FOLLOWUP: What’s happened since Wednesday morning’s deadly West Seattle Bridge crash

(SDOT camera image from shortly after crash)

On the third night since the early-morning West Seattle Bridge crash that ended the lives of two 18-year-olds, here’s what we know, after various followup inquiries:

The driver accused of hitting them, described by police as believed to have been “impaired,” is apparently still in the hospital. On Wednesday afternoon, police still didn’t know his name, but they do now, SPD spokesperson Det. Judinna Gulpan told WSB today. In most cases, though, police don’t release a suspect’s name until and unless they are booked into jail, and because of the suspect’s condition, that hasn’t happened yet. We’ve asked the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office whether charges might be filed while he remains in the hospital, but haven’t yet received an answer yet. If and when charges are filed, that is likely the first time we will get more details on what investigators have found. There have been various reports that people saw him as far away as Roxbury and called him in; we have listened again to archived dispatch audio, and there is one mention of a possibly DUI driver, no vehicle described, near 35th and Roxbury 11 minutes before the report of a wrong-way driver in a white truck on the bridge; an officer from the Ocean sector in South Seattle was headed up to check that out when, two and a half minutes later, she happened onto the crash and radioed that in.

Meantime, crowdfunding pages have been launched for the families of both victims, who are from Snohomish County: The one on behalf of Khalea Thoeuk, who was in her senior year at Snohomish High School, is here; the one on behalf of Riley Danard is here. Finally, in addition to the suspect driver’s “impairment,” some have wondered if bridge entrances need better signage or markings to deter wrong-way entries. That question hasn’t landed on SDOT’s radar yet, according to spokesperson Ethan Bergerson.

91 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: What's happened since Wednesday morning's deadly West Seattle Bridge crash"

  • Chemist March 25, 2023 (1:22 am)

    If the pathway to entry was going north on 35th and entering the Faunleroy Expressway and they’d already crashed into things, maybe they made the turn shallow and rolled over the relatively low ~4″ curb of separation between Fauntleroy directions on the East side of the intersection with 35th and Fauntleroy.  The arrows for turn lanes would be an indication of the wrong direction (as well as the lanes properly heading east) but it is true that there are none of the “wrong way” signs common at highway interchanges and only the two turn lanes have arrows painted on the ground.

    • Brian March 25, 2023 (7:51 am)

      The truly wild thing is how thousands of people use this intersection daily and this doesn’t happen then. Why are you trying to build a case for why this happened beyond “person was messed up behind the wheel and shouldn’t have been.”  We don’t design the roads to accommodate people who want to drive whileout of their mind. 

      • Marina March 25, 2023 (10:14 am)


      • Exactly March 25, 2023 (10:16 am)

        100%. There is only one problem in this case. This person should not have been driving. Period. 

      • J March 25, 2023 (3:17 pm)

        100%.but we should design roads to protect everyone from bad, distracted, impaired drivers. 

      • Chemist March 25, 2023 (4:10 pm)

        I think SDOT frequently “does something” to respond to crashes that changes the road.  They recently took away the turn pocket at Findlay and California after a teenage driver was speeding and killed a pedestrian crossing mid-block.  I’m not sure the center turn lane on the other side of Findlay had anything to do with it, but SDOT still decided to close that off to narrow the roadway.  I’m thinking of relatively straightforward things SDOT could do, like extend the median divider on Fauntleroy the full way to 35h.

        • WSB March 25, 2023 (4:32 pm)

          That is actually why I asked SDOT about whether they were evaluating signage, etc. – after the crash that killed Robb Mason east of the low bridge, they told me they usually go to the locations of deadly/major-injury crashes to see whether anything needs to be done.

      • Mickey March 25, 2023 (9:41 pm)

        So your solution is to do nothing. Great that’s why we are knee deep in our Seattle mess. People like you 

      • Dude March 28, 2023 (6:06 am)

        Actually we DO design roads, bridges and other structures to protect people from those who are “out of their mind”. Why do you think we have guardrails, walls and barriers?

  • WStops March 25, 2023 (7:01 am)

    News outlets are saying at least 3 calls were made to 911 about this driver (Roxbury bar, person with car hit on 35th and the person in the Uber). It is interesting that the dispatch audio doesn’t reflect this. Also, can you explain the south Seattle officer dispatch (for this of us that don’t understand how this all works)? Does this mean west Seattle didn’t have an officer available? It seems the city should be accountable for a full report in what happened leading up to this terrible incident. 

