81-Year Old Woman Dies In Fatal Burien Traffic Accident

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The King County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that an 81-year old Burien woman was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 28th) after she was involved in an automobile accident.

Police say that the accident happened about 1pm Friday, at the intersection of S. 160th and the Ambaum Cutoff South in Burien.

A 61-year old Des Moines woman was driving a 1992 Dodge Dakota pick-up eastbound on S. 160th. Investigating detectives believe she went through a red light and her vehicle hit a 1994 Pontiac Bonneville that was northbound on the Ambaum Cutoff.

After the initial impact, the Bonneville continued northbound across S. 160th and struck another vehicle facing southbound. That driver was taken to Highline Medical Center with minor injuries.

The driver of the Bonneville was taken to Harborview where she subsequently died.

The driver of the Dodge was admitted to HMC in serious condition.

Identities of the victims were not released.

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7 Responses to “81-Year Old Woman Dies In Fatal Burien Traffic Accident”
  1. Laurie Keep says:

    That light is run EVERY DAY by someone too impatient to wait. I am very surprised that more of these accidents don’t happen. You know that red light camera at 160th and 1st City of Burien?? If you intend those to help stop accidents like this, put one at that light!

  2. Tricia says:

    I walk my dogs in Gregory Heights between 6-7 AM and we attempt to cross 160th during the walk. I am always amazed at the traffic speed heading Eastbound on 160th in the morning rush hour traffic. You would think it was a freeway based on how fast some people drive.
    If the city wants to make some fast money, just station a police officer or two on 160th anywhere between cross streets 8th to 15th or so and it will be easy pickins for issuing speeding citations!

  3. Burienite says:

    The driver of the Dodge was not taken to Harborview, rather Highline where her injuries were minor (not serious).

  4. Michael says:

    The woman killed was Pearl Berleen, our neighbor. A lovely woman with a kind heart. What a terrible shame!

  5. MsPp says:

    There are frequent accidents at this intersection. Just look at the ground and see the car body parts. A few years ago my daughter ‘s car got hit so hard by a car going eastbound on 160th, it spun her car 180 degrees and moved the rear axle.
    Everyone is trying to beat the light because it takes too long for it to change. I see Traffic Control out there adjusting it many times, but they are apparent amateurs. You can’t just adjust a part of a traffic signal. It needs to be checked throughout the entire cycle. It is very frustrating to sit at that light going north or south on Ambaum cutoff with NO traffice while watching the light change on 1st Ave. TWICE before the midblock changes once.
    It’s sad that someone had to lose their life over this.

    • Elizabeth2 says:

      We drive this area all the time and I have to honestly say that I have never experienced great wait times at that intersection, certainly not enough to make one want to “beat the light”.

      In regards to those Traffic Control people trying to adjust the intersection, let us give them some consideration. There are some many lanes coming from some many directions and at various times in the day, the needs are different and sometimes conflicting. This is probably just one intersection out of thousands they work, all with people who drive it having conflicting desires and opinion.

      Perhaps we need to practice patience and awareness, not trying to rush and beat lights. We are behind many thousand pound vehicles which are like weapons and need to be driven with that in consideration.

      My condolences to all who knew the victim.

  6. bret says:

    I think it is related to the short block distance and the intersection cameras. When I first moved to Burien I accidentally ran that light and I couldn’t remember the last time I had done that. I think the rush to beat the traffic camera and the close proximity of the next light causes problems.

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