Incredible video: Person biking hit by car near SLU Park lands on his feet


Jeff Word was crossing Valley St at the crosswalk from Terry Ave N into South Lake Union Park the evening of May 18 when a driver ran a red light and struck him and his bicycle. Word reacted quickly and was able to put his foot onto the car’s approaching hood and push off. The collision damaged his bike, but Word landed on his feet unharmed after being thrown across the crosswalk.

“I’m doing good,” said Word in an email. “I was so happy that nothing happened I was pretty much laughing afterwards. I’m a chiropractor, too, so I get adjustments all the time.”

The driver stopped and is paying for the damage to the bicycle, a steel Fuji Roubaix.

The video was taken by David Behroozi, who happened to have his helmet cam rolling. He said glare from the sun could have played a role.

“The sun was to the west and was fairly bright but the woman in the car has her visor down and the visor shadow is across her face,” he said.

Takeaway lessons:

  • Jeff Word is awesome.
  • Be aware of sunlight conditions and give extra caution around drivers with sun in their eyes. Windshield glare is a huge problem.
  • South Lake Union road construction needs a better non-motorized detour. This project is going to take years, and the current situation is unclear and unsafe for people walking and biking. How about something like this?

CLARIFICATION: Several people have pointed out that it looks like he is running a red light. That light does not turn green because the driveway is closed due to construction. In the video, you can see he had a walk signal, and you can hear the crosswalk beeping sound. The driver did have a red light.

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126 Responses to Incredible video: Person biking hit by car near SLU Park lands on his feet

  1. Tim K says:

    Whoa… watch this in full-screen video to really see how bad this could have been. That driver ran a full-on red. No “I was already in the street” or anything there.
    I will admit bikes in crosswalks are bad news — the rider should have walked across, but the driver running the red trumps everything. It could have easily been a pedestrian ’cause obviously that driver wasn’t seeing anything.

    Agreed on the detour messes. SLU is a total clusterf*ck. Hmm…maybe we can get David Hiller to go down and rattle some cubicles at SDOT?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Just to be clear, it is entirely legal to ride a bicycle in a crosswalk in Seattle. Best practices could be up for debate, though. I know I would have ridden. I hope I would have pulled a crazy ninja move like Jeff, too.

      • Jerry says:

        DO NOT BE FOOLED, THIS VIDEO IS A COMPLETE SET UP. One, why is this guy being video taped crossing the street unless it is a set up. The driver obviously had ques and new what to do and stopped very quickly, and the driver did not get out to see if the biker was ok like she knew he was already. It is played out well, but it is just a faked performance.

      • David says:

        A setup? Really? How would they have convinced all those cars near Mercer at rush hour to cooperate? I suggest you go down to that intersection and you’ll see that happens every day.

        Also, the crosswalk is on the far side of the intersection, not the near side, even though it does look like the near side (look at the traffic signals). This is one of the reasons this intersection is so dangerous to crossers, it appears to cars as if it’s not a real intersection (because of the construction).

      • Jerry says:

        More evidence, the driver does not react at all, the bike does not react other than get up and walk away. There is no way that neither party would react in a situation like that in real life.

        Who said the traffic was set up, it was a set up between the silver car and the biker. Why exactly was there a camera following the bikers exact path with him in the frame the whole time, for no reason???

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Jerry, please tell me you’re not serious with this conspiracy theory.

        The videographer rides with a helmet cam. There are plenty of people who do.

      • Jerry says:

        @ Tom, I find it convenient that you did not refute any of the evidence that this was a total fake set up. The video man never took his lens off of the biker who was hit, that is not likely if it is a legit video. The camera man would have been looking left right and other places to see if it is safe to cross, not focused on the biker way ahead of him.

      • Tim K says:

        Yep, Tom. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I gree about riding in the crosswalk being legal. But as someone who rides with kids, we get a much better “response” from motorists when we move about in crosswalks in “pedestrian” mode. That’s all I was saying — I consider it kind of a peace offering to motorists.

        That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally ride them where it is more practical, but walking seems less likely to “flaunt” the idea that bikes are able (and legally allowed) to bounce between ped and bike mode.

        PS — the conspiracy theory people are hilarious. Who knew Seattle Bike Blog was a comedy site, too?

      • Tom,

        I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in an accident before. But there’s this concept known as “psychological shock” or more technically “acute stress reaction”. You might want to look it up. It’s actually a pretty common human emotion.

        One of the most common symptoms of “(psychological) shock” is that people basically shutdown and/or become very calm and quite. It’s often described as a “daze”. You can read more about it here… wikipedia.

        Now, it’s possible that this is a grand conspiracy… but really, that’s not very likely.

        It’s much more likely that what you’re seeing is simply “shock”…

        Thanks for playing.

        Next!

      • err — opps… I mean “Jerry”… not “Tom”… sorry… I must have been suffering from the “shock” of trying to explain this.

        :)

    • talisker says:

      The car didn’t run a red light. It wasn’t even at the crosswalk yet.

      • Gary says:

        Look again, run the video very slowly and you’ll see the cross walk light goes white. That driver was clearly in the wrong.

      • David says:

        The stop line for cars at that intersection was 50 feet back

      • The cyclist was operating his vehicle in accordance with both Washington State Law (RCW 46.61.235) and Seattle Municipal Code (11.44.120)

        There were two drivers who were both in the wrong and contributed to this accident. The first driver blocked the crosswalk and was in violation of RCW 46.61.202- which obligates the driver to NOT enter the intersection unless they can clear the entire intersection including the marked crosswalk. The second driver was clearly in violation of RCW 46.61.235. Both drivers are also in violation of various Seattle Municipal Codes as well.

