UPDATE: Driver arrested after car-on-side crash in 5600 block California SW

10:44 AM: Seattle Fire has sent a “rescue extrication” response to the 5600 block of California SW [map]. It’s reported to be a crash involving at least one flipped vehicle. Updates to come.

10:49 AM: Arriving crews report that the vehicle is on its side with the driver trapped. California will be fully blocked in the area.

(Added: Photo posted by commenter Corprew)

10:58 AM: SFD reports they’ve gotten the driver out safely.

11:08 AM: Police just told dispatch they’re going to get traffic going again by reopening the southbound and center lanes.

2:42 PM: We followed up with SFD; the driver was not hurt and did not require treatment or transport.

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: SPD tells us today that the driver was arrested for investigation of DUI.

32 Replies to "UPDATE: Driver arrested after car-on-side crash in 5600 block California SW"

  • Can hear it but not see it December 27, 2023 (10:53 am)

    Was it racers?  I live at the top of the hill and heard a bunch of engines racing and then the police sirens and then fire.  I can hear the grinding right now.

    • shotinthefoot December 27, 2023 (11:04 am)

      considering people regularly travel 50+mph on this street….not surprised. 

    • Elizabeth December 27, 2023 (6:11 pm)

      This happened right in front of where I work. No racing involved, the driver just managed to flip his vehicle. He hit a parked car which led him to flip and was later taken away in cuffs… 

  • Glenn December 27, 2023 (10:54 am)

    Dangerous intersection… speed involved?

    • Steve December 27, 2023 (11:16 am)

      Not at the intersection. Just South of C&P Coffee. Apparently just got distracted, hit a parked car, and flipped over.

      • SeattleFireBuff December 27, 2023 (11:33 am)

        Nope. I talked to SPD, and they said he’s going to jail.

      • Lamont December 27, 2023 (12:09 pm)

        It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of speed to flip a car over:Slow motion car flip

  • WSB December 27, 2023 (11:01 am)

    No idea. We unfortunately don’t have eyes on the scene. The vehicle was initially described as a van.

  • Chemist December 27, 2023 (11:05 am)

    That’s just south of the Findlay intersection that had the raised pedestrian island added to the center turn lane.

  • Jdr December 27, 2023 (11:11 am)

    Looks like a van or SUV. Rolled over in the middle of the street two doors down from C&P coffee. Not near the intersections. Some steep driveways there leading down to the street, but still not sure how it could have ended up rolled like that.

    • Resident December 27, 2023 (11:44 am)

      They were probably speeding like so many other people do down this stretch. Slow down everybody! There are a lot of pedestrians in this area. Nicholas Wolf was killed by a speeding motorist one block over. 

  • Tom December 27, 2023 (11:18 am)

    Looked like he clipped a car on the right side southbound and overcorrected and flipped and slammed into the cars on the other side of the road. 

  • Ryan December 27, 2023 (11:58 am)

    The van was rolled over on the drivers side with the roof facing north and the front of the car facing east. I would conclude that the driver was heading north and turned suddenly to the east, hitting the parked car and tipping over. It was a minivan, so less likely it was racing and more likely, as someone said, just a distracted driver, maybe not expecting to see cars stopped at the pedestrian crossing. Glad that no one seemed to be seriously hurt. 

  • drahcir61 December 27, 2023 (12:44 pm)

    I guess I’ve just been lucky all these years … or maybe I just know how to drive responsibly.  I don’t text while driving, I don’t fiddle with stuff in the car, I keep my eyes on the road. 

    I’m 62 years old & haven’t been involved in a car accident in over 30 years; I haven’t had a driving citation during the same period.  Speeding tickets are expensive, as are “at-fault” determinations by your insurance company.  Lawyers are expensive too. 

    And yet every day I see mature adults, professionals, seemingly intelligent, driving 15+mph over the posted limit.  Harbor Ave, California, 35th, West Marginal Way … shuttling kids to daycare or the soccer game, late for the water taxi … and willing to suffer the financial & legal consequences by driving too fast. 

    Seems pretty stupid to me, but what do I know?

    • sgs December 27, 2023 (5:00 pm)

      Agree- more and more people believe they can set their own rules.  Stop at the stop sign at Genesee and Glenn Way at 46th?  Not me, say most going through that intersection.  Almost been hit multiple times.  

  • Megnificent December 27, 2023 (12:53 pm)

    U-turns seem very popular these days in West Seattle … not to say thats what happened here but when i saw it, the thought occurred to me. 

  • Corprew December 27, 2023 (12:55 pm)

    Here’s a picture from during the incident.

    • WSB December 27, 2023 (1:34 pm)

      Thank you. When we were finally able to go look in person, the only part of the scene remaining was the car this driver hit.

  • Jason L. December 27, 2023 (3:25 pm)

    As someone who cycles on this section of road regularly, these incidents are especially terrifying. There’s no reasonable explanation for how a car could land on it’s side on a road with a 35 mph speed limit. 

    • Seattlite December 27, 2023 (4:36 pm)

      Jason…The speed limit is 25 mph.  Just a FYI.

    • M December 27, 2023 (4:53 pm)

      Speed limit is 25 not 35.

    • CarDriver December 27, 2023 (5:15 pm)

      Jason L. Low speed rollovers really do happen. It’s not a fluke. Seeing a rollover due to high speed on a tv show or movie doesn’t translate to what really can(and does) happen in real life.

      • Jay December 27, 2023 (11:19 pm)

        The same behavior that causes drivers to clip parked cars and fire hydrants (the cause of slow speed rollovers) is also what kills cyclists.

    • K December 27, 2023 (5:38 pm)

      The speed limit is 25 and there’s a reasonable explanation further up in the comments section, linked by Lamont.  

  • Mojo December 27, 2023 (7:40 pm)

    Cell phone use?

  • Doug December 27, 2023 (8:14 pm)

     Per Elizabeth, the driver was taken away in cuffs – So it appears the story continues. 

    • WSB December 27, 2023 (8:28 pm)

      I followed up with SPD earlier, and the media office said they didn’t have info on the driver’s status; collisions remain notoriously difficult to get timely followup info about. Will try again tomorrow in hopes they might be able to access the incident report by then.

      • Elizabeth December 28, 2023 (7:47 am)

        I watched the police officer give the driver a sobriety test, and then seconds later he cuffed him. That’s what I saw. I heard that none of the vehicles were insured either… not the best way to start off the new year, yikes! 

        • WSB December 28, 2023 (9:27 am)

          Thanks, SPD just told me that the driver was arrested for investigation of DUI.

  • sgs December 28, 2023 (9:58 am)

    Thankfully no one hurt in this one, but that’s not always the case.  I once lived in a country where alcohol use was very high….and the DUI consequences were high.  Everyone was very careful to plan options to drinking and driving. 

  • Admiral-2009 December 28, 2023 (5:08 pm)

    sgs – agreed.  Penalties for people driving drunk and/or under the influence need to be made much much harsher.  

  • Findlay December 28, 2023 (8:37 pm)

    We saw a police response/EMT about 4 am Wednesday morning. A car had crashed into a tree.

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