believe they would leave their car to take a bus? Let me put my bridge on the market.

        • CAM March 22, 2023 (5:23 pm)

          Car Driver- Yes. Coming from places with frequent and widespread transit that runs 24 hours a day, when I went out at night I took the train or the bus. If I did drive somewhere and had more than I should have I left my car and called it in so wouldn’t get a ticket (if I remembered) and either got a ride or took public transit home. Part of the reason I, and the other people in my community, were willing to do those things was because we were accustomed to the ease and accessibility of frequent transit and knew that a) getting home that night would not be a problem and b) getting around the next day without a car immediately available would also not pose a problem. It’s a shift in mindset and culture. 

      • Mel March 22, 2023 (3:00 pm)

        Um what? There are more options now than ever before. Call an Uber. There’s never an excuse.

      • Bus March 22, 2023 (3:29 pm)

        There’s video of this truck leaving Roxy’s not long before the accident.  The C Line picks up right across the street and heads over the WS bridge.  This wasn’t caused by lack of transit options.  (For those wondering, there are several videos/witness accounts showing up on social media sites showing him leaving Roxy’s, hitting cars on the way out, hitting more parked cars on 35th after driving the wrong way on THAT road…   Several people also reporting calling 911 along the way, including the people that saw him leave Roxy’s drunk and get into the car…  All anecdotal on social media, but they’re all telling the same story)

  • Mom of an 18yo March 22, 2023 (9:33 am)

    This is tragic, I’m heartbroken for the families of those young adults. (No, I don’t know they are)

  • bradley March 22, 2023 (10:03 am)

    Gutted.  For the families,  For the First Responders.  For the aid workers who also respond to these incidents.  I can’t even print the rest of my thoughts on such a terrible event.   This Universe we live in, I just can’t understand it sometimes,

    • EW March 22, 2023 (1:27 pm)

      Don’t watch the video on Twitter they linked – the people that run up to try and help…my heart goes out to them as well. Hard to unsee the things they saw yesterday but so much gratitude I’m sure from the families knowing people tried.

  • B March 22, 2023 (10:08 am)

    There needs to be wrong way spikes on all entrances and exits of the West Seattle freeway. 

  • Enraged March 22, 2023 (10:23 am)

    Has the name of the drunk driver been released?

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (11:47 am)

      No. Also please note, there is no additional information so far on what police were suggesting by “impaired” – drunk, high, or otherwise.

  • sam-c March 22, 2023 (10:34 am)

    No family should have to go through what these victims’ families are going through right now.  Horribly tragic.  I hope the criminal faces all the repercussions possible and never kills people again.

  • RP March 22, 2023 (10:49 am)

    I am so heartbroken for these families and am so scared to find out who these kids are.  As a parent of an 18yo, this could be any of us.  This is devastating and will certainly be felt so deeply within our community of high school kids and their families. 

  • Admiral March 22, 2023 (11:04 am)

    Neighbor – there are a number of viable alternatives, Uber, Lyft, Taxi and a designated driver!

  • Lauren March 22, 2023 (11:23 am)

    This is devastating. A drunk driver killed two of our best friends almost exactly two years ago. You never really get over that pain and loss. 

  • Joseph in West Seattle March 22, 2023 (11:56 am)

    My heart goes out to the parents, family & friends of 2 lovely young teenagers who lost their lives due to an impaired driver.  Rest in peace dear souls.

  • TODD D Martin March 22, 2023 (12:07 pm)

    The truck had to have entered by Pecos Pitt, as the barrier goes all the way across the bridge. People say take the bus…anyone with bad judgement to drive impaired…will not have enough good judgement to take a bus.

  • florida March 22, 2023 (12:14 pm)

    during the main bridge closure, at the Delridge entrance to the lower bridge, the detour traffic (turning right to lower bridge) trying to turn right to the lower bridge from the left lane would  back up and block all lanes.  The city didn’t put up a sign or restripe the roadway there  to help the situation. Okay, so that was just an inconvenience for the through traffic on delridge which was blocked.  But, hey, a sign to help  prevent wrong way collisions on the bridge — is that  too much to ask?

