Car Plunges Down Elevator Shaft in Seattle


The Seattle Fire Department says one person was trapped after a car crashed through sheetrock in a hospital parking garage and plunged 10 feet down an unused elevator shaft.

The fire department's heavy rescue unit freed the woman and she did not suffer life threatening injuries, KIRO 7 Reporter Essex Porter said from the scene.

The crash happened Monday afternoon on the third floor of an underground parking garage at Virginia Mason’s Lindeman Pavilion parking garage.

The KIRO 7 Eyewitness News assignment desk heard the call at about 1:20 on radio scanners, indicating firefighters and police were at the scene, about three floors below ground at 9th and Seneca.

The driver, in her 60s, was alone in her car on the third level of a parking garage at Virginia Mason Hospital on Monday afternoon when the crash happened. Fire Lt. Sue Stangl said rescuers made sure the power was out and the elevator turned off before they went down to the fourth level, broke through a wall and pulled her out.

"Fortunately, the woman in her sixties at this point appears to have no injuries at all, but because of the location of that vehicle, wedged inside that elevator shaft, we needed to use our technical rescue team to get her out," Stengl said.

Chopper 7 video showed police, fire and medic units in the area. One shot showed a firefighter heading into the Virginia Mason Medical Center.

A witness at the scene told Bailie that a woman accelerated the car in the wrong direction when she went through the wall.

"It's pretty unbelievable; I don't know how it happened," said Phil, a witness to the accident. "We couldn't come up with something like this, even in Hollywood."

The car plunged down one floor.

The woman was taken out of the garage on a gurney.

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