Around 2 a.m. on July 17 a male driver apparently missed his turn and launched into the Schmitz Park Elemetary parking lot, eventually coming to a stop after taking out part of a local artist's installation. PLEASE CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE FOR MORE
SLIDESHOW: Car launches into Schmitz Park Elementary lot, takes out public art installation
According to neighbors living near Schmitz Park Elementary in West Seattle, a male driver heading northbound on 50th Ave S.W. around 2 a.m. this morning (July 17) failed to recognize the road ended at S.W. Spokane St. and launched into the school parking lot below, eventually coming to rest against a fence after taking out part of a public art installation.
The Herald has put in a request with police for an official account of the incident, but according to witnesses the driver was not injured.
Damage from street level down into the parking lot tells the story of a vehicle launching from the intersection of 50th and Spokane (taking out a sign that indicated the road ended in the process) and traveling through the air at least 30 feet before bottoming out, leaving scars in the elementary school parking lot. Another 30 feet and it appears the vehicle slammed into a concrete pillar adorned with mosaic tiles by West Seattle artist Terri Goodwin, meant to keep cars from entering a gate in the chain link fence. A sizable oil spill and small pieces of plastic and metal tell the tale of extensive damage to the vehicle.
Please click on the photo above to see more.
The small mosaic pillar took a fatal blow, but may have saved Goodwin’s larger work: two 10 foot tall pillars covered in hand-made tiles painted by Goodwin and Schmitz Park Elementary students seven years ago (when her son was a first grader).
Goodwin, a West Seattle resident for the past 15 years and professional artist working in ceramic and concrete for the past 14, said the artwork was paid for by a grant from the city and community donations in exchange for having their names put on the pillars (you can check out her work at www.brightriverstudio.com).
Luckily, Goodwin said the smaller piece damaged in the crash was an afterthought, with city code requiring a pillar in front of the gate to keep vehicles out. She decided to decorate it with store-bought tiles of a similar hue to the larger ones to tie everything together.
As for the pillar knocked clean off its foundation, “That can be done again,” she said.
“I think we are going to have to find that young man and he is going to have to come out and help put a new mosaic on that,” Goodwin said in an upbeat tone, knowing things could have been worse.
“I was just thankful, of course, that the guy didn’t get hurt and also thankful that the big columns didn’t get smashed because even with broken tiles that would have been really hard to replace … a lot of the kids painted those and that was a one time thing.”
Photo gallery for this story