September 30, 2009

Seattle Motorcycle Collision Kills Man, Injures Another

The investigation continues into the cause of a serious motorcycle accident in Seattle that took the life of one man and left another motorcyclist in critical condition with severe injuries. Seattle Police reported that even though there is no indication that the two motorcycles hit each other, they were both involved in the accident that occurred at around 2 a.m. in downtown Seattle. The man who was killed has been identified and was 36-years-old.

The two men in this incident were members of the “Drama Boyz” motorcycle club, its headquarters located in very close proximity to the scene of the crash. The two crash victims were on their way to the club at the time of the accident, its cause unknown at this time. According to an article from nwcn.com, the debris field stretched over two city blocks. It is speculated that high speeds may have played a determining factor in the accident.

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience and provide a person with a more gas-conservative means of transportation; however, it’s no secret that motorcyclists are more exposed to the many threats that a collision poses. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2007 motorcycle report, there were 5,154 motorcycle fatalities. The report also stated that helmets saved an estimated 1,784 lives in 2007 in which 800 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn their helmets.

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September 29, 2009

Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Kirk Bernard

September 28, 2009

Two Injured and Hospitalized after Sound Transit Collision

Saturday afternoon, two people went to Harborview Medical Center after their car hit a Sound Transit train. The collision happened at Martin Luther King Junior Way South and South Kenyon Street.

Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Dana Vander Houwen said that their injuries were not life-threatening. The auto accident in Washington happened at about 3:20 p.m.

Vander Houwen also reported that no train passengers were injured. Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said officers conducted traffic control after the collision, but did not have additional details about the incident.

According to Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray, the car was going southbound in Martin Luther King and made an illegal left turn on Kenyon. The train had front end damage and service was disrupted for about 30 minutes and passengers were taken by bus to the Rainier Beach station.

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September 23, 2009

Yakima County Car Wreck Injures 7, Kills 3

On the afternoon of Sunday, August 2, 2009, a serious car accident took place in Washington, killing three men, all identified as brothers from Yakima. According to a kings5.com report, the three brothers were riding in a Jeep Wrangler, which swung into oncoming traffic and ran into a Ford Expedition that had a boat in tow. Seven others suffered injuries in the crash and were taken to local area hospitals to be treated. According to Washington State Patrol, the driver of the Jeep was 21-years-old, his two sibling passengers ages 15 and 11.

There could be any number of reasons why this tragic accident occurred; however it is not known at this time why the Jeep drove into oncoming traffic. Regardless, life was lost, grief is now undoubtedly being felt by many, and pain and injury are the nagging remnants of reckless driving gone awry. The aftermath of an auto accident in Seattle or anywhere in the state of Washington can create unimaginable challenges for an individual and his or her family to overcome. Far too often, a passenger or driver must endure catastrophic injuries such as spinal injury, brain injury, or severe burns. No one ever expects that they will be injured in an auto accident or that a loved one will be lost due to the negligence of another driver, but it unfortunately does happen on a regular basis.

The Washington State Department of Transportation continues to implement new ways to improve the safety of our roads and to decrease congestion. According to WSDT, the number of traffic fatalities in the state of Washington is among the lowest in the nation. However, such a number could always be lower, and certainly does not mean that preventative measures seeking to improve Washington roads and highways should at all decrease or be called off.

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September 16, 2009

Alleged Hit and Run Driver Hits Bus, 5 Injured

An alleged hit and run driver, fleeing the scene of one accident, slammed head-on into a Clallam County transit bus. The bus then hit another car. Five people are recovering from injuries suffered when the collision occurred.

The accident took place just before 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, on US Highway 101 near State Route112, west of Port Angeles. According to the Washington State Patrol, a 30-year-old man from California who was driving a pickup truck with a camper shell, had allegedly side swiped an SUV on Euclid Avenue near State Route 117 in Port Angeles and was fleeing that scene.

"The pickup truck that had a camper in its' bed was involved in a minor hit and run collision about a mile and a half, two miles back," said Trooper John Ryan. "The pickup truck continued westbound on 101 eventually crossing over the center line here where it hit head-on with a Clallam County Transit bus."

A small car was pushed off the road after the bus was forced to the right. Both the small car and the bus ended up in a ditch. The California man’s pickup truck rolled over, trapping him inside. The 30-year-old suffered a serious leg injury and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being removed from the wreckage.

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September 16, 2009

Making Seattle's Roads Safer: Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program

On August 12, 2009, Seattle’s Department of Transportation announced its intent to increase safety in the Ballard Community by implementing a two-phase plan to impede speeding. In order to steer drivers in the right direction towards increasing safety, the program will focus on making motorists driving through neighborhoods aware of how fast they are driving. Representatives from the Department of Transportation stated that the program is aiming to fulfill neighborhood concerns regarding ways to ease traffic volumes and decrease the amount of cut-through traffic, as well as hinder traffic speeds in the process. In fact, it has been reported that a radar gun will supposedly be lent to residents that would like to measure and report the speed of drivers on their street so that they can play an active role in the department’s efforts.

The program’s Phase 1 measures include speed watch trailers, Neighborhood Speed Watch signs, Seattle Police Department enforcement requests, painted intersections, parking management measures, and yard-placed signs advocating driver awareness to reduce speeds. If these tools turn out to be ineffective at reducing speeds on residential streets, physical traffic calming devices such as speed humps, movable barriers, and traffic circles are likely to be installed as part of Phase 2.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s 2005 Highway Collision Data Summary, speeding is consistently the number one contributing circumstance for auto accidents throughout all the regions of the state. When someone causes an auto collision because he or she was speeding, that person is responsible for committing a negligent and careless act in which he or she may be held financially accountable for the costs associated with another person’s injuries or property damage. Speeding accidents are one of the most preventable types of car accidents, and programs such as the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program will hopefully remind drivers about how serious operating a motor vehicle truly is in order to create safer Washington communities.

