This was the scene at about 9:00 am today at the intersection of E. Madison Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way E., half an hour or so following an accident that left two cars totalled and sent one driver to the hospital with minor injuries. A dump truck hauling rock was headed east down Madison when, according to its driver, the brakes failed. After hitting the two cars, the driver swerved off the street and stopped his vehicle by raming into the brick wall of Madison Cleaners. Neither the driver nor the wall was seriously damaged in the accident, though the truck sure was.
My neighbor Jim Waltz, who covered the story as a cameraman for KIRO-TV, told me that the police administered the mandatory sobriety test to the truck driver, who in an on-camera interview with the station said that he swerved to avoid hitting additional cars and thought the brick wall should do the job of stopping the truck. It did.
Another of my neighbors was a witness to accident. He was sitting at the counter of Essential Bakery looking out the window when he saw the truck coming down the hill at a very very fast rate, he told me. The truck hit a parked car sitting at the curb (with the driver in it), careened through the intersection, hit a car turning into the Madison Cleaners parking lot, and then smashed into the wall. From his vantage point it did not seem to be a controlled crash. More of an out-of-control smashup.
Thanks to Barbie Hull of Barbie Hull Photography for the great shots: