• SeaTac couple thankful to survive after being struck by power pole

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    A SeaTac couple is counting their blessings after coming within inches of losing their lives.

    Busy East Marginal Way in Tukwila reopened Saturday afternoon, some 22 hours after 26 power poles crashed to the ground like dominos.

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    One of those poles landed on Tom and Linda Cook's car, trapping them inside.

    The Cooks were driving along East Marginal Way at about 4 p.m. Friday when the unthinkable happened as light pole after light pole came down until one of them hit their car.

    "I thought I heard a boom and a flash, but it was all so quick," says Linda Cook on how a tangle of power lines fell before their eyes.

    "We were driving," said Tom Cook. "I saw flash in my rearview mirror. And I looked and it looked like a power pole. And as I watched, it fell down. But I saw other power poles start to fall behind us. And it looked they were all falling."

    He thought they had dodged them all.

    "So I was starting to head back into the normal lanes of travel," said Tom. "And that's when the pole hit us."

    "Power pole came down into the car and between us," said Linda. "I could only see here his hand because it was bleeding. We could talk to each other."

    "The second cross-piece on the pole hit the car above the windshield," said Tom, "between the windshield and the sunroof."

    Thousands of Seattle City Light customers were immediately plunged into darkness following the damage Friday evening.

    It took at least an hour for the poles to be removed from the car. 

    Chopper 7 was overhead as Linda got out of the vehicle first; Tom was next, but trapped. Getting him out was a bit more challenging for rescue crews.

    They showed KIRO 7 how minor their injuries are. Bruises galore, but little else. It's not lost on them how much worse it could have been.

    "Yeah," nodded Linda. "So we were very, very lucky."

    The Cooks said after their close brush with death, they plan to test their luck further and buy a lottery ticket.

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