Big accident south of Ballard Bridge

Update 10:15 p.m.: A high-speed collision along 15th Ave. near the Interbay Golf Center this afternoon sent three people to the hospital and created long traffic backups lasting into the night. For approximately 6 hours, police detoured southbound traffic over Ballard Bridge while they investigated, diverting cars to Fremont. Just before 10 p.m., the bridge reopened.

Seattle Police say a high-speed Toyota Highlander heading toward Ballard hit a total of three other vehicles while swerving in and out of traffic, even driving against traffic in the southbound lanes. After hitting one car and fleeing the scene, the suspect ultimately collided head-on with a Honda CRV, spinning into a Mini Cooper, police say. Two women were trapped in the CRV, and medics had to cut the top off the vehicle to extract them. One is in critical condition. The suspect is at Harborview and is expected to survive.

This is the scene from KIRO-TV’s chopper, which covered the rescue as it unfolded (see photos). Over on, commenters who said they witnessed the crash described the scene. “The driver went in the middle lane (for turning only) and was speeding at least 70 miles per hour,” said one. “This whole situation is worse than any movie I’ve ever seen,” said another who said she tended to the injuries before the medics arrived.

See comments below for running traffic updates from My Ballard readers…

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