DUI suspect kills person biking in Ravenna – UPDATE: RIP Andres Hulslander

Image of NE 65th ST/15th Ave NE intersection from Google Street View.

Image of NE 65th ST/15th Ave NE intersection from Google Street View.

A person suspected of driving under the influence struck and killed a 45-year-old who was biking in Ravenna late Saturday, according to Seattle Police.

UPDATE: The man killed has been identified as Andres Hulslander, according to the King County Medical Examiner. The Seattle Times reports that he lived in Seattle since the early 90s and moved to Lake Forest Park earlier this year. We will update when we learn more about him.

Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

The 29-year-old behind the wheel of a red 2002 Subaru Impreza was arrested and booked into King County jail on investigation of DUI. More charges could be added pending a Seattle Police traffic collision investigation.

UPDATE: The Seattle Times reports that Lucas McQuinn is now facing a vehicular homicide charge and is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

The collision occurred at NE 65th Street and 15th Ave NE around 11 p.m. Saturday night.

A police spokesperson did not yet have details about how the collision occurred. Major traffic collision investigations can take weeks or months to complete. UPDATE: Police say in a Blotter post that both were headed eastbound on NE 65th St when the suspect struck the man biking from behind.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the person killed.

UPDATE: A Seattle Fire Department spokesperson said when crews showed up to the scene, they found the man (who they estimated was about 25) has “suffered heavy trauma.” His bike was found 50–75 feet from his body. They conducted CPR and rushed him to the hospital.

Remember, thank a first responder. They work some horrible scenes and see things we all would like to pretend never happened.

I also confirmed with SDOT that, from I can tell from my reporting and from what the city has tracked, this is the first death of a person on a bike in Seattle in 2015. It’s also the first death since Sher Kung died on 2nd Ave in August.

Before Kung, it had been 15 months since a person biking died on a Seattle street.

UPDATE x2: “ghostbikeguy” posted these photos in the comments with the note: “Ghost bike is up. Please stop making me do this, Seattle.”

V6JXXYJ

4Ij6mwvUPDATE x3: More info from the SPD Blotter:

A 45-year-old cyclist was killed in the Roosevelt neighborhood Saturday night after he was struck by a suspected intoxicated driver. Police arrested the 29-year-old driver at the scene.

SPD Traffic Collision investigators believe the driver of a red Subaru was headed eastbound on NE 65th Street around 11 PM Saturday night when he struck the cyclist from behind near 15th Avenue NE.

Numerous witnesses called 911, a medics transported the 45-year-old bicyclist to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.

Officers examined the 29-year-old suspect at the scene, and determined he appeared to be intoxicated. Police booked him into the King County Jail for Investigation of Vehicular Homicide.

Traffic Collision detectives are investigating the incident.

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50 Responses to DUI suspect kills person biking in Ravenna – UPDATE: RIP Andres Hulslander

  1. Andres Salomon says:

    I spoke to police on the scene (who wouldn’t tell me the nature of the accident). I explained that I’ve been trying to get SDOT to improve safety of this intersection. “There’s nothing that SDOT could’ve done to prevent this”, said the officer.

    I wasn’t going to argue with him, but this attitude from SPD is upsetting and probably incorrect. Road design slows down drunk drivers just like it slows down everyone else. And I’d much rather see a speeding drunk driver total their car on a tree or other object in or near the road than by killing another road user.

  2. Gary Yngve says:

    This intersection has a traffic light. Likely someone disobeyed the light (including right on red without first stopping) or was not using lights. Wish we had video… Why aren’t more intersections video recorded? Traffic lights already are super expensive – video could t cost much more

  3. Melanie says:

    I witnessed a bicyclist get hit by a pickup truck at this intersection over a year ago. The bicyclist had the right-of-way and was going west on 65th and the pickup truck was going east and turned left into her; he said the sun was in his eyes and he didn’t see her. The cyclist’s wrist was hurt but she was otherwise all right.

    I’m not sure what could or should be done with the intersection, but any accident is too many and a fatality is heartbreaking.

    • Jeff Dubrule says:

      Because nothing says “responsible driving” like allowing your car to move forward, when you can’t see what’s in front of you. *sigh*

    • Josh says:

      “The sun was in my eyes” should be taken at face value as a confession to violating the Basic Rule, the primary obligation of every driver on the roads:

      RCW 46.61.400
      Basic rule and maximum limits.

      (1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

      • Erik says:

        A guy I rode with but more importantly father, husband, friend, and son, Jose Hernando died also at the hands of a negligent driver who said the sun blinded him from seeing the cylcist. I am so sick of hearing that b.s. and people accepting it as a “reason”.

