Man recovering from Harvard Ave E hit and run Friday seeking folks on bikes who stopped to help

Approximate location of the hit and run, via Google Maps.

Did you see or stop to help a man injured while biking on Harvard Ave E at E Allison St Friday morning around 9 a.m.? Ariel and his wife Roï are trying to get in touch with the people who helped him and may have seen the person driving, who fled the scene.

Ariel is recovering from serious injuries to his shoulder, ribs and lungs. Several people on bikes stopped and stayed with him until help arrived. Roï reached out to Seattle Bike Blog to help get the word out. If you are one of those who stopped, please email tom@seattlebikeblog.com and I will forward your email to them.

More details from Roï:

My husband, Ariel, is a regular bike rider and uses his bikes for his day to day commute. [Friday] around 9am he was hit by a car – it was a hit and run…Ariel was riding downhill on Harvard Ave E towards University Bridge (alongside the I-5 to Ariel’s left), and the car was coming uphill in the opposite direction, and has taken a turn left at Harvard Ave E and E Allison St (which is where it ran over Ariel).

Ariel is hospitalized in Harborview and suffers shoulder and ribs fractures, and pneumothorax injury.

When Ariel was hit, a group of bicyclists was there and they talked to him to make sure he’s OK and stayed until help arrived. Some of them took pictures – we are hoping they captured the car that hit Ariel, because the driver stayed at the scene for a minute or two before he took off – while the bicyclists were already there. I was wondering if perhaps there’s a way to reach out to bicyclists who were there to contact us? Any help is appreciated!

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9 Responses to Man recovering from Harvard Ave E hit and run Friday seeking folks on bikes who stopped to help

  1. asdf2 says:

    I have mixed feelings about these type of posts. On the one hand, we feel for the victims, and need to be reminded that the consequences of not building safer streets are real, and cause real people to get hurt.

    On the other hand, I am also concerned that a steady drumbeat where every few weeks, we see another post about a cyclists that was hit by a car, is sending an implicit message to all of us saying “don’t ride a bike because you might be next”. Yes, the numbers of such accidents are small, and just like we shouldn’t stop flying because we read about one plane crash, we shouldn’t stop biking because we read about one bike crash. But, human brains are not rational, and there is a strong psychological tendency to make decisions based on fear, rather than on actual statistics.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I think about this a lot. In this case, they need to contact folks who showed up to help, so that’s the primary reason for the post. It seems reasonable they might read this blog or have friends who do. But there is a conundrum about reporting biking injuries and deaths because society very rarely reports about injuries and deaths to people in cars. Our terrible car culture has convinced us that our neighbors’ bodies being mangled in a car crash is just how the world works. But as a biking movement, we reject death and serious injury as just the cost of getting around. Instead we view them as the preventable tragedies they are, the same way society at large should (but does not) treat all traffic injuries and deaths. I believe this is the right thing to do, but it has the side-effect of making it seem like biking is super dangerous compared to driving. And that could have a negative effect on biking. I don’t feel OK hiding the truth, but I also don’t want to send the message that biking is more dangerous than it is. It’s tough.

  2. Kimberly Kinchen says:

    ASDF2 – The main point of this post is to get information so these folks can hold the driver who hurt them accountable. In any case, there are so, so many of these collisions that don’t get write-ups anywhere other than a short initial news report – will we hear anything about the pedestrians that were hit 45 minutes and 3/4 mile apart on 12th Avenue yesterday? Probably not. So while I understand your concern generally, I just don’t think we’re being bombarded at anywhere near the level of actual injuries that are happening on our streets.

  3. Drew says:

    I did not see this hit and run, but ride my bike there every day about that time. Wishing you the best in your recovery, Ariel. Hopefully the power of our community brings justice here.

    asdf2 – I tend to think that posts like this don’t scare me off my bike but keep me aware of the risks (for all users) inherent in being on the road and the reason why we should work to mitigate them. I feel you on the mixed feelings, but I think that too many incidents like this go unnoticed.

    • Thanks Drew for your reply. I’m Ariel and the victim of this accident.
      I’m still in hospital fighting many complications of my injuries and an free hours after very difficult procedures but now relaxing in bed I wish to clarify free points.
      1. I commute daily on these roads the past 5 years and I’ll continue doing so (when I’m able).
      2. I’ll better be afraid to bike and I’m actively looking through sites to find new bikes for that day when I’ll recover.
      3. I want to catch that driver because he is a risk to everyone and he needs to take responsibility for his actions and decisions.
      4. More importantly, there were so many eye witness to this accident. That does it tells us the fact that no one come forward with information? Do we really love in a community with some care to each other or just many individual running to work.

      I hope in my case we would be able to find Justice and I hope we could build this city as a place people don’t run after they nearly kill love another.

      Best,
      Ariel

  4. Conrad says:

    Way to be strong Ariel. Its depressing that at least half of all bike-car collisions wind up being hit and run. If I had to choose my most likely demise right now I would have to say being hit by a car. But, like you, I am not willing to drive everywhere because of that. I will continue to ride, because I love riding and it is the best thing for this crowded city and planet we live on. I strongly urge all cyclists to help each other. I have personally witnessed hit and runs, sprinted and caught the vehicle at a light, pounded on the car and let the driver know that I have their license plate and they better get their ass back and do the right thing. There are too many irresponsible drivers. We have to advocate for ourselves and other riders. Let the drivers know that this shit wont be tolerated. If you see something, make sure you get the license plate and that the victim is okay.

    • Ariel says:

      Thanks Conrad,
      I’m back home after a difficult week in the hospital, but nit writing from my cellphone I’m sure I’ll have many less typos :).
      We really should not be afraid to ride, I am not and I will not, I will continue to ride, it is the best way to start my day before work and the best way to end it.
      There are a lot of hit and run, mainly in cyclist-car accidents and the reason for that is how simple for those cars to escape and I can point on three main things we as a community can improve that:
      1. City cameras don’t record anything out of “privacy” reasons. In other words the city don’t want to be a part in protecting its citizens of criminals.
      2. The police must be pressed to change priorities. If the police were to work and find this driver properly they would have long ago.
      3. increase awareness and involvement of bikers and drivers, if you see something take pictures send it to the police or the cyclist involved in the accident, it is couple of minutes of your time but might be a world to the victim.

      I had dozens of eye witness to my accident and am still waiting for 1! of them to come forward and this is very sad and frustrating situation.

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