  • bradley March 22, 2023 (12:26 pm)

    I dunno.  I don’t think we need to see the video of those two poor kids being killed.  Terrifying.

  • So sad. March 22, 2023 (1:33 pm)

    Does anyone else get extremely angry when they hear the 1-800-DUI-AWAY commercials? Or is it just me?

    • hate them March 22, 2023 (3:55 pm)

      I absolutely loathe those ads.  I know everyone has to make a living but I think doing that job is one of the lowest.  

  • Amy March 22, 2023 (1:55 pm)

    You should warn that the link to the video is very graphic. At least mention the sensitivity of the video. That is heat breaking and if my children were in the car this would be devastating. I realize it is posted in multiple places but this link does not warn of its true nature.

    • Dd March 22, 2023 (2:57 pm)

      I very much regret clicking on that link. I was not prepared at all and deeply regret watching. I stopped it immediately when I realized it was way too graphic and personal. My Deepest condolences for the friends and families of the victims. My heart is heavy for West Seattle losing two of our young. I wish it will give everyone pause not just alcohol, but at all times to consider how you are driving, speeds, aggression, risk, for what?  We’re all in this together fortunately or unfortunately, as is the case this morning. We must do better, everyone.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes March 22, 2023 (4:41 pm)

      You should watch it. Everyone should watch it.

  • WGA March 22, 2023 (3:22 pm)

    I think it was the location on the bridge that made this collision so horrible and probably unavoidable. Both vehicles were approaching the crest of the bridge at the same time and blind to each other. When the truck crested the top, there was no time for either driver to react. The combined speed was well over 100mph. Those poor kids had no idea until it was too late. Makes one shiver.

    • tim March 23, 2023 (10:29 am)

      yes. I  drove past where it happened and those were my thoughts. Right near the crest. They never saw it. Happened in less than a blink.  Those poor kids. I hope I never come face to face with that guy.

  • Monica Lundberg March 22, 2023 (3:31 pm)

    I’m so sorry for the family and friends of those lost in this tragic accident 😢

  • Devastated March 22, 2023 (4:31 pm)

    My condolences to the family and friends of these two young people.  I am so very sorry for your loss.  Sending love. 

  • Jill Loblaw March 22, 2023 (4:45 pm)

    Perhaps rather than grousing about others’ comments you should read another blog or web news site if it bothers you so much. Just a suggestion and an easy way to lower your stress. Peace.

  • Vanessa March 22, 2023 (4:46 pm)

    If there is a bartender who served him too many drinks, they should be considered as an accomplice in this homicide. 

  • Heartbroken March 22, 2023 (5:49 pm)

    Sending love to the families and friends of the two young people. I can’t even imagine the pain and loss.

  • RLV March 22, 2023 (6:10 pm)

    I send love, love, and more love to the families and friends of those lost far, far too young. 

  • Kina March 22, 2023 (6:25 pm)

    The names have been released. Both kids are from Snohomish High School. 💔

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (7:06 pm)

      Yes, we added the names to the story. The information available to us, from the Medical Examiner’s Office, does not include hometowns, but we link to a tv story that says the victims are current and former students of that school, citing a note from school leadership sent to the school community.

  • Guitarguy March 22, 2023 (6:37 pm)

    This is so sad….it breaks my heart to read of two young lives with promise snuffed out in an instant.

  • NotOnHolden March 22, 2023 (6:37 pm)

    I just listened to reporting that the wrong way driver started at Roxbury and made it all the way down 35th and people called 911 starting there?  Does WSB have anymore info on the calls to 911?  Would there be any confusion between King County and SPD?

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (10:37 pm)

      The first I heard was the report of a wrong-way driver getting on the bridge, moments before the crash. Another commenter upthread mentions social-media discussion that he may have left an establishment on Roxbury. There is one call logged for a “hit-run, non-injury” at 35th/Roxbury at 12:07 am. Though police didn’t put out a direct call for witnesses, I would imagine anybody with direct knowledge could call the violent-crimes tipline at 206-233-5000.