        Now, you could certainly argue that it wasn’t safe for the cyclist to leave the crosswalk to go around the first car which was blocking his path. But in most traffic altercations where there are multiple participants the law must evaluate which participants were most responsible, and that burden is general placed on those participants who first break the spirit AND letter of the law. One could argue that the cyclist was breaking the spirit of the law, but clearly was not breaking the letter of any of the laws related to intersections, crosswalks, or cyclists; while the drivers of both cars were breaking both the spirit and letter of multiple laws.

        Seems pretty obvious to me, but then again, I’m just using the LAW to decide.

    • Jerry says:

      Also, you notice that the car starts to slow split second before the biker darts out from the stationary cars. The silver car is clearly in the view of the biker but the biker continues into the path of the car and braces for the impact. The camera man does not himself look to see if any cars are headed his way either, making sure to keep the biker in his frame, little too suspicious to me.

    • desmond ranklin says:

      first, yes crosswalk lights did turn green but the traffic light from the camera view was still on red indicating the car that hit the bike was green and had the right away.
      Second the bike was way out of the crosswalk.
      Third why was the filiming stopped right after the hit to see real reaction or to get any confessions , seems like i was a set up. The camera is in full view of traffic light and crosswalk signal and if your riding a bike your head is not gonna be focused that good on the guy in front of you like this was, cleary a set up

      • DrGeoduck says:

        “first, yes crosswalk lights did turn green but the traffic light from the camera view was still on red indicating the car that hit the bike was green and had the right away.”

        A–That’s a wild extrapolation. B–In what universe does a vehicle have priority over crosswalk traffic when the crosswalk light is green?

        “Second the bike was way out of the crosswalk.”

        He was outside of the painted lane because a frickin SUV was in the middle of it.

        “if your riding a bike your head is not gonna be focused that good on the guy in front of you like this was”

        Have you ever been on a bicycle in your life? If you are riding behind someone and going the same direction as him or her, of COURSE you’re going to be focused on that person much of the time.

        …and that’s your smoking gun for this being a conspiracy?

  2. Robert says:

    “I should have that on film”

    Rider is probably lucky that Microsoft Connector (?) bus didn’t hit him.

  3. Adam Parast says:

    The other note I would make is use more caution when riding in heavily congested areas, especially when queued up vehicles block your or drivers line of sight. For example if you’re in a bike lane, next to a congested travel lane watch out for oncoming left turning traffic when going through an intersection. The other case is something like this, when you have multiple thru lanes and someone in the second thru isn’t able to see you because there is a stopped vehicle between the two of you.

  4. daisy says:

    So when in heavy traffic with the sun in your eyes you floor it?

  5. Charlie says:

    Yikes. Simply put. Yikes. So glad everyone is okay. I doubt I could react that fast.

  6. Andreas says:

    South Lake Union road construction needs a better non-motorized detour.

    How do you get that as a takeaway from this incident? Construction or no, this would still be a marked signalized crossing with ped & bike traffic, and construction had nothing to do with why that driver ran a red light. If anything, the construction has made this intersection safer since for now there’s no vehicular N/S traffic allowed on that street so bikes & peds don’t have to worry about turning vehicles. I suppose one could argue that if N/S vehicular traffic were there, that driver might not’ve run the red out of fear for her own safety. But if the argument is that she ran the light because she couldn’t see it was red because of the sun, I don’t think you can argue this route will be less dangerous once construction ends: westbound afternoon drivers will still be staring right into the setting sun.

    My takeaway is closer to Adam’s: Don’t assume cars are stopped in all lanes, and NEVER dart out from between cars, whether they’re in the middle of an intersection like this or parked on the side of the road.

    In cases like this, ideally one should simply wait for the intersection to completely clear of cars. Failing that, at least wait for all the cars to actually stop—disregarding the right lane, Word could very easily have been hit in the left lane, as cars were still moving forward in that lane to clear the intersection when Word rode through it. If you decide to weave between cars blocking an intersection or crosswalk, make sure you make eye contact with the drivers, and slow the hell down and look both ways.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Word is at fault. But riding like that you’re basically putting yourself at the mercy of drivers, and as incidents like this illustrate very well, they really don’t have a clue about anything or anyone outside their metal box.

    • biliruben says:

      There really is no good way to get across this stretch right now, riding a bike. Since my work moved to the area a few months ago, I’ve tried about a dozen different routes through here from Eastlake. Each is either dangerous or illegal or both.

      Now I’ve just gone back to my route over Capital Hill, dropping down on Denny. Not ideal, but I avoid the complete clusterfcuk that is Mercer.

      A coworker goes 10 minutes out of his way and goes Fremont/Dexter, but that’s even screwed right now. No-win.

      • Gary says:

        If you are headed to South Lake Union area, drop down Pine to Melrose, go North on Melrose to the bike path, and come down Lakeview. Much safer than Denny.

      • biliruben says:

        Except that Lakeview drops on to Eastlake, where I get nearly right-hooked every other day by drivers trying to take a right on Republican. Eastlake just plain blows. If any road needs a re-channelization, it’s Eastlake.

      • Gary says:

        Yeah I know. On Eastlake I ride in the middle of the righthand lane and I take Harrison down the hill with the cars.

        Ideally there should be a bike lane inside of the parked cars, it won’t fix the right hook, but it would fix getting run down from behind.

