Ten people were injured after a speeding pickup hit more than a dozen cars in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood Friday afternoon.
The 70-year-old driver of the pickup was booked into King County Jail for investigation of vehicular assault, Seattle police said.
The pickup, which was going an estimated 60 to 70 mph eastbound on Rainier Avenue South at 53rd Avenue South, hit approximately 15 vehicles, nine of which were occupied, shortly before 5 p.m., according to the Seattle Police Department. Among the vehicles were a police patrol car and a King County Metro bus.
Passengers had to be extricated from three vehicles.
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Police said medics transported two adults to Harborview Medical Center with critical, but nonlife threatening injuries. The remaining eight people were taken to Harborview for evaluation. Among them were two children who had been inside a vehicle that rolled over.
The crash spanned multiple blocks on Rainier Avenue South, between 53rd Avenue South and Seward Park Avenue South. The street remained closed for hours while officials investigated.
Police Capt. John Hayes, who was driving an unmarked patrol car, saw the speeding vehicle in his rearview mirror and veered to reduce impact, but was still hit. He was able to get out of his car and arrest the driver, said Assistant Chief Nick Metz.
After being evaluated by medics, Hayes was released at the scene. He said he had sore legs but was still full of adrenaline.
“I was so happy that nobody was killed,” Hayes said. “He was driving so fast. I can’t even tell you the amount of blessings that went through my mind. The people here in Rainier Beach mean the world to me, because there are so many people working so hard.”
Metz said there were extra officers in the area because of a Halloween festival and they rushed to the scene after they heard crashes.
Lily Givens, who works at a nearby barbershop, said she came out of the shop and saw an older man behind the wheel of a truck. He was speeding and “started hitting cars.” She said her friend’s car was hit while he was inside it; her friend had bumps on his head and body.
“(The driver) kept on hitting cars and just going crazy,” she said.
People in businesses rushed out to help the victims before medics arrived a minute or two after the crashes, residents said. Passers-by tried to comfort the children who were stuck in the overturned vehicle.
Friday apparently was not a good day to drive. In Gig Harbor, seven people were injured in a four-car crash on Highway 302 on Friday evening, according to Gig Harbor Fire. Around the same time, six people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries after a multivehicle crash at North Union Avenue and South 12th Street in Tacoma.
Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org