Man biking at Howell and Yale in critical condition after truck driver runs him over, flees scene – UPDATED

A 49-year-old man biking at Howell and Yale was run over by a truck just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition.

The driver fled the scene after the collision. Police describe the truck as a blue and grey tandem dump truck, which fled southbound on I-5.

We will update as we learn more.

An example of the style of dump truck involved. The suspect’s make/model is not known. Image from Flickr user TruckPR

UPDATE: Seattle Police say the victim was found under his bike after the truck and trailer passed and continued onto southbound I-5. He was conscious at the scene, though in shock. The latest medical report says he is still in critical condition.

A bicyclist was critically injured following a hit and run collision this morning.  At approximately 8:30 a.m., a 49-year-old cyclist was run over by the trailer of the dump truck.  According to a witness, a dump truck with a trailer made a right-hand turn into the south bound I-5 on ramp by Howell St and Yale Av.  After the tractor and trailer passed and continued on to Southbound I-5, the victim was found with his bicycle on top of him.

The victim was conscious but was in shock. Seattle Fire arrived and treated the victim. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center (HMC).  Last medical report from HMC was that the victim was in critical condition.  Traffic Collision Investigators responded and processed the scene.

The suspect vehicle is described as a blue and Silver or Grey tandem dump truck.

Anyone with information about the vehicle/driver and or incident is asked to call 9-1-1.

Though the details of the collision are not yet known, it is worth noting that this stretch of Howell St was redesigned in 2011 as part of a project led by King County Metro. Controversially, neither Metro nor SDOT went to the Bicycle Advisory Board or any other bicycle advocacy group for input or advice until after design was essentially completed. SBAB clearly stated a preference for a bicycle facility to be added to the road, which is a key bike route from Downtown to Eastlake and Capitol Hill (and beyond). Instead, off-peak parking was added even though there are several surface parking lots adjacent to the project. The street remains hostile for cycling.

Map of collision:


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17 Responses to Man biking at Howell and Yale in critical condition after truck driver runs him over, flees scene – UPDATED

  1. Rich says:

    What is it with drivers these days? I’ve lost count of the number of hit and runs in the past year. Don’t people have any sense of personal responsibility? This is a cowardly act.

    • Orv says:

      I agree, although in the case of a truck that size there’s also the possibility the driver didn’t even notice the collision. It’s pretty common for the trailer part of tandem trucks to run over the curb when making sharp corners, and the overall bulk of the vehicle makes it hard for the driver to know what’s going on back there. I once rear-ended a semi rather solidly with a car, and the driver didn’t even notice.

      Personally I don’t really think tandem truck/trailer combinations should be allowed on urban streets.

  2. another mother on a bike says:

    A pedestrian died in Redmond in 2007 from something similar, though not a hit and run.

    I’ll never forget when my father-in-law yanked me and the baby stroller back from the curb on 50th and I5 when a tandem dump truck’s trailer rode up the curb as it turned. I am afraid of those trucks. They don’t make for a very walk and bike-friendly city.

  3. ag says:

    it is possible the truck driver had no idea. my thoughts are with the biker. just horrible.

    i will not cycle this route home anymore. all these lanes in the same direction towards freeway access makes this stretch of Howell feel like a freeway on ramp (because it is!). to have sharrow’s painted here is nuts. If you are lucky you have a lane to yourself, though it is likely a driver will ride your rear end or come around and cut you off to get ahead. very scary location and shocking our public officials identify such a route for cycling. Been flipped off and honked at enough to know i’m not welcome.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It is certainly possible the driver did not know. Even in that case, any dump truck driver or company operating trucks in the area that had a truck go through during that time should come forward so we can learn what happened. There can’t be that many.

  4. ag says:

    Agree with you Tom. There are only so many dirt moving operations going on downtown and these drivers are timed from pick up to drop off. The routes are part of the bid and planning process for these contractors. Many have very comprehensive safety programs.

    It may be that the biker was even hit while on the sidewalk, if the truck took the right turn sharply. Just breaks my heart.

  5. john says:

    A terrible accident. I dont understand how this man was in the right most lane trying to pass cars and trucks turning onto the highway when on the left side of this same street there are two clearly marked bike lanes. My heart goes out to this man and his family and also goes out to the poor sole that hit this biker and likely is finding out from watching the news that his life is about to change as well. Both, motor vehicles and cyclists need to pay attention and drive defensively.

  6. Law Abider says:

    This post didn’t mention it, but most news outlets did: the cyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Let’s just hope he doesn’t suffer from blunt force trauma that could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet (which is also the law). Nonetheless, I’m hoping for a speedy recovery!

    • Brian says:

      I’m guessing this blog didn’t mention that fact because it’s not particularly relevant. There’s an obsession on the part of the media to report whether an injured cyclist was wearing a helment, irrespective of whether it would’ve made a difference. Case in point: 40 ton dump truck runs man over. He was not wearing a helmet. Ask yourself: do you really think a helmet would’ve prevented “blunt force trauma” related to being run over by such a truck? I think not. FWIW, there are many people who get very hyped up about either side of the helmet-no helmet debate; I’m not one of them. I do wear a helemt when I ride, though.

    • Gary says:

      I too wear a helmet. Let me know when you find one capable of being run over by a tandem dump truck with out me being injured…. good grief.

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  8. Drew says:

    That he was not wearing a helmet is 100% relevant as long as it is factually true. The news story did not editorialize about the fact, they simply reported it. That’s called objective journalism, not an “obsession”.

    • Brian says:

      Ah yes, objective, just-the-facts-ma’am journalism–that odd creature of modern American journalism. I challenge you to find stories about cyclist injuries where there is no mention of the rider’s helmet status.

      More importantly, however, is the fact that it is really irrelevant that the guy was not wearing a helmet. He was run over by a truck. A helmet would not protect against that.

      Finally, just to be an ass, the close quotation mark comes after the period. Yes, that point is 100% relevant to the current topic because it is factually true. (See what I did there?)

  9. Dave says:

    Does anyone know how this man is doing?

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