Troopers say a driver went down an embankment onto State Route 509 in Burien, causing a five-vehicle collision that was expected to shut down the highway for hours. A couple headed to Sea-Tac Airport were critically injured.
From the top of a hill on the side of the freeway you can see the path carved by a car out of control. John McManus heard the crash around 5 a.m., and had to see it for himself.
"It's easy for me to see how somebody could miss that dead end sign, think they were still on an arterial and just jump right up to 30 miles per hour and boom, there you go," said McManus, who lives three doors down.
Police suspect the 24-year-old driver was under the influence when he plowed through a dead end street on 116th, taking out a tree and a guard rail before the car rolled onto SR509 and into the path of Clay and Barbara Eakin, who were headed to the airport and out of town for the holidays.
Vicki Miniken knows the Eakins. Barbara is a regular at Miniken's vintage collectibles shop in Marysville.
She would come in here with her girlfriends during my open house, during every even we've ever had here in Marysville... and just a delightful woman," she said.
Clay Eakin is in serious condition at Harborview. His wife, Barbara, in critical condition. None of the other injuries were serious.
The driver police say caused it at first tried to run from the scene but police arrested him. He remains in custody after being released from the hospital. He is due to make his first court appearance Thursday
Those who know the area also know this isn't the first time cars have careened through there, despite flags reminding drivers to slow down, despite a dead end with nowhere to go but down.
Michelle Guthrie grew up in this neighborhood and knows the danger.
"I thought this had been completely blocked off. But to know they just came barreling through here with nothing to stop anybody?"