Archive for the 'pedestrian collision' Category

Seattle Roadway Death Dashboard

This dashboard provides a visualization of 299 roadway fatalities that occurred in Seattle from 2002-2011.


UW Police car hits pedestrians

Early Saturday morning, the driver of an unmarked University of Washington police car struck another vehicle passing through the intersection and then struck two pedestrians.

News reports do not mention who had the right of way, only that the other driver did not show signs of impairment. Since the police car was unmarked, it is also not apparent whether the driver was using emergency lights or a siren.

The two pedestrians were rushed to Harborview, but did not have life-threatening injuries.


Drunk driver gets less than 3 years in prison for hitting 5 people

A woman who was driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 3 times the legal limit, who ran over five pedestrians, has been sentenced to 29 months in prison.

Wright, 43, pleaded guilty earlier this month to three counts of vehicular assault and one count of reckless driving in connection with the accident that sent four people to the hospital. One victim, a 28-year-old woman, suffered a brain injury that required doctors to remove a portion of her skull, according to charging paperwork.

The sentence imposed Friday by King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Heller was at the high end of the sentencing range, according to the King County prosecutor’s website.

I dunno what to say.


Pedestrian fatality in Rainier Valley

A pedestrian was struck and killed in the Rainier Valley this morning. It appears that a woman in her late 70s was crossing against the signal and was struck by a vehicle and died at the hospital.


10 year sentence for driver who struck and killed pedestrian

From the Times:

A 34-year-old sex offender with a lengthy rap sheet was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison Friday for running over and killing a 91-year-old Capitol Hill woman last year.

Shipp’s blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit, after the crash, according to police. Shipp, police said, denied being drunk, saying he had taken a 500-milligram Vicodin pill several hours earlier.

[Judge] Yu told Shipp his two-page criminal history persuaded her to hand down a harsh sentence. The judge questioned whether Shipp ever had learned a lesson from time he previously spent behind bars.

It’s unlikely the sentence would have been nearly as severe if the negligent driver were not a repeat offender. Currently, a vulnerable users bill is being considered in committees in the state congress, which would increase penalties for vehicular negligence. Seattle Bike Blog has a good write-up of the status of HB 1339 and SB 5326.


Comments on pedestrian rights and responsibilities

A driver struck a pedestrian on Yesler a few days ago. The pedestrian did not have life-threatening injuries. However, the more interesting part of this is the many general comments on pedestrians rights at Central District News. A few excerpts below.

From gds:

I hope that the City takes this as an opportunity to do something about the cars that fly down Yesler in total disregard of the pedestrians trying to cross the street. I’ve almost been hit a few times, and seen it happen to others. While the crosswalk at 20th helps, I think we need a better solution.

From David:

I’m a responsible driver and I follow the rules. I’d like to think I’m doing my part to keep the road safe. For sake of argument, please allow me to place you in the shoes of the type of pedestrian against which I raise my complaint.

How are you treating me by imposing your will on me as a driver when you disregard the rules? How are you treating me when you willfully create a stressful and terrifying situation by jumping out in front of my car? I’d argue, you’re not treating me very well at all, all for the sake of saving yourself 30-60 seconds.

From LizWas:

people walking against a light at an intersection are still jaywalking and being irresponsible and unsafe. it’s so irritating! on the flip side, i work downtown and see cars running red lights daily. i have almost been hit numerous times. thankfully a more watchful pedestrian has pulled me back or called to get my attention when someone was running a red light. ridiculous. they’re (literally) going to kill someone.

I think all the east/west roads Union, Yesler, Jackson, specifically have become increasing dangerous. It’s the drivers and sure, sometimes it’s the pedestrians, aren’t paying attention .. and people drive very, very fast and many don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and also at corners. It is a huge problem for those of us who walk as well as those of us who drive as it forces pedestrians to foist themselves out into traffic. The city needs to address this in an aggressive way.

From Dennis:

I walk my dog every morning when people are going to work. I cross Jackson and Yesler at 30th and 29th. It is very rare for cars to stop for me when I am clearly waiting to cross at the intersection.

I have mixed feelings about this. If it’s pouring and cold, it can mke me a bit crabby. But if a line of cars going uphill stop for me, they all burn extra gas as they resume movement. My dog and I, standing on the corner, do not have much of a carbon footprint! So what’s better?

