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Cyclist killed in Seattle

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Cyclist killed in Seattle

Old 02-04-09, 05:00 PM
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octopuswithafez
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Cyclist killed in Seattle

https://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/s...asp?source=rss

UPDATE: Bicyclist killed

Authorities say a bicyclist who collided with a van early Wednesday in Ballard has died.

The male bicyclist, 39, was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office also was notified of his death.

The accident happened just before 9 a.m. at 24th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 65th Street, Seattle police reported.

Police had no information to release on what caused the accident. Traffic accident investigators were called to the scene.
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Old 02-04-09, 05:24 PM
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A view of the bike and van from the air:

source article:
https://www.myballard.com/2009/02/04/...h-st-24th-ave/

Update 12:30 p.m. The bicyclist involved in a collision with a van on 24th Ave. near 65th St. this morning has died, reports Harborview Medical Center. He was a 39-year-old man. His name will not be released until the family is notified.

Just before 9 a.m., medics were called to the scene of a cyclist injured after an accident with a van. I saw the cyclist pinned under the left rear wheel of the van, writes Ric in comments below, who said he drove by the scene moments after the accident. It happened in an instant, he said. I saw a bicycle pretty mangled, said Jen in an email. KIRO-TVs chopper flew over the scene and captured the photo above. So far, no word on whos at fault in the accident. At last check, 24th Ave. is still closed as police continue their investigation.


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Old 02-04-09, 10:21 PM
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seems pretty clear that the van was to the right of the bike lane and then left hooked the cyclist. At first I thought the van had come from the next street, but apparently the driver admitted to making a u-turn.

street view

Some of the eyewitnesses mention that he was passing cars to the right in the bike lane. But the van was to his right, so there must have been a fairly large gap. Something doesn't quite make sense, I don't trust the motorist reports that much. In the past I might have blasted through this situation just like he seems to have done. Who knows if a little more caution was called for or not. I can't help but think that the bike lane was a significant contributor to this accident. For one thing, it's laid out in the door zone. It's wide enough that a smart cyclist doesn't have to be in the door zone, but it goes right up to the parking spaces.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-04-09 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:44 PM
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Official city statement below.

There are a number of posters on local blogs stating that they believed the van was attempting a U-turn. The official police statement does not mention a U-turn.

Statement:

"On February 4th at approximately 8:56 a.m. a 39-year-old male bicyclist was traveling southbound on 24th Avenue NW approaching NW 65th Street. At the same time a white Ford van driven by a 44-year-old female was facing southbound in the inside lane on 24th Avenue NW and was the first vehicle stopped for the red light at NW 65th Street with other vehicles behind it. As the traffic signal turned green for southbound and northbound traffic, witnesses stated the van proceeded through the intersection and the bicyclist passed all the stopped southbound vehicles on the left at a high rate of speed then briefly moved back into the bicycle lane. South of the intersection the van signaled and moved into the left turn lane in order to turn left onto NW 64th Street. Witnesses stated the bicyclist attempted to pass the van on the left as it entered the turn lane. The bicyclist collided with the left rear of the van and was run over by the rear tires. The bicyclist sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the collision and died while being transported to Harborview by SFD Medics. Officers evaluated the driver of the van who showed no signs of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The van driver was interviewed and released pending further investigation. Traffic Collision Investigation Squad Detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate."

Local blogs suggest the victim was a very experienced rider and, it seems, a racer as well.

My condolences to his friends and family.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:08 PM
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I think I need a diagram. There is a gap in that scenario that makes no sense at all. There were also reports that the van was all the way to the right in a bus stop and moved left. That makes a lot more sense to me. If the van was headed left onto 64th, then there is no reason for it to be pointed north as shown in the blog post in the OP's second link. It was also reported that the van was headed to the Viking tavern. That would mean that the U-turn scenario is extremely likely and entirely consistent with the image of the scene.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-04-09 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think I need a diagram. There is a gap in that scenario that makes no sense at all. There were also reports that the van was all the way to the right in a bus stop and moved left. That makes a lot more sense to me. If the van was headed left onto 64th, then there is no reason for it to be pointed north as shown in the blog post in the OP's second link.
I agree, it's very confusing.

From what I have read on MyBallard, the victim was a terrific and well loved person with 2 young daughters.

