Car strikes gas pumps, catches fire after car accident in Kirkland | Slideshow
By CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
Kirkland Reporter Editor
January 11, 2013 · Updated 5:14 PM
A vehicle crashed into gas pumps at the 76 gas station and ignited into flames after it collided with another vehicle on Kirkland’s Finn Hill Friday afternoon.
Kirkland, Northshore and Bothell firefighters responded to the motor vehicle accident that happened around 3:30 p.m. at 14106 Juanita Drive N.E., near the Kenmore/Kirkland boundary.
“They collided with each other just as the light changed,” said Tim Carpenter, a corporal with the Kirkland Police Department, noting the BMW was traveling westbound when it collided with a Toyota 4Runner heading northbound. The BMW, which was struck on the left side, continued on and collided with a big rock underneath the 76 sign, said Carpenter.
The Toyota then crashed into gas pumps, knocking one set of gas pumps on its side, he said. The vehicle caught fire, which spread to the 76 building.
One of the employees at the gas station was able to shut off the pump, which minimized the flames, said Kirkland Firefighter Bill Barnes.
“We don’t know which vehicle was at fault,” said Carpenter, noting police officials are investigating what happened.
Two people in the Toyota and a woman driving the BMW suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were all transported to the hospital as a precaution.
Dave Overhus, who lives a half-mile from the gas station, said he was driving down the hill when firetrucks passed him.
“I looked and saw a huge plume of black smoke, so I turned back around and went back to my house and knew something was wrong,” said Overhus.
He said he walks by the gas station every day to go to the store.
“There’s been some bad accidents around here."
Megan Hullinger was at the doctor’s office across the street at the Inglewood Professional Center when the incident occurred. She had just finished up her appointment and went out to her car to go to Bartell Drugs across the street while the doctor was seeing her father.
“I went to go back up and I hear a crash that sounded like a car crash and I wondered if I had hit something,” said Hullinger. “Fifteen seconds later I saw the entire front of the car engulfed in flames. It was pretty intense.”
She ran back into the doctor’s office and said, “There’s a car at the gas station that might blow up. We heard several loud pops.”
She said moments later, medics escorted the woman driving the BMW into the doctor’s office on a stretcher. Hullinger said the woman was holding her arm.
Officials said the fire damage was minimal, thanks to the firefighters’ quick response. One ladder truck, four engine trucks and at least one aid truck responded to the scene.
Slideshow photos were taken by Assistant Editor Matt Phelps.Contact Kirkland Reporter Editor Carrie Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-822-9166 (ext 5050).