The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.
Car crashes through elevator shaft at Seattle medical center
Posted by John de Leon
-- From Times staff reporter Sara Jean Green:
A woman in her 60s was taken to a Seattle hospital as a precaution after her car crashed through sheetrock and fell about 10 feet into an elevator shaft in an underground parking garage on the Virginia Mason Medical Center campus in Seattle.
Seattle Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl said the woman's vehicle was parked in a handicap parking spot on floor P3 in a garage next to the Lindeman Pavilion on 9th Avenue and Seneca Street. Around 1 p.m. Monday the woman's car somehow "lunged forward," crashing through a wall and into an unused elevator shaft, she said.
The vehicle fell about 10 feet, Stangl said. "The rescue aspect was a little bit tricky" since firefighters had to make sure "there were no electrical issues and that the structural integrity" of the shaft was intact, she said.
With the back end of the vehicle still on P3 and its nose wedged into the shaft, Stangl said firefighters went one floor below, where they cut open a wall and "were able to get her out of the car and onto a stretcher." The woman was conscious throughout her ordeal and did not appear to be injured, Stangl said.
Officials are now waiting for a tow truck small enough to fit inside the parking garage to remove the car from the shaft, she said.