From train derailments to plane crashes and bus collisions, Washington has seen it all when it comes to dramatic crashes and accidents. With Washington State consistently ranking near the top for reported accidents year after year, it’s no wonder we have a long history of disasters and crashes. Below is a list The Advocates put together of the top five accidents in Washington State history.
The 1910 Steven’s Pass Train Crash
Easily the most deadly crash in Washington State history was in 1910, when two Great Northern trains were swept off of the Cascade Mountains by a roaring avalanche. The tragic train crash claimed the lives of over 96 passengers. The avalanche was reported to have been so powerful that one of the survivors described it as a “White Death” rolling down the Cascade Mountains.
The cause of the accident was later determined to be caused by a freak lightning storm that passed over the mountainous region. Remarkably, the same train route remains open to this day and is frequently used by the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad.
The Spokane Baseball Team Bus Crash of 1946
One of the most harrowing crashes in Washington State history is a bus crash in 1946 that killed 9 team members of the Spokane Indians baseball team. The bus was carrying 16 players to a game in Bremerton at the time of the crash, of which only six players survived.
The bus was traveling along US Highway 10 near the Snoqualmie Pass when it suddenly began to rain heavily. According to the bus driver, a black vehicle suddenly veered across the center line of the two-lane highway causing the driver to swerve out of its path. The car proceeded to sideswipe the bus and sending it off the side of the road where it fell close to 500 feet into the river below. Several players were thrown out of windows and the bus eventually caught fire. The bus accident received national attention with thousands of people sending in donations from all over the country. The tragic accident shook the Spokane community for years afterward.
The Great I-90 Vehicle Pileup of 2014
When it comes to catastrophic automobile devastation, the 24-vehicle pile-up crash in 2014 definitely sets the record for roadway
mayhem. The massive automobile crash occurred on Interstate 90 after low visibility from forest fire smoke and ash caused several motorists to suddenly slam on their brakes.
Luckily, the accident did not cause any fatalities, but it did leave 13 people injured, a few seriously. The resulting carnage of the pile-up crash took hours to clear, with nearly 2 dozen ambulances, multiple police officers, and several ambulances to clear the wreckage. Traffic along I-90, too, was backed up for hours. Washington State has rarely seen an accident of this magnitude and hopefully won’t see one again in the near future.
The 2017 Amtrak Train Derailment
According to the popular adage known as Murphy’s law, ‘Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,’ and this was certainly the case with
the inaugural launch of a new Amtrak train line running on the new Point Defiance bypass route from Seattle to Portland. Less than two hours after it left the Seattle Amtrak station, the train derailed at a sharp turn just outside of the state capital of Olympia.
The train was carrying upwards of 80 passengers when it derailed, killing three passengers and injuring close to 70 others. Data retrieved from the train’s black box revealed that the train was traveling close to 50 miles over the speed limit. Coverage of the derailment dominated national news that day and lawsuits involving the crash are ongoing to this day.
The 2018 Ketron Island Plane Crash
This technically isn’t an accident, but the notoriety of the strange plane crash made national headlines for days afterward. Early Friday evening a SeaTac traffic controller commandeered a Bombardier Q400 passenger plane and took it for what a local sheriff described as a “joyride gone terribly wrong.”
Hundreds of witnesses watched as the hijacked plane performed barrel rolls and other gravity-defying tricks before running out of fuel and crashing into the remote Ketron Island. FBI investigators later determined the plane crash was an act of suicide, but they still do not know how he was able to steal the plane at all. Thankfully no one else was killed in the plane crash. It did however cause millions in property damage due to the loss of the plane and the damage done to the island’s ecosystem. Needless to say, the security of the Seattle-Tacoma International airport has been increased since this unfortunate incident.
Call the Attorneys With the Advocates Today
So, there you have it. The most dramatic accidents in the history of Washington State. Unfortunately, automobile accidents and crashes are an unfortunate reality of traveling on the road. If you’re the victim of an accident caused by the recklessness of another person, then you will need an Advocate on your side. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping accident victims just like you recover from their injuries and receive just compensation for your losses. Don’t wait to get back on your feet again. Call our office today at 206-452-4200 or chat online right now with a live attorney. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. You deserve an Advocate!
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