I am very sad; Seattle has a lot of hills where it is not difficult to pick up a *lot* of speed in a hurry.
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Old 02-04-09, 11:16 PM
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Victim identified.

Bike rider killed in Ballard

Friends mourn UW neurobiologist

By BRAD WONG
P-I REPORTER
Kevin Black, a molecular neurobiologist, was such an avid bicyclist that he pedaled from Seattle to California for his high school reunion.

Colleagues at the University of Washington recalled the 39-year-old father of two girls as a man who excelled at his work, got along with others and had a car but never used it. Black died Wednesday after he was involved in a morning accident with a Ford van in Ballard.

"Everybody loved him. He was the glue of my lab," said UW professor William Zagotta, his supervisor for 15 years.

Traffic investigators are continuing to piece together exactly what happened near Northwest 64th Street and 24th Avenue Northwest, Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson said.Calls started flooding 911 dispatchers around 9 a.m. to report the accident. Black was riding south on 24th Avenue Northwest, and the van, which was traveling in the same direction, had moved into the two-way left turn lane, Jamieson said. Black was on the van's left side, and possibly tried to pass it, when the driver turned, Jamieson said. He hit the pavement.

Laurel Whitley, who lives near the intersection, spotted Black in traffic and later heard his screams. "I'll probably never forget that," she said. "It was an accident. It happened so fast."

Immediately after the van hit him, people rushed to help. A person administered CPR and a nurse stopped to help, employees at the nearby tavern The Viking said.The female driver did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Jamieson said. She cooperated with the investigation.Tavern employees said she was trying to make a turn to stop at The Viking and check on its refrigerators for regular maintenance.

Witnesses said Seattle firefighters and police officers arrived within minutes of the accident. Medics rushed Black to Harborview Medical Center.

By about 1 p.m., his friends had placed two long-stem red roses against a pole and put up a handwritten sign that said: "In Loving Memory Kevin Black."

A Harborview spokeswoman confirmed his death and identified him. At the UW's Department of Physiology and Biophysics, word traveled fast about the accident.

Black, a native of Southern California, was a specialist with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and based at the UW. He moved to Seattle in 1993.He was researching molecules that produce electrical signaling in the brain, Zagotta said. The two had co-written four research papers and were writing two more."He was, No. 1, a great dad. He was an excellent scientist," colleague Legay Sheridan said. "This was his first job out of college."

By 5:30 p.m., about a half-dozen people, including bicyclists, gathered near the intersection in Ballard to remember Black. They left flowers and lit candles for him.Many, such as Seattle bicyclist Steve Brown, did not know him."I feel connected to the guy. I rode through the intersection 10 minutes before the accident," Brown, 38, said. "I just wanted to pay my respects to him."

In life, bicycling filled Black's heart. The Web site for the Alki Rubicon Racing Team lists him as a member, noting his long commutes and that his two daughters would be future racers.

After he finished that trek to California for his high school reunion, he admitted that it was more difficult than he expected, Sheridan said.But friends in Seattle, she added, cheered for him along the way -- by cell phone and e-mail.

(added: his team website: https://www.alkirubiconracing.com/News/newsframe.html )

Last edited by BengeBoy; 02-04-09 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:00 AM
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My condolences to his family. What a tragedy.

I must say that I really really doubt that this is the whole story. An experienced cycle passed a vehicle in a left-turn lane by going around it to the left (into the oncoming lane)? I don't think so. I think the van changed lanes directly into him (driver wasn't looking and didn't see him). And now these two little girls will have no father. What a tragedy.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:54 AM
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Here is what I think happened as best as I can make out from the limited reports:

EDIT: Withdrawn, as it seems the police report was grossly in error.

At any rate it is clear the van driver made an improper and illegal U-turn; likely from the bus stop and cutting off the cyclist riding in the bike lane. I would bet the van driver did not use a turn signal either.

