After scary collision on Broadway, Duggan on path to full recovery

Michael Duggan’s shift as a host at De Luxe Bar and Grill was over, so he drank an end-of-shift beer and hopped on his bike to head home. He was riding south on Broadway early December 18 near Roy, and next thing he knows he’s in the hospital. People who helped him after the wreck at Broadway and Pine Pike thought he wouldn’t make it. The concussion wiped out his memories 20 minutes before hand and 5 hours afterward.

“The last thing I remember is getting on my bike and riding south on Broadway,” he said. “I’m going to make a full recovery, it’s just gonna take some time.” Duggan spoke to me on the phone on his way to apply for food stamps. Due to his injuries, he may not be able to work or do much law school work for a couple months. But considering how bad the wreck was, Duggan considers himself lucky.

Witnesses he has spoken to and the police report have helped him piece together what happened. He was riding south on Broadway going downhill approaching the light at Pine Pike. He was in the left travel lane, but the car in front of him slowed down to enter the left turn lane make a left. He changed lanes into the right lane and continued through the intersection.

A driver from Montana in a rental car was facing north on Broadway attempting to make a left onto Pine Pike towards downtown. He made the left in front of Duggan, who had the green light. Duggan’s bike collided with the rental car, his front wheel tacoed at a 90 degree angle and his body did several flips in the air, landed on the roof of the car, then fell to the ground.

“Some of the witnesses were blown away because I’m able to speak on the phone,” he said. “Basically, everyone there thought I was either dead or paralyzed.” According to people who helped him by diverting traffic and attending to him until the ambulance arrived, he was not conscious and his breathing was labored. Commenters at Capitol Hill Seattle feared the worst in the immediate aftermath of the wreck.

But, incredibly, his injuries are not nearly as bad as originally feared. His helmet was completely crushed, and he had a severe concussion. But he does not have lasting brain injury.

“If anyone wants to know about the Lazer 02, I give it a rave review,” he said. Neither of his legs were broken, but they are badly bruised, and he has a pretty deep cut on right right knee that is giving him trouble. His hand was broken in two places and several ligaments were dislocated. He had surgery on his hand and will regain full dexterity, but it will take a while.

He has received a lot of support from friends and people in the biking community. He said he has not developed an angry anti-car mentality or anything, but he urges careful driving.

“I’m not crazy anti-driver right now,” he said. “Somebody did a stupid thing, and it’s a thing drivers need to be aware of … One minor traffic mistake by you and it could be a life-altering wreck for someone riding a bike.”

As a rider, Duggan liked alleycat races and other bike events set up by Go Means Go. He rode on the Mustache Ride just a few weeks ago. He’s not sure if he will be able to replace the yet-unidentifiable Colnago steel frame that was totaled, along with just about every other part of his bike (I will post a photo of the bike once he gets a chance to take one and send it my way in case any of you can help identify it).

The driver’s take on the collision was a little anti-bike (he described Duggan as “weaving” in and out of traffic in the police report), but several witnesses told the officer a different version that likely puts the driver at fault. If you saw or know someone who saw the wreck, email me and I can put you in contact with Duggan. The more witnesses, the easier it will be for him to receive quick compensation for his medical bills and bicycle.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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11 Responses to After scary collision on Broadway, Duggan on path to full recovery

  1. Leif says:

    Interesting that the driver reported him as “weaving in and out of traffic.” That would indicate the driver actually saw him coming. How did he then decide it was a good idea to turn in front of him? No, I’m guessing he just made that up… not sure whether it is better or worse than the standard “I didn’t see him” excuse.

    Get well soon Mike!

  2. Charlie says:

    Excellent point Leif.
    I’m wondering what kind of lights/reflective gear he had on. Not to imply that there is any way in heck that this accident is okay or the fault of Duggan, I am just curious. I ride with some very bright lights, reflective tape a yellow jacket/reflective vest but see a lot of riders with little to no lighting on them when they ride at night. LIGHTS ARE KEY PEOPLE.
    Anyway, I don’t mean to imply that Duggan is at fault here in any way. Just curious.

  3. Ross says:

    Sucks for Duggan, and good to hear he’ll be fine, but I have to wonder if bike news is so slow that the last 3 posts had to be about bicyclists getting hurt and crazy anti-bike drivers. You’re starting to really bum me out here.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Wasn’t on purpose. Seattle bikers had a rough couple days there. Posting is slow while I’m in St Louis visiting family. I’ll make sure to have some happier stuff soon.

      • Marcy says:

        Although it is a bit of a bummer to hear about the accidents, it is a good reminder for me to stay alert. It also helps me to remember not to take unnecessary risks and not to rush. I don’t need to be racing around like a lunatic trying to keep pace with the cars. I’m on my bike so I can slow down, enjoy life and Ride Happy!

  4. Michael Duggan says:

    Hey guys thanks for the wishes! I had a cateye blinky (3-led) in the front and my superflash in the back. I’ll probably be getting a new front blinky, but that one is pretty bright, and came well recommended. I keep it adjusted to get right in drivers eyes. My bike is bright orange, but I admit to having on dark clothes for work.
    I heard from another witness that the driver was rolling through the intersection and “signal-turned” really quick simultaneously, trying to beat me through, perhaps. They said it didn’t look like I had a chance to slow down.
    Anyways, I hope y’all are having a great holiday.
    I’ll be back on a stationary bike in as little as 3 weeks. By summer, I could be racing again, depending on my hand. See you in the streets!

    • I don’t know how anybody could miss a Planet Bike 3LED blinky in the dark. Reflective clothing *may* have helped but that light is pretty bright. Sounds like the classic “underestimating the speed of the cyclist” combined with a left cross to me.

      Glad to hear you will recover, albeit slowly. FYI: Amazon has the Planet Bike 2W Blaze on sale for $29 w/free shipping. Hopefully the driver’s insurance will be picking that up for you along with everything else.

  5. Mike H says:

    I have to admit I am a little confused. Both northbound and southbound left turn traffic is controlled by a signal. So, if the northbound left turn has a green arrow, then the southbound through traffic has a red signal. Vice versa for the southbound left turn. In this case, if Mr. Duggin is correct, not only is the motorist at fault for failing to yield to opposing traffic, the motorist is also guilty of disregarding a traffic control device.

  6. jpsfranks says:

    Broadway and Pine has a red light camera does it not? Seems like something should have been caught on tape.

  7. Mike H says:

    It does have a camera but only in the southbound direction. It likely would not be activated unless a southbound vehicle was violating a red light and it caught the northbound vehicle by chance.

  8. Michael Duggan says:

    Naw guys, the collision was Broadway/PIKE, a minor error on Tom’s part. Left turns from the left lane have to simply yield to oncoming traffic from both oncoming lanes. It’s actually a very common car-car accident based on my summer experience in a personal injury law firm. The left turners usually assume that if there’s another left turner facing them, that there’s room/time to turn even though there may be oncoming traffic in the right (their far left) lane.

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