Eight Hurt When Crane Knocks Sign Onto Bus on 520 | KUOW News and Information

Eight Hurt When Crane Knocks Sign Onto Bus on 520

Mar 17, 2015

Eight people were injured late Tuesday night when a construction crane knocked down a large highway sign on state Route 520, sending it crashing onto a bus, authorities said.

The injuries were minor but all eight people were taken to hospitals, the Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter.

The Washington State Patrol said the crane dropped a large steel pipe that bounced off the bus and hit the overhead traffic sign, causing it to fall onto the bus too. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. just east of Lake Washington Boulevard and blocked all lanes.

Sonny Behrends told KUOW he was headed eastbound on his way home from work when he saw the crane moving the pipe.

"It was kind of random that I was looking up - I sometimes try to see an eagle," he said.

He said just one car was between him and the sign when it fell.

"We were all going 50 mph and we all slammed on our brakes," he said.

He said he got out of his car and heard cries for help.

"Me and a few other drivers jumped the median and ran up to the bus," he said.

He said the top of the bus toward the front had been badly damaged. One man whom he thought was the driver was lying outside the bus but was moving, said Behrends, who spoke to KUOW by phone from his car while he was stuck on the bridge just feet from the accident scene.

After more than an hour, police started moving vehicles off the bridge. The bridge was reopened about 5 a.m. in time for the morning commute.

The top of a bus is badly damaged after striking a falling highway sign on state Route 520 late Tuesday night.
Credit Sonny Behrends