Last edited by CB HI; 02-05-09 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-05-09, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
(into the oncoming lane)?
It is a shared center lane for left turns, so the cyclist did not likely have any oncoming traffic. It is possible that the cyclist may have even been preparing to make a left turn himself.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Here is what I think happened as best as I can make out from the limited reports:

The cyclist was riding southbound, approaching a red light. The cyclist was moving fast from the downhill and moved into the shared center left turn lane to pass stopped traffic at the light (staying out of the door zone bike lane which the stopped traffic would have trapped him in). The light turned green, and the van made it off the line before the cyclist could pass it, so the cyclist moved behind the van. The cyclist may have moved right far enough to touch the left bike lane line. The van driver slowed to make the U-turn but stayed in the through lane before beginning the wide U-turn. The cyclist seeing the van slow but stay in the through lane (probably thinking the van was preparing to park) moved left to pass the van and avoid a right hook. The van suddenly makes the left U-turn cutting in front of the cyclist path in the center share turn lane. Then cyclist laid the bike down (either intentionally or not) and slid under the van which then struck the cyclist with the rear wheel.

At any rate it is clear the van driver made an improper and illegal U-turn. I would bet the van driver did not use a turn signal either.
We'll never know, and the driver will never tell. Another "he swerved" death, witnessed by driver alone.
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Old 02-05-09, 09:37 AM
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A tragedy for the Seattle cycling community and the cyclists' family and friends.

My heartfelt condolences to all personally affected by this tragedy.

The contributing factors from the streetscape in this accident are the grade of the hill (bicyclists coasting hit 25 m.p.h. + and often match or exceed the speed of traffic at this point on 24th), the relatively narrow travel corridor, and the high static content from parking both sides along short blocks with mixed residential/business causing lots of pullouts and crossings. I ride there regularly. this stretch of 24th is tedious due to these factors and merits full roadway use as it sounds like this bicyclist was doing.

RIP, fellow rider.

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Old 02-05-09, 10:08 AM
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The cities statement is confusing because it said after the cyclist passed stationary vehicles on the left, it returned to the right (I'll presume the bike lane is on the right side of the road).

Next, the driver moves to the left and the cyclist is on the drivers left.

It seems there could be a little bit of insinuation that the cyclist was doing something wrong and dangerous by mentioning his passing stationary traffic on the left before going through the light and returning to the bike lane (presumably where the city though the cyclist should be) only to mention that the cyclist was back to that dangerous behavior by getting on the left hand side of traffic again.

I see the main issue as, who moved to the left first? Did the driver move up on the cyclist or did the cyclist move up on the driver?

Maybe the driver wasn't aware of the cyclists presence if she moved first. Not at all uncommon for drivers to move into an area they haven't confirmed was clear. Most drivers move first on an assumption the way is clear.

Maybe the cyclist was ahead on the left before the motorist moved to the left and the driver overtook the cyclist. Wouldn't be the first time.

Maybe the cyclist tried to squeeze through a tight spot using the MV as a block to make his move to the left and misjudged the movement of the MV.

What's the lesson here? Cyclists (and motorists) need space to buffer mistakes. Trouble is, often that space isn't always there. Sometimes we can create space. Other times, it's hard to do.

Last edited by closetbiker; 02-05-09 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:11 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't see anything in the police report or reporting that favors the victim, if anything, both appear to be tilted in favor of the driver. Sad, but not surprising.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:15 AM
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My condolences to the cyclists family..He sounds like a bright fellow who was into his family higher learning and cycling. The accident report seems to be slanted in the drivers favor.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:33 PM
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I feel so sorry for this young man and his family. Its just awful he was in the prime of his life . Cyclist always get the blame some how .I was hit last yr in June the driver ran a stop sighn hit me and took off . I was able to get a plate number he turned himself in BUT did NOT receive any tickets even for leaving the scene . Were treated like second class citizens .Thou his Insurance company paid my bills .

I feel just awful about this young man and don't even know him But being a fellow cyclist I feel a connection as a lot of us Iam sure do .
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Old 02-05-09, 01:34 PM
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He's a racer and he was passing the vehicles on the left in the "suicide lane" poor decision on his part. My condolences to his girls and family.
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Old 02-05-09, 01:42 PM
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You know as cyclist we should be careful to presume that the car is always at fault. That is no worse than cars presuming a bike is always at fault. From everything I have read he decide to pass a line of cars on the left in the center turn lanes, which I said above was a poor decision(and illegal) and he paid for it.
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Old 02-05-09, 04:14 PM
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According to the blog, which even has witness statements on it, it looks like the cyclist timed the light and went through in the bike lane before cars could get going. That he was to the left of cars might be cars turning right at the intersection. From at least one witness, it sounds like the van turned toward the left to make a U-turn. At least one witness makes it sound like the van turned out from the curb. If the cyclist was in the bike lane, this would account for him trying to pass the van on the left in the bike lane. When the van started to leave the curb, the cyclist could have thought the van was coming out into the southbound lane and tried to avoid it by going by on the left. If the van kept making a U-turn, this would explain why the cyclist laid his bike down before he hit. From witness statements, it's hard to tell if the van was waiting at the light, or beyond the light at the curb waiting to make a U-turn.
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Old 02-05-09, 05:13 PM
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According to the paper he was riding on the left side of the cars and the van was making a left turn into a business. If he was in the bike lane, and the car was traveling in the same direction, then making a left turn would not of been a problem. Read the news not a blog!

