On Wednesday, May 17th of 2023 at around 2 in the afternoon, a car accident happened at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Two vehicles total were involved. It happened in the departures area on the Upper Departures Drive near door 26 at the check-in for Alaska Airlines. The vehicle was a red SUV truck, and it jumped a curb. According to the police, the accident happened because the vehicle unexpectedly accelerated. When the driver accidentally hit their gas pedal, it caused the vehicle to go up onto the curb. The incident appears to have not been on purpose on the driver’s part. Although the accident may not have been intentional, it caused serious consequences.
The truck ended up hitting three people that were waiting near the Alaska Airlines section of the departures area. The three individuals were taken to multiple hospitals. One of the people that was injured in the crash was a four-year-old girl. The accident left her in critical condition. She was taken Harborview Medical Center for care, and the other two victims were taken to other local hospitals. It is unknown the current condition of the individuals involved in the crash, or the ages of the other two vicitms. When asked, Alaska Airlines declined to say if any members of their staff were injured in the accident. A TSA spokesperson made a statement that none of the injured people were TSA staff.
The SeaTac Airport Twitter account (@flySEA) provided live updates about the situation so that the public and travelers could stay informed. The first posts that they made about the situation said that the Port of Seattle police and fire departments were responding to a vehicle accident on the Upper Drive. While police were at the scene doing an investigation, the departures area was closed and people had to use the lower arrivals drive to drop people off. They advised people to use alternative options for access.
About half an hour later, the official Twitter account informed people that the fourth floor of the SEA Airport parking garage was open for both passenger drop off and pickup. People could enter the garage from the 182nd Street south entrance, or follow signs to the parking garage. Later, they opened all of the parking garage floors. The airport even offered an hour of free parking to help with picking up and dropping off passengers. By nearly 3:00 pm, it was stated that the police believed the accident to be unintentional. While the airport was working to open up lanes on the Upper Drive, they still recommended that visitors take alternate routes, such as the Link light rail. By 5:37 pm, the account announced that all of the lanes on the Upper Drive were open. Because there were still some delays, they told people to allow extra time for traveling.
A witness to the tragic accident, Dan Schulz, reported that he saw a truck run into the airport while he was standing nearby. He said that thankfully, law enforcement very quickly arrived on the scene. Schulz saw a man lying in the rubble of a baggage kiosk outside. Nobody at the SeaTac Airport can remember an accident like this happening in the recent past. This tragedy occurred just as the airport has been trying to make safety improvements. The airport is carrying out a curbside safety and accessibility project that is necessary to prevent accidents like these. The airport is already installing bollards to separate the curb area from the road on the arrivals floor. People wait on the arrivals level for extended periods of time, so the bollards will keep them safe. However, this recent accident has raised concerns that bollards should also be installed on the departures level where the crash happened.
Car Accident Lawyer
The situation at the curbside arrivals and departures isn’t the only safety concern at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Traffic has to merge very quickly, which can be difficult and even dangerous with how busy the airport gets. The traffic can get backed up all the way to I5 as people come to their airport for their flights or to pick up people. The SeaTac Airport roadway was designed to handle 25 million travelers a year; however, the airport is currently handling double that many people.
The SeaTac Airport is taking measures to try and reduce the number of people frequenting areas like where the car accident happened. Part of their broader project for improvement is to get rid of curbside skycap check-ins. For the roadway, they are going to increase the number of southbound lanes of the Northern Airport Expressway. The airport is hoping that an additional two lanes will make a significant difference and relieve a lot of traffic. For the time being, however, the construction is causing traffic issues and backups. In the days after the accident happened, evaluators assessed the crash scene to see how it could have been prevented.
Pedestrian accidents often lead to serious injury, like in this case. This is especially true when a truck is involved. Trucks are bigger and stronger than normal cars, and pedestrians are vulnerable to being hit when they are walking or standing near the road. They don’t have the outer shell of a vehicle to protect them. When it comes to this accident, it’s lucky that nobody was killed. Personal injury accident victims have to deal with so much – stress, medical expenses, wage loss, trauma, and more. Thankfully, a Seattle car accident lawyer can help you recover damages so that you can focus on your health and put your life back together.
Car Accident Law Firm in Seattle, Washington.
Nobody deserves to have their life turned upside down because of another party’s recklessness or negligence. When you meet with Seattle Injury Law, our expert car accident attorneys will conduct an investigation and case value analysis to determine who is at fault and how much you are entitled to. Sometimes, multiple parties are to blame for the accident and you can collect compensation from all of them. We want to see justice done for people that were injured because of others. Reach out to Seattle Injury Law today so that we can get started on your personal injury claim.