  • W SEA RES March 25, 2023 (7:05 am)

    Has there been any confirmation of if the driver was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol specifically? I’m not so sure that a passenger heavily under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol would notice signage that they were going the wrong direction in the first place, it seems the large majority of those who commute into and out of W Seattle are well aware of which direction each lane goes and entrances Vs exits of the W Seattle bridge. Any word on where they entered the freeway? This truly comes down to the fact the driver was very impaired driver and shouldn’t of been behind the wheel in the first place (driver is solely to blame for this, we don’t need new laws that won’t be followed by careless citizens), it’s truly unfortunate that SPD officers couldn’t of got to the driver after the initial 911 call about the 35th/Roxbury potentially impaired driver before the fatal crash but hindsight is 20/20 and we dunno the full facts of what transpired between that initial 911 call and when the fatal accident occurred…. Stay safe out there, always call 911 if/when you suspect someone is intoxicated behind the wheel and if safe to do so and time permitting try to follow from a distance to keep dispatcher updated of their location until you see officers arrive. 

  • grimjaw March 25, 2023 (7:16 am)

    nothing will happen…just waiting for the next needless death as usual…

  • CarDriver March 25, 2023 (7:23 am)

    WSB;others. Is a person like this guarded in the hospital? What/who would prevent him/her from walking out? As far as signage/spikes. NO AMOUNT of signage will deter an impaired or reckless driver. Spikes will slow a wrong way driver but would also impact emergency/maintenance vehicles that would have legitimate reasons for going the wrong way.

    • WSB March 25, 2023 (2:04 pm)

      No, I asked that too; they are not under hospital guard. That would require taking a police officer off the street 24/7 for days? weeks? My understanding, without specifics, is that if someone is incapacitated enough, they don’t put them under guard. But they do assign officers to hospital-guard duty in some cases – more often, when the suspect is being checked out before it’s determined they’re medically fit to be booked.

      • Laina Vereschagin March 27, 2023 (3:37 pm)

        Thanks for asking about that. It would be comforting to know he’s at least handcuffed to his bed. 

    • Bill March 25, 2023 (8:21 pm)

      Wasn’t there a fairly recent high speed incident locally where spike strips were put out and the perp just kept driving with a couple blown tires?  Sure it ends up maybe eventually stopping them but  not necessarily soon enough.

  • WSDUDEMAN March 25, 2023 (8:02 am)

    Better deferments or signage needed? Or perhaps this idiot didn’t need to be ‘impaired’ to the point of not understanding he was driving on the left oncoming side of traffic on a clearly separated road.Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. Lock this driver up for the maximum time allowed by the law. 

  • Becky Farwell March 25, 2023 (8:25 am)

    While I support the signage, I believe that doesn’t solve the problem as it applies to drunk drivers. Who knows if the driver of the truck was able to focus, let alone read anything? 

  • Bus March 25, 2023 (8:59 am)

    I saw video of this truck driving the wrong way on 35th, so I’m not convinced signage is the issue.  My heart goes out to the friends and families of the two killed by this driver.  Eighteen is so young…

  • Pdavis March 25, 2023 (9:16 am)

    Yes! It should be impossible to go the wrong way over the West Seattle bridge. That should’ve been fixed along time ago. There are two problematic access locations one obviously on 35th/fauntleroy … and there is also one at the bottom of Admiral Way hopefully, SDOT getting this taken care of will prevent other innocent people from being hurt or killed.But no matter what the idiot who caused the accident on the West Seattle bridge was clearly impaired, and now has caused the loss of two peoples lives through complete stupidity and irresponsibility.!

    • Geomatic April 6, 2023 (12:30 pm)

      About 20 or so years ago, we were doing some repairs to the West Seattle Bridge in the late hours… not sure if it was 11pm+, but sure enough we had 2 drivers trying to drive across the bridge after the 2am time period.  We had ‘road closed’ signage across the lanes, and lots of lights where we were working  which you would think would give the entire thing away, right.    We were actually able to stop one of the drivers (yes, very impaired) and asked her what the heck she was doing on the bridge… her response was “I’m not from around here”,  I said to her “what you don’t have road closed signs in Oregon??”   Signage will do nothing to help with drunk driving…  if headlights coming directly towards you from more than one vehicle doesn’t give it away to these people, nothing will.  Other than signage, I’m not sure how SDOT would be able to stop wrong way traffic.

