At 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Bellevue Police and Fire units responded to a one-car rollover crash where a vehicle was on fire.
The driver was driving westbound on Phantom Way in the 16200 block at a high rate of speed, lost control, flipped and struck an oak tree on the north side of the road. Witnesses helped the driver escape the car before it became engulfed in flames.
Once out of the four door sedan, witnesses noticed the driver appeared to be under the influence. Concerned that the driver might flee the scene, witnesses detained him until police and fire units arrived. There were no other occupants in the vehicle.
The driver, a 20 year old man from Seattle, was transported to Overlake Hospital Medical Center with a head injury and broken nose. He was later arrested for driving under the influence. His 2000 BMW is a total loss. The 20 year old was released at the hospital pending results of a blood test. No other vehicles were involved.
"Considering the violent nature of the crash, and that the driver only sustained fairly minor injuries, was amazing," stated Traffic Lieutenant Marcia Harnden.
This is the second DUI crash at the same location in the past 12 months. In 2011 there have been 135 DUI arrests compared to last year’s 109.
The following driving tips are always good advice to remember (but are not meant to be construed as issues in this case):
• When in doubt, bring the speed down. Although speed is not always the cause of collisions, it is often an aggravating factor, particularly in fatality wrecks.
• Wear your seatbelt. In many common circumstances it can be the difference between a few bruises and serious injury or death.
• Never drink and drive. Alcohol limits your perception and dulls your reflexes, both of which are crucial to safe driving.
• Know your limits. Don't drive faster than you can safely react under the current conditions, including weather, fatigue, visibility, the capabilities of your vehicle, etc.
• Don't be distracted by the use of electronic equipment or talking on your cell phone.
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