Nobody should die while biking on Whidbey + Group installs ghost bike for Randall Lorraine

Randall Lorraine was biking on East Harbor Road near Freeland in the south end of Whidbey Island one month ago. It was a Thursday about 9:15 p.m on this idyllic road in a beautiful corner of the world when David Hinton struck Randall with his Lexus and killed him.

Hinton was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and DUI, the South Whidbey Record reports (paywall). In the past two years, three people have been killed on the island in suspected DUI collisions, according to a recent editorial in the Record (paywall).

Nobody should die while biking (or driving or walking) in south Whidbey Island. Especially off the highway, it is a peaceful place with low traffic and generally little sense of urgency. In other words, it’s a wonderful place to get around by bike.

Randall’s death has shaken the community. A group calling itself Occupy Your Bike created a ghost bike memorial in his honor. In a post about the memorial, it’s clear the group is still working through the loss:

Randall L. Lorraine, 58, of Langley was killed while bicycling home from work. Whether by choice or necessity, he commuted by bicycle instead of by car, truck, or bus. Some ride because they want the exercise or the quiet. Some ride because it makes financial sense. Some ride because it is one way to show they care about the environment and taking action on climate change. All bicyclists recognize the risks. Unfortunately for Randall Lorraine, the risk became real. He was struck by a car and died at the scene.

Words are easily forgotten. To raise awareness and to continue the inspiration, we created a ghost bike memorial that has been erected at the site. A reminder of someone who died too soon, and a reminder to keep it from happening again.

Read more…

Our condolences to his friends and family. In his obituary, his family asked that donations be made in his honor to your local homeless shelter.

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10 Responses to Nobody should die while biking on Whidbey + Group installs ghost bike for Randall Lorraine

  1. Andrew Squirrel says:

    I’m constantly amazed how unfriendly Orcas is towards cyclists. I’m a frequent visitor on bike and despite many good rides our last one was soured by getting coal rolled by a work truck on Crow Valley Road and buzzed more than a few times by drivers. I love the scenery, challenging hills and opportunities for bike camping & resorts but the danger posed by drivers on the island doesn’t seem to match the “laid back” picture they try to paint their island as. I can’t say for sure if it’s tourists or residents but I have so many mixed feelings about most of the roads. I will forever love Dolphin Bay Road but the lack of shoulders and blind corners on the east side of the Island really need to be addressed by the community.

    • Law Abider says:

      Au contraire, I’ve ridden Orcas many times and have never had a problem. In fact, most of the time, I’m almost embarrassed at how slow and how much room drivers give me. I most recently rode Orcas Memorial weekend and had zero problems (except the rain).

      Maybe if you go in the off season, it’s only locals and they are tired of tourists at that point and feel the need to be aggressive? Either way, doesn’t make it right.

      • Anthony says:

        Excellent points, even in the off season I find the riding there quite pleasurable. Went three times this past winter and each ride was absolutely wonderful on Orcas. I feel for the touring gang with loaded panniers because they are so wide and the road is narrow with all that traffic in the high season.

        As for his death on Whidbey where I live now, that sucks and I know the location. Really comes down to narrow roads with little room to pass and the normal behavior of motorists. Using the DUI thing is a joke, cars kill first and foremost no matter what and peoples minds are on other things, distracted is an understatement.

  2. Ben says:

    One more thing to make me consider shopping for an on-bike video camera.

  3. Law Abider says:

    Nobody should die while biking (or driving or walking) EVER.

  4. (Another) Tom says:

    So I just read that the city council will be discussing the Vision Zero plan to lower speed limits today. I wish I had heard about this earlier but I just dashed off a quick email to my councilmember:

    “I am a Seattle homeowner and resident in District 2. I just read that the City Council will be meeting today to discuss the Vision Zero plan to lower speed limits to 20-residential and 30-elsewhere.

    I have never reached out before but felt compelled to do so now because I am a strong supporter of this plan to lower speed limits and I hope I can count on you to push for this much-needed change.

    As a daily cyclist, and a partner to a daily cyclist, and friends to many, many others who walk, ride, and drive in this city I know all too well how dangerous our streets can be. The science is clear on the issue – Lower speeds save lives. Please help create safer streets in Seattle where everyone can feel safe.

    Vote YES to lower speed limits. 20mph is plenty in our neighborhoods where kids play, old folks walk, and dogs sometimes dash out of the yard.”

    • Law Abider says:

      The lower speed limit plan is great, in theory. In reality, it’s a sleight of hand by the City so they can pat themselves on the back and pretend like Vision Zero is attainable with minimal effort.

      Have you driven down 15th, south of the Ballard Bridge since October 2014 when the lowered the speed limit from 35/40 to 30? Yeah, nobody goes 30 and if you do, you feel unsafe. The 17th and 58th greenways in Ballard, with their 20 MPH speed limit? Yeah, that does little to stop those that want to go fast.

      Add to that the fact that their method of choosing speed limit is haphazard: why is 99 from the West Seattle Bridge through the viaduct and to Woodland Park 40 MPH as an expressway when East Marginal Way is 45 as a signalized roadway with sidewalks? Similar, why is 15th 30 MPH when Westlake is 35 MPH?

      Finally, it’s all a moot point when exactly 0% of these “at risk” streets are actually speed enforced. If you’re going to write an email to your council member, be sure to emphasize enforcement, or it’s all a wasted exercise in futility.

      • (Another) Tom says:

        While I agree that lack of enforcement is a serious problem that’s not what they are discussing in today’s meeting. They ARE discussing the posted speed limits and I believe they should be lowered (and enforced) so I expressed my support to my councilmember. I encourage you to do the same. Make sure to mention enforcement.

  5. ronp says:

    My condolences to the friends and family.

    Having grown up in the midwest I am always amazed at the lack of road shoulders in the forested rural areas around puget sound.

    Roads should be upgraded, but even with crap infrastructure drivers need to control their vehicles properly and slow down.

    We should be like other countries and basically take DUI’s seriously and take away their driving privileges permanently.

    • Law Abider says:

      That last sentence is pretty much all that needs to be said. We are a litigious country of lawyers. There is a lot of money to be made fighting DUIs and getting sentences reduced. Until we solve that problem, we’re stuck celebrating the fact that you get nailed with a Class C felony if you’ve been CONVICTED of 5 DUIs in a 10 year period.

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