  • Eman March 22, 2023 (7:01 pm)

    Why are we not installing one-way spike strips right at 35th and Fauntleroy as you exit the freeway going west? If this is the 2nd time it happened this month, what are we waiting for exactly? More fatalities? 

    • Chemist March 23, 2023 (8:43 pm)

      Because spike strips aren’t appropriate for a highway and are potentially a big problem when there’s a bad crash blocking a direction and emergency response workers actually have to enter and carefully drive against the proper flow of traffic to avoid the backlog?

  • rob March 22, 2023 (7:16 pm)

     this is so sad, being a parent of to young adults , this is the worest nightmare anyone could ever imagine. life as we know it will never be the same. we will never know what these two young kids would have given to the world. i can only imagine it would have been amazing. may god be with them an there family

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (8:01 pm)

      That’s already linked above.

  • M March 22, 2023 (9:10 pm)

    I cannot unsee that video clip. The warning should have been before the link to the clip and not after it.  

  • C March 23, 2023 (7:28 am)

    Pretty sure a 4th DUI is a felony IF the driver was convicted of the first 3 in the previous ten years. WA driving laws are such a joke. Should be one strike and you’re out. Period. You choose to drive drunk 100% of the time. Too bad these kids and their families/friends  paid the price for his bad decisions and our awful legislation. 

  • C March 23, 2023 (7:45 am)

    It is INEXCUSABLE to drive impaired, especially in today’s day and age, where there are so many other options. If you are are at a private residence getting hammered, you can stay there. If you have enough money to be drinking to excess at a bar or restaurant, then you have enough cash for a ride share or taxi. I am devastated for these two families who lost their loved ones in such a senseless tragedy. Absolutely devastated.

  • Christopher B. March 23, 2023 (8:28 am)

    Given the number of people around the world who experience violence firsthand on a regular basis, it is remarkable how many people here seem upset with this news coverage, and who are demanding warnings so they don’t have to see things like this. Folks, this is reality. This is the actual brutality and violence that extinguished two young lives apparently because of a person’s decision to drive impaired. And this is these are the consequences of our laws that give impaired drivers multiple opportunities to plead out their crimes and get back behind the wheel. I’m sorry that it has shaken you from your complacency.

    • Jay March 23, 2023 (10:01 am)

      Photojournalists are the reason Vietnam War resistance became mainstream. The poor dead children, the little girl running naked from a napalm attack, piles of dead families massacred, these images horrified the general public who had previously seen war as a sanitary and noble adventure. Emmett Till’s mom asked for an open casket and photographers at the funeral, and the images sparked outrage. Personally, I believe one of the most effective ways to solve a lot of issues we’re facing is to expose people to them. Put traffic fatality photos in the newspaper. Show people what the bodies of kids shot to death in school look like. Make people look at workplace accidents. Make them confront the brutal reality of war. I think it would be a lot harder for people to lack compassion if they had to confront the brutal consequences of policy decisions on a daily basis.

      • Scarlett March 24, 2023 (9:32 am)

        I agree that photojournalism brought home the ugly reality of the Vietnam War – but the jury is still out on what impact they have to effect policy changes,  I think it is WSB’s professional obligation to provide coverage which includes visuals but its up to us individually to determine if  it is constructive viewing or off-color voyeurism, the latter could include, I suppose, ferreting out every detail of this tragedy.   

    • Joe March 23, 2023 (11:29 am)

      I agree. Some people have really thin skin. The video just showed two vehicles colliding – no blood, guts, or gory details. This called reality folks. I think it’s good for people to see this.

    • Kina March 23, 2023 (4:02 pm)

      100% Christopher B! 100%!! People should feel lucky that looking at a grainy video is ALL they had to see. 

  • Asha March 23, 2023 (10:07 am)

    Khalea is my childhood best friend’s first born. I’ve only had the pleasure of watching her grow up online but this is a devastating loss. I don’t know the friend who started this GoFundMe but I did verify with another friend of Khalea’s parents that this one is legitimate. So sad that scammers would capitalize off tragedy but I did make sure. https://www.gofundme.com/f/khalea-thoeuk?mibextid=Zxz2cZ

  • WestSeattleBadTakes March 23, 2023 (11:02 am)

    Some education on the danger of these SUVs and trucks.

