Video shows several collisions over year at Seattle intersection

For an entire year, a Seattle homeowner recorded video of collisions at an intersection outside her house.

“It was really alarming to see all the accidents and how the people are getting t-boned, or just blatantly running the red light,” said Joy Hollingsworth, who lives at the intersection.

She installed a Nest camera outside her house after she kept hearing crashes outside the home, but not witnessing what happened.

The crashes are happening at 23rd Avenue East and East John Street in Seattle's Central District.  Three of the crashes happened in the first week of January 2019.

“Would you call this a dangerous intersection?” KIRO7’s Deedee Sun asked.

“Absolutely! Very dangerous,” Hollingsworth said.

She put together a year's worth of collisions, from Jan. 1, 2018 to Jan. 7, 2019, and posted it on YouTube. The video shows nine crashes, but she said there were a few others she didn’t include.

Since the posted the video on Thursday, it has had more than 3,000 views.

KIRO7 went through data from the Seattle Department of Transportation and found there have been 113 crashes at the intersection since 2004 – one of the most accident-prone intersections on 23rd Ave.

The data also shows that in the past decade, annual crash numbers range between one and eight crashes. But last year, they spiked to 13. (That number includes one crash Hollingsworth’s camera caught, but was not in the SDOTA data.)

Hollingsworth says speed and lack of attention are certainly issues, but also wonders if a recent traffic revision on 23rd Ave E that narrowed the street from two lanes to one lane might’ve played a role.

Now Hollingsworth, and one of the crash victims, are speaking out – they want the city to re-examine the intersection and make changes to improve safety there.

“I just want to help,” Hollingsworth said. “And I don’t want to see anybody else get hit,” she said.

Josh Sanderson was driving through the intersection in June when someone running the red light hit him and totaled his car.

“I was pretty shook up for weeks after that,” Sanderson said. “It took about two months for me to just feel comfortable just walking around downtown,” he said.

He and Hollingsworth both want SDOT to take action.

“I’m not an expert, so I’m putting it in the hands of the city, the engineers – hopefully they change and make this intersection just a little more safe,” Hollingsworth said.

SDOT sent the following statement to KIRO 7 in response:

"The intersection of E John and E 23rd Ave is within the 23rd Ave Vision Zero Project. SDOT has collected data and gathered community input and are aware of collision volumes. We’re now evaluating the feasibility of upgrading the signals. We visited the field yesterday (Thursday) at 6PM and confirmed the existing signals are operating per our standard."

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