Car plows into Seattle auto shop, building in shambles

SEATTLE — An out-of-control vehicle plowed into an 82-year-old auto repair building, reducing part of the building to a pile of rubble.

This accident happened just after 9:30 a.m. Monday in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, on 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 offramp from Interstate 5 onto 73rd Street that locals use to drive into Roosevelt Way.

This building is so unstable, the worry is that part of it might fall into the street onto a passing car.

Although the situation is terrible for the building owner, an untold number of others are being affected by this.

“I had a structural engineer out yesterday,” Paul Holman of Holman’s Collision repair told some Seattle firefighters that were there to see the damage.

It has been a busy, sleepless day and a half for Holman.

“I have a fencing (company) coming today to block this off,” he continued.

“(The car) came down and then it swerved over,” he told them, “hit this curb, then turned sharply into one of our posts that was right in the middle.”

Holman was working in back of his repair shop when he heard a loud boom.

“I thought it was a dump truck that just got into an accident or something,” said Holman. “So, I came running up and everything crumbled.”

He says white smoke was billowing inside. He ran over to the vehicle to check on the occupants.

“And they were coming at a high speed, bounced off it, flipped around and totaled their car out severely,” Holman said.

Seattle Fire tweeted a photo of the scene soon after the accident. Incredibly, everyone emerged largely unscathed, including the driver and her passenger.

The collision left Holman’s building so badly damaged, this portion of Northeast 73rd was closed off, for fear parts of it might collapse into the street.

“Yes, catastrophic,” said Holman.

It has put him out of business, but for how long, he does not know.

“I don’t know how I’m going to survive this,” said Holman, shaking his head.

He likely is feeling a bit more optimistic now. The insurance adjuster had the fence installed, but he still can’t work in the building as it is.

As for the closed offramp, SDOT hasn’t said when it will reopen.

Seattle police say they cited the driver for speeding.