Two firefighters and a third person were hurt late Wednesday afternoon in a collision between a Snohomish County Fire District 1 fire truck and a passenger car at the intersection of Cedar Way/44th Avenue West and 228th Street SW in Mountlake Terrace.
All three persons were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Fire District 1 Engine No. 19 was traveling westbound on 228th Street in response to a 911 call in Mountlake Terrace at 4:24 p.m. when it collided with a late model blue Volvo station wagon that had been traveling southbound on Cedar Way/44th Avenue West.
The 91-year-old female driver of the 1990 Volvo, Mary McFarland of Mountlake Terrace, was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. “She was not complaining of anything, but for safety sake that’s what they did,” said Mountlake Terrace Police Department Commander Doug Hansen.
The 54-year-old firefighter driving the engine, Steven Barnes of Brier, was transported to Providence Medical Center in Everett..
Hansen said the fire engine had both its sirens and lights on as it approached the busy intersection. “All he remembers is a blue blur coming through the intersection,” Hansen said concerning what the fire engine driver had said following the crash.
Summer Willoughby was working at Tina’s Hair Salon and Tanning at the time of the accident, heard the approaching fire engine siren and turned to look at the intersection through the windows of the store just in time to view the scene. “To me it looked like she was trying to beat the light. She was going really fast,” Willoughby said of the Volvo driver.
Willoughby also said the stoplight was red for southbound Cedar Way/44th Avenue West at the time of the collision. “It was definitely red when she was going through it,” she said.
Willoughby also noted that traffic was heavy at the time of the accident, and that the crash almost involved a third vehicle. “He actually slammed his car in reverse so that he wouldn’t get hit,” she said.
Law enforcement personnel from the Washington State Patrol began arriving at the scene of the accident about 5 p.m. to begin their investigation into the crash.
The intersection is heavily-traveled, especially during morning and evening commute hours, as Cedar Way-44th Avenue West is a major north-south arterial through the east half of Mountlake Terrace, while 228th Street SW is used by many commuting between I-5 and Brier. Wednesday’s accident and the ensuing investigation blocked the intersection for hours, hindering traffic through the area as Mountlake Terrace police put up road blocks and redirected drivers through neighboring streets and the parking lot of the Cedar Plaza shopping center.
– By Doug Petrowski
Updated at 11:22 p.m. with corrected and updated information from the Washington State Patrol.