Man biking struck near W Seattle Bridge, police seek suspect + Rash of other area collisions

A man biking was struck at the east end of the lower West Seattle Bridge Thursday night.

The person driving fled the scene.

Police are seeking more information to help catch the suspect and learn what happened. And obviously, the person who was driving should do the right thing and turn themselves in.

Details from SPD:

Police are searching for a motorist who struck a cyclist on Harbor Island on Thursday night and sped away.

Witnesses found the bloodied and seriously injured cyclist lying in the street at 11 Ave. S.W. and S.W. Spokane St around 8:20 PM and called 911.

Seattle Fire Department Medics responded and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Traffic Collision Investigation detectives also responded to the scene and are investigating the case. Detectives believe the victim was struck while riding westbound along Spokane Street.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call them at (206) 684-8923 or 911.

Here’s the approximate location of the collision, from Google Maps:
Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 11.46.34 AM

A rash of awful traffic collisions

Maybe it has something to do with the Memorial Day weekend or a rainy day after a long spell of nice weather, but there have been an outrageous number of serious traffic collisions in Seattle and around Washington State in the past day. Here’s just a sample:

Everyone needs to chill out and slow down. But even more importantly, we need to stop accepting this level of death and injury. Without taking serious action and making bold investments in safety, there is no reason why days like this will stop happening.

UPDATE 2:40 pm: Today’s terrible day of traffic violence keeps getting worse. A mother pushing a stroller was struck on a neighborhood street in north Seattle. The person responsible fled the scene. Details from SPD:

Seattle police are searching for the driver of a dark-colored sedan, who fled the scene after striking a woman pushing a stroller Friday afternoon in the Olympic Hills neighborhood in North Seattle.

Around 1:20 PM, the 32-year-old woman and young child, who was in the stroller, were walking in the 140th Avenue NE and NE 19th Street when the driver of a sedan struck the woman and then sped away.

Witnesses provided different descriptions of the suspect’s vehicle—either a maroon Acura or a dark brown Mercedes—but all said it had a cracked windshield. Witnesses also described the driver as an Asian male with spiked black hair.

The woman sustained a lower leg injury in the incident. The child in the stroller was not injured.

Traffic Collision investigators responded to the scene and are handling the case.

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17 Responses to Man biking struck near W Seattle Bridge, police seek suspect + Rash of other area collisions

  1. JAT says:

    That is a horrid place for cycling (and yet is the main corridor for a large number of both commuting and recreational cyclists). Motorists are often driving at freeway speeds to make the big U-turn to get back up on the viaduct Eastbound.

    SDOT would far rather we ride our bikes on the glorified sidewalk through there.

    • meanie says:

      City officials would rather get photo ops with cap hill snails, and a 2nd ave bike lane than fix a deadly corridor that connects the city to its largest neighborhood.

      • nate todd says:

        @meanie: I appreciate the 2nd ave bikeway as one of the most dangerous routes traveled by residents of all neighborhoods despite having been demolished on my bike around the West Seattle Bridge on Spokane St.

      • Jayne says:

        West Seattle isn’t a neighborhood, it’s a part of the city at the south border west of the duwamish with a bunch of neighborhoods in it (admiral, Alaska and Morgan junctions, high point, highland park, genesee, delridge, etc). If we’re going to start just making things up, I’m going to call everything north of the ship canal the cities largest neighborhood and whine that there isn’t an elevated Bikeway from
        the edge of shoreline all the way into downtown.

      • Law Abider says:

        @Jayne I know what you mean, I live in the Ballard district of Seattle. Nobody ever refers to my neighborhood as Adams and it eats me up inside, everyday!

    • Don_Brubeck says:

      @ JAT: I don’t know what the cyclist who was hit was doing, or what the driver was doing, and at this moment am just praying for his recovery and that the hit-and-run driver is found and justice is done. But the loop under and up to the bridge ‘s not a glorified sidewalk. It is a legit mixed use path that has radii and sightlines that work well for bikes and it takes less than a minute to use it. It’s fine to cross Spokane directly when it you think it is safe, if you want to, but there is no need to do it if there is any traffic in sight. The places that require diligent observation of traffic are on the north side crossings near the T18 gate.

      • JAT says:

        Don,
        I admire the work you do and we’re definitely on the same side here, but I respectfully disagree. I’d been cycling through there for months before it ever occurred to me to go see where the other cyclists were disappearing to or suddenly appearing from. I’ve only ridden it twice – that first time and once years later when Councilmember Rassmussen held his bike-to-work-with-me week.

        It’s always dark, it is narrow, it is circuitous, it’s the worst kind of tacked on afterthought that passes for bike infrastructure. Obviously I say this as someone who doesn’t care anywhere as much about infrastructure as I do about respect on the roadways, but it’s horrible.

        To use the designated path as designed you must cross a number of roadways where motorists may or may not be looking for you, including at E Marginal Wy (with famously fatal results this time last year). Don’t get me wrong; I’m not blaming the victim, we don’t know exactly where or how he was riding when hit – I’m blaming the felon motorist, but if I had to look for a place to point the second finger it would be at SDOT for implementing such unintuitive indirect bike facilities to and from West Seattle that seem to have as their primary design goal minimizing any impact of the motorist status quo.

        disgraceful.

  2. Southeasterner says:

    Also be on the lookout for a large white pick-up truck with oversized wheels flying a large American flag in the back. Yesterday in Interbay I witnessed him fly through a red light going no less than 40 mph and coming a second away from taking out two cyclists coming off the South Ship Canal Trail.

    I wish we had some online spot where everyone could post pictures and descriptions of Seattle’s infamous drivers.

  3. Suzanne says:

    The photo makes it look as if he was hit at one of the crossings before the main one that has the trail. Is that the case? Would render the trail-quality discussion moot (but unfortunately, facts won’t deter those people who will blame the victim for not using the bike trail).

  4. Lars Halstrom says:

    I rode thru the accident scene minutes before 8:20pm on my way home to Alki Beach from the Portage Bay policy twilight ride and Bike Happy Hour at Cafe Racer. There wasn’t a car seen so I took the crossing at Spokane street instead of the bike trail. The only person I saw was a cyclist sitting on a bench by the fishing bridge. I think their is a greater risk of hit and runs when a sober driver doesn’t see any witnesses around.

    Lars

  5. Gary says:

    Maybe there was something in the air yesterday, as I had three close calls riding. Two on the way to work, one on the way home. I’m about ready to add a camera to my helmet. (best reason for a helmet is it is a place to hang lights and camera)

    • Jayne says:

      Oh and that whole reducing impact injury to the head, that’s a nice side effect too. Of course the anti helmet coalition will have none of that.. It’s always better to ignore the positives if they aren’t in favor of your argument isn’t it!

  6. AJL says:

    Without more specifics it’s difficult to tell where the driver ran into the cyclist. From the image, it looks like the cyclist could have been using the bike/ped path along the north side of Spokane / 11th. Then, if one is on the path, one has to cross 11th at the Pedestrian/Bike crossing – which is signed and striped. It’s pretty clear that motor vehicle operators are supposed to stop for crosswalk users. However, in my experience, using that crosswalk is at your own peril; drivers rarely stop for cyclists who actually have the right of way. I hope this is not what happened, and am hoping the cyclists makes a good recovery.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      The red marker is very approximate. Don’t read too much into its exact location, as it is the address of the emergency call.

      • AJL says:

        Yeah, there’s several bad crossing areas there, even if using the path and marked crossings. I’ve used the address on that building for a place marker for calling the police before. It’s the only readable address around.

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