KFnet in T-Town

May. 9, 2008 at 1:50pm

Out of Control Truck Plunges Into Downtown

Just after 1pm today a crane truck careened out of control down 15th Street into downtown. It somehow avoided hitting any cars and people and ended up teetering on a jersey barrier on the 705 off-ramp just aside the DaVita building. Michael Pierce saw it happen from the vantage point of the Convention Center Link station and said people were direction cars and pedestrians out of the way when the crane whizzed by. The driver appeared to stumble out but there wasn't an hard impact but abrupt slowdown from the barrier. All up and down 15th trees, signs, and a couple large stoplight poles were taken out.

Photos below. Hope this doesn't hurt our case for keeping DaVita. (I can joke 'cause no one was hurt)




comments [18]  |  posted under accident, downtown, tacoma, truck


by FunkomaVintage on 5/9/2008 @ 2:06pm
god doesn't like businesses that threaten to leave Tacoma....

by Altered Chords on 5/9/2008 @ 2:07pm
It is extremely fortunate that no one was hurt.

I can't beleive this intersection was not crowded w/ cars coming into downtown on a sunny Friday for lunch. Maybe everyone was heading out for the weekend already.

Funk - was not "god" threatening DaVita. It was actually one of hundreds of carefully planned and implemented top secret safety measures taking by Tacoma planners to ensure that Tacoma's largest employers are unscathed regardless of the calamity.

In any other city, your Russells and DaVitas would have been badly damaged.

by Madera on 5/9/2008 @ 2:12pm
I saw the news helicopters and wondering what was amiss checked online. Kevin, the major networks can't measure up to your outstanding coverage! How amazing no one was injured!

by Erik on 5/9/2008 @ 2:38pm
Nice work Kevin. Great photos. This could have been really bad.

by jenyum on 5/9/2008 @ 2:40pm
Yikes, so glad no one was hurt.

by FunkomaVintage on 5/9/2008 @ 2:46pm
altered chords.....I will agree that Tacoma's planners DO take care of bigger businesses....(TCBB)....If a crane came at me I'd only have my lightning fast reflexes to count on....hee hee...

by KevinFreitas on 5/9/2008 @ 3:10pm
Here's another first hand account I received via email:

[We] were going to the bank after lunch today. and heard a loud horn, similar to a fire truck or the trolley's horn, as we rounded the corner. As we sat at the light to take a left turn, we saw a crane out of control coming down the street about 4 blocks up. The crane swerved to take out some trees coming down the hill to try to slow down. This is first we saw that it had no brakes. I rolled down my window and started honking at the cars waiting at the light to get a move on and get out of the way. Then the crane crossed into the opposite lane heading into what could have been oncoming traffic to avoid those cars, I started backing up to give it room and get the "H" out of the way, it passed right on by us, hit a light pole and slammed into a concrete barrier finally stopping the rig a block below us. This crane did not hit a single person or car. Absolutely no one was hurt. Here is the weirdest part, the driver bailed out at the top of the hill, the crane maneuvered on its "own", avoiding people and cars all the way down. Now if that is not a story for the truth of guardian angels, I don't know any other way to explain it. We are ok, still shaking especially now that we know there was no driver.

Perhaps we'll find out later but there have been conflicting reports of someone bailing out of the truck further up the hill and a couple others that recount someone stumbling out after the crash. No matter the case, I'm very glad no one was seriously hurt.

by izenmania on 5/9/2008 @ 3:15pm
I suspect maybe there were two people, and one dove out at the top of the hill, as the one witness we spoke to said that he saw the drive stumble out of the truck after the crash.

by Avin Rider on 5/9/2008 @ 3:32pm
Wow, it is amazingly lucky that this didn't happen 30 minutes earlier. All of DaVita's ROPS department (approx 350 people) were at the Hotel Murano this morning for their semi-annual meeting. At 12:30 they were all walking back to the DaVita building, many of them using 15th to get there. 30 minutes earlier could have seen easily 100 people between those two blocks.

by ensie on 5/9/2008 @ 4:30pm
As Cassioposa, Frinklin and I were leaving Pacific Grill at 2:30ish (I think) they were starting to clean up the street light with a couple of giant electrical trucks. No idea how they will actually move the crane.

by izenmania on 5/9/2008 @ 4:36pm
Bring in another crane truck to rescue its fallen fellow?

"He ain't heavy... he's my brother."


by intacoma on 5/9/2008 @ 4:44pm
Also the lightrail was about a min away from being at that intersection

by HD on 5/9/2008 @ 6:57pm
Very nice Izen, very nice!

by Heather on 5/12/2008 @ 1:05pm
Izenmania, I heard that the driver bailed early and that a firefighter type jumped in and tried to steer the rig away from folks. Tall tale or the truth? Don't know, but it would explain the conflictind driver sightings.

by izenmania on 5/12/2008 @ 1:22pm
It seems a little far-fetched, but I guess it's possible.

by intacoma on 5/12/2008 @ 2:00pm
I heard that it was iron man

by fredo on 5/12/2008 @ 7:21pm
It appears that the crane was parked when it escaped. The jack stands are still extended on the back of the rig and the lift is not in its traveling position. This incident could have been prevented or mitigated had the crane driver observed the parking rules on that street. Tires must be turned and blocked against the curb. The danger posed by escaping vehicles is the reason why we have this downtown parking ordinance. Incidentally, this is the same spot where a lady taking a photograph was run over by a soft drink delivery truck. Must have some bad karma there.

by Warren on 5/13/2008 @ 9:24pm
Oh, My God! I was there too!... I was waiting to turn south from 15th onto Commerce, and I thought 'why is that man waving wildly at me' from across the street. There were a couple of desperate honks but the light was red and I was waiting to see if the pedestrians in front of me were going to cross. I was so stunned as I saw the crane pass by me on the left side of the road as it bounded across the tracks on Commerce. Then I realized what was going on. The light turned green and I stopped halfway around the corner to watch it barrel down across Pacific head straight at the windows of Quiznos. Surely it’s going to take out a few cars or a bus and some people before crashing in on the lunch crowd. A couple of poles later it was up on the Jersey barrier. Amazingly I thought the same thing about the finger of God pushing it aside. I just knew it had to destroy something, but as if by magic it didn't crash through the windows of the Davita building and leaned the other way onto the ramp. I wish I could have seen the face of the driver of the BMW that was waiting to turn left from the 15th St. ramp as the light pole came crashing down just in front of his/her car.

Oh! BTW. Yesterday morning my car was stolen, and my first thought was '...And I just filled it with $50 of gas!' Ok, this is has been a rough week so far, but not as rough last week could have been.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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