Cascade: Man left unconscious after Dexter hit and run

Someone driving Tuesday morning struck Jerry Scott near Dexter and Denny, then fled the scene, Cascade Bicycle Club reports. The person responsible left Scott, who has biked the route to work for many years, unconscious on the side of the road with several ribs broken and a punctured lung.

If you were in the area Tuesday morning and saw anything, contact the police. Any information would help.

From Cascade:

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, Jerry Scott was riding his bike from his North Seattle home to his office in West Seattle as he does so many mornings. Jerry, a longtime Cascade member and 2011 board of directors candidate, was enjoying his summer morning ride until, less than halfway into his commute, he was swept off his feet by a car, hit the pavement and remained unconscious for 30 minutes.

Despite the heavy morning commute traffic on Dexter Avenue & Denny Way, the driver managed to leave the scene while on-watchers dialed 911.

Jerry was transported to Harborview where doctors discovered that he has five broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a serious concussion. He remembers little about the collision but recalls that there were other people on bikes around him. (Were you a witness?)

Read more…

Though the circumstances of the hit and run are not clear, it’s worth noting that the city has already identified the intersection of Dexter and Denny as a weak spot in the very popular Dexter bike route. We wrote in June about SDOT/King County Metro’s plans for changes, which should be coming soon.

The collision also happened just blocks from where Mike Wang was killed in 2011. The driver in that case, who also fled the scene, was arrested earlier this year and pleaded guilty to felony hit and run. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison.

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12 Responses to Cascade: Man left unconscious after Dexter hit and run

  1. basketlover says:

    Camera footage from the gas station? Are images stored from the traffic cameras? Was there a Metro bus with a camera nearby?

  2. AiliL says:

    Drivers in that area commonly either ignore the bike lane as they approach Denny, southbound on Dexter, to make a right turn onto Denny. Riders have to be particularly careful when approaching that stop light. I have had close calls there too many times to count when drivers decide to speed around me (while I am in the green bike lane section) rather than wait 2 seconds, yield appropriately, and merge right when it’s safe to do so.

    On the other side of that intersection is the WORST part of my commute. I have written here about it and numerous times to SDOT (starting over a year ago) – there’s still no resolution. Drivers do not yield to the bike lane 9 times out of ten. Riders who are in the green bike lane must be very, very vigilant about drivers in the right lane who refuse to merge into the left travel lane (as the pavement markings indicate) and use the bike lane – even if riders are IN it, next to their car, as a travel lane. I’ve seen drivers continue in the bike lane all the way down 7th to Westlake. This should NOT be happening. Even though SDOT got tired of putting those plastic bollards back after they were destroyed by drivers, the bollards/poles did help. They should continually be replaced (and maybe SPD should be posted there for a while?) until this area is “fixed” for riders. The lack of enforcement is a big issue.

    I hope the rider recovers quickly. It’s appalling how many drivers just drive away.

    • Breadbaker says:

      I ride that every day, and I couldn’t agree more. South of Mercer is bad enough (any bus in front of the Holiday Inn considers the bike lane just part of its parking space), but from that point where car traffic is trying to turn right onto Denny until Westlake can be vicious. And when I’ve pulled around a car driving in the bike lane, stopped for the light, and told the driver, “You’re in a bike lane,” I get greeted with a stream of invective, as though it was somehow my fault. Apparently, “I’m sorry” is not part of the vocabulary.

  3. Matthew says:

    Ugh.

    I agree it’s appalling how many drivers leave the scene, but it’s hardly surprising. Apparently the worst thing that happens to you if you drive away *and kill the cyclist in the process* is, what, 41 months in prison, meaning you’re probably out in less than three years? That sounds like a pretty good risk to take if you’re drunk, or you have something illegal in the car, or if you’re in the country illegally, or…

    I’m not sure what the answer is. I’m not one of those “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” types, because that doesn’t really help anybody, but the current strategy, such as it is, doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Al Dimond says:

      There’s one matter where public safety weighs particularly heavily: issuing drivers’ licenses. Someone that acts so irresponsibly should never drive a car again. It wouldn’t be consistent with our other driver licensing practices, but those should be fixed as well.

      • JAT says:

        Yes, I agree it’s too easy to get a drivers license and too difficult to lose, but I suspect the motoring majority (and that includes most legislators) would consider a permanent ban a financial death sentence.

        “Your honor, I need my car to get to my job / shopping / kids to soccer practice, etc…”

        that says sad things about our society / infrastructure / land use policies / transit priorities, but those things are not likely to change soon.

        But again – I agree.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        I am a fan of the idea of making a difficult, but accomplishable, route back to license holding. If you say they can never get a license, they may just drive unlicensed, anyway. But if you create a lengthy route back to license holding that includes education, community service in, say a trauma ward or something and maybe some proportionally steep financial cost, then hopefully the person would not get behind the wheel again until they understand the power and responsibility of the privilege. Maybe this only exists in a dream world.

        That said, without such a plan, I would love to see permanent license repeals.

      • JAT says:

        I should have said “economic death sentence” – that’s the word I wanted…

        trouble is – you get your license and other than a vision test every few years, unless you’re repeatedly cited the State never again gets to remind you how potentially dangerous and how much responsibility the whole driving thing is. Bad habits set in and there’s nothing in place to dislodge them.

        My son just started drivers ed (run for the hills everybody!) and it’s serious biz, but among drivers who already have their license one’s attitude gets pretty complacent pretty quick.

        Of course the argument could be made (and always is in the comments section of the Times and P-I) that cyclists attitudes are just as complacent and they never face a State test. Of course I’m a big-government socialist, so I say bring it on, but others may disagree…

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        My favorite solution is to include bicycle proficiency in the driver’s test: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2012/aug/06/cycling-lessons-driving-licence

        Sure, a few adults who bike will not have taken the driving test, but the vast, vast, vast majority will have a driver’s license and will have the appropriate training. As a side benefit, all drivers will understand the roads from a bicycling point of view, and the “perplexing” behavior of many people on two wheels might make a little more sense to them.

      • Matthew says:

        Were any driving privileges revoked from Erlin Garcia-Reyes, the man recently convicted in the hit-and-run death of Mike Wang? Does he just get to start driving again when he gets out of jail in a couple of years? If he gets to keep his license, we really ought to mobilize to make a fuss about that.

        (I realize he might be deported due to some fuzzy immigration issues.)

  4. Ted says:

    How is it even possible that no driver or cyclist stopped? I can’t believe that. The few times that I have seen car accidents in which no one was injured I have stopped and offered my contact info.

    I hope someone comes forward. The comments above noting how much responsibility one bears when driving a vehicle are spot-on. My dad used to tell me to be careful when I left the house because, “it’s like holding a loaded gun.” And I’ll admit now that it’s not that ridiculous of an analogy.

  5. Ted says:

    Any news here? Has anyone been caught?

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