    • oldSwedeFellInLoveWithALatino March 27, 2023 (4:23 pm)

      Thanks, I was already wondering why I can’t buy normal sedan cars anymore. If the offending car was a sedan, would these victims survive? I wonder.

  • Anders March 23, 2023 (11:45 am)

    There is video taken at 35th SW and Roxbury of an impaired driver in a white pickup truck with distinctive features – an extended cab, a dark, V-style tailgate, side moulding, and some sort of bar/ roll bar(?) behind the cab. Those features are all present in the video(s) of the truck taken on the bridge. While not conclusive evidence that it’s the same truck, it sure warrants a thorough investigation and some answers, if it is.  Beyond the tragedy of this horrific incident, we need to know definitively how the truck entered the West Seattle Freeway / Bridge (via which offramp?) and then address how to realistically prevent or at least greatly diminish the ability of anyone else doing so in the future.   With numerous 911 calls made before the accident about an impaired driver in a white pickup truck, the route taken to the bridge by an impaired driver shouldn’t be too hard to track down. And it any one of them got a license plate #, then there you go.   (BTW, Thanks to everyone who took the time to report erratic driving to 911. While one call only gets a report,  several calls may actually get a response!). With cameras all over town, plus SDOT cameras – isn’t there just one – including one of these 2 (map) that would have captured the truck entering or driving onto the offramp?  It’s looking like entrance happened at 35th and Fauntleroy intersection, but confirmation is needed. The City (who manages and is responsible for our bridges) and SPD owes us this info at least – and ASAP. Time to get cracking on some safety revisions. 

  • aa March 23, 2023 (8:00 pm)

    Watching the video left me with feelings of gratitude for the courageous people who ran toward the burning cars trying to help before rescuers arrived.  I imagine they are left with horrible memories of what they saw and I hope I will be as brave and selfless if I’m ever in such a situation.  Thank you to all who risk their lives to helps others be it by profession, or circumstance.

    • Lisa March 24, 2023 (7:52 am)

      @aa – I’ve been thinking the same thing. Unimaginable.

      WSB – has the driver been identified yet? Any word on their condition?

      • WSB March 24, 2023 (11:14 am)

        I’ve asked for an update. I am also checking the jail register painstakingly, repeatedly, for any signs of someone being booked for vehicular homicide. Unfortunately I have no idea if the injuries were of a nature that would keep him in the hospital for a long time.

        • Lisa March 24, 2023 (1:42 pm)

          Thank you!!!!!

          • WSB March 24, 2023 (4:32 pm)

            I hope to write a separate update later, not that there is anything significant, but a general “where it stands.” To your questions, police say they now DO know the suspect’s name. He is still in the hospital and may be for some time, they say. I am asking the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office if theoretically that means he might be charged before being discharged. – TR

  • Lincoln Park Mom March 24, 2023 (9:40 am)

    Stop blaming te city and infrastructure for this accident.  This is 100% the fault of a drunk driver.  He chose to drink too much.  He chose to get behind the wheel and drive.  He started miles away and left wreckage in his path.  Not enough to sober him up.  He is wrong!  He is at fault.  He should lose his license.  He should watch this video over and over and over again.  He needs to meet his victim’s families.  Our children need to know about this.  The ramifications of our bad choices are not worth that last drink.  Be the change.  Do not condone drunkenness when you see it.  Stop a stranger who appears inebriated heading to his/her car.  I am willing to part with $40 to get a stranger in a taxi and home safe.  This should never have happened.  

  • Out of patience April 9, 2023 (6:30 pm)

    It’s been a couple weeks. I don’t find any news articles about this since the first couple days. When is SPD going to tell us more about the driver?

    • WSB April 9, 2023 (6:49 pm)

      The case is in the hands of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, so that’s who we will hear from. He was still in the hospital last time I checked. I have also checked court filings and jail bookings and have not come across anyone booked for vehicular homicide.

      • Andy April 11, 2023 (4:56 pm)

        Thank you for checking. I have been checking, too, and have found nothing.

Sorry, comment time is over.