May 4, 2012 at 6:38 PM
Driver fleeing police slams into buses in University District
A man suspected of felony theft slammed into multiple buses at a University District intersection Friday afternoon, causing injuries and snarling traffic during the evening commute, according to authorities.
A Seattle police spokesman said the chase started at about 4:18 p.m., when officers spotted the suspect driving a blue Chevy Blazer southbound on Roosevelt Way Northeast at Northeast 55th Street.
When officers activated their emergency lights and attempted to pull the man over, he accelerated away into oncoming traffic on Roosevelt Way Northeast. Police stopped following the man once his driving became reckless, according to Detective Jeff Kappel, the police spokesman.
The man drove through a restaurant parking lot and then headed southbound on University Way, veering into oncoming traffic. Just north of Northeast 45th Street, he collided with two Metro buses and a blue Saturn station wagon.
The suspect got out of his vehicle and ran but was caught by officers on foot in the 4100 block of 15th Avenue Northeast, according to Kappel.
A Route 49 bus was hit the hardest, according to Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke. The driver and two passengers from that bus were taken to the University of Washington Medical Center. Their injuries were not life-threatening, according to police.
During the investigation, The Ave was shut down to north-south traffic near the accident intersection and all traffic was being rerouted. Buses that would normally travel on the Ave were being diverted to 15th Avenue.
The suspect was also being treated at an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Kappel said after his injuries are treated, the theft suspect will be booked into King County jail for investigation of several charges, including felony theft, felony eluding, auto theft, hit-and-run collision, obstructing a police officer, and an active DUI arrest warrant out of Auburn.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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