A two-year-old boy and his grandfather were among 11 injured on Monday during a getaway gone wrong in Burien, Washington.
According to the King County Sheriff’s Office, a white van crashed through the front windows of a Ross Dress for Less store at 9:15 PM on Monday. Three of the victims were transported to the Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, including the aforementioned child and his grandfather, as well as an unnamed man in his 30s. While the adults are now stable, the child remains in intensive care.
A vehicle crashed into the Ross in Burien 15700 BLK 1 AVE S. 4 patients critical, 6 others being treated. I’m heading to the scene and will update when I arrive.
— King County Sheriff’s Office PIO (@kingcosoPIO) December 17, 2019
“There was a female that was inside the store shoplifting, she ran out and got into the passenger seat of the white van,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott said. The white van was being allegedly driven by a 51-year-old man identified as Lee Kelly. “Once the female got into the car, he took off — unknown exactly why at this time,” Abbott said. “It appears from the damage that he took off at a pretty high rate of speed.”
The car first reportedly crashed into an unoccupied car parked in front of the store, then through the front windows of the store itself. It continued through the registers, all the way into a clothing aisle. “He struck a stroller that had a 2-year-old child inside, as well as several other people,” Abbott said. “The driver of the van is under arrest,” he added, and “the suspicion is under the influence of drugs.” He has been charged with vehicular assault, as well as a DUI.
RIGHT NOW: Deputies say 2 children and 2 adults are in critical condition after a van crashed into the Ross store on 1st Avenue in Burien. 6 others also injured @komonews #komonews pic.twitter.com/lWlRrsHEMy
— Tammy Mutasa (@TammyKOMO) December 17, 2019
Salomon Mendez relayed his mother’s experience at the scene. “When the van got inside, she heard a big explosion,” Mendez said. “She saw glass and everything flying, people screaming, crying.”
“The van hit (my sister), and that’s all we know right now,” he said. “The paramedics are taking care of her right now.”
The front of the Ross store has been covered up, but the store remains closed at the time of this writing. Authorities say charges against the suspects could be upgraded depending on the outcomes of the victims.