  • Lower the BAC March 25, 2023 (9:49 am)

    There was a bill to lower the BAC for Washington state to .05 this year. It didn’t pass. The restaurant industry thought they would lose money. Think about that.

    • AS March 25, 2023 (11:09 pm)

      Do you think think this guy was worried about his bac!? How about, why did all of the 911 calls go unanswered until too late? Officer from Ocean district, what does that mean? From how far south? If he was seen going north on 35th, no cop in the vicinity at all??

      • Lower the BAC March 26, 2023 (7:25 am)

        That wasn’t my point. My point is that if the BAC is lowered, our roads have the potential to be safer. Why would you not want the BAC lowered? The restaurant industry is thinking about their bottom line, not about the safety of people in their own communities as they leave their establishments. This is just one way to curb drunk driving even more. Will it be 100% fool proof? No. But it may deter people from driving even if they have only one drink. 

        • Jay March 26, 2023 (3:27 pm)

          If the vast majority of deadly accidents are cause by people with a BAC over 0.15, what’s the case for lowering the limit from 0.08 to 0.05? Seems like this would be a misallocation of resources and effort.

          • WS Res March 26, 2023 (7:41 pm)

            “Why are you searching for your keys under that streetlight if you lost them over here in the alley?””Because that’s where I can see better.”

    • WS Res March 26, 2023 (7:01 am)

      I feel pretty confident in saying that this guy did not have a BAC of .05.  Or .08.  In fact a major problem with this bill is that the mayhem, injury, and death associated with drinking and driving is not people at the low end of the spectrum.  70% of DUI-related accidents have a BAC of .15 or higher – and that’s accidents, not injuries & deaths.

  • ACG March 25, 2023 (9:58 am)

    I agree with many of the other posters- while adding additional signage isn’t going to hurt anything, I highly doubt that someone driving while significantly impaired/under the influence is going to read or pay attention to signage. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims. I am so sorry for your loss. 

  • Bradley March 25, 2023 (10:10 am)

    I’m curious about the people who monitor the traffic cams from the link that was posted. Who is the watchdogs?  Are they monitoring 24/7?  They obviously were able to monitor the incident in real time.  Many of the videos already posted on their twitter account show the carelessness in some accidents. 

    • WSB March 25, 2023 (10:49 am)

      The link was from someone we’ve never heard of before who is trying to run a business selling media companies access to recordings of public traffic cameras like this. Not a “watchdog.” They primarily operate in other markets but apparently have recently expanded here. They have no control over the cameras – that’s the SDOT traffic control center downtown, which apparently just happened to be moving the camera around looking for the reported wrong-way driver – the camera currently is usually left locked down pointed across all lanes near the crest – when they caught the collision at the edge of the field of view. The city supposedly does not record these cameras, but there’s nothing to stop anyone else from doing so – real-time views of the SDOT video/still images are accessible (which is where I got the screenshots in our original story, viewing the camera fullscreen during the crash aftermath) via – TR

  • C March 25, 2023 (10:13 am)

    FYI get involved! Most DUIs are a misdemeanor (???) and a driver in Washington can  be charged with felony DUI, which carries jail or prison time, only if they have been convicted of three other DUIs in the past 10 years. This is what happens with lax DUI laws. People die. 

    • Burgerman March 25, 2023 (12:10 pm)

      It’s not reasonable to charge a DUI first offender with a felony. People make mistakes. A felony conviction WILL ruin the rest of your life and potential to contribute to the level you might have otherwise. People who get DUIs are not bad citizens or criminals, and can be highly contributing members of society. A felony conviction can completely sink that. For example – I received a DUI in another Washington locality years ago, for something that was not my fault to begin with. A felony conviction would have resulted in disastrous consequences and to be frank, I don’t think I’d be alive today if my case had been a felony conviction. It’s certainly reasonable to ramp up to a felony with repeat offenses, but there is no way it’s reasonable to remove a person’s ability to contribute highly to society for making a mistake. Zero to 100 is never a good idea with most things in life.

      • Just wondering March 25, 2023 (12:42 pm)

        So killing 2 people was just an unfortunate mistake?  Lock him up!

      • Joe March 25, 2023 (12:51 pm)

        How was your DUI not your fault?