    • Dan says:

      I drive a metal box and am hyper aware of what is going on around me. It is hard when half the time *some* not all bikers act as if they don’t have to stop at stop signs or follow any other rules of the road. Sorry if I don’t see you bikers, obey the rules cars have to they are there so everybody can somewhat know what to expect out of each other. When riding a bike you are not as visible and can do things cars can’t so it’s harder to know how you are going to react in any given situation. Just because you are one less car at that time you are not more special and I think when riders start thinking that way is when problems arise

      • Brian says:

        Dan, thanks for your recognition of the danger that vulnerable road users face. However, I want to point out that the cyclists in this video were obeying all the rules, and something bad still happened.

        Pedestrians can be injured by bicycle collisions, and cyclists and pedestrians both can be injured by collisions with autos and trucks. We all need to do what we can to make sure the roads are safe for all, but the onus is on the less vulunerable users to act safely and compassionately around those who are more vulnerable.

      • I agree with Brian on this… this is a case of a cyclist following the law… could have been a pedestrian and they would have been MUCH MORE INJURED.

        That being said, I also agree with Dan on this, which is why as a cyclist, I ALWAY call out my other cyclist when they pull crazy sh*t like running red lights.

        As cyclists, I fundamentally believe we need to be hyper aware that BAD cyclists make it MORE dangerous for us.

        The problem is simple… MOST drivers do not know the laws of the road. And if we’re not modeling good “road citizen” behavior, then they’re helpless and hopeless to figure out how THEY should behave on the road.

        If you run a red light around me, you can expect me to chase you down and give you a piece of my mind. Don’t be surprised and paaaaahleeeese don’t try to give me the “I’ll take responsibility for myself” excuse… cause that boat don’t float in civilization!

        Thanks

      • Dan says:

        http://brk.to/11od perfect example what I was talking about in the bike lane traveling way too fast for the traffic flow to just plain reckless behavior

  7. Bobby says:

    Look at the video again and stop at 19 seconds, the bike rider had a red light, and it was still red at moment of impact. The bike supporters are always blaming the car, and most of the time it is the cyclists who are running stop signs, red lights, and crossing illegally.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Look again, Bobby. That light never turns green because of the construction. The bike rider had a walk signal and was in the crosswalk legally. The driver had a red light.

      • Jeff Welch says:

        “Look again, Bobby”

        Look again, Tommy.

        At the point the cyclist is hit, he’s at least 1.5 car lengths OUTSIDE the crosswalk. How exactly is someone who is riding a good 15-20 feet OUTSIDE the crosswalk “in the crosswalk legally”??

      • Alfonso Lopez says:

        There was a car in the crosswalk. That seems hard to miss…

  8. Steve A says:

    This is a perfect illustration of why you want to defensively cycle. I NEVER will shoot into an open lane from between cars and I bet the cyclist who was hit will never do it again as well. It is simply too easy to slow, look for a scofflaw motorist in the open lane, and THEN go to take the risk of suddenly appearing in front of a speeding motorist.

    I’ve been t boned in just such circumstances while driving a motor vehicle. Yes, the other driver’s insurance paid up, but things could easily have turned out much worse.

  9. Rob says:

    I am a car free dedicated cyclist so my opinion could be prejudiced however I
    try not to be.

    There are several contributing factors.

    1. The red car pulled up into the crosswalk blocking it – they should be ticketed for that infraction and also should be part of the restitution (if there was any method of determining who they are).

    2. The bicyclist was not in the crosswalk when hit – they had ridden behind the red car which had pulled up across the crosswalk. He was positioned to be in the
    crosswalk if the red card had not pulled up and blocked it.

    3. Because of 1 and 2 a court might not consider the silver car as responsible for
    the collision, or maybe not totally responsible. It does seem like they would have
    driven into the crosswalk if the bicycle was not there to hit.

    4. Using the “but for their actions the accident would not have happened” razor
    it seems to me that all 3 (red and silver cars and the cyclist) should pay a 1/3 of
    the costs of restitution.

    What do other’s think?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      You make an excellent point about the blocked crosswalk. It’s a serious problem that we have grown numb to because it happens so often. Reminds me of this StreetFilm: http://www.streetfilms.org/drivers-behaving-rudely/

      However, if the crosswalk is blocked, are you suggesting the person walking or biking is at fault for going around? He could not just stop in the middle of the intersection and wait for the car to get out of the way. I am a little confused where his 1/3 comes from in your assessment.

      • Rob says:

        I did totally miss that the silver car ran the red light.

        Still does the total burden of the accident fall only on their
        shoulders? Isn’t the red car illegally blocking the crosswalk
        and didn’t the cyclist both ride outside of the sidewalk and
        did not look right as he entered a lane? Plenty of wrongs
        to go around.

      • Rob says:

        In a civil case an award can be made when their are multiple actions by multiple folks working together, even if
        unintentionally, that cause an accident and subsequent injury.

        The red car made an illegal blockage of the crosswalk.

        The cyclists road outside of the crosswalk, leaving its
        “protection”, and also failed to look right.

        The silver car ran a red light and hit the cyclist.

        Is the total burden of the event only due to the silver car?

        A court (judge) might not think so. Myself I am not sure
        of how the assignment of blame would work out.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        I don’t doubt that someone with a good enough lawyer could get out of some of the fault in court, but that’s sort of beside the point. I don’t see a need to assign blame to him.

        From what I see, any precautions he would have needed to take to avoid this incident would have been above and beyond the standard call of duty for any road user. She was going fast enough that even had he looked, he was probably only looking for straggling cars pulling through, not cars going as fast as she was straight through a red light. There was also another car illegally stranded in the middle of the street blocking his view of her car.

