The southwest corner of Ferdinand and Rainier is still under police control from a major accident earlier today. At approximately 1:30pm, an SUV lost control and drove through the front window of the Carol Cobb salon, breaking down the wall into the Greek restaurant and causing injuries to up to seven people (some news stations are reporting six). The Facebook chatter and word on the street is that driver of the SUV suffered some kind of significant medical event (ex: seizure, heart attack, stroke) which caused her to lose control of her vehicle.
Although the specific events of the incident are still being sorted, the good news is that it does not seem that there were any critical injuries and amazingly, everyone made it out. Speaking to a neighbor who happened to be one of the first responders on the scene, the situation was incredibly intense, incredibly scary, but people worked together to help the victims until police and paramedics arrived.
Unfortunately, the building itself has suffered significant damage. The entire front of the salon is gone, as is most of the Grecian Delight. Structurally, the building is being held up by temporary supports and major cracks have begun to develop.
Local news stations are still on the scene and I’m sure additional details will develop. The Columbia City Facebook page currently has a lively discussion underway regarding the incident itself as well as the general safety of Rainier Ave. Many neighbors are remembering this similar incident, which occurred exactly one block south on the corner of Rainier and Edmunds about six months ago– the nail salon that was hit then is still partially boarded up pending upcoming repairs.
Update at 3:21 p.m.: The Seattle Fire Department says of the seven people injured in the accident, six were taken to Harborview Medical Center, including the family of three pinned to the wall of the deli.
The building, which has two large cracks, is being inspected by city engineers.
Update at 2:58 p.m.: Candace Versey, whose mother owns the salon that was damaged in the accident, rushed to the building after she couldn’t reach her mother by phone.
Her mother, Carol Marie Cobb, was not in the salon at the time and is fine, she said. The two employees who were working in the salon are also OK, Versey said.
She said the damage is hard to believe.“It looks almost like something out of a cartoon,” she said.
Versey said the business will re-open as soon as the building is repaired.
Update at 2:41 p.m.: Seattle fire now reporting seven total people injured. The injuries appear minor.
Update at 2:17 p.m.: A man, woman and their 10-year-old daughter were pinned to a wall by an SUV that veered off a Columbia City street and crashed into a hair salon and deli, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
The family of three, who were inside The Grecian Delight deli, were trapped for about 12 minutes before they were freed, said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore.
The woman who was driving the car, who is reportedly in her 40s, was trapped for about three minutes by fallen debris before she was freed. In addition, a woman and a boy, 6 to 8 years old, were injured in the Carol Cobb Salon.
The conditions of the injured were not immediately known.
An off-duty firefighter who witnessed the crashed grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out spot fires that flared beneath the SUV, Moore said.
The main concern now that all the victims have been freed is the structure integrity of the building. Officials are not letting anyone inside.
All lanes around Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street will remain blocked until a structural assessment is completed on the building, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Update at 2:01 p.m.: The Seattle Fire Department reports six people were injured when an SUV crashed into a Columbia City hair salon and Greek deli.
Photos from the scene show the SUV well inside the building. Seattle fire says the impact may have compromised the structure of the building.
Damaged were the Carol Cobb Salon and The Grecian Delight.
Original post: An SUV has crashed into a building in Columbia City, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
The accident was reported just before 1:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of Rainier Avenue South. Initial reports indicated a car had crashed into a hair salon and people were trapped.
It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was injured.