        • AdmyrlByrd March 25, 2023 (10:46 pm)

          Joe beat me to it.  Sounds like Jake Blues in the tunnel with Carrie Fisher….I had a flat tire…it wasn’t my fault…

      • Oh Seattle March 25, 2023 (1:01 pm)

        So you got a DUI and you had not consumed any alcohol or drugs before driving a vehicle?  That’s the only way it could not be your fault.

      • Lisab March 25, 2023 (1:07 pm)

        So, according to you, this driver is NOT a bad citizen or criminal? Got it.  Not surprised you feel this way once you revealed your past.

      • KM March 25, 2023 (1:20 pm)

        People who drive under the influence ARE criminals, as it is a crime to do so. 

      • C March 25, 2023 (2:21 pm)

        Never once did I suggest zero to 100. But a DUI is always your choice. And it’s not like a “oops I picked the wrong shampoo” choice. It immediately puts other lives at risk. So yes, it should be a felony. 

      • J March 25, 2023 (2:24 pm)

        DUI is NOT a mistake! DUI is a crime. Anyone who defends a DUI whether it’s their own or this murderous idiot should perhaps ponder how not taking responsibility for their actions can result in deadly consequences! 

      • Neighbor March 25, 2023 (4:37 pm)

        I have several friends with past DUIs.  They moved on with their lives and are contributing members of society.  Sorry these other commenters are so vengeful.  Proportional punishment works.  That doesn’t forgive this driver.  We don’t know the details, he could have prior DUIs, or this could be a first offense.  But there’s a big difference between DUI and killing two people.  The outcome matters.

        • CarDriver March 25, 2023 (5:01 pm)

          Neighbor. DUI has ALWAY’s been a crime. Nobody. I repeat NOBODY can claim they didn’t know it’s WRONG to drive impaired. Killing/hurting someone while driving impaired is a SECOND crime. We are not vengeful. We simply have NO sympathy for someone who willingly breaks the law and gets lucky they didn’t maim or kill someone.  How are your friends contributing to warning people to not do what THEY WERE HAPPY TO DO.

          • Neighbor March 25, 2023 (6:43 pm)

            Of course DUI is a crime.  I said nothing to the contrary.  But it’s not murder and the first offense shouldn’t be a felony.  People can and do learn from their mistakes.  There’s no information to suggest making a first DUI a felony would have saved these kids.

          • Justice4Riley March 28, 2023 (10:03 pm)

            There are some brilliant people commenting on here. Neighbor, yours takes the cake. Riley was my nephew. My sister has to bury her only son. Nobody asked for your progressive bs opinions you piss out of your mouth. The POS is MURDERER and he will NEVER get out to see the light of day again. He ruined his own life along with the lives of everyone impacted by this tragedy. 

        • Lisab March 25, 2023 (5:04 pm)

          Wow, vengeful? Two 18 year olds are dead because of impaired driving and this is what you take from it? 

          • Neighbor March 25, 2023 (6:45 pm)

            Yes, vengeful.  You want to ruin people’s lives over a single mistake.  You want to hurt them in a way that hurts us all.  That’s vengeance.

      • Bus March 25, 2023 (6:26 pm)

        This is on par with firing a “warning shot” into a crowded room and being surprised when the bullet hits someone.  There is bad judgment, and there is criminal-level stupidity/negligence.  There’s no reason why this level of bad judgment should be a slap on the wrist.  People are charged with felonies and serve time for far less.  The fact that a bar that overserves someone can have more serious long-term consequences than the person choosing to get behind the wheel is asinine.

      • Burgerman March 25, 2023 (8:01 pm)

        All of you jumping down on my back for a gang beat down are losing your minds without thinking. Zero to 100, just like I was talking about. Of course this guy should get felony charges and convictions if he’s found guilty in court. He probably did murder people, egregiously, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet that he WAS even DUI. I’m saying that getting a DUI in a situation where there were no consequences to any other person but the driver does not call for a felony convinction, especially not on the first offense. This is the PROBLEM with Seattle voters! You reason only by using your emotions at 100, instead of THINKING RATIONALLY, considering all angles before coming to a reasonable, thoroughly thought out and reasoned conclusion. People who do this probably shouldn’t be voting, to be completely honest.

        Oh, and I’m not giving you more information on my situation because it’s none of your business and I am protecting my anonymity.