        Also, he had to go around the car blocking the crosswalk because traffic was completely backed up and stopped. That traffic was not going anywhere (I would bet the light at Westlake was red). If he had climbed over the car, I’m sure that would have caused far more problems.

        So sure, I bet he proceeds with even more caution next time he encounters a similar circumstance, and perhaps it is a reminder to the rest of us just how dangerous it is when one lane of traffic is backed-up, but the other is not. That situation is dangerous whether you’re driving, biking or walking, especially with sun glare, construction, etc.

        But there is no reason to blame the victim here. He acted how any reasonable person would have in that situation, except that he has ninja hood-jumping powers.

      • Jeff Welch says:

        The crosswalk wasn’t completely blocked. The cyclist chose to cross behind the red Suzuki (stopped) which was only partially blocking the crosswalk instead of in front of it – which would have kept the cyclist in the crosswalk and passing in front of a stopped vehicle instead of veering 15-20 feet into the street into the path of oncoming traffic..

      • David says:

        And had he passed between the two cars he would likely be dead since the silver car would not have had the split second she needed to stop if he had popped out from behind the SUV.

        As my driver’s ed instructor said “Never outrun your interference”. i.e., never pop out from behind something you can’t see around.

    • Hamilton says:

      Yes, this sounds most reasonable.

  10. cody says:

    Rob, true the red car is blocking an intersection illegally. But the Silver car is supposed to stop all the way off camera on the right. Whether it is painted or not there is a legal crosswalk on the far right hand side of this video extending from the edge of the blocked driveway ten feet to the right. I believe there is a light rail line in about that area. The cyclist has the right of way in about a 50ft section of road here.

    • Brian says:

      The way I see it, there are three cars in the intersection that should not have been there: the silver Subaru, the red Tracker, and what I think is a Lexus behind the Tracker. You might include the Prius in front of the Tracker as well. There is definitely a stop light off camera to the right, and all of these vehicles should have been back there when the crosswalk light came on.

      That being said, as a car driver too, I occasionally make a mistake and don’t realize how slowly traffic is moving in front of me and get stuck in the “box” as well. It’s easy to do.

      I think if I were assigning blame, I’d put about 90% on the Subaru driver who *blew through the red light and actually struck the cyclist*, and 5% each on the drivers of the Lexus and the Tracker who illegally blocked the intersection and obscured the Subaru driver’s view of the cyclist.

      The cyclist is acutally pedalling pretty slowly, cautiously, and lawfully. I concur with others that there is no good crossing of Mercer and Valley that exists for cyclists. I have settled on this particular crossing as the best one, which says something about the state of cycle infrastructure in this city.

  11. Shawn says:

    I am glad he is ok, the car is in the wrong, but I also thought it was illegal to ride your bike in the crosswalk. I thought you had to walk it across. anyways I am glad the guy is OK. that is a VERY bad intersection

  12. Deborah Niedermeyer says:

    Wow! Jeff is amazing and the car is scary! Particularly scary to me because yesterday I also encountered a driver who ignored a red light at a crosswalk .

    I was heading west on the south side of 45th, riding slowly on the sidewalk, The crosswalk light at 7th (which is a freeway exit) was in my favor, (i.e. red light for cars) but a driver, totally intent on making his right on red, never bothered to look east for anyone who might be in or entering the crosswalk. I slowed down more and more as I appraoched the crosswalk on my bike, but the driver still came forward. As I entered the crosswalk I started shouting “Hey! Hey!” so that I could get my right of way and would not have to dismount. But the driver still came forward, fairly fast, still not looking for anyone in the crosswalk, traveling west. At this point a bus driver tried to help me out by honking at the driver and a freeway panhandler started shouting too, but the oblivious driver kept coming forward, fairly fast into the crosswalk. I finally had to stop my bike. The driver still didn’t notice me, but by this time had almost stopped his car, still looking for his chance to turn right. He finally yielded right of way to people in the crosswalk after I banged on his hood with my hand. He did mouth “Sorry” and he looked chagrined, but I came away with the realization that drivers absolutely can not be trusted to obey traffic laws. As soon as I got home I went online and joined Cascade Bicycle Club.

  13. NickBob says:

    Once upon a time construction projections like this called for traffic cops directing traffic during hours when congestion was expected. People respect cops more than lights, it’s a safer solution. No doubt with Eyemanized budgets cops are too expensive. Pennywise.

  14. Facepalm Express says:

    You’re either a vehicle, or you’re not. In Oregon, you can ride in a crosswalk, but you can’t go any faster than a pedestrian’s walking speed. That makes a bit more sense, even though I think you should just walk your bike in general through a crosswalk.

    The whole “I’m a vehicle! No wait, now I’m a pedestrian!” fence jumping seems a little ridiculous to me. If you’re going to be a vehicle in vehicle situations, use your wheels. If you’re going to be a pedestrian in pedestrian situations, use your feet.

    • Nick Spang says:

      oh yes, let’s use a black and white mentality for cyclists. “There can be only car behavior or pedestrian behavior” is total BS. Cyclists are more like peds, but in many places can go as fast as cars, but they are still vulnerable like peds. You may want to stick people in little boxes for your convenience, but our society is better than that…

    • biliruben says:

      I would love to just be a bike. Not a car. Not a ped. Being on a bike is a very different experience than both, with difference needs.

      We can make it happen, but we actually have to devote resources.

      Until then, there really is really no good solution other than using the infrastructure that exists, which is mostly car and ped infrastructure. Anyone who complains about it better be advocating for more bike infrastructure.

  15. Nick Spang says:

    Wow some people here think it’s illegal to ride in a crosswalk or that the cyclist should take blame for going around the car stopped in the crosswalk??? No wonder our streets are so messed up with so many ignorant people.

