Eastbound I-90 traffic was diverted onto the express lanes for two hours Tuesday morning after a carjacking, high-speed chase and crash in the Mercer Island tunnel.
Eastbound Interstate 90 was closed for about two hours Tuesday morning after a suspected carjacking, a high-speed chase and a wreck in the Mercer Island tunnel.
Detective Mark Jamieson, of the Seattle Police Department, said a man approached a family in the 500 block of Lakeside Avenue South in the Leschi neighborhood, implied he had a gun, stole their Acura SUV and took off.
A family member called 911 and told police about the robbery, and police broadcast information about the SUV to patrol officers. An officer saw the stolen vehicle enter eastbound Interstate 90 from Rainier Avenue South.
“Knowing that it was a stolen vehicle, knowing it was an armed carjacking, the officer pursued that vehicle in an attempt to stop it,” Jamieson said. “The vehicle was traveling at such a high rate of speed, the officer lost sight of the vehicle at the (I-90 bridge’s) midspan.”
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Jamieson said the officer stopped pursuing the vehicle, shut down his emergency equipment and a few minutes later came upon a collision.
“It appears the suspect’s vehicle hit a jersey barrier in the tunnel,” Jamieson said.
The officer found the suspect, who Jamieson described as a man between 30 and 50 years of age, hiding outside the vehicle. The man was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Jamieson said the man will be booked into King County Jail once he’s discharged from the hospital.
He described the pursuit as “short-lived.”
“As a general rule, we do not pursue, but there are exceptions. This is an exception to that rule,” Jamieson said, noting the suspect had indicated he was armed.
The Washington State Patrol also responded to the crash scene. The roadway reopened at about 7 a.m.