A 35 year-old man from Bellevue was struck and killed just before 3 a.m. Thursday, and the person driving the SUV has been booked on suspicion of drunk driving.
The collision occurred at 132nd Avenue NE and NE 124th St in Kirkland. The collision totaled the bicycle and killed the man at the scene, King 5 reports.
The person driving continued for about a block before turning around and returning to the scene, according to KOMO.
Police suspect alcohol was involved and arrested the driver. They were also questioning the SUV passenger.
Kirkland police said the person biking was “doing everything right,” according to King 5:
“The bicylist was doing everything right and was well marked with lights and everything,” said Lt. Mike Murray, Kirkland police. “This seems to be an unfortunate accident.”
Condolences to his friends and family.
This is the second person this year to die while biking in Kirkland. John Przychodzen was killed in July while biking home from work on Juanita Dr. Kirkland Police gave teenage driver Nick Natale a $42 ticket after he suddenly swerved onto the shoulder and struck Przychodzen from behind, killing him.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times reports that the driver, believed to be in his 20s, was found to be impaired and going too fast, according to police:
Murray said the driver of a Ford Excursion struck the cyclist as he was turning left from Northeast 124th Street onto Slater Avenue Northeast.
Murray said the SUV driver’s blood was tested, and an examination indicated he was intoxicated. Police also believe speed was a factor in the crash.
“He was impaired. He was definitely under the influence of some sort,” Murray said.
The Times also reports that the victim’s family went to the scene of the wreck this morning after seeing reports of the collision on TV.
Meanwhile, Cascade Bicycle Club says they are watching the Kirkland Police’s handling of the incident following their questionable actions (or lack thereof) following Przychodzen’s death.
Kirkland Police comments calling the incident “an unfortunate accident” have already raised concerns from Seattle Bike Blog readers readers and Adam Parast at Seattle Transit Blog:
The only thing I have to say besides my condolences to the family and friends of the victim is actually a request. Don’t use the word “accident” when you really mean “collision”. Accident implies lack of fault, randomness and inability to control, when all collisions are in fact someones fault. To call something a “unfortunate accident” as the police officer quoited in the story did, takes the underlying message to a whole new level, ie “there was nothing that could have been done to prevent this collision and we should just get used to cyclist getting killed on our roadways.”
As a society, we need to be crystal clear about what are preventable road fatalities and injuries. To call collisions an accident validates and reaffirms a culture of irresponsibility and unaccountability, and that is the last thing our roads need.