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Photos courtesy King County Sheriff’s Office

The driver of a car that slammed into a jersey barrier – and killed a passenger – on Ambaum Blvd. SW near SW 119th Street was arrested after running from the scene early Friday morning (Aug. 14), police said. Police said that speed was likely a factor in the single-car accident, which happened around 3 a.m., and tragically killed a male passenger. Deputies added that the car failed to negotiate the turn, and struck a jersey barrier. King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian 1 helicopter, as well as a K-9 unit, helped apprehend the fleeing male, who was driving the late model, white BMW. Ambaum was closed for several hours as police investigated the crash scene. It was re-opened around 8:30 a.m. This ‘Salmon Creek’ curve has been the scene of many accidents before, most notably a 2010 one police labelled a “Dukes of Hazzard” crash that sent a car flying into a tree – read that story here. Here’s a video of the police pursuit of the driver who fled the scene: [youtube][/youtube] Here are some relevant Tweets: ]]>

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35 replies on “Driver arrested after running from scene of fatal crash on Ambaum Blvd. SW”

  1. That is the dangerous curve on the Ambaum in addition to one just past SW 154th.
    I remember about 20 or more years ago someone was speeding away from police or something and failed to negotiate a curve in that area and flew into a house and killed a little boy. 🙁
    RIP to the passenger. Glad the driver was caught. Wonder why the driver ran, though!!

    1. You run because, your drunk or high or have no license or it’s stolen or have a warrant or are illegal or need time to get loaded before they catch you so you can say you got loaded after the crash and not before, hard to prove otherwise.
      Either way you need to pay the price for killing the passenger and rightfully so.

      1. Well lets see the story did not say anything about a wanted person involved in a crash. It did not say intoxicated driver crashes car kills passenger. It also did not say illegal alien crashes car kills passenger. It says speed was likely the factor in this crash. With how others have stated thats a hard corner to take and the history of other crashes there it’s rather understandable there was a crash there. I believe your comment QofA is demeaning to another deceased person and you should be ashamed of yourself this person that ran was probably scared they just witness there buddy die right in front of him from his mistake. Also there’s nothing about the car being stolen. See QofA you use your own moronic thoughts to try to insult people. Now this is the second time in a week you made a unjustified comment towards a story involving a deceased person with no facts to back up your thoughts.

        1. Jimmy, learn to read please. I only answered a question that was asked of why the driver ran with various possible scenarios. And of course they were scared, who wouldn’t be after being the dumbass that caused an accident regardless of the location or a corner 99.99999% seem to negotiate just fine. You again just ramble on and on and on.

          1. Wow nice job now your going to call the driver dumbass for making a mistake in life. Well you wanted to answer a question by making yourself seem like a uneducated rednecked hill Billy racist then job well done QofA you have proven your point. Will you post your address so you can receive your bigot of year award for all your comments on immigrants and anyone else that’s a different race or a different income level than you.

  2. I drive that road every single day rain snow slick roads etc. Never ever had a problem in my work vehicle or personal car….Curious how the investigation will come out..

  3. dmc, Why would you say such a thing? Relaying second hand information that you don’t even know is true is just hurtful to the family. I know, because the passenger was my family and we are struggling enough with his death without hearing graphic details of what someone THINKS they know. I realise you didn’t post your comment to be hurtful, but please consider others before making comments.

    1. FH, I’m so sorry =( I do apologize…. I’m glad you realize I didn’t mean it that way. I really am sorry.

      1. Thank you. I really appreciate your apology. Please don’t allow other negative comments to get you down.

    2. My condolences to u and family. I was there I cut the seat belt off of him . Very sorry for your lost

      1. Sorry for your lost
        P.S. who ever is going by the name Jimmy white there is no one by that name living in the area. So this seem to be attempt by a troll to get attention.

        1. “P.S. who ever is going by the name Jimmy white there is no one by that name living in the area. So this seem to be attempt by a troll to get attention.”
          Really Jimmy?????
          And you call someone else a troll?
          Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black isn`t it?

          1. Sorry startyouown I am not a troll I post the truth and fact’s. I don’t post utter nonsense to take the discussion off topic. I do post a joke every once in awhile. I also use my real first name. So startyouown you have made some untruthful comments and I called you out of them. Now you want to cut and paste my comments to turn them around like a child in art class. Because you can’t take the truth. Then that is your own issue you need to get help for.

          2. Sorry Jimmy , but you are wrong. It`s just like I told you earlier, The trouble I had with the city of Burien is none of your business.
            And oh, by the way, Jimmy White lives right next door to Alfred E. Newman whom I have an idea you know pretty well.

          3. well in searching online I do not see any jimmy white’s living in burien I also have no clue of who the hell is alfred newman is also there results for a alfred newman in burien ether. Startyourown your coming up with more offtopic B.S. why !

          4. Ok startyourown just because I question you on your comment I must read comic books is this your connection to Alfred E. Newman. Because the only Alfred E. Newman I have found on the internet is that of a drawing on a comic book. Sorry startyourown But I do not read or collect comic books or actions figures or watch superhero movies or even really care for any of the above. I believe that this stuff is for children and teenagers. Most people that collect this type of stuff after their teenage years have some type of hoarding issue in their life.That also makes it hard for them to let go of parts of their childhood when becoming adult.These are also people that find area online where they can continue a childish behavior like posting utter nonsense on a blog for attention as you have done.

