A Kia Crashes Into a Cabin, Shroom Hunters Unearth a Human Skull, and the Perils of Canoeing Across Lake Washington

Plus some traffic and safe drug site news.

1. A driver of a stolen vehicle crashed into Bellevue’s oldest surviving structure last Friday. Bellevue police responded to a report of a car that had crashed into a building at Chism Beach Park in Bellevue. Officers arrived and located a white Kia sedan that had crashed into the Burrows Cabin, built in 1883.

A witness saw a suspect run from the car after the crash and get into a waiting vehicle in the parking lot. Police learned that the Kia was a reported stolen vehicle out of Renton. The cabin was checked by Bellevue City Engineer and cleared, and the stolen vehicle was towed from the scene. Police did not locate the suspects.

Built by Civil War veteran Albert Burrows in 1883, the cabin was moved to Bellevue Way in the 1930s and then again in 1946 to 112th Avenue Northeast, where it was a private residence. Because that site was later slated for redevelopment, the owners, Ty and Terry Thorpe, donated the cabin to the city and contributed $10,000 to assist in the preservation of one of Bellevue’s few remaining pioneer structures. It was moved to Chism Beach Park from downtown Bellevue in 2016. Bellevue Reporter

2. A police sting intended to catch men selling illegal guns reportedly went sideways Friday evening in Kent and led to the shooting of one man and a second man getting hit by a vehicle. An undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) met two men in a vehicle just before 5 p.m. in the Lowe’s parking lot at the southeast corner of Pacific Highway South and South 240th Street.

“An undercover officer was purchasing firearms from the suspects, the suspects attempted to rob the undercover agent when the deal was going down and a shooting ensued,” said Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas during a press conference across the street from Lowe’s. “The driver of the suspect vehicle was hit and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries. The passenger took off running with a gun and ran out onto Pacific Highway South and was hit by a car. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

The ATF agent fired shots that hit the driver of the suspect vehicle. Thomas said he didn’t know how many shots were fired or if the men had ties to any gangs. Kent Police assisted with the undercover operation and have an officer who serves on the ATF task force, Thomas said. Kent Reporter

3. Traffic was backed up on eastbound Interstate 90 between Mercer Island and Seattle after a canoe capsized along the south side of the bridge last Wednesday morning.

The two people in the canoe were close enough to I-90 that they climbed out of the water and onto the bridge deck, said Jeff Magnan, services commander for the Mercer Island Police Department.

The right lane was closed to traffic as medics and firefighters examined the boaters, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) also assisted, Magnan said. The boat was barely visible in the water.

Magnan said the boaters were a father and son, and had decided to canoe across Lake Washington, from Seattle to Mercer Island.

A Mercer Island Marine Patrol unit arrived to retrieve the canoe. The boaters, who were uninjured, were taken to the Mercer Island Boat Launch. Mercer Island Reporter

4. Mushroom pickers hiking just outside Greenwater recently stumbled upon something unusual ealier this month—a human skull among the ‘shrooms. The skull was found Sunday, Oct. 14, along National Forest Service Road 70, which begins at State Route 410 south of Greenwater and follows the Greenwater River. The skull was collected by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Monday afternoon.

“We have no identity and or cause of death at this time,” said Detective Ed Troyer, PIO for the department. “The medical examiner will work with our detectives to determine that. This could be a long process.” No other remains have been found, though teams have been searching the area for two days now as of last Wednesday. The Courier-Herald

5. The Bellevue City Council unanimously voted to permanently ban safe injection sites for illegal drugs at a council meeting Monday. The permanent ban will go into effect Oct. 26.

This past summer, the council had enacted an interim official zoning control, or emergency ordinance, for a citywide ban on Community Health Engagement Locations, also known as safe injection sites. But the interim measure was only for six months unless council took permanent action.

Ordinance No. 6376, the permanent measure, amends Bellevue’s land use code to impose a prohibition on the sites, locations or other uses or activities designed to provide a location for people to consume illicit drugs intravenously or by other means, throughout the city.

Deputy Mayor John Chelminiak said it’s “as permanent as legislation gets,” although a new council could effectively change the law through a public process in the future if they so desire, as they could with other legislation.

“It makes no sense to do this,” he said, in reference to allowing such a location in Bellevue. Bellevue Reporter

6. The Mercer Island City Council unanimously voted last week to finalize its acceptance of a package of mitigation measures first offered in May 2017 by Sound Transit and valued at just over $10 million. The financial settlement is intended to offset the impacts of light rail construction and operation, and also to partially compensate for permanent impacts to local traffic patterns, including the loss of access to westbound I-90 from the Island’s only four-lane arterial, Island Crest Way.

Sound Transit will provide $5.3 million to address vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian access issues resulting from the closure of the I-90 center roadway and fund “last/first-mile solutions” that enable Islanders to access transit without driving, and $4.6 million for about 100 additional commuter parking stalls during the East Link construction period (2017-2023) and construction of new commuter parking for residents. Mercer Island Reporter

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