December 19, 2008 in Region

Bus crashes, front wheels hang over I-5 in Seattle

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo


(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE — Two buses crashed today on a Seattle street and one went through a barrier next to Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle, leaving it with its front wheels hanging above the freeway.

Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said 11 young adults home from jobs in Moses Lake were taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries.

Fitzpatrick said there is no danger of either bus going over the guardrail, which is about 20 feet above the freeway. She said all the approximately 75 passengers were able to get off the buses before emergency vehicles arrived at the scene.

The state Department of Transportation closed the freeway lanes below where the bus broke through a guardrail on a high bulkhead next to the interstate.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known, but winter weather has left many city streets coated with ice.

“We were going down the hill and the hill was very icy and the driver tried to turn and we ran into the other bus and it knocked it … into the guardrails and windows in our bus just shattered,” passenger Nicole Maxie told KING-TV.

“Everybody was just screaming, crying. Everybody had to climb out the emergency windows,” Maxie said.

The buses were part of a three-bus caravan bound for downtown Seattle’s Greyhound bus station. The third bus was not involved in the accident.

Maxie said the buses were carrying students with the Columbia Basin Job Corps home from Moses Lake for Christmas break.

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