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Originally published September 23, 2009 at 5:12 AM | Page modified September 24, 2009 at 12:27 AM

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3 die in fiery high-speed car crash into SeaTac building

Three people died in SeaTac early this morning after an SUV they were in ran off the road, slammed into a building and caught fire.

Seattle Times staff reporter

SEATAC, Wash. —

Three people died in SeaTac early this morning after an SUV they were in ran off the road, slammed into a building and caught fire.

The crash happened at 3:15 a.m. in the 19300 block of 8th Avenue South, a quiet residential street just southwest of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. High speed was a factor, said Sgt. John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was heading south before it crossed the center line, jumped a curb, broke a utility pole support wire and three trees, then struck a concrete block building, where it caught fire.

One neighbor, Stacy Michels, said he rushed to the scene to find flames shooting several feet into the air. The deceased are a 30-year-old man, his 24-year-old sister, and a 30-year-old friend, all of whom grew up nearby, according to a woman who said she is the siblings' mother. The young woman has three children, ages 6, 3, and 2, and was getting a ride home from nearby Highline Medical Center at the time of the crash, the mother said.

All three had attended Mount Rainier High School, said a friend who showed up at the scene of the crash.

The King County Medical Examiner's office is not expected to release their names for another day or two, said Urquhart.

Investigators were at the site until midday.

Residents say speeding is common on the street, on the boundary between SeaTac and Des Moines.

"I think they need to put speed bumps out here," said neighbor Lori Sidhu. She's asked police in the past to beef up patrols in the area because of the problem.

Not only do young drivers speed through — and have crashed in the past — but commuters often zip through as a shortcut, instead of taking Des Moines Memorial Drive South, neighbors say.

"I've gone out to get my mail in the afternoon and they are going 80 miles per hour," Michels said.

The crash knocked out power to 14 customers of Puget Sound Energy for two hours.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com

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