Car smashes through hair salon in Rainier Valley



SEATTLE - An SUV slammed into a hair salon and Greek restaurant in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood, pinning family between the vehicle and the wall.

The crash happened at Rainier Avenue South and South Ferdinand Street about 1:25 p.m. Thursday.

Seattle police said the entire SUV went inside the building and was on fire at one point.  An off duty Seattle firefighter was nearby and helped put out the flames.

The people who were trapped by car were extricated by rescuers.

Police said the driver may have had a medical emergency.

Firefighters said six people were hurt, including the 40-year-old driver, and the structural integrity of the building may be compromised.

Barber Carlos Russell, his client, and a nail technician were inside Carol Cobb Salon when the SUV slammed into it.

"I just heard a big explosion, the car was coming so fast when it shattered the glass it was just boom, smoke, fire everywhere and I ran out of the back of the shop, I was just trying to get out of there," Russell said.

Cobb said her salon would normally be much busier, with clients waiting near the window where the SUV plowed through.

"God's timing is perfect," Cobb said.

The SUV then plowed through the wall of a neighboring Greek restaurant, trapping a family of three between the vehicle and the wall.  A 10-year-old girl was part of that family.

People in nearby businesses heard the crash and ran to help, grabbing fire extinguishers.

A younger boy and his mom were also clipped by the SUV but escaped with minor injuries.

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Seattle Police wrote in a blotter post that witnesses reported the engine of the SUV revving before the crash.

They are still investigating the cause.

The building has been yellow-tagged, limiting entry.

The owner is assessing what types of repairs will be required, and police are assessing how to safely retrieve the SUV.

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