Person biking near Boeing Field struck by car and seriously injured – UPDATE: Police seek witnesses

Screenshot of the approximate area, from Google Street View

Screenshot of the approximate area, from Google Street View

A man was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries this morning after he was struck on Airport Way S near Boeing Field around 6:50 a.m.

Originally reported as a collision with a person walking, police say the collision involved a man on a bike and a man driving a Nissan Maxima both traveling south on the road.

The man behind the wheel stopped and stayed at the scene. Police gave him a sobriety test, as is standard in serious collisions. He was released at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing, and no details about how the collision occurred are yet available. Since the collision occurred so close to the Seattle-Tukwila border, it appears police and fire departments in both cities are involved.

We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

UPDATE: Police are seeking witnesses to the collision: “Detectives are hoping to speak with anyone who may have witnessed this collision. If you witnessed the collision or have any information on this incident, please contact Detective Mike Korner in the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad at (206) 684-8927.”

More details from SPD:

A cyclist was struck by a car early this morning while riding in the 9400 Block of Airport Way South.

The collision occurred at approximately 6:50 am while both the male bicyclist and a Nissan sedan were travelling southbound in the 9400 Block of Airport Way South.  The collision caused the cyclist to eject from his bicycle, where he suffered serious injuries as a result. He was treated at the scene by the Seattle Fire Department and then transported to Harborview Medical Center via medics.

As is routine in serious collisions, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer responded to the scene and evaluated the driver of the Nissan.  It was determined that the driver was not impaired.  He was interviewed by investigators and released from the scene.

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad responded and began their investigation.  The intersection was closed briefly while the investigation was conducted, but the roadway is back open now.  This remains an active and on-going investigation.

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26 Responses to Person biking near Boeing Field struck by car and seriously injured – UPDATE: Police seek witnesses

  1. Dman says:

    That road is a good alternative to Marginal Way, very little traffic and pretty open. I use it because I feel its safer, so this is sad. South Seattle really needs help

    • steve says:

      I commute that route often, but prefer Marginal Way because the lights tend to slow traffic down and the multiple lanes let me take a full lane where there is not a bike lane South of the tower. The section where this occurred, between Norfolk and the Boeing Field Perimeter Rd entrance, is dicey. Even worse is Boeing Access road across the freeway, just to the South. Hoping for a full recovery.

    • Jeremiah says:

      I take this route Southbound in the mornings and it’s always been okay for me. There’s lots of speeding traffic Northbound in the mornings – I’m not sure I’d take it. But most folks only stay on it long enough to get to the Perimeter Road.

      Hope he makes a full recovery.

    • Jessie Kwak says:

      I used to think it was a good alternative to Marginal Way, but there’s been a lot more traffic since the Argo bridge reopened, and there’s no shoulder whatsoever. Going south in the early morning this time of year, you’re headed straight into the sun, too.

      I got way too sketched out after a couple close calls, so I switched back to Marginal Way–albeit on the sidewalk this time. I got way too tired of constantly looking over my shoulder and hoping I could get out of the way in time.

      Scary to think that he’s probably someone I see regularly on my commute. Sending some serious hopes and thoughts his way….

  2. Anthony says:

    This sucks, and I know this area very well. As Dman said, this is a good alternative to Marginal Way.

    Before the addition of the multiple mainline RR tracks in 2002 approx., the best route was straight down the tracks on the service road all the way to Associated Grocers.

    Airport Way would make a great candidate for a bike path along it on the west side, the east would work as well but the city would have to deal with drainage issues first since that side floods on a regular basis.

    I wish the gentleman the best and most speedy recovery.

  3. LWC says:

    I used to use this road for time trials a couple years ago when I was training for the Ironman. It has three solid miles with no cross-streets, and usually feels so safe. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. merlin says:

    Do we ever get any followup on the investigations when a person driving a car who “isn’t impaired” kills or seriously injures a person on a bike or walking? I can think of a couple others from the past several weeks: the person who knocked a woman down on 15th and Harrison and drove over her; the person who killed a kid riding a bicycle in Lakeview. Now this one.

    • Matthew says:

      It’s really hard to find, say, national or state-wide statistics on this kind of thing, because it’s hard to search for a negative — i.e., no charges filed or no indictment from a grand jury is a lot harder to discover than the opposite. I used to follow some of these kinds of cases (not in Seattle though) by calling the prosecutors or the police (depending on whether the investigation had been completed) and basically just being a nag. That doesn’t scale well, though, and you get emotionally drained pretty quickly. And generally it doesn’t work, because it’s just one annoying person calling.

      But even if charges were to be filed, the actual sentencing guidelines are pitifully weak. Think about what happened in basically the worst-case scenario, when Mike Wang was killed by Erlin Garcia-Reyes, a hit-and-run driver. Something like a year passed before the arrest, he pled guilty and was sentenced to the maximum: 41 months.

      You can imagine that a scenario like this unfortunate crash on Airport Way involving no impairment and a (presumably) cooperative driver will result in no more than a slap on the wrist, even if the driver is found to be at fault. At least anecdotally, at-fault drivers aren’t usually even cited in these kinds of cases.

    • Jeffrey J. Early says:

      Streetsblog tracks these stats pretty closely for NYC. They do a weekly carnage update and always indicate how many of the drivers were actually charged. And yes, you’re totally right, unless the driver is impaired, it’s usually considered just an ‘accident’, even if it involved a traffic violation, and nothing happens to the driver.