        2. “P.S. who ever is going by the name Jimmy white there is no one by that name living in the area. So this seem to be attempt by a troll to get attention.”
          Just curious Jimmy. What “facts” did you use to determine that there isn’t a Jimmy white in the area?

          1. I did a internet search on google and a few other people searching sites. They all came up with no jimmy white’s in burien. A few jim white’s in the seattle area but none in burien. ok Dick does this answer your question.

          2. Just because a person doesn’t show up on google he doesn’t exist??? Wow, your thought process is truly amazing! If that were true, half the population would disappear. I don’t show up on google, I’m not registered to vote here, I don’t own property so I guess that means I don’t exist to you. And you talk about trolls. Shame!

          3. There also a few people search site and other places that checked ok. Not just google like I said but you don’t want read that you want to drag this B.S. on ok. Why don’t try prove there is jimmy white living in burien ok see what you come ok. Then we can talk because what has happen here is some one mix two names together to troll the blog to get attention like always. There some morons around town that want get on here talk utter nonsense which really makes the rest of burien look bad to anyone outside of burien. But then again these childish idiots don’t care about that.

          4. “. Why don’t try prove there is jimmy white living in burien ok see what you come ok”
            Well, I didn’t claim that there is no one with that name and furthermore
            I don’t care if that is the poster name or not. It isn’t relevant to this forum.
            ” There some morons around town that want get on here talk utter nonsense which really makes the rest of burien look bad to anyone outside of burien. But then again these childish idiots don’t care about that.
            Really Jimmy? I hope you were looking in the mirror when you posted that.

          5. Trying to understand “Jimmy’s” logic or lack thereof, or making sense of his ramblings is quite futile, much like pouring water on a ducks back trying to get it wet.

        3. Maybe they were driving by on the way to or from the ferry? etc. Broaden your mind, there is more to the world than white Center.

  4. To FH—-my deepest condolences to you and your family in your loss of a loved one.
    And to dmc—-geez please think before you write something like that, the family just lost a family member in a very tragic way and to have you write something like that just adds more pain to where it is already a very painful time in their lives. Shame on you.

  5. My comment for clarity is this. I live around 10th and 117th. I was reading in bed and my south facing window was open six inches. I heard the high speed of an approaching car and a thought came into my head, “great another one of these guys” but I actually didn’t complete the thought before I heard a short amount of screeching and then several impacts that lasted a few seconds with an abrupt concussion at the end. I got dressed immediately and ran for the scene if there was anyway I could help or witness if it was a hit and run. But i had to run a long way, more than 200 yards. I heard nothing along the way. If I’d gone a different route I may have seen the driver running from the scene. The wreckage took up a distance of around 200-300 ft. and involved the car flipping several times. From what i heard with the car approaching and seeing the scene, this car was traveling well over 90mph but I would put my guess at 100 or more. Not much would get me out of bed but this was a long cacophony of extremely loud smashing. I learned of the fatality upon arriving at the scene as the first officer was arriving as I did. As soon as he looked in the vehicle and with each additional officer or fireman there was a slackening of pace and it was plain there was nothing to save. The firemen brought out the jaws of life but never used it. I believe the passenger died at the first impact against the Jersey barrier or was at least completely unconscious beyond that point. I don’t think there was any suffering. Once I got home I heard a helicopter hovering very close to my house. I thought it was the media at the time because my impression was the driver had died. Later that morning I learned the two fates of driver and passenger. I decided to do some research after seeing the Guardian 1 infrared video. In a 24hr period there was only one booking in King county for Veh Homicide at 7:30am, Aug 14, 4.5hrs after the incident. The inmate’s name is Thuan Anh Pham. There is no proof of the correlation but this person is likely the driver. My condolence to all those who’ve lost these two people driver and passenger.

    1. Dan, thank you for sharing your story. It is helpful to know these kinds of detail. I appreciate your willingness to be involved and the extent you went to do so. Thank you from the family and God bless you and yours.

    2. Update: I spelled the drivers name wrong in the previous post. This is from the white center blog
      FOLLOWUP: Driver in deadly crash charged with vehicular homicide, felony hit-and-run
      August 20th, 2015 at 2:29 am Posted in burien, Crime, White Center news | No Comments »
      Two felony charges are now filed against the driver found hiding after crashing his car on Ambaum just south of White Center early last Friday, killing his passenger. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged 24-year-old Thuan A. Phan of Kent with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run. Charging documents say Phan was driving the “recently purchased” 2013 BMW southbound on Ambaum at high speed when he lost control at the “S” curves around 119th and slammed into the jersey barrier. 26-year-old Benjamin J. Smith was wearing his seat belt in the front passenger seat but suffered deadly head injuries because of how the car hit the concrete barrier. Nearby residents told deputies that they saw a man climb out of the car after the crash and run away screaming; the Guardian One helicopter spotted him hiding under a pickup truck at a home a few blocks away, his only injuries described as scratches on his legs and neck abrasions. He claimed he had been in the passenger seat and also said he remembered leaving a club; a deputy noticed he smelled like “intoxicants.” Prosecutors asked that Phan’s bail remain at a quarter-million dollars because he had left the crash scene and was reportedly trying to get friends and family to come pick him up.

  6. Thank you dmc.
    The driver of the vehicle was his best friend. We have no reason to believe that the accident was anything but that, an accident. Our hearts go out to him and his family as they are also suffering.
    If you are interested, please visit:
    Thank you for all the positive comments, prayers, and thoughts. They all help in a horrible situation.

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