        • Dana March 25, 2023 (9:51 pm)

          Welcome to the witch hunt happens on any topic nothing new. You made your point just move on 

          • CarDriver March 26, 2023 (2:09 pm)

            Dana. Sooo going after DUI drivers and demanding accountability is a witch hunt? Why. 

        • Bus March 26, 2023 (8:52 am)

          Burgerman, what I’m having trouble with is advocating lighter sentences for those who get lucky after doing something reckless.  Their actions weren’t any less dangerous, and the relatively light sentences for DUIs are part of why we still have so many issues with drunk drivers.  EVERYONE thinks they’re the lucky guy when they’re drunk.  Everyone is sure they’ll get home fine and everyone will be okay.  The guy in this story was probably feeling GREAT about his chances of getting home in that truck.  It’s not that hard to plan for another way home if you drink at all.  When it’s so easy to make good choices, it’s really a no-brainer to attach real consequences to the bad ones and not rely on people’s feelings to keep everyone safe.

          • Burgerman March 26, 2023 (1:36 pm)

            Bus – that’s not reasonable though. The punishment has to fit the crime. You can’t punish someone for something they didn’t do – namely cause an accident or hurt or kill people. If their initial action DOES result in serious effects on someone else or something, then by all means pile on the charges and max out the punishment. But we shouldn’t be throwing an immediate felony conviction at somebody when what they did had no consequences whatsoever. None of us want to live in that society.

          • Bus March 26, 2023 (2:47 pm)

            By that logic, every “attempted” crime should be thrown out of the penal code.  This would be a very different discussion if it was not SO bloody easy to avoid driving after drinking (drinking is not a mandated activity), but I just cannot see the logic in light sentences for people who knowingly made a bad decision, just because they got lucky.  Luck should not be part of the penal code.  And, honest to god, it is REALLY EASY to not drink and drive.  Really.  Freaking.  Easy.  

  • Wseaplane March 25, 2023 (10:21 am)

    It is surprising that there is only one dispatch but 3 calls to police (reported by media outlets: bar, person with hit car on 35th and person in Uber). WSB- can you help us understand the officer coming from south sound? Does this mean there were no available police in west Seattle? Seems like a  city or police deep dive is needed on this to understand what went wrong even with multiple warnings. 

    • WSB March 25, 2023 (11:43 am)

      If you look at the SPD sector maps
      the bridge is actually partly in Ocean sector – and the westbound access is mostly if not entirely from there. I actually thought it was rather amazing there was an officer so quickly on the scene – police put out what appeared to be a fire starting in the car’s engine compartment before SFD got there.

      But this is just applicable to the dispatch for wrong-way driver on the bridge – it doesn’t speak to whatever was reported before he got to the bridge. And there were definitely other calls keeping SW officers busy at that time. – TR

  • Scott Lipsky March 25, 2023 (10:25 am)

    There are countless one-way “traffic spike” products available that DOT’s, municipalitues, etc can purchase and install on any road or ramp. Like the ones you see in parkng lots (except these are flatter & you can drive over them at normal speeds). Like intersections that really could use stop signs & traffic lights in cities, unfortunately they are usually not added until someone is killed or badly injured – and then the city lawyers worries about getting sued if it happens again. Then viola – it appears. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns into one of those spots where we suddenly see such spikes appear. 

  • ruckus March 25, 2023 (11:04 am)

    My guess is that something set off the driver of the truck sometime before he got behind the wheel near Roxbury and 35th. Someone got into his face, or he was rejected. Those emotions darkened into rage which morphed into homicidal rage, and he raced into the oncoming lane determined to take as many people with him as he could. In short, murder. Neither signage nor spikes would have deterred this guy.

    • Icky Vicky March 25, 2023 (7:03 pm)

      Can we try to avoid sensationalizing motive or reasoning?  It’s one thing to say “yeah the road signs are to blame” but this comment reads like a fanfic like it’s a murder mystery and we’re trying to get inside the mind of a serial killer.Additionally, there are some really messed up people out there that will take your comment and justify carrying the same reactions even if they aren’t the motive for the guy.  We don’t need to give those people more ammunition to justify their incorrect and twisted minds.