  4. ronp says:

    So sorry to hear about this. Condolences to the family.
    Not sure what can be done for this intersection rapidly that would be effective at 11 PM, but overall needs better marking, protected bike lanes, curb bulbs, etc. (Roosevelt High School right next to it, Light rail station under construction one block away, idiot slumlord property adjacent, soon to be redeveloped -hopefully). http://rooseveltdevelopmentgroup.com/projects.html

    Old traffic engineering idea of getting cars quickly to I-5 needs to be trashed. new paradigm needed.

    • Josh says:

      Raised crosswalks on all legs of the intersection could be installed within a few days (unless there’s something wrong with the existing pavement) and would slow all drivers entering the intersection.

  5. Laura Bernsteing says:

    This intersection needs clear road markings, a green box for bicycles, turn arrows all directions for all users, this would especially, help buses turning left (south) on 15th coming westbound on 65th. This is a very dangerous intersection for all users.

  6. Elias Ross says:

    I’m sad to hear the news. I use those roads all the time, and even at night, and feel like it could have easily been me.

    I live a half mile from 65th St/15th Ave NE. The roads around this neighborhood are really way too wide for the posted speed limit and cars do speed and striping and reconfiguration of 15th Ave could be quite effective in improving safety. 75th St was reconfigured and it cut down on speeding, but unfortunately it required a DUI incident to get SDOT to act.

    • Conrad says:

      The pseudo double lane on 65th Street is ridiculous. It needs the same treatment as 75th St. Condolences to the friends and family of the man. It could have been any of us.

  7. Paul N says:

    I go through here on a very regular basis (I live about 1.25 miles north). People blast through 15th a good deal when the light is green, and often bolt when the light goes red->green. 65th is bad; not as bad as 15th in my experience.

    I don’t think cameras solve the problem – at best, they give you after-the-fact tracking assistance, at worst, they are revenue generating systems…

    As a preventative measure, I’d suggest having dedicated left turn arrows, along with only having *one* lane for turning. Having the roads spread into 2 lanes in all directions does not help traffic clarity and I suspect it contributes to aggressive speedups(“Gotta pass that person before my lane ends”).

    Condolences to the family. Let’s change something and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    • stevesliva says:

      You’re right. 1 travel lane each way. 1 designated left turn pocket. An entirely spare lane to leave more room for bikes and pedestrians. And with that, the lights might actually need a right turn cycle (dont-walk for peds), not a left.

      • Al Dimond says:

        A right-turn phase?!? Please, no.

        If you separate the “right turn” phase from the “walk” phase, only one of them gets to piggy-back on the “straight-through” phase. If walking gets even part of the straight-through phase (as on 2nd Ave) then you need a place for right-turning traffic to queue. If walking gets no part of the straight-through phase… then you end up with a five-phase cycle for a simple four-way intersection: an “all-go” phase for each direction of traffic and a pedestrian scramble. This is inherently a long signal cycle; it requires more queuing space for vehicles and thus enlarged streets and intersections, which take even more time to cross. All this increases delay for everyone and reduces the fraction of “walk” phase time dramatically. We don’t actually have intersections quite like this, but it’s an extension of the principle at work in some of the city’s worst intersections, like Stone/Green Lake/50th. For pedestrians and cyclists this matters a lot — we don’t get to fly over intersections on the freeway.

      • Josh says:

        No need for a separate right-only phase, but ban right-on-red and give pedestrians a leading WALK signal before cars get green, so pedestrians are already clearly visible in the crosswalk before drivers are allowed to enter the intersection.

  8. ghostbikeguy says:

    Ghost bike is up. Please stop making me do this, Seattle.

    http://i.imgur.com/4Ij6mwv.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/V6JXXYJ.jpg

  9. bailee says:

    i witnessed this accident. i would really like to know the name of the man killed if possible. if anyone finds out who he was please email me at baileerock@gmail.com. this was a horrible horrible scene that i can’t seem to get out of my head. i’ve gone from feeling out of my body to angry to sad to numb and everything that accompanies witnessing someone die, bleeding gallons onto the street. i want some sort of justice for this person, but can’t see a way of having that. the man who killed him rotting in a cage wont bring this man back. the man who killed him making some sort of amends won’t bring him back. mostly i just want to tell his family, friends and loved ones that he couldn’t have suffered. once he was hit that was it. please be careful y’all. please. and please please please carry emergency contact cards when you ride. because days later its all i can think about. does his family know? do they know he didn’t suffer? i want to hug them and pray with them and know who this man was…

    • bailee says:

      also, i think the only thing that could have prevented this terrible tragedy is if the driver had not been drunk. the lighting is fine. the biker was following the rules. the driver was speeding and drunk, that’s it. end drunk driving and this accident wouldn’t have happened.

    • kommish says:

      I don’t know the name, but I am sending you so much care and light as you deal with the experience. I’m so sorry you had to witness that.

