No Charges Yet in Ambaum Pedestrian Rundown, Says King County Sheriff’s Office


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by Greg Wright

The King County Sheriff’s Office, through whom Burien contracts its police services, issued the following statement on Monday:

A 13 year-old Burien girl was injured yesterday (August 7th) after she was struck by a pick-up truck about 7:15 PM. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

The accident occurred when the girl, her sister, and a friend were all crossing Ambaum Blvd in a marked crosswalk at SW 154th. The driver of a 1990 Ford Ranger was northbound on Ambaum and apparently didn’t see the pedestrians.

The victim was just ahead of the other two in the crosswalk and she was the only one hit.

The driver is a 52 year-old man from Burien. He was not booked into jail or cited pending additional investigation.

Detectives believe alcohol on the part of the driver may have been a contributing factor to the accident.

An early report by KOMO News quoted Sgt. John Hall as saying the driver of the vehicle had been “arrested for investigation of vehicular assault.”    Yesterday, KIRO TV added that, although the driver was initially taken into custody, he “hasn’t been booked into jail or cited, pending further investigation by police.”

Late last night, KOMO’s Ray Lane added the following:

Detectives estimate the driver was going about 45 miles per hour – possibly faster – when he slammed into [the girl] on Sunday. Whitney [Sellers], who was walking across busy Ambaum Boulevard with her younger sister and cousin at the time, was thrown by the impact and landed some 25 feet away.

Deputies took the driver into custody, but he has not been arrested.

“It makes me angry,” said [mother Jennifer] Shields. “And I definitely would want to see something happen.”

The family has been told that results of blood-alcohol tests, which will help make decision about possible charges, will take two to three weeks. But the family wants to know why the man is allowed to roam free in the meantime, especially as Whitney lies in the hospital in pain.

“If he, in fact, was drinking and driving, that’s my biggest thing,” said Shields. “I would never want this to happen to anybody else.”

Detectives have also told the family they’re looking into whether a medical situation could have also been a factor in the crash.

According to Lane, the family reports that Jennifer is scheduled to undergo a “series of surgeries” today.

“It’ll probably be a couple months before she can try to learn how to walk again,” said mother Jennifer Shields.

Whitney’s pelvis is shattered in five places. Her hip is broken. There’s a pin in one of her knees, and her chin is fractured.

A call to King County’s Sgt. John Urquhart this morning confirmed that there have been no new developments in either citation, charges, or arrest.  Urquhart emphasized that any new developments will be weeks in coming.

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Comments

5 Responses to “No Charges Yet in Ambaum Pedestrian Rundown, Says King County Sheriff’s Office”
  1. Christina says:

    This story points out that the girls were in a marked crosswalk so I understand that my comment doesn’t directly reflect the situation, but still very much is a reminder of why it is important for parents to teach their kids the seriousness of paying attention and being aware of their surroundings. I live on 4th avenue which is a very popular road for kids to walk down when walking to and from school at Sylvester. I have watched numerous kids intentionally walking in traffic or over the lines as if they are invincible to cars. I sometimes yell at the kids to get out of traffic and have since been egged and my mailbox has taken a beating; but it’s a better consolation than watching a child get hit by unexpecting drivers even if their actions may just be asking for it. It seems that no one teaches their kids to never walk with their backs to traffic or look before stepping into a crosswalk to make sure that drivers are also paying attention. I think it is so sad that this little girl had to be the one to remind others that no one is invincible. Prayers to her and her family for a quick recovery! I think this would be a wonderful incident to turn into a positive lesson for the community.

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  2. miss d says:

    I drove passed this accident on Sunday and saw the girl lying in the street, truck was stopped and lots of people around. There were no cops or ambulance there yet but there were lots of people around her. I hoped and prayed that she’d be ok. I have a daughter the same age so my heart goes out to this teen and her family.
    From the looks of it, she was in the cross walk but was hit and throwned a short distance. Very sad situation.

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  3. Opinionated says:

    I kind of have to agree with you on this Christina and not trying to stereotype or categorize
    all kids in the same class but I have noticed for years now the disrespect kids show for traffic and or automobiles. I have had kids walk in front of my truck and just slow to a crawl across the street in front of me and stare. I have also not stopped and watched a few jump out of my way just because I don`t trust a lot of these little thugs and would rather run them over, (yes, seriously) than I would stop and take a chance with them trying to hi-jack my car or cause some kind of harm to myself or my young children

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  4. Burienette says:

    Let’s recap;

    -Detectives estimate the driver was going about 45 miles per hour – possibly faster – when he slammed into [the girl] on Sunday.

    -Whitney’s pelvis is shattered in five places. Her hip is broken. There’s a pin in one of her knees, and her chin is fractured.

    -‘Detectives believe alcohol on the part of the driver may have been a contributing factor to the accident.’

    -Deputies took the driver into custody, but he has not been arrested.

    Did I get that right? Would he have been arrested if it had been a pitbull instead of a child? Or maybe it needed to be the child of a council member or other city official?

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  5. jimmy says:

    they should arrest this guy but if he wasn’t drunk and they arrest him and he had a health condition then the city might get a million dollar lawsuit on there hands witch would most likely be past on to the tax payers so i think its a good idea to wait even tho it sucks for the people involved but if the guy was drunk then hang his ass for what he did or cut his hands off so he cant drive anymore

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