      • Joah March 27, 2023 (9:38 am)

        What’s wrong with speculating about motive and intent? It’s not like this guy dozed off and drove a couple miles down the wrong side of the road. If I got blackout drunk and shot my neighbor people wouldn’t just shrug their shoulders and say “must have been the drink” right?

  • Peter B March 25, 2023 (11:41 am)

    The culprit was driving on the wrong side of the road for a long time before he got to the bridge. This has zero to do with signage. He was not confused. He’d already hit at least one parked car. Let’s also not forget he could’ve exited twice before the crash from the bridge itself, or I dunno, pulled a u-turn or just bloody well stopped with his hazard lights on, this guy was absolutely hammered or on a death wish.There are no mitigating factors in this scumbag’s behaviour. Please stop making excuses. 

    • WSweeps March 25, 2023 (9:33 pm)

      If witness testimony is accurate, Roxy’s has culpability in this horrific double vehicular homicide. Who served him? Why was he allowed to leave the premises? Did Roxbury Lanes / Casino / Roxy’s call 911?

  • Admiral March 25, 2023 (11:57 am)

    Motorist’s convicted of DUI need to be made accountable:

    – mandatory increased minimum insurance coverage, at least $1,000,000 of coverage for a minimum of 3 years after the 1st conviction 
    – forced to pay into a victim’s compensation fund 
    – be required to install and pay for a vehicle breathalyzer 

    • bill March 25, 2023 (1:19 pm)

      There are fairly stiff laws on the books. The ongoing problem is lack of follow up to verify compliance. How do you monitor insurance coverage? The guy who killed, what was it, both grandparents and maimed the mom and baby for life a few years ago in a north Seattle crosswalk had five DUI convictions and was required to have a breathalyzer. But it either was not installed in his truck or was inoperational. The deep problem is we don’t want to spend what it would take for vigorous enforcement.

  • Joe March 25, 2023 (1:04 pm)

    There’s nothing that would indicate that being tougher on DUIs would have stopped this. This is not your typical DUI case. This is someone who intoxicated out of their mind or on a suicide/murder mission. I doubt even spikes would have stopped him. He would have just kept driving on bare rims. Please hold back on the emotionally-charged, knee-jerk recommendations on DUI legislation. 

  • RecreationalDriver March 25, 2023 (1:40 pm)

    One-way spikes seem like a bad idea to me. I regularly see drivers reconsider a yellow, stop long in the intersection, then reverse back behind the stop line.

    • bill March 25, 2023 (4:30 pm)

      With spikes they would only make that mistake once. The law does say you are not to enter an intersection unless you are obviously able to clear it before the red.

      • Neighbor March 25, 2023 (6:48 pm)

        Here in reality I prefer that we let people reverse a bit to clear an intersection instead of immobilizing their cars and causing a traffic jam.

      • Chemist March 25, 2023 (7:49 pm)

        I’m still waiting for someone to post info about “commonly available” spikes strips for a 30 mph roadway.  Arizona DOT wrote in 2017 –  Why spike strips aren’t the answer to wrong-way incidents   

        • No available system is designed for speeds faster than 5 mph.
        • Not for use in high-volume traffic.
        • Require excessive maintenance — must be visually monitored and maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure to safe operation.
        • Failure of the system could result in damage to a vehicle traveling in the right direction and harm to that driver.
        • Not compliant with the nationally accepted traffic control device guidelines.
        • Another Bill March 25, 2023 (8:43 pm)

          Finally a non-knee jerk informative comment — Thank You!

      • Burgerman March 25, 2023 (9:00 pm)

        It’s not that way in Seattle. As long as you ENTER the intersection at some point during the yellow, no matter how late, you are NOT breaking the law, but you can’t accelerate before and through the intersection just to make the light. Even if the light turns red while you’re in the intersection, it’s still legal. You may not run a red light, though. 

        • Burgerman March 25, 2023 (9:10 pm)

          Missed the edit time – I meant in Washington. We have a permissive yellow statute, not a restrictive statute. As I said, you can go through the intersection on yellow as long as you have crossed the crosswalk while the light is yellow. It’s why we have the red to green delay – there’s a safety delay after one light turns red before the opposing light turns green. That delay is also being extended now for additional pedestrian safety.  Because we have the permissive law, it’s inadvisable to stomp your brakes the minute you see the yellow light come on – you can be partially liable for causing an accident if you stomp on your brakes instead of continuing legally through the intersection. That’s right from the mouth of a lawyer.

