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Van crashes into two parked cars on 8th and 76th

Posted by Doree on March 31st, 2011

A driver who says he was distracted by his phone crashed his minivan into two parked cars on 8th Avenue NW between NW 75th and NW 76th streets just after 11 o’clock this morning.

The driver of the dark blue minivan, William Barnes, told me he was driving north on 8th Avenue NW when he looked down at his phone, and apparently drifted to the right. He hit a parked silver car, pushing it into a parked black 1976 Plymouth Volare.

The owner of the black car, Jeff Minto, said he was asleep at the time of the crash. Nikkolas Wheatley, who owns the silver car, said he and his wife and newborn baby had just driven up from Lewis County last night to visit friends, and were inside the nearby house at the time.

“I was inside getting ready to make a bottle and heard a huge crash, and came outside to this,” Wheatley said.

Barnes, the van’s driver, was not injured, but said he had some scrapes and bruises. His van ended up backwards from the direction he was driving, and on its side.

William Barnes, the minivan’s driver, removes his belongings from his vehicle.

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24 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Brent // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    This was the biggest bang I’ve ever heard outside the house. Glad no one was seriously hurt. He was in shock, and had a cut left hand, but… could’ve been much worse.

  • 2 Kole // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I am glad no one was hurt as well…but PUT THE PHONE AWAY!!! FFS people cut the cord when you’re in a car!

  • 3 Anonymous // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I’m glad nobody was hurt, but this should be a lesson to everyone… PUT THE DAMN PHONE AWAY WHEN YOU’RE DRIVING.

  • 4 Anonymous // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    “The Plymouth Volare was considered a total loss with damage estimated in the tens of dollars.”

  • 5 Anonymous // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    You hit someone that hard from just looking at your phone? Something smells funny to me.

  • 6 Phyllis // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Looking down at your phone is code for texting. Cool it, people. Before you kill someone.

  • 7 Greene23 // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    This makes me so angry. I am so tired of this. Our lives are in danger because of all these ding dongs who refuse to put their phones down! IT IS THE LAW. Why do all they think the law doesn’t apply to them? This is the 2nd accident I have heard of today because of something so selfish. If I or someone I know and love ever gets hurt from this I swear….BIG CONSEQUENCES.

  • 8 Al Dente // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    What an idiot. It’s just too bad he didn’t simply take out his own stuff, such as running into HIS house, or into HIS other car. So now because this guys is an idiot, people have to pony up for their deductable(s) as well as hassling with rentals etc, while they were minding their own business. Yup, something does smell fishy here.

  • 9 Carrie Stelter // Mar 31, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I would love to know how fast he was going. He is (was) going uphill, and I have seen people speed so much on this street.

    Many factors at hand here, including looking at his phone…but in the end, I am glad that no one was seriously hurt.

  • 10 BuffaloHawk // Mar 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I was just at Trader Joes in Lynn-Hood and walking in the crosswalk more than halfway through and it is raining out. There was a van coming and the woman almost hit me but luckily I jumped back. I looked at her and waved my hands to get her attention. She shrugged and effortless apology and continud to talk on her cell phone

  • 11 ElleFromPhinney // Mar 31, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    But now, I’ll have that song from the commercial in my mind all day. You can’t put a price on THAT kind of damage.

  • 12 groodspaceguy // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Seriously. I’m constantly seeing people holding a phone up to their ear as they navigate intersections. STOP IT!

  • 13 Carrie Stelter // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    aw that sucks. But im glad you are OK!

  • 14 daloislane // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Seriously – how fast was this guy going to end up causing that kind of crash? I too get angry about people using phones while driving. Nothing is THAT important that it can’t wait until you reach a parking lot or home. If it is, then please, pull over.

  • 15 kim // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    the guys has balls to admit that he looked at this phone. i don’t think i would have shared that info.

  • 16 Anonymous // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    You can do a lot of damage by plowing a van into a stationary object at 30mph. He didn’t need to be speeding to do that kind of damage, but it sure would have helped.

  • 17 Homeless dude // Mar 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Why can’t someone like this hit my car? I want a new car…

  • 18 eric // Mar 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    nice job stupid…

  • 19 Kep Mata // Apr 1, 2011 at 3:20 am

    My friend and I ran across this event just moments after it happened–the damage was pretty astonishing. THANK YOU to the dozen or so people who were there right away, someone raced to the scene with an axe to break the guy out of his van, and a lot of people were there to assist. It’s great that people weren’t killed or badly hurt–the pile of vehicles made it appear that there were multiple cars and multiple drivers.

  • 20 milo // Apr 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    They don’t call ’em “smart” phones fer nothin’…

  • 21 c-doom // Apr 1, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Why was the driver not ticketed or arrested? He damaged two parked vehicles and put lives in danger by his actions. I see him leisurely removing his tools, hope his day wasn’t inconvenienced too much.

  • 22 jinx2 // Apr 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    agree… i almost got hit by some gal on 15th the other day blabbing away on her cell phone. i have 2 kids in the car people… put the phone down!

  • 23 SeaSpider // Apr 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Sad thing is this dangerous idiot will almost certainly be allowed to keep his license. Heaven forbid we take away the license of people who prove they’re dangerous behind the wheel. Far better we let them kill people and simply call it an “accident”. Let’s be clear: this is ****NOT**** an accident!!! This a-hole chose to not paying attention to his driving and could easily have killed someone as a result. An accident is something you can’t avoid such as a tree falling in front of you car or someone darting out from behind a parked car. This crash was 100% within his power to avoid. It’s pure luck he didn’t kill someone, nothing more. He’s demonstrated his disregard for the safety of others and should lose his license.

  • 24 Church // Apr 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    The guy had a suspended license and has no insurance.

    From the looks of what I saw, he was living in his van on top of it. All sorts of good fun that morning.

    The Sebring belonged to my friend that was visiting me. The Volare was my roommates. Good times indeed.

    I really hope the text message was worth the crap that you just through in everyones lap.

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