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Car strikes Bellevue business gas line, flees scene

Posted: 10:33 PM, Oct 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-31 03:33:10Z

Employees at a Tobacco Hut say they had no idea gas was seeping into their store until a customer noticed the odor well after a car struck their building.

A cashier tells KMTV 3 News Now they think the crash was intentional.

Bellevue Fire and M.U.D. crews were called to the scene around 6 p.m. Investigators are calling the crash a hit and run after an Audi A-3 struck the building and a gas meter. The driver fled the scene.

Firefighters say they are lucky the service valve was intact and could be shut off. Nearby homes were evacuated for about two hours because of the risk of an explosion, but those residents are back home Tuesday night.

Tobacco Hut employees watched surveillance video from a nearby car dealership and say they were shocked at what they saw.

"What they caught on camera was the person pulled up for about 45 seconds, reversed, and then full speed into the building so it was obviously intentional," employee Vaughn Archie said. "I don't know if it was a dispute or anything, but we didn't hear anything."

The car struck the left part of the building away from the end the Tobacco Hut sits at. Employees and customers were allowed back in the buildings around 7 p.m.

The gassy odor is still lingering Tuesday night, but the area is safe.

Bellevue Police say the car they're looking for is a 2015 or 2016 Audi a-3 which is either silver, gray or white. Anyone with details is asked to call Bellevue police.