  16. a - west says:

    The car was in the right. Simply put the light had to have been green, the traffic light that is visible in camera ( cross traffic) is red the whole time. Thus the perpendicular direction had the right of way. The bicyclist should never have attempted to travel perpendicular to vehicles that are in motion. As a bistander I see the blame clearly on the bicyclist and believe that he should be ticketed.

  17. daisy says:

    The silver car slowed down for the tracks because she doesn’t want her tires to get ruined. As she was focused on the tracks and slowing down she looked up and saw the light had changed and floored it as there was a space in front of her that her car could fit in. There is no one else around her as it is only during the day on Mercer/Valley.

    I’m quite relieved that in the video her tires do not seem to be damaged.

  18. Hector Juarez says:

    This is just a little too convenient. The bicyclist, seeing the backed up traffic, yet decides he wants to blast through the intersection although he has a walk light. Why, oh why, were the 2 guys on the other side of the street DIDN’T EVEN MOVE?? And what’s up with the cameraman’s jacket in the street in front of him. This is all so very staged. The 2 guys on the street were out of central casting. The “accident” was on the 18th, it’s already on youtube and it made the bike blog and already set out their demands for changes on the street. And the Oscar goes to….

    • Nick Spang says:

      better put on your tin foil hat, the black helicopters are coming for you….

    • Kevin says:

      Check out the blur of action over by the grassy knoll… puff of smoke?

    • David Behroozi says:

      I was the camera man. Although it sounds like you have made up your mind, I can clarify a few things.

      >The bicyclist, seeing the backed up traffic, yet decides he wants to blast through the intersection although he has a walk light.

      Both the cyclist and I were heading home. This intersection is one of the only and best to cross Valley St. We had waited for the light to turn for some time. When we got the walk signal, why would we wait for another light cycle just because cars were illegally stopped in the intersection? They were stopped after all. The road to our right is barricaded off due to construction and the traffic light only turns green if the trolley is there. That is why we were on the left side to begin with. The construction detour channels pedestrians and bicyclists onto the left sidewalk. There is no crosswalk on the right side of the street because it would clash with where the trolley turns right.

      >Why, oh why, were the 2 guys on the other side of the street DIDN’T EVEN MOVE??

      They were moving, they were walking from the park towards the crosswalk and they only get there as the cyclist is getting hit. They were very rational people and the ones who told the driver she had to stop and provide her insurance information.

      >And what’s up with the cameraman’s jacket in the street in front of him.

      This is not my jacket. It is felt under the sewer grate to prevent construction runoff from entering the sewer.

      >This is all so very staged. The 2 guys on the street were out of central casting. The “accident” was on the 18th, it’s already on youtube and it made the bike blog and already set out their demands for changes on the street. And the Oscar goes to….

      There is a good 2 minutes of video of me cycling from work and coming up to the intersection, the other cyclist is no where in the frame. There are also several minutes of video trailing the incident while I wait there for everyone to exchange information before heading home. It is merely coincidence that I captured this accident, I had only owned the helmet cam for 2 days and I have never seen a car hit a cyclist before.

      I personally don’t feel much needs to be done to improve the safety of that intersection and that was not my agenda in releasing the video. I provided it as evidence to the cyclist. I also provided it to Seattle Bike Blog after getting permission from cyclist because it illustrates how important it is to be on guard so you can react to unexpected things like a car running a red light.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Yes, the “takeway” about the SLU construction was one of my thoughts, not necessarily that of David or Jeff. I could have made that more clear (or just left it out, since it is somewhat off-topic from the content of the video).

        Thanks for the additional details, David. I didn’t know it was only your second day with a helmet cam. Wow.

  19. Hector Juarez says:

    I think Nick Spang must be David Hiller’s pen name. I guess it is break-time at the Mayor’s Office.

    • Nick Spang says:

      Anti-bike people will come up with the most stupid arguments when faced with irrefutable proof that a cyclist was hit and it wasn’t their fault.

  20. ??? says:

    Jesus Christ, these comments of staging and blame are depressing. And I find it strange that people, and this may be a false assumption, whose opinions clearly do not reflect those of someone who rides a bike, would frequent and comment on a bike blog.

    If you don’t see the walk sign in the video and the other car blocking the crosswalk, and the fact that the Subaru was driving way too fast given the traffic, conditions, and stop light, then GTFO. Seriously.

    As someone who frequently uses both car and bike, I find it hard for those defending the auto driver. Do you really think driving like that is reasonable, justifiable, prudent? Honestly?

  21. JimPD says:

    Of course it’s not staged. That poster is just repeating what a local radio host (guess who) was saying this afternoon, and of course it makes no sense.
    I do however have to assign some fault to the cyclist, who charged into the far lane ASSUMING no vehicle was approaching. If the rider had crossed more cautiously and paused slightly once he could see down the farthest lane, he could have avoided getting hit by the car.
    While the car was clearly entering the intersection on a red light (no legal right of way), it’s not very smart to cross ANY traffic lane without making sure nothing’s coming at you. The cyclist’s should take a more defensive approach to protecting himself from his biggest enemy – someone making a foolish mistake.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Ah, I did not realize he said anything. Now the universe is back in order and everything makes sense. Thanks.

      • JimPD says:

        He hits it everyday in one form or another. Today he suggested today this video was a choreographed publicity stunt by the “bicycle nazis” to help build support for more cycling infrastructure. Be extra careful out there from noon to three when he’s spewing this stuff to people stuck in their cars…

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Hmm, I never thought about needing to be more careful during his show. That’s an unsettling thought. I was happy having no idea when it was on.

