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May 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Woman slightly hurt when pickup crashes into West Seattle post office

(Seattle Fire Department photo)

(Seattle Fire Department photo)

A pickup crashed through the plate-glass window of a post office in a West Seattle shopping center this afternoon, prompting evacuation of the building.

Only one person was injured when a blue Dodge Ram 1500 burst through the window at Westwood Village on Southwest Trenton Street.

Lidiya Van Valkenberg, 40, of Burien  walked away with a few bruises and cuts from shards of glass. Van Valkenberg said she was facing away from the window when all of a sudden she felt an explosion of glass knock her to the ground. Then something else, possibly a shelf of postcards, slammed down on top of her.

“First thing I did was I looked around, and the truck was still pushing and cracking into the building,” Van Valkenberg said. “People employed from the post office started screaming at (the driver) to turn off the engine.”

When the engine was turned off, Van Valkenberg said, she saw a male driver with crutches come out of the pickup. She said she thought the man was disabled and had driven into the building by accident.

“He apologized to me many times – he was so worried,” Van Valkenberg said.

Only two other customers were in the office at the time of the crash, but all 36 people in the building were evacuated until the Seattle Fire Department deemed the rest of the office structurally sound.

Van Valkenberg said she cried a little at the scene when she realized how close she had come to being seriously injured or killed.

“I’ve always wondered what people feel like after something like this when I see it on the news — the feeling is not good,” Van Valkenberg said from her Burien home. “But I am glad I’m alive. And now I think I’m going to go drink a beer.”

Our news partners at WestSeattleBlog.com have more here.

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”2369440924001″/]

Lidiya Van Valkenberg, 40, of Burien, recalls the scene from inside the post office when the pickup truck crashed into the building. 

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: crash, U.S. Postal Service, West Seattle

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