The 15-passenger van (original story called it an “RV”) that crashed into the West Seattle Health Club on Wednesday was the second such crash, and the club faces about $300,000 in damage from this latest incident. The club’s VP of Operations, Dan Lehr, has officially had enough.
The van was allegedly fleeing a crime scene where its drivers had robbed a Safeway, crashed straight through the wall of the club, and subsequently caused a fire.
“I was really disappointed with the Seattle Fire Department’s analysis and statement,” Lehr told KTTH’s Jason Rantz. “I’ve seen this RV parked in and around the club, and the owners, when it crashed into our building, they fled the scene — they’ve never found them.”
“It’s really become critical this past year,” Lehr said, referring to the RVs parked in the neighborhood surrounding the club. “This past year, there’s not only been an increase in the volume of the RVs, but the people occupying the RVs are much more dangerous — I’ve been physically confronted three times.”
“The people have become much more aggressive and dangerous to the community,” he added.
The neighborhood has long been a problem area for homeless RVs, despite an assessment from the city just days ago claiming that the area wasn’t in need of a clean-up.
Lehr himself has observed garbage, needles, and in some cases, even human feces around areas of parked RVs. When asked to describe the nature of his conversations with the City of Seattle regarding this problem, Lehr’s response was simple. “Useless,” he replied.
In the meantime, Lehr is hoping to coordinate with his district’s council member on a solution. If that doesn’t prove fruitful, he notes that the club “is going to have to take it another step,” citing legal action as a viable course of action should it become necessary.