SEATTLE — An out-of-control vehicle entered an 82-year-old auto repair building, reducing part of the building to a pile of rubble.
The accident happened just after 9:30 a.m. Monday in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle, at the corner of Northeast 73rd Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.
The accident left the building so precarious that the Seattle Department of Transportation closed a busy Interstate 5 exit on 73rd Street that residents use to get to Roosevelt Way.
This building is so unstable that it is feared that part of it will fall into the street on a passing car.
Although the situation is dire for the owner of the building, countless others are affected.
“I had a structural engineer come in yesterday,” Paul Holman of Holman’s Collision Repair told Seattle firefighters who were there to survey the damage.
It was a busy and sleepless day and a half for Holman.
“I have a fencing (company) coming today to block this,” he continued.
“(The car) went down and then it swerved,” he told them, “hit that curb and then veered sharply into one of our poles that was right in the middle.”
Holman was working in the back of his repair shop when he heard a loud boom.
“I thought it was a dump truck that just had an accident or something,” Holman said. “So, I came running and everything fell apart.”
He says white smoke was billowing inside. He ran to the vehicle to check on the occupants.
“And they were coming at high speed, bouncing off it, flipping over and completely destroying their car,” Holman said.
Seattle Fire tweeted a photo from the scene shortly after the crash. Incredibly, everyone escaped largely unscathed, including the driver and his passenger.
The collision left Holman’s building so badly damaged that this section of northeast 73rd was closed off, lest parts of it collapse into the street.
“Yes, catastrophic,” Holman said.
It bankrupted him, but for how long, he doesn’t know.
“I don’t know how I’m going to survive this,” Holman said, shaking his head.
He’s probably feeling a bit more optimistic now. The insurance adjuster had the fence installed, but he still cannot work in the building as it is.
As for the closed offramp, SDOT did not say when it will reopen.
Seattle police said they cited the driver for speeding.
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