Police: Drugs, alcohol, speed may have played roles in SeaTac crash

by: Joanna Small Updated:

Loading
SEATAC, Wash. —

Two people are in the hospital tonight with severe injuries after a horrific car wreck in SeaTac, and police say one of them was likely drinking, speeding, and possibly high on marijuana.

It happened on 188th Street between Des Moines Memorial Drive and 16th Avenue.  Pieces of the two mangled cars littered the street Sunday morning.  Police say the empty beer cans all over the Nissan Sentra's floor boards helped them piece together what happened there.  One deputy told us he found marijuana as well.

"Can't say there was alcohol in his system but there were beer cans in the car so we're thinking alcohol may have been a factor,” SeaTac Master Police Officer George Ireland explained.

The people who work at the car lot just down the street from the crash say they're almost certain it was.

 “I knew he was going to hit somebody,” Maggie Gilham told us.  She said the man in the Sentra nearly hit her on her way to work this morning.

Maggie told KIRO 7 she knows the Nissan was traveling fast because she checked her mirrors in the tunnel right before 16th Avenue. That's when she said seemingly out of nowhere the Nissan whipped around and passed her.

"It was just straight head-on force and you could see the vehicles lift in the air and turn; they hit so hard they flew different directions,” she said, describing the collision that happened moments later.

Maggie's co-worker says he was 10 seconds behind the wreck.  A former EMT, when he saw the scene, he assumed the worst.

"Fatality. That somebody just died,” Terry Mitchell told us.  But Terry said both men were alive when he rushed to help.

"The driver in the red car was pretty bad,” Terry said.

He told KIRO 7 he could smell alcohol on the man’s breath but he held him still and told him everything would be OK.

"No matter who is at fault you just don't want nobody to be injured like that,” Terry said.

The 22-year-old Auburn man driving the Sentra left the scene in critical condition.  The 42-year-old Blaine man in the Subaru is in serious condition.  Both are at Harborview Medical Center.