January 31, 2008

Two bills related to drunken driving set to be presented today

All first-time drunken-driving offenders must install an alcohol-detecting interlock device in their cars in order to can get their licenses back, under Washington State Auto law.

But, State Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, wants to change that laws, because offenders often drive illegally for months or even a year or more without a valid license or the device, and that goes into effect only when drunken-driving offenders reapply for licenses.

He has proposed a bill in the Legislature that would create a "provisional" license that would have the locks installed soon after someone is arrested.

Goodman says that while 25% of drunken drivers get their licenses suspended, 75 percent drive anyway and many never get caught.

This bill is modeled after a law in New Mexico. "We want to create this new driver's license that allows them to drive only if you put an interlock on your car," Goodman said.

The ignition-interlock bill is a major drunken-driving proposal before the Legislature this year. But it is not the only one. The other, which is more controversial, is a bill sponsored by Rep. Patricia Lantz, D-Gig Harbor, and endorsed by Gov. Christine Gregoire. It would authorize police to set up sobriety spot checks. This is a practice that hasn’t been seen in Washington since it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1988.

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January 28, 2008

Hit and run leaves Kingston man dead.

A man was found dead near the Kingston ferry landing on a dark rural road. Though no vehicle was in sight, he was surrounded by broken glass.

The man is believed to be 85 years old and a resident of the area. He was apparently out for a walk when the pedestrian accident happened, at approximately 6pm.

"Initial evidence indicates that the individual was struck by a motor vehicle and the motor vehicle is no longer on scene, neither is the driver," said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.

"I saw a car slamming on their brakes, and headlights, and a screeching like they couldn't stop," a witness described.

"I heard like a thump, like something got hit, and I heard screeching" said another witness. "I saw it pull into a driveway, turn around and then look at what it hit, and then speed off," he said.

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January 27, 2008

Head-on crash on Kent-area highway results in death

According to the Washington State patrol, a head-on auto accident collision this morning on Benson Highway near Kent resulted in the death of a Seattle man.

Trooper Jeff Merrill reported that the Washington auto accident happened in the 23400 block of State Route 515 in South King County. At about 8:30 a.m. today, a car crossed the center line and hit a pickup traveling the opposite direction.

The driver of the car went through the windshield and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the pickup, as well as her passenger, were both taken to an area hospital with neck and back injuries, said Merrill.

A dog that was riding in the car was also critically injured and taken to a local veterinary hospital for surgery, he said.

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January 24, 2008

Collision between street racer and truck on Highway 167

On Monday night, a 22-year-old Kent man was taken to the hospital after crashing into a truck while street racing at extremely high speeds along Washington Highway 167. According to the state patrol, the injuries suffered in the Washington Auto Accident were life threatening.

The injured driver was racing another car southbound on the highway near South 180th Street. State patrol spokesman Cliff Pratt said a 911 caller told dispatchers that the two cars were racing as fast as 120 mph.

The driver struck a DOT truck in an HOV lane that was closed for construction. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center with skull fractures, said Pratt. The DOT worker in the truck was not injured, he said.

According to reports by King5.com, the driver of the other vehicle, a 19-year-old also from Kent, was booked into King County Jail. He is being investigated on vehicular assault charges.

If you are seriously injured in a Washington automobile accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.


January 17, 2008

Storm Drains Pose Danger to Cyclists

A cyclist who was injured in a Seattle bicycling accident near the Washington Park Arboretum claims he knows what caused the 2004 crash: his bike tire got stuck in a drainage grate with slots parallel to the roadway.

According to an estimate by Seattle Public Utilities officials, there are between 70,000 and 80,000 grates throughout the city. Some have vertical slots. Others, including all replacements, have designs that make it unlikely bike tires can get stuck.

But because SPU employees don't know the locations of the grates with wide parallel slots, and they don't have a precise timetable to repair them, some cyclists are demanding action.

"We're trying to figure out the most economical way of combining a street drain inventory with our existing work plans for this summer," said SPU spokesman Andy Ryan last week. "We want people to be safe."

But, said Ryan, a replacement plan needs to keep ratepayers in mind.

A new grate costs about $500, and "that doesn't include labor costs or additional costs if drain work is needed," he said.

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January 8, 2008

Passing train hits Stanwood man

On Monday, a man who was crossing railroad tracks near downtown Stanwood was hit by a fast-moving train.

Just before 9:30a.m., an Amtrak train struck the man. He suffered life-threatening injuries in the Seattle Pedestrian Accident and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by helicopter. No update of his condition was available.

According to witnesses, the man ducked under the railroad crossing arms as the train approached near the 8600 block of 271st Street NW. Stanwood Police Chief David Bales said that the man tried to run across the tracks and out of the way,

"We actually see this frequently when people are hit by trains," Bales said. "They're looking at them head-on and don't realize how fast the train is going. They often underestimate the speed of the trains."

Amtrak trains generally are travelling more than 50 mph when they come through town, Bales said. It was unknown how fast the train was moving Monday. Pedestrians and motorists should never walk or drive around lowered railroad crossing arms, Bales said

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January 8, 2008

Driver arrested in fatal wrong way car accident

A man from Federal Way was arrested early Sunday after driving the wrong way on SR 18 east of the Auburn Black Diamond Road, hitting another vehicle head-on, and killing the driver involved in the Washington Auto Accident.

According to Washington State Patrol troopers, the man was driving a Honda Accord eastbound in the westbound lanes at about 4:38 a.m. When he crossed the Green River Bridge, he hit a Honda Civic, which was traveling westbound.

The driver of the Civic, a 25 year old Federal Way woman, died at the scene.

Alcohol, say troopers, was a factor in the Seattle Auto Accident.

"Unfortunately, it's all too common. The causing drivers, the impaired drivers tend to be the ones that don't get injured very often and the victims, minding their business, doing what they're supposed to be, end up getting seriously injured or killed," said Trooper Jeff Merrill.

The driver of the Accord was not injured. However, he was arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide and booked into the King County jail.

If you are seriously injured in a Washington automobile accident, or someone you know is injured or possibly even killed, call the personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.

January 4, 2008

Tulalip Teen Injured in Rollover Accident

Late Tuesday night, a Tulalip girl was seriously injured in a rollover automobile accident, police said.

According to Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover, the 15-year-old girl was a passenger in an SUV that rolled over and smashed into a pole at about 11:30 p.m. in the 11200 block of Quil Ceda Boulevard.

The girl was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with head and foot injuries, said Hover. According to Susan Gregg-Hanson, a Harborview spokeswoman, she was in satisfactory condition by Wednesday.

Neither the driver, 17, nor the 18 year old passenger in the back seat were seriously injured. Both are also from Tulalip, Hover said.

Detectives are investigating speed as a factor in the Washington SUV Accident, she said.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a Washington automobile accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Bernard Law Group, 1-800-418-8282. We can help you immediately. All e-mail and form submissions will be responded to by a qualified and knowledgeable member of our firm within 24 hours. Call our toll-free number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we promise to respond immediately.