11 hurt when suspected shoplifters’ van smashes into store

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SEATTLE — Eleven people were injured Monday night when a white van crashed into a Ross department store near Seattle, Washington, state police said.

Two suspects tried to take off from the store’s parking lot after shoplifting, but ended up smashing into the store, according to King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott. At least three people were critically wounded, including a 2-year-old boy and a 41-year-old man, police said.

“The fire and deputies got here really quickly and were able to start treating victims right away and that is most likely how we didn’t lose anybody. Everybody is alive so far and everybody has been transported and is being treated at the best hospitals that we have,” Abbott said.

Police were first alerted around 9:15 p.m., he said.

A woman was shoplifting inside the store and ran out, getting into the passenger seat of the white van that was in the parking lot, Abbott said.

The getaway driver took off at a high speed and struck an unoccupied vehicle parked right in front of the store “and then went straight through the window and into the store,” he said.

The van went past registers and into the clothing section, where it hit several people and struck a stroller with the 2-year-old inside.

The van’s driver — a 51-year-old man — was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and vehicular assault, police said.

The woman, who had an unrelated warrant for her arrest, was also taken into custody.

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