This has been very tragic, but most of the bike community here has recognized what it is. Poor decision on the part of the rider, which lead to tragic consequences
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Old 02-05-09, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ngateguy View Post
Read the news not a blog!
I am not sure the news has the whole story or has it right... I have seen other news stories that really botched the facts... from stuff as simple as getting the street name wrong to totally blowing the story.

I personally was once accused by a cop of being the cause of a chain reaction auto collision... but the other witnesses backed up my story and corrected the cop.

Cops and reporters are just putting 1+1 together the best way they know how, not always with all the facts and not always with the right assumptions.

This doesn't mean that the blog is right either... but just don't assume that the news "always has it right."
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Old 02-05-09, 05:54 PM
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If you read the blog carefully it says the driver and cyclist were both traveling in the SAME direction. . All the reports state that. Now lets look at the facts, this is a two lane road with a turn lane in between. The driver of the vehicle was making a left turn that is when she struck the cyclist. that means he had to be traveling in the turn lane. (I ride this road regularly).

here is more on it https://www.bikeforums.net/pacific-northwest/508414-cyclist-killed-morning-ballard.html

One of the reasons I stopped hanging out here in Advocacy is the tendency to presume that the cyclist is always in the right. They are not and as I stated before that is just as bad as car drivers who presume the bike is always in the wrong.

Let us mourn this mans death, pray for his girls and family. And learn from his mistake!
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Old 02-05-09, 06:27 PM
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Cyclists are not "always right." However, skilled, experienced cyclists do tend to do the right things... as learned by experience.

Drivers are not always wrong. However, drivers often do not see cyclists, and drivers may do things that are not right when they assume they are alone on a particular patch of road.

In this case, apparently only the driver knows for sure.
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Old 02-05-09, 06:29 PM
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Seems the police report is way off. From the witnesses on the blog, it sounds more like the cyclist passed right turning vehicles (on their left side - lane splitting) in a marked shared lane and continued through the intersection right as the light turned green, then entered the bike lane on the other side of the intersection. The van was stopped to the right of the bike lane at a bus stop. The van pulled out of the bus stop making a U-turn and the cyclist tried to avoid the van by moving left. A U-turn like that had to be illegal. The position of the van in the photos, supports that the van was attempting a U-turn. It is likely the cyclist thought the van was just pulling out into the through lane and, without time to stop, he tried to move left to avoid a collision, but got screwed as the van continued turning left with a U-turn.
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Old 02-05-09, 06:37 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ngateguy View Post
If you read the blog carefully it says the driver and cyclist were both traveling in the SAME direction. . All the reports state that. Now lets look at the facts, this is a two lane road with a turn lane in between. The driver of the vehicle was making a left turn that is when she struck the cyclist. that means he had to be traveling in the turn lane. (I ride this road regularly).
I think it's clear from the direction of travel of the van that it was making a u-turn. It is also clear from the position of the van that the u-turn started in the travel lane or further right than the travel lane. Unless you believe that the van driver is an experienced stunt driver and she managed to slide the van around in such a short distance. If the van driver was making a left turn, there is no reason for the van to end up heading north, in a position north of the intersection where she supposedly was turning. If you look at the street view I posted, there is no driveway for the business that she was going to. "left turn" is thus a euphemism for illegal u-turn.

I'm not saying that the cyclist didn't have some participation in this problem. It seems he was going too fast to react properly. I do believe that he was forced to the left. Eyewitnesses may not understand that he was being forced to his left, and think that he decided to be there.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-05-09 at 06:42 PM.
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