Fiery crash in Puyallup kills 3 Saturday after car rolls through dead end, trees

Courtesy/Puyallup Police Department

Three people in their 20s died Saturday morning in Puyallup after the car they were in rolled through a dead-end street and caught on fire in a nearby yard, according to police.

The accident occurred around 5 a.m. on March 18.

According to Jason Visnaw, spokesperson for the Puyallup Police Department, the vehicle had traveled from 23rd Avenue Southwest onto northbound 3rd Street Southeast, a 0.2-mile residential street. Satellite images of the area show a house and garage in the 2000 block of 3rd Street Southeast on the eastern side of the street. The paved street dead-ends, but to the right is a turnaround gravel driveway. North of the street is a tree-covered area.

The vehicle “definitely” hit at least one tree, said Visnaw, and came to a stop on its side in the yard of a house with an address in the 300 block of 19th Avenue Southeast. It did not appear to have stopped after colliding with another object.

It was unclear when the vehicle caught fire, but a neighbor who lives near the scene of the crash emailed The News Tribune and said he saw it start after the car stopped moving.

A resident of the 300 block of 19th Avenue Southeast called 911 at 4:57 a.m. to report that a car had crashed into their yard and was on fire, said Visnaw.

Officers on the scene attempted to quell the fire with standard extinguishers, he explained. After emergency crews from Central Pierce Fire and Rescue subdued the blaze, they discovered the driver and two passengers in the vehicle had died.

They were able to remove the victims — a 24-year-old female and two males, 24 and 27 years old confirmed Visnaw, but it took “quite a bit of time due to instability of the vehicle.”

Puyallup police turned over the investigation to Metro Cities Major Collision Response Team, whose investigators found evidence of alcohol and cannabis use in the vehicle. Speed was also a factor, according to a release shared just after 1 p.m.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to notify the victims’ families.

Two blocks of 19th Ave. SE, from South Meridian to 4th St., were closed to traffic for seven hours Saturday morning.