  • Admiral March 25, 2023 (6:09 pm)

    They showed the young couple on TV news today.  They were celebrating his birthday going to Alki Beach. 

    It’s so frustrating that the DUI driver lives, hopefully locked up in jail for a very long time, and the two innocent teens are gone, but not forgotten by their loved ones, forever.  

    • Burgerman March 25, 2023 (9:11 pm)

      Lest anyone think I don’t care – yes. It’s very sad. I hope they lock that driver up on murder or vehicular homicide charges for a very long time. 

  • ? March 26, 2023 (6:14 am)

    How about the bar that continued to serve this person?  Are they not at fault for overserving? This is  so wrong- these families that have to live with this.  These 2 young lives that are gone.    My heart aches for them.

  • Dan March 26, 2023 (10:29 am)

    This person was behind the wheel of a vehicle that killed 2 18 year old kids . That is a fact that is not in dispute here . Throw him in jail for the rest of his life for his actions that night. Case closed.

  • WSeaWSea March 26, 2023 (10:37 am)

    I read on social media that a witness saw the truck driver enter the wrong way by crossing over the median low curbing before the start of  jersey barrier. Per the post, Witness was westbound in left turn lane waiting to turn south on 35th. Upon seeing the truck driver turn right from 35th NB onto eastbound bridge and crossover, Witness pulled into fast food restaurant parking lot to call & report. Crash occurred within a minute or two, possibly while still on the call. My heart hurts for all affected by the tragedy. 

    • bolo March 26, 2023 (1:29 pm)

      If that is true, would spike strips and Wrong Way signage have helped? Like people are demanding?

  • sam-c March 26, 2023 (3:05 pm)

    Have the GoFundMe pages been verified & confirmed that they are connected to the victims’ families? I assume so, since WSB posted them, but wanted to double check as I had seen a different GoFundMe in Riley’s honor posted elsewhere.  thank you!

    • WSB March 26, 2023 (5:04 pm)

      We try to vet before posting but these are always donate-at-your-own-risk, honestly. The one for Khalea’s family was originally mentioned by someone who said they were a family friend. The one for Riley is one of two found if you search GFM but the other does not even have a photo of him nor did it have anything but a vague blurb; this one also has gained far more traction, including at least one relative among the commenting donors.

    • Andy March 29, 2023 (9:15 am)

      I’m a family member of Khalea’s. The two GoFundMe campaigns mentioned are legitimate. There is also a fundraiser at the Snohomish McDonald’s tonight 5-7 pm.

      • WSB March 29, 2023 (10:22 am)

        Thank you.

      • sam-c March 29, 2023 (11:16 am)

        Thank you for these updates.

  • BraxtonLeigh March 26, 2023 (11:44 pm)

    Do we know why the footage was published and used for investigation as opposed to when Robert Mason was killed? I applaud the progress but wonder why the distinct treatment of the footage.RIP Khalea & Riley

    • WSB March 27, 2023 (3:17 am)

      This is not investigative use. This is a commercial company that is recording the video-capable SDOT cameras. I also don’t believe there was an SDOT camera showing the area where Mr. Mason was killed at the time of the crash – one has since been installed.

  • 22blades March 27, 2023 (4:22 am)

    “…if bridge entrances need better signage or markings to deter wrong-way entries. That question hasn’t landed on SDOT’s radar yet, according to spokesperson Ethan Bergerson.“Are they waiting for the full Coroners’s report? THAT is unacceptable.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes March 28, 2023 (8:49 am)

      Of course, as evidenced here we certainly can’t wait for all the information before we make claims or take action.

  • A Friend of Khalea's April 6, 2023 (11:42 am)

    Hello, do we have any updates on this story?  Was the driver who caused the accident charged?  Is he still in the hospital?  Thank you so much for being such a valuable news source. 

    • WSB April 6, 2023 (11:56 am)

      As of the end of last week, he was expected to be in the hospital at least another week. I am checking yet again today with prosecutors.

      • Leah April 7, 2023 (11:07 am)

        I would like the name when it is available as well.

  • Joe April 14, 2023 (6:45 pm)

    Are there any updates on this story? Is the driver still in the hospital? Has he been charged?

    • WSB April 14, 2023 (6:50 pm)

      He is still in the hospital. Not charged yet. My understanding is that charges are likely to be filed when his transfer to jail is imminent.

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