From mommywhowalksAND drives:

The law is pretty simple for the driver… stop for pedestrians…. in MARKED & UNMARKED crosswalks. Not if you feel like. Or if you are not in a hurry. STOP. For pedestrians in crosswalks.

My sister & her husband in Beaverton OR BOTH got ticketed in a “failure to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks STING” and gladly took the tickets and the lesson.

Seattle PD could seriously raise awareness with periodic emphasis patrols and ticketing @ most dangerous intersections.

Comment from C:

I drive from MLK and Yesler to 6th and Yesler twice a day most days, and 4 times a day on Thursdays and Fridays. I have done this for 15 years. I echo what David said so well, “I’ve been exposed to a Seattle culture that seems assume that if you’re on foot or on a bicycle, heaven forbid if a law or ordinance should ever apply to you. I don’t think it contributes well to mutual safety for any of us.” If someone is standing at a corner waiting to cross, I stop, no matter what. This is because my brother was hit crossing the street 20 years ago, suffered a brain injury, and made me acutely aware of how breakable the human body is. I’m careful. I don’t want to hit anyone with my car. But the jaywalkers and bikers give me heart palpitations. FREQUENTLY as I near the library, jaywalkers – mostly young people. As I pass the old folks’ home, jaywalkers – mostly ladies in ethnic garb jaywalking after seeing their kids off on the bus. When I get to projects, jaywalkers – mostly elderly ladies (one who was hit by a car recently), and kids. At the Yesler overpass, jaywalkers galore – many of them employees from Harborview parking on the overpass then jaywalking across it. And all the way down Yesler there are bicyclists don’t obey traffic laws at all! They’re on the wrong side of the road, at night, wearing all black, or going against the light, weaving in and out. It’s like a human obstacle course. I agree with David that there is a bizarre culture of “I’m not in a car, I dare you to run me over.” It’s insane.

More here.


Two pedestrian collisions over the weekend

SPD Blotter reports on two pedestrian collisions over the weekend. At Boylston Avenue and Pine Street, a woman was struck in a marked crosswalk. The victim was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. The driver attempted to flee, but was caught by police and booked for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The second accident was on Denny Way near 1st Ave, as a man was struck when crossing mid-block. In this case, the driver doesn’t appear to have been at fault. The pedestrian sustained serious head injuries and was taken to Harborview.


Driver kills pedestrian after failing to yield

There’s been a rash of bad news to report lately. We’re a little late to report this, but a Belltown resident was struck and killed at 2nd and Bell during the last week of December. A 48-year-old woman was walking with the signal when a car failed to yield and struck her. The woman died the next day. From the Times article:

In a safety meeting this week, Noel House clients said the corner has been a longtime safety threat, [program director for Noel House Eileen] McComb said in a message to City Councilman Tim Burgess.

The corner is tree-shaded and a magnet for petty criminals, though McComb said conditions have improved lately. There is busy pedestrian traffic because of a minimart, on-street parking and nightlife.

“There’s a lot of visual noise with restaurants and activities going on,” McComb said. “I sense that people driving through, who may not be familiar with that area, don’t understand how dense the population is.”

A $2.5 million city project is planned this summer to transform four blocks of Bell Street into a parklike mini-boulevard, with lights, play structures, plants and wider sidewalks. Meanwhile, Burgess said he’s asked city transportation Director Peter Hahn to look at immediate safety and lighting improvements. Council members Nick Licata and Sally Bagshaw, with utility and police officials, also have shown interest, McComb said.

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Driver who struck pedestrians at Pike Place Market pleads not guilty

The driver who struck three pedestrians at Pike Place Market while under the influence has pleaded not guilty:

SEATTLE – The man who hit three pedestrians at the Pike Place Market last month has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Published reports say 39-year-old Travis Lipski pleaded not guilty to two counts of vehicular assault.

Lipski admitted that he’d smoked synthetic marijuana just before he drove toward a couple on the sidewalk, clipping the woman and then hitting her husband. He then hit a second woman, pinning her against a truck.


Person hit by light rail committed suicide

From the Seattle Times (hat tip Seattle Transit Blog)

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says a 49-year-old man who died after he was struck by a Link light-rail train in Seattle’s Industrial District on Thursday committed suicide.

This is the second suicide-by-rail since the opening of Link, and according to the comments at Seattle Transit Blog, near misses with light rail aren’t uncommon.