SUV hits light rail train in SoDo; 1 taken to hospital

SEATTLE — Transportation officials are advising people to take alternate routes in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood after a vehicle hit a Light Rail train Tuesday night.

A Sound Transit spokesperson said service may still be disrupted by the morning commute, so people should check Sound Transit alerts and KIRO 7 Morning News for updates.

The crash happened on South Holgate Street. King County Sheriff’s deputies said a silver Chevrolet Tahoe was speeding westbound and approaching a line of stopped vehicles in front of a lowered crossing arm.

Because the driver could not brake in time, to avoid hitting the stopped cars, the driver veered to the side, jumped the median and hit the northbound train.

Sound Transit officials tell KIRO 7 the crash caused the train to derail. Part of the track was damaged and needs to be repaired. The train hit a pole with a light signal and bounced back near the tracks.

There were no injuries onboard the train and the driver of the vehicle was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

“There were people in that particular train that were close. Fortunately there was nobody on that side near the doors that were impacted. Had it been a few feet either direction or coming from this direction, we could be – we could have a totally different story at this point,” said Matthew Koceski, a King County Sheriff’s deputy.

Police will investigate whether the driver was impaired.

Light rail service is temporarily interrupted in both directions at South Holgate due to the incident.

Drivers should expect road closures for east and west streets.

Officials do not know how long it will take to get the train back on the tracks.