  5. Erik Busse says:

    Reading some of the comments after the Seattle PI article regarding this incident makes me sad. People jump to conclusions based on their own biases assuming fault on one side or the other. I have always hoped that maybe the people commenting are not a random sample but are more polarized since they chose to comment. Otherwise, if they were representative of the general public I’d be even more skittish riding on the road.

  6. RTK says:

    I ride that section but hate it. If you set out to build a very wide road with very wide “shoulders” and purposely built it to put a cyclist at risk this is what my design would look like. I’m fortunate to be heading south through this section around 5:30 AM with light traffic. When they were doing the road work through there prior to the Argo shut down it was like running the guantlet. Most of Airport Way is reasonable, this section is a mess.

  7. Gary says:

    The eaiest thing that the city/airport could do on the West side is to add a ‘bike” access path at the Southern end of the access road so that we could ride it all the lenght of that road.

    I’ve driven it a million times and did not like it one bit for bicycling. The speed differential is too great and with no shoulder there is no place to go when a big truck comes by.

    Best wishes for the rider though.

  8. MARK says:

    It is my prayer this gentleman makes it. I was there seconds after it happened. The driver of the car was frantically waving his hands in the air. He didn’t know what to do. Myself along with a Seattle parking enforcement officer couldn’t find a pulse and initiated CPR. We performed CPR on him until the medics arrived. Due to the closeness of the districts Tukwila fire department was first dispatched, then corrected to Seattle. We got a pulse back just as the Tukwila fire department arrived. The medics arrived and the situation became a scoop and run. I never thought I would ever have to do CPR. I took mandatory classes last year with the state as part of the states foster/adoption program. Please everybody take CPR classes. You never know when God will use you because your are obedient. I tried to contact harborview to see how he was. I didn’t get very far and I understand. Privacy and HIPA prevented information from being released to me. If anybody knows who this man was, please let me know if he made it. I just want to know the fruits of my labor were not in vain. CPR SAVES LIVES!!!!!!

  9. Dave L says:

    Sad reminder of how few safe routes there are through South Seattle. Best wishes to the rider.

    • RTK says:

      My thoughts are with family and friends or the cyclist.

      Bike to Work month was started and ended with the deaths of cycle commuters. In both cases the accidents occurred on a South Seattle arterial with a wide easement but poor design and road surface quality.
      Cycle commuting is well beyond a few folks in North Seattle riding along the Burke Gilman trail. We need safe decent routes across the city, these are lacking in many regions of Seattle.

  10. Ken S says:

    I found out today my sister attends church with this family in Gig Harbor and knows the family well. I too live in GH and commute by bike, but unfortunately never met him. His name is Darren and as Lisa R stated he did not survive.

    Thanks Mark for being there for Darren. I’ll relay the message to my sister so she can relay the message to his wife there was someone there with him and helping him. The cycling community thanks you!

    I just purchased a helmet mirror this weekend at the urging of my wife. I’ve had a couple close calls and hopefully this and riding smart will help. Do what you can to be visible and aware.

    • Jessie Kwak says:

      I bought a helmet mirror a few months back specifically because of this stretch of my commute. It’s been the best $10 I ever spent on bike gear–hope you find yours to your liking.

    • Gary says:

      I know that being hit from behind is one of the rarer collisions for a bicycle but if you really want to be seen, get a Highway class III reflective vest/or shirt. They are cheap at $30+

      Secondly get this tail light. It’s bright enough to be seen even during the day. I’ve got two, one on the bike and one on the helment. They are expensive but IMO worth it.
      http://store.dinottelighting.com/400r-red-taillight—seat-post-seat-stay-chain-stay-or-rack-mount-p91.aspx

    • Ken S says:

      For what its worth, I should not have shared personal information about the rider who was hit and killed last week. My sincere apologies to the family or anyone else that was offended in any way. The cycling community is a close knit group and we are all impacted when something like this happens. Natural reaction is to reach out and offer our condolences to those closest to the person, without any misguided intentions.

      • Bill Brewster says:

        I have knowledge of who this man is and it is really breaking my heart just to learn about it today. It’s hard when someone who is like me in a couple of ways – a devoted Dad to his kids, and a bicyclist – dies at a young age. I am sure his family is really suffering at their loss. It kind of makes me stop and be grateful for the 1000’s of miles I have travelled and made it home safe to my kids. Today’s commute I will be especially grateful, continue to know my place in the road and let my kids (and wife) know how much I love them.

  11. Oscar says:

    I was chatting with a CBP Officer at the Nexus office at Boeing Field this last Friday morning, as I was updating my documents for the program. I mentioned to him that I would have normally biked there, like I had biked to the passport office. But that area of town does not strike me as safe for riding, so I drove, instead. He mentioned that a cyclist had been recently hit south of the airport terminal, which I guess means on S Airport Way.

  12. Steve says:

    Personally , I don’t see why anyone rides that stretch of road. I’ve read complaints about the traffic on Marginal Way but that pales by comparison to vehicle speed, the condition of the road surface and lack of shoulder on Airport Way. To be safe take Marginal into Georgetown and cross over to Airport. Nonetheless, this is a regrettable outcome no matter what route you ride.

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