  22. Nick Spang says:

    welcome to the twilight zone….

  23. jenkins says:

    I think I’ve heard of these guys, they do these amazing stunts in the middle of traffic around the Seattle area. One of them is a former professional stuntman and has completed over 900 stunts in the US throughout the 90’s and beyond. I’m guessing they setup the whole thing along with traffic, police, bikers, onlookers, and the sorts and are just trying to show the raw talent Jeff possesses.

  24. barry says:

    This guy caught this on camera by accident, it was by no way anything planned, people just trolling here move on.

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  27. Jerry says:

    THIS VIDEO WAS A FAKE:

    THE ONLY PROOF YOU NEED IS THAT FACT THAT NEITHER THE BIKER OR THE DRIVER REACT TO THE COLLISION, THEY DON’T EVEN CONVERSE AT ALL!!! THEY BOTH GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS LIKE THEY PLANNED AND WALK AWAY. IN REAL LIFE THE BIKER WOULD BE PISSED AND THE DRIVER WOULD AT LEAST CHECK FOR DAMAGE TO THE CAR AND TO SEE IF EVERYONE IS ALRIGHT. THAT DID NOT OCCUR, AND THUS IS WAS ALL PLANNED.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Wow, Jerry, now that you say it in all caps, I see your point so clearly…

      Is it so hard to believe that perhaps they were reasonable people who dealt with a difficult situation calmly?

    • Nick Spang says:

      Ever since Obama released his birth certificate these clowns have been feeling lost and adrift.

  28. Silas Porter says:

    Jerry, the conspiracy theorist, makes the same logical mistake prevalent in most conspiracy theories: That the outcome of a situation is always directly tied to the situation’s cause. In this instance, Jerry argues that the near-collision is a set-up (the cause) because Jeff Word was too cool (the outcome) under pressure. Further, Jerry cites the coincidence of a helmet camera (another outcome) and the driver’s reluctance to exit her vehicle (yet another outcome).
    The problem with these kinds of theories is that they assume precise execution of a preconceived plan and ignore all other variables. Plans, rarely go according to, well, plan. Just look at the operation to take out bin Laden. Here was the nation’s best trained, best prepared team, equipped with the world’s most sophisticated tools and weapons. And guess what? They had to resort to Plan B.

    Jerry is also apparently unaware of the concept of unintended consequences and the possibility that humans will often react much differently when they directly experience unique and stressful situations than when they fantasize about experiencing them.
    Humans don’t always react according to the Hollywood script of revenge.

  29. Jerry says:

    Thank you for continuing to ignore the facts and prove my points.

    • Nick Spang says:

      Thanks Jerry, without you and your tin-foil hat friends, we wouldn’t know that the moon landing was a hoax, Obama is muslim, and America has been keeping aliens in the desert of Nevada. Keep up the good work!

  30. Nick Spang says:

    Read the comment thread, all of the concerns about authenticity were addressed by the person with the helmet cam earlier in the thread (5/24, 5:25pm). But you are doing what all the tin-foil hat clowns do and just repeat yourselves again and again in complete disregard that the refutations to your vapid arguments already exist in this comment thread.

  31. Nick Spang says:

    Yeah and if you look closely at Obama’s birth certificate you can see a smudge in the upper left-hand corner which clearly indicates that it was fabricated. And that footage of the man on the moon? Did you notice how when they jump it looks like strings are attached to their “suits.”

  32. Jerry says:

    Sorry but the reactions of the biker and driver just do not match the situation.

  33. Anthony says:

    Mind boggling! The amount of aliases used by trolls here is overwhelming. The continued use and wholesale neglect of the video shows a complete statement of fact that these individuals are truly bound to have their way regardless of the consequences to others.

    So, to prove its fake, those who don’t believe its true need to provide their basis, not the other way around. This is another case of co-opting the victim’s side of the story and then twisting it into their own delusional version of inaccurate history.

    Man up trolls, YOU GUYS provide the evidence it was staged. Go find every piece of their bike history and “staged accidents” and prove they staged it. I know about this stuff more than practically anyone else about this, my history of bike riding is real.

  34. Jerry says:

    I feel like a broken record of truth in crazy land here, but here it goes:

    Proof that the video is fake:
    1. For some reason the camera man never moves his head to look for traffic, he keeps said biker in perfect frame the entire duration of the incident.

    2. at 18 seconds the car is in plain view of the biker and he could have stopped before continuing in to the path of a moving car. Something anyone else would have done.

    3. just before impact at 19 seconds, the biker lifts up his leg likely a practiced move to use it to launch off of the hood of the car. The whole sequence is very well versed.

    4. After the collision, both the biker and driver do not react at all!!! not yelling, no “are you ok” exchanges at all. In fact the driver does not even get out to check if there is any damage on her car. The biker does not even utter a word. After such an accident, some kind of exchange between driver and biker would have taken place is this was genuine.

    If nothing elese this should at least raise some questions to the authenticity of the video.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      You are trying too hard to see what you want to see. There is nothing any of us can say to ease your doubts. I am comfortable with you not believing and am not going to argue this any further. None of this is “evidence” of anything.

      How do I know you’re not a fake? After all, you are the one using multiple accounts to support yourself (yes, the Internet allows me to know these things). I do have actual evidence of that.

      Let it drop. I don’t want to close comments in case someone has something relevant to say, but I also don’t want to police this nonsense all day.

      • biliruben says:

        Welcome to the intertubes, Tom. You handle it better than I would.