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September 15, 2009

Mount Vernon Multi-Vehicle Accident Kills 1, Injures 4

Friday night on State Route 9 in Mount Vernon, a 60-year-old Mount Vernon motorcyclist was killed and four other people were injured in a multi-vehicle accident.

Seattle's KOMO news.com reported that the motorcyclist was heading north on SR 9 when he crossed the center line and collided head on with a Honda CRS that was heading south. The Honda then crossed the median and hit a northbound Hyundai.

The 53 year old woman who was driving the Honda was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the Hyundai, who sustained minor injuries, was treated at the accident scene. Two passengers in the Hyundai were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

The accident is being investigated by police.

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September 9, 2009

Truck's Brakes Give Out on Seattle Street

A runaway dump truck hauling shards of broken concrete took motorists traveling down Madison Street, including the truck’s driver, by surprise when it crashed into a strip mall. However, the incident could have resulted in serious injury to a large number of people had the truck driver not intentionally crashed into a nearby building, thus bringing his vehicle to a halt and avoiding further reckless travel down the street. The truck did hit three cars in the process though, only one of which included a motorist that required medical attention. The dump truck driver was not injured.

According to the seattletimes.nwsource.com report, one man whose driver’s side of his car was clipped by the truck said that he saw the truck coming toward him at a high speed when he looked in his rear-view mirror. The man stated, “I could have been killed…it was unbelievable.”

Trucks serve multiple purposes and are required to dispose of waste and also transport commodities that our communities rely heavily on. Although we need trucks of all kinds to function on a daily basis, due to their great size and heavy loads, trucks can pose many dangers and hazards to other drivers on the road. Truck maintenance requires acute attention and, although it is not known at this time why the truck’s brakes failed in the above incident, defective auto parts are capable of causing serious truck accidents in Seattle that can result in catastrophic injuries.

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September 3, 2009

Seattle Traffic Law Denied Relating to Bicyclists' Death

A recent article from seattletimes.nwsource.com discusses the recent conclusion that a Seattle ordinance created in 2005 that criminalizes certain traffic violations resulting in injury or death of an individual is in fact invalid due to its conflict with state law. Specifically in question is whether or not failing to yield the right-of-way is a violation in which a person could be held criminally responsible for. That is, the article mentions a man that failed to yield the right of way to a bicyclist. The bicyclist was consequently struck by the man’s vehicle, and died from brain injury sustained during the crash. The driver of the vehicle, having a previously unblemished driving record, was at first not prosecuted, then was charged with misdemeanor assault based on local city ordinance, and then eventually had the charges dropped once the ordinance’s inconsistency with state law was realized, ultimately deeming the man’s charges as being unenforceable and, therefore, reversed.

There are 60 traffic-related crimes in Washington in which vehicular homicide and assault, racing, reckless endangerment of roadway workers, and driving while intoxicated are included. Failing to yield the right-of-way is not a criminal traffic offense. It goes without saying that this realization represents both relief and anger to citizens. On the one hand, some believe that negligent drivers that cause imposing catastrophic injuries, especially those that take another person’s life, should not only be held civilly responsible for their actions, but criminally responsible as well, even if their actions result from failing to yield the right-of-way. On the other hand, criminal charges are extremely serious, and some feel that the harsh consequences are too intense for a person, one that has already made a mistake and is now forced to have to live with the results of reckless, negligent driving, to have to endure.

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September 2, 2009

Accident on Washington State Highway 2 Leaves Woman Injured

Early Thursday morning, a Ferndale woman was left in critical condition after a pickup truck struck her on Highway 2 near Gold Bar. The woman was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The 49-year-old woman was taken to Harborview by ambulance after suffering leg and chest injuries in the accident, said Trooper Keith Leary of the Washington State Patrol.

At about 4:40 am, the woman was crossing an eastbound lane of traffic west of Gold Bar near the highway’s intersection with Reiter Road. The truck, driven by a 19-year-old Sedro-Woolley man, struck her near the highway’s centerline, said Leary.

According to Leary, the man saw the woman and braked hard to avoid striking her, but she continued walking in front of the truck. Troopers believe the pedestrian may have been drinking alcohol before she was struck, as she had a strong odor of intoxicants on her breath, Leary said.

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September 1, 2009

Seattle Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident Kills Man

On June 24, 2009, a Seattle man was killed in a pedestrian accident suspected to have been caused by a light-shaded bus that left the scene of the incident without offering assistance. Police are in search of any information from the public regarding the details of the tragic hit-and-run crash in hopes of finding those responsible for the innocent man’s death. It is possible that the accident was recorded by a security camera on the east side of the Seattle Metropolitan Tower. In a recently released police statement, it was discussed that police officers have contacted building management in hopes of acquiring the footage and possibly identify the vehicle responsible for the accident.

If anyone within the downtown Seattle area has any information or recognizes a light-colored bus, which resembles a tour bus, with a dark stripe or dark tinted windows, please don’t hesitate to notify police at 1-800-222-TIPS with any information you may have that could help lead to finding to suspected accident vehicle.

Although it is unclear at this time what exactly caused the pedestrian accident in Seattle, it serves as an example of the immense devastation one moment of negligence can cause. Wrongful death cases such as these are especially difficult for families to endure because wrongful death incidents often leave those closest to the decedent feeling confused and without any sense of closure regarding the loss of their loved one.

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