More Details on Yesterday’s Accident

The Seattle Times‘ Sara Jean Green has the a new piece this morning outlining some of the specific events that occurred yesterday at the corner of Rainier and Edmunds. We’re all lucky to have such amazing and caring neighbors who jumped into help without hesitation:


Alan Berner / Seattle Times

When an SUV crashed through a hair salon and Greek deli, pinning a family of three to a wall in Columbia City on Thursday afternoon, a group of witnesses grabbed fire extinguishers from nearby restaurants and raced to pull out furniture and debris to free the people trapped inside.

“God worked a miracle today,” said the Rev. Don Davis, pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Columbia City, marveling that no one was killed.

“We didn’t hesitate at all,” said Davis, who was among those who ran into the historic building on the southwest corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street to help.

“It was black, white, all of us, just pulling stuff out. That’s how we do it in Columbia City — we stick together.”

According to Seattle police, witnesses reported hearing the SUV’s engine revving just before it tore through the two businesses. Officers are investigating what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

The SUV, driven by a woman in her 40s, was heading south on Rainier Avenue South just before 1:30 p.m. when it veered off the street and crashed into the Carol Cobb Salon and continued into The Grecian Delight deli next door, said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore.

A father, mother and their 10-year-old daughter who were eating at the deli were pinned between the front of the SUV and a wall, he said. Firefighters were able to extricate the family within 12 minutes and all three were taken to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition with minor injuries, Moore said.

In the salon, a boy, about 6 to 8 years old, suffered burns to his head and a woman was injured by falling debris, according to Moore. The child and woman were also taken to Harborview, and another woman inside the salon suffered minor injuries but wasn’t taken to the hospital.

The driver did not have any apparent injuries but was taken to Harborview to get checked out, Moore said.

The impact of the crash, which shattered windows and demolished walls, caused at least two large cracks at the building’s crown, raising concerns that the one-story building could collapse, Moore said. Firefighters wedged temporary metal support posts between the sidewalk and the storefront window frames to shore up the exterior walls.

Officials kept people from entering the building and left the SUV inside until city engineers could assess the extent of the structural damage, Moore said…

The article goes on to discuss the history of the 1905 building as well as the customers and employees from around the area who rushed to the scene to put out fires and help those injured by the accident. Be sure to read the whole thing here .

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