    • Matthew says:

      More details in the Seattle Times.

    • Becky says:

      I am so, so sorry that you had to witness this. I hope that in the coming days and months you have access to mental health care and other ways to help you cope.

    • Kevin in Ballard says:

      Take care of yourself bailee and make sure you let those who care about you hug you when you need it…

  10. Rob says:

    Thank you to Matthew for pointing us to the Seattle Times article. Why is there so little media attention to this tragedy?

    I agree with Andres, Brock, and Eli about the preventability of this event. Maybe in this case the person on the bike would have been killed no matter how the street was designed, but in general if you design streets to be safe for people on bikes and on foot, then drunk drivers will also be forced to drive a little slower. Even if the drunks are still speeding, at a slower speed they would be less likely to murder someone with their cars.

    The whole length of 65th from Ravenna Blvd to 40th is a safety nightmare, drunk driver or not. I can’t believe we let it continue.

  11. Chuck says:

    Let’s get that protected bike lane built on 65th already!

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Memories of that horrible 2013 Ravenna-Bryant meeting with then-Mayor McGinn have been running through my head, too. So many people up in arms about even the idea of a protected bike lane here. All seems so stupid now.

      • Chuck says:

        Let’s send them all copies of this story and remind them this could have been avoided. This is on them.

      • Ravenna Lady says:

        Tom many of those folks are gone and there’s new blood. I’m sorry it was this way, it’s been like that for so many topics. Let’s try again. We’re ready.

  12. Will Cone says:

    Andres Salomon is absolutely on point above. Andres, pm me if i can be of help. 65th needs to be changed to a similar design as 75th. It is extremely dangerous

  13. Neel Blair says:

    The disincentive for people in cars to hitting pedestrians and cyclists is insufficient to change the behavior. DUI or not, if you’ve spent any time reading stories of car vs. smaller-squishier-road-user, you know that all the DUI provides is an ADDITIONAL reason to punish the perpetrator.

    The implication there being that if you’re sober and have your head up your @$$, and hit and kill/injure someone, you might have committed a crime. If you’re drunk and cause the EXACT SAME amount of death/injury, it’s DEFINITELY a crime.

    Apparently the crime isn’t people getting killed or injured. The crime is how your operate your vehicle. The consequences are secondary.

    That’s what the disincentive structure (aka law) is telling drivers.

  14. Andrew says:

    I live in Roosevelt. The city was planning on putting a cycle track on NE 65th ST but the neighborhood was opposed because of the loss of parking. It looks like there were successful in getting it removed from the bike master plan.

    Here’s a link to the online petition for the curious: https://www.change.org/p/seattle-department-of-transportation-seattle-city-council-remove-dedicated-cycle-track-on-ne-65th-street-from-master-bicycle-plan

    • Andrew says:

      We should take action to get the track or other bike facilities put back in the plans for 65th st. The 68th st greenway is great, but not an equivalent alternative.

    • Andy says:

      To be fair, the neighborhood also opposed it because a protected bike lane on 65th would be really unsafe.

      • Elias says:

        Could we stop saying ‘Protected Bike Lane’ when in fact is nothing of the sort? Recall this poor soul was hit in the intersection.

        65th could use a middle turn lane and maybe a buffered bike lane on either side. It would take out a few parking spots, but to be honest there’s not a whole lot of them, and there’s plenty of side streets. 15th could use similar treatment.

  15. JeffD says:

    so the police priorities are: 1. Arrest for drunk driving and then later 2. Vehicular homicide. Is that backwards or what?

    • jay says:

      Sounds right to me, deciding on charges is the prosecutors responsibility, a reasonable suspicion of DUI is all the police need to arrest him, once he is in custody it gets turned over to the prosecutor. Since they had a reasonable suspicion of DUI there was no reason to say anything else that might end up getting thrown out in court.(AFAIK, but IANAL).
      Besides, if one is not drunk, it is just a tragic “accident”, not homicide, so the drunk part has to come first, or was that your point? if so, good luck with getting that changed.

  16. Jonas Land says:

    Has a fund site been set up to help his loved ones? My heart goes out to them, and I am so sorry to hear this tragic news.

  17. Harrison Davignon says:

    What would help reduce this is if we had security at bars and night clubs. The officers would check for alcohol in some ones system and make sure a sober driver was driving the person home, instead of the drunk person driving themselves home. Make a $ 1,000 dollar fine for drunk driving and that would discourage drunk driving and second time 5 years in prison plus, no possibility of getting out of prison and still fine the person.

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  19. Josh says:

    It’s tragic that we only (seriously) charge drunk drivers with jail time after they kill someone. First offense should be a very large fine, confiscation of registered vehicles, and long term (minimum 10 years) license suspension.

    Second offense should be mandatory jail of at least 30 days.

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