Accident closes highway for an hour
September 17, 2008 · Updated 2:36 PM
An accident occurred on Vashon Highway just outside of the building that houses The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, Minglement and Chilkat Trader shortly after 2 p.m. on Monday.
Police and fire officials blocked off a portion of the highway for about an hour, causing delays in both directions and forcing school buses to find a different route.
The driver of a green Cadillac El Dorado swerved onto the shoulder of the highway before slamming head-on into two cars parked outside the north end of the Roasterie building, bystanders said.
The Cadillac hit a grey Isuzu, which in turn hit a navy Volvo parked in front of it. The Isuzu sustained front- and rear-end damage, including a rupture in its gas tank that sent a stream of gasoline several yards down the highway.
The driver of the Cadillac, described as a male in his 60s, was placed on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance, although the aid car did not leave the scene for more than half an hour after the accident.
“He was speeding down the road beside me,” said Nancy Dierks, who was ahead of the Cadillac on the highway. The driver did not, however, hit Dierks’ car.
“I feel like I’m really lucky,” she said. “I thought he was going to hit the building. If he hadn’t swerved, he would have taken all those people out.”
Several Islanders were sitting outside of the Roasterie, enjoying a cup of coffee, when they were surprised by the severe accident.
“I’m sitting here, reading the newspaper, and I hear this loud explosion,” said Mike Sasnett, who was on the porch at the time of the accident. “And this Volvo was coming right towards me — with no driver.”
Kirk added that it was lucky the accident occurred before McMurray and Vashon High School dismissal, so there were no school buses or a heavy flow of school-related traffic in the intersection when the collision occurred.
Roberta Saxon, who was sitting with Sesnett, said the accident could have been worse.
“We’re lucky no one else was in those other two cars because they would have been seriously injured.”
— Amelia Heagerty