Person killed biking home from work identified as Bradley Nakatani

From King 5 (watch full report below)

Bradley Nakatani, 36, was biking to his Kirkland home after work when he was struck and killed by an impaired driver in a speeding Ford Excursion. The software engineer was dead by the time medics arrived.

Coworkers, friends and family are mourning his death, and some are planning a vigil at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon at the site of the collision.

The person driving the SUV — 27-year-old Nathan J Godwin — has been arrested, and police say they believe he was too impaired to be driving due to drinking and taking prescription drugs. He has a history of traffic violations and has a felony drug conviction. He was driving twice the speed limit, and police are hoping to build a case for vehicular homicide charges, according to King 5.

The collision occurred as Nakatani was turning left from Northeast 124th Street onto Slater Avenue Northeast. The collision was so powerful Nakatani’s bike split in half. According to the medical examiner, he had fatal injuries to his head, chest and several internal organs.

Nakatani rode his bike to and from work almost every day, according to his friend Praveen Arneja. He had the legally required lights and helmet as well as extra reflective clothing.

“He was young and aspiring and motivated to do a lot of things — and he was good at heart,” Arneja told King 5.  “It’s a very painful loss.”

Condolences to his friends and family.

UPDATE: The Seattle Times has more about Nakatani, who Cascade Bicycle Club says was a 100 percent rider during the Group Health Commute Challenge. He worked at Alstom in Redmond, and was a 1994 graduate of Newport High School in Bellevue. He then went to the California Institute of Technology and got his master’s degree from Stanford.

His brother-in-law told the Times, “I couldn’t ask for a better uncle for my two boys. He is probably the smartest person I know.”

Mike Boden, Nakatani’s brother-in-law, said today that Nakatani was riding home at that hour from his job at Alstom, a technology company in Redmond. Nakatani found that he did his best work at “odd hours,” after other employees went home.

Nakatani told his family that it was important to ride his bicycle to and from work.

“He’s very into the environment. He never wanted to leave a carbon footprint,” Boden said.

UPDATE #2: Colin from Nerds in Seattle has a roundup of Nathan Godwin’s lengthy traffic ticket history.

Nakatani is the second person this year to die while biking in Kirkland. John Przychodzen was killed in July while biking home from work on Juanita Dr. Kirkland Police gave teenage driver Nick Natale a $42 ticket after he suddenly swerved onto the shoulder and struck Przychodzen from behind, killing him.

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14 Responses to Person killed biking home from work identified as Bradley Nakatani

  1. Gary says:

    Was Bradley struck from behind? Or Head on? The SUV had damage to driver’s side headlamp and door, which could have been caused by either collision.

    • Bruce Newman says:

      Gary, reports say the cyclist was making a westbound left turn, and the SUV was eastbound going straight. The debris field supports this and suggests the SUV was probably in the inside (or left) of the two through lanes.

  2. RTK says:

    I am glad to see that a more serious prosecution is being mounted than was evident in the case where John Przychodzen was killed.
    In that case a vehicle crossed the fog line, stuck the victim, continued across a drainage ditch and ended up on an embankment and the result was a $42 ticket. The difference may be that this case was immediately identified as a likely drunk driving case.
    Rest in peace Bradley.

  3. R says:

    I really shouldn’t have read the comments section on KING-5, goodness.

  4. Fat Bob says:

    The punishment should be that this person should have 50% of his income put towards the family of the victim for the next 20 years, if they decline, the funds should go towards a national fund for drink drive victims. In addition, the driver should be responsible for weekly maintenance on the victims family home. Let him ponder his decisions every weekend he has to mow the lawn, rake leaves, clean gutters, etc. Putting the driver in a broken prison system does nothing but burden the rest of society with his care, while the victims family continues to suffers.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Additionally, not as punishment but because it’s the state’s responsibility to its citizens, he (along with every other person caught DUI) should never again be issued a driver’s license.

    • Ian Cooper says:

      Personally, I don’t think that weekly maintenance of the victim’s family home is a good idea. If my daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and I had to see her killer every week thereafter, I don’t think I’d be strong enough to resist getting a gun and putting a bullet in him.

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  7. Alison I says:

    RIP Brad, I remember you from high school @ Newport. You will be missed and I wish your family and friends my thoughts and prayers and healing. So sad :(

  8. Pingback: Man who killed Nakatani in Kirkland could face four years in jail | Seattle Bike Blog

  9. Jeff Mendez says:

    I went to College with Brad. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Always there for you if you needed a kind heart, friendly smile, or geeky joke. I will always remember him.

    There is no appropriate punishment that can fit this crime. A terrible person has ended the life of another, and removed a special light from so many other people’s lives.

    Bye Brad.

  10. Pingback: Man who struck and killed Bradley Nakatani pleads guilty to vehicular homicide | Seattle Bike Blog

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