A stolen rental van raced through downtown red lights at speeds as high as 90 mph early Wednesday before slamming into a utility pole, killing the teenage driver and injuring his 14-year-old passenger.
The crash, which resulted in a morning rush hour closure of a busy intersection created a huge traffic backup on nearby streets and Interstate 5.
The King County medical examiner’s office said Frank Darnell, 18, of Seattle, died early Wednesday at Harborview Medical Center.
The 14-year-old boy, who was from Des Moines, was reported in serious condition later Wednesday at Harborview, a spokesman said. The boy’s name was not immediately available.
Just before the crash, a Seattle police officer tried to stop the van by turning on his flashing emergency lights, but it drove off at a high speed, police said.
The officer did not chase the van, police spokesman Sean O’Donnell said.
Police first became aware of the van at about 2:30 a.m. when some residents reported hearing a van strike a curb, then saw two people run away, police reports said.
Police then were told the two returned to the van and drove away, O’Donnell said.
A short time later, one officer located the van and tried to stop it.
Witnesses estimated the van was traveling as fast as 90 mph.
The driver lost control, jumped a curb and sheared off a utility pole before sliding into a second pole, police said.
Aero RentaCar of Bellevue reported the van stolen Wednesday morning.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.