        Jerry’s parents probably didn’t deem it necessary to parent-block bike blogs. If only they hadn’t taken away his access to those plushy websites, we would have been spared his unwanted attentions.

  35. Jerry says:

    the poster that you are refering to did not address the questions that I raised, instead he used his own talking points. As opposed to addressing 1 – 4 above he decided to address:

    >The bicyclist, seeing the backed up traffic, yet decides he wants to blast through the intersection although he has a walk light.
    >Why, oh why, were the 2 guys on the other side of the street DIDN’T EVEN MOVE??
    >And what’s up with the cameraman’s jacket in the street in front of him.
    >This is all so very staged. The 2 guys on the street were out of central casting. The “accident” was on the 18th, it’s already on youtube and it made the bike blog and already set out their demands for changes on the street. And the Oscar goes to….

    Now here is your homework, look at the points I raised and compare them to the ones above. Do the match? NO! The camera man did not address a single issue that I raised.

  36. Jacques Pugh says:

    I, as a motorist, am always, and I do mean always, vigilant and respectful of cyclists on the roadway and give them a wide berth. But, cyclists you have to take responsibility for your own safety. CROSSWALKS are not bike ways. And I’m assuming the driver had a GREEN LIGHT since the light the cyclist was looking at is RED. Just look at the video again. There was so much going on at the intersection that the driver probably didn’t see the cyclist until the cyclist was right up on him. I walk a lot… I’m not going to walk in a crosswalk against a light and not expect the possibility of getting hit. That’s idiocy. Also, as a Pedestrian there’s nothing more irritating and dangerous than cyclists who ride their bikes on sidewalks and crosswalks. I saw a cyclist hit a pedestrian in Ballard just last week on Market avenue DURING THE PARADE. He was cycling through the throng of people until hit an older guy.
    I’m just saying. There are rules of the road for a reason.

  37. Jacques Pugh says:

    Clarification to my last comment: I saw the “Walk Sign,” however it’s not a “Cyclists,” sign. Again, the cyclist was as wrong as that driver. I’m just glad the cyclist was athletic enough to not get hurt. But, it’s food for thought.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      See earlier comments. Driver had a red light. It is legal to ride your bike in a crosswalk in Seattle.

  38. Riggs says:

    Really, the takehome point here is that video clips posted without context or knowledge of the nearby roads is just bait for either side to jump on. Few people are interested in ‘whole stories’ or background info. Its just not in people’s time management. Context free posting doesn’t serve either the biker or the car driver well. But hell, I prefer to read books made of paper so what the hell do I know……………

  39. ODB says:

    1) Right-wing talk radio encounters bad facts: cyclist hit by car–conflicts with preferred narrative of cyclist entitlement; driver violated traffic laws–conflicts with narrative of cyclists rather than drivers as law-breakers.

    2) Right-wing talk radio invents a conspiracy theory that affirms preferred narrative of cyclist entitlement: bicycle advocates staged the video to promote more bicycle improvements.

    3) Result: bad facts are turned into good facts; the narrative of cyclist entitlement is strengthened. Audience believes bicycle advocates are unscrupulous and will invent facts to support their cause (when in fact that is precisely what the radio host has done). Hysterical hostility to cyclists is increased.

    Textbook right-wing propaganda.

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  41. Jerry says:

    Funny how all you keep neglecting to address the points that I raised, instead you deem it more important to berade me than to try to prove me wrong. Or at least show that the points I raised can be explained.

  42. Jerry says:

    Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that I am a regular bicyclist and am very privy to the dangers on the road faced by bikers, and i would embrace this video if it were real. I think fakes like this actually hurt the cause instead of strengthen it. And that is sad.

    • daisy says:

      Thanks for clarifing that you are a regular bicyclist just like the rest of us. Now I can go on with my day.

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  44. Jim Beam says:

    Simply put… this is a horrible biased article…
    A.) the light shows in the video that IT is red.. not the cars light…(i just read the disclaimer below the art. Strike A.) LOL
    B.) you are legally supposed to walk your bike across cross-WALKS..B.)Still stands…
    C.) the rider isn’t even IN the crosswalk… C.) still Stands….

    Summary..The driver should have been ticketed for running the red light but hitting the cyclist should have been 50/50 fault… both were technically breaking laws…

    • Brian says:

      I sort of hate to reply to a troll, but for the sake of posterity in case someone stumbles across this in the future, I will encourage you, Jim Beam, to read the thread above, which addresses and dismisses each of your claims.

      However, to save you the trouble, I will restate with regard to each of the following:

      A) The silver car goes through a red light which is off to the right and not visible in this video, but which is well known to people who use this intersection. In the video, at the time that the crosswalk sign turns white (signalling that users may safely cross Valley), the traffic lights are red in all 4 directions.

      B) Your claim is simply not true. There is no requirement in the law for cyclists to walk across crosswalks.

      C) Your claim is again demonstrably incorrect. The rider is in the crosswalk as determined by state law. The crosswalk extends beyond the painted stripes in either direction.

      I will add that I feel silly feeling the need to restate these minutiae. What is more relevant is that a car driver, probably for some variety of reasons, made an error and collided with a person at a fairly high speed. It is extremely fortunate that no injuries occurred, and I hope that every single reader of this thread agrees with me.

      Although the blame for this incident lies on the shoulders of one or more car drivers, we collectively need to recognize that people make mistakes. When mistakes happen, the most vulnerable road users are the most likely to suffer. That being said, most cyclists are drivers, and many drivers are cyclists, and it is not hard to imagine that any of us could at one time or another inadvertently put another life in danger on the roadways. Car and truck drivers need to keep in mind at all times that they are operating potentially lethal machinery, and act accordingly. But beyond that, I hope that systems can be designed to accommodate and minimize the effects of our mistakes so that the roads can be safe for all users, no matter how vulnerable.

