Person driving on wrong side of the road killed a man biking near Seward Park, police searching for suspect

Photo facing south on Seward Park Ave just north of in Wilson Ave S intersection. The street has no marking other than a center line. A person is biking.

Approximate location of the fatal hit and run from Google Street View. Image facing south on Seward Park Ave S toward Wilson Ave S.

A person driving on the wrong side of the street struck and killed a man biking toward Seward Park Sunday evening, according to Seattle Police. The suspect then fled the scene.

The man killed was 63. Our condolences to his friends and family.

Police are searching for the suspect, who was driving “a silver, older model compact sedan with a shattered windshield.” The license plate may start with something like “BKU 053.” Anyone with a tip is encouraged to call SPD’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206.233.5000.

The victim was biking downhill (northbound) toward the park shortly before 7 p.m. when the suspect drove the wrong way up the northbound lane and struck him head-on, according to police.

This stretch of Seward Park Ave S is part of the very popular Lake Washington Loop bike route. It is a relatively low-traffic street the primarily serves homes and Seward Park itself. It also feeds into Lake Washington Boulevard, a section of which was closed to most cars starting last week. The Bicycle Master Plan calls for bike lanes on the street, but they have not yet been installed.

This section of road was also on Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ map of proposed Stay Healthy Streets, though it was never implemented. Their idea called for the parking lane to be turned into a bikeway.

From the SPD Blotter:

Detectives are searching for a driver who fled the scene of a fatality collision with a bicyclist near Seward Park on Sunday.

Just before 7:00 p.m., a bicyclist was traveling north on Seward Park Avenue South, east of Wilson Ave South. A motorist struck the bicyclist with their car head-on while traveling southbound in the northbound lane of Seward Park Avenue South. The driver fled the scene. Witnesses began administering CPR until Seattle Fire Department Medics arrived and took over treatment. Medics attempted life-saving measures on the way to the hospital, but the 63-year-old man was declared deceased upon arrival.

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad responded to the scene and are asking for the public’s help to find the suspect’s vehicle. Witnesses described the vehicle as a silver, older model compact sedan with a shattered windshield. The vehicle has a possible Washington State license plate with the first six characters, “BKU 053.” Anyone with information about this vehicle should call the Violent Crimes Tip Line: 206-233-5000.

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9 Responses to Person driving on wrong side of the road killed a man biking near Seward Park, police searching for suspect

  1. Alex says:

    For how progressive Tammy Morales is on other issues, I’m incredibly disappointed by how quiet she is on the bike deaths and the crappy infrastructure in our district.

    • gm says:

      +1
      Our district feels so far behind on safe infrastructure that we really need someone who’s going to stand up for us at the city level. She isn’t doing that for us.

  2. A bicycling NTSB please says:

    Are there one-way streets in the vicinity?

  3. NickS says:

    I’m going to guess that the perpetrator who killed the bicyclist was speeding past another car when they struck the bicyclist. This is something that I’m seeing more and more frequently on Seward Park Ave S. further south between Othello and Henderson, where drivers are frustrated to be behind someone observing something close to the 25 mph speed limit, tailgate and honk, or often speed past in the other lane. This is a two lane residential street, and it’s being treated like a highway.

    This is a problem that is only going to be solved by a)enforcement which SPD doesn’t seem interested in and, due to racial profiling and equity issues, is unlikely to be pursued by community groups, or b)road design changes, encouraging drivers to not use Seward Park Ave S. as a bypass for Rainier Ave S. With Rainier Ave S. dropping to 25mph and heavy construction going on near the Rainier Beach Safeway, Seward Park Ave S. is seeing a lot more traffic and much more aggressive driving.

    Living in this area and on this street, I’m terrified by and beyond angry at this incident, knowing that this could be me, a neighbor, or anyone who will the next victim of aggressive and unsafe driving.

    • benwood says:

      Having been down that hill many times, I also thought it was likely an illegal residential street high speed pass. I’ve seen so many of these, I try to be prepared mentally to veer off the road. They create such a danger for bikers, walkers, people backing out of driveways, and anybody else who thinks the world is full of people who give a crap about safe community.

    • Allen says:

      Hey Nick – the car that hit Mike was not passing another, the driver was wreckless and driving in the wrong lane. I live right where this happened, seeing video of the whole incident, and my hypothesis is the driver was impared at some level. I’m not sure how you cross the center line so far that you are almost on the opposite curb without being impared. Mike was riding as close to the curb as he could. It is horrible what happened, I hope they find the driver who did this quickly.

  4. reylr says:

    I saw that car on Holly and Rainier and they were driving in what I would consider a hugely unsafe way, speeding really fast and swerving around, so much I pulled over sharply to avoid them. The windshield looks liked someone dropped a boulder through it. That said, the real safety and mobility improvement the south end needs is protected bike lanes the full length of Rainier Avenue, and I don’t see Morales advocating for that improvement, which would be a drastic step away from SDOT’s current priorities. Blvd closure is amazing but commuting along the blvd to downtown, central disrict, etc, is really not a real solution because of the steep hills. Have you tried it? Don’t @ me unless you have.

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