Car crashes into tent along I-5 in Seattle, kills man inside

SEATTLE -- The Washington State Patrol says a car went off a freeway ramp in Seattle, killing a man inside a tent along Interstate 5.

Trooper Rick Johnson says the driver left the off-ramp at the city’s University District early Monday morning. He went up a small hill in the tiny greenbelt between I-5 and the Northeast 50th street exit and struck the tent and a tree.

Hours later, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray stopped by the crash site and reiterated that more needs to be done to help the homeless.

Murray called the homeless problem a humanitarian crisis and talked about possibly looking at asking taxpayers to pay for more resources to help the homeless get off the streets.

“This one again points to the complexity and tragedy that we face in this city,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

The mayor said this was another reminder that something needs to be done to keep the homeless away from dangerous locations and off the streets.

“Given the size and scope of this crisis and the extent it’s growing, it’s growing quicker than our resources,” added Murray.

He said he doesn’t expect the state or federal government to help deal with the homeless problem in Seattle, and that’s why he believes he may have to possibly ask taxpayers to step up.

“So what I’m proposing is have a discussion about whether we want to raise more revenue, to provide safer places for people that’s the only options we have before us,” said Murray.

People in the area say they’re used to seeing the homeless people near the freeways.

“We decided to put up these signs just because we want to give him a last kind of memorial service,” said Cameron Van Horn, who placed a flower and small sign that read “rest in peace.”

Van Horn lives in the area.

She said she didn’t know the 19-year-old killed but felt compelled to do something.

“The people on the side of the street are not just people on the side of the street they’re still people. Everyone is still a person and all have personalities,” added Van Horn

The driver of the car had fled the scene and no one else was in that area, according to troopers. The driver was eventually arrested at his home by Seattle police.

He was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for his injuries and to be evaluated for drugs.

Troopers arrested him on investigation of vehicular homicide.

The ramp to NE 50th Street was closed for several hours as the investigation continued.