      Finally, I want to point out that we are all just trying to survive and get by in this scary world. A little more compassion towards one another would go a long way towards making us all better off.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Well put, Brian. Thanks.

      • Kenny Higginbotham says:

        My wife and I were at staying at the Marriott across the street from Lake Union just last week where this accident and we were talking about at the bike riders traveling in all directions through the parking lot at high speed. It looked like the Tour de France. I was so scared to back out of my parking spot that I had my wife stand by the car watching for cyclist. We both said someone is going to get hit in this area because cyclist obey no rules. Stop signs mean nothing, hand signals mean nothing, right of way mean nothing. Last year on a trip to California I stopped my car at a red light then started to make a right turn into a parking lot and was struck by a man on his bike who was passing me on my right between the car and the curb and was going to go through the red light. He hit my car and fell of his bike and started screaming at me. I think if people who ride bikes would follow the rules that cars have to follow we would all be safer.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        That parking lot story sounds like an excellent argument for safe bike facilities. People riding bikes don’t want to be in the middle of parking lots anymore than you want them there. But sometimes in Seattle, that is the facility provided (unfortunately).

        Also, there are no stop signs or really any signs in that parking lot to control through traffic. It is mostly a free-for-all, and I promise the people riding don’t like that very much either.

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  46. Min says:

    I don’t know what Seattle has on their DMV Book but California Law states that Bicycles have to obey the same laws as a vehicle…so unless it was a one way street this bicyclist was on the wrong side of the street.

    Since this is Washington another consideration is that we don’t see the whole intersection and this could be a multiple access intersection because even though the crosswalk light goes white the intersection light shows red and the silver car is driving through…so was this vehicle coming from a lane that had a green light?

    So who is at fault? Cyclist on the wrong side of the street riding in the crosswalk…which means he is coming across traffic faster then someone walking and around traffic stopped vehilces.

    Female driver (who some complain did not get out of the car and thus makes this a setup…I would not get out of the car if I see that the one I hit is obviously still walking…I’d make sure my car was not going to move and that all safety precautions (like brakes) were in place before exiting the vehicle) is going to cross the intersection/crosswalk but is looking for people…not someone on a fast moving bicycle…she too is limited in view.

    Then again she is blonde…she didn’t know better…it’s her fault!

    Just a thought!

    • Brian says:

      Min, please read the comments above which explain the context for this video. They explain very clearly why the cyclist is not at fault for this collision.

  47. Scott P says:

    David, since you were there, did you see or get any more footage that explains what the driver was doing within the second or two after the impact? She appears to be removing items from the dashboard or the windshield right above the dashboard. Some people have their smartphones mounted like GPS units… was she texting and driving, or something like it? Sure looks like she was hiding evidence.

  48. jpsfranks says:

    I can’t believe there are those trying to draw an equivalence between a cyclist riding perhaps a bit fast and wide in a crosswalk with the green light, and car driving right through a big fat red. One is perhaps not being as defensive as is wise, the other is plain and simple breaking the law.

    I live in lower Queen Anne and drive and ride on and around Valley all the time. It can be a mess, especially in the far lane where the accident occurred. Drivers do crazy things when they suddenly realize they don’t want to be in that lane since it’s a right turn only onto Westlake.

  49. Max says:

    Deborah Niedermeyer : “I was heading west on the south side of 45th, riding slowly on the sidewalk, The crosswalk light at 7th (which is a freeway exit) was in my favor, (i.e. red light for cars) but a driver, totally intent on making his right on red, never bothered to look east for anyone who might be in or entering the crosswalk. … I came away with the realization that drivers absolutely can not be trusted to obey traffic laws. ”

    Hopefully you also came away with the realization that riding on the sidewalk against traffic is prone to this kind of thing, and though legal, should be avoided or done only with extreme caution — which I’m glad you were doing.

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  51. Helen says:

    I can not believe that practically everyone on here blames the cyclist! The driver for one was going to fast knowing there are cars backed up, especially in a marked crosswalk. She ran a red light. Sunlight is not an excuse. If you can’t see the color of the light and cars are backed up why would one blindly speed throught it? Is it ok to hit another car with the excuse “I didn’t see it” or “I couldn’t see that the light was red”? No way! It is idiotic the excuses people here are making for the driver!
    For anyone to claim this was set up they’d have to be a complete moron or never ridden a bike more than around the block or something. Seriously! You guys need to get your heads out of your you know whats.

  52. Joe B says:

    Truly remarkable video, along with truly remarkable comments. As someone who has spent the year car-free and cycling daily, I come across many misinformed drivers–and other cyclists–about numerous transportation issues. The issues are often yelled rather than discussed, but after reading these comments maybe it wouldn’t do much to remove fact from fiction for those with certain biases. Sadly, cycling has become partisan issue instead of what it should be: a way to get from point A to point B without being injured, perhaps by a car….that might go through a stop light to do it. Regarding conspiracy theories about the video, I thought believers were to be taken in the rapture a few days ago?

  53. Paula says:

    I have a serious question. What kind of pedals was Jeff riding? They seem to be flats, but this would be even more amazing if they were clips or clipless.

  54. brendan says:

    Wow…I just got home from a movie and almost hit someone walking a bike with my car. I’m seeing how I and many other drivers need to cool down. It was definitely a wake-up call. I’m not sure what makes people behave like this when they drive but I’m going to start being more mindful every time I get behind the wheel. Scary stuff.

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