Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

A recent article reported that a 6-year-old boy from Hoquiam was hit by a car on Halloween night and suffered leg and head injuries. It was noted that his condition was considered satisfactory on the morning of November 2, 2009. Although, sadly, this young child was hurt, he is lucky that he did not suffer more catastrophic injuries, which is unfortunately what usually occurs when vulnerably exposed pedestrians are struck by automobiles.

Apparently, while the State Patrol collision report stated that the young boy “darted out between cars” while crossing the street, the man accompanying the boy for trick-or-treating claims that the child did not jump into the road amidst traffic. When there are conflicting stories in auto accident and pedestrian accident incidents, law enforcement often turns to witnesses, as was the case in this particular situation. Based on the interviews witnesses provided regarding this pedestrian accident, law enforcement is currently standing by the claim that the driver was not at fault.

Although this particular accident was determined to have been caused by pedestrian inattention, some form of driver inattention may have also played a contributing role considering that many pedestrian accidents in Washington are caused by negligent motorists.
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On the morning of November 19th there was a two-vehicle versus pedestrian collision near Renton Avenue South and 62nd Avenue South. A white pickup truck, driven by a 43-year-old male, was towing a black car. The car was being driven by a 45-year-old male, using a nylon rope as a tow cable. The two vehicles were traveling southeast on Renton Avenue South approaching 62nd Avenue South. At the same time, in an unmarked crosswalk, a 44-year-old male pedestrian was crossing 62nd Avenue South.

According to preliminary investigations, the driver of the truck made a right turn onto 62nd Avenue South. The car being towed did not make the turn and continued going straight. The pedestrian’s legs got caught on the towing rope, which caused him to lose his footing. The pedestrian then fell to the ground, and struck his head on the pavement.

The victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries by SFD Medics who responded to the scene.
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A 22-year-old former Richland High School swimmer was hit by a car while crossing a Seattle street Wednesday night. It was reported that she sustained a serious head injury in the accident. She was in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center. The driver of the car was a 20-year-old man.

The 22-year-old was a swim champion, and was the first swimmer to make it onto the high school’s Wall of Fame, said her prior swim coach.

“She was an amazing athlete,” the coach said. “She was an extremely outgoing girl who loved life, every minute of it.”

Our hearts certainly go out to this woman’s family and friends during this difficult time.
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A 51-year-old Seattle man, who remains unidentified, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a pedestrian accident. He sustained life-threatening injuries.

The Seattle Times reported that the unidentified man was walking on the shoulder of an Interstate 5 ramp when he was hit by a car. Although the driver of the car drove away, a Bremerton man called 911, described the vehicle and followed it until Washington State Patrol troopers apprehended the driver, a 45-year-old woman, who was arrested for driving under the influence and felony hit-and-run.
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Much debate has circulated around the use of camera vans and the effectiveness of fixed camera installation to help prevent speeding in school zones. Lakewood school zones in particular have had camera vans in position to catch such speeders. However, according to a report from thenewstribune.com, these roving vans should be removed within two to three weeks due to an amended contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. Lakewood’s city council voted 3-2 to install fixed cameras near Park Lodge Elementary and Lochburn Middle School, in addition to having uniformed officers periodically patrol the school zones.

The main argument residents seem to make in regard to speeding cameras and the tickets that result is that the cameras are error-prone and the tickets are more difficult to challenge than those issued directly by an officer. In opposition to the amendment to install fixed cameras, a councilman referred to the process as a “disproportionate reaction, or solution, to a problem we don’t have.” Undoubtedly behind the councilman’s statement is the fact that officials have noted there hasn’t been a serious pedestrian-auto accident in a school zone in Lakewood’s 13-year history. However, in argument against the councilman’s stance, perhaps the reason for this is the very existence of the cameras.

Pertaining to the complaints of residents that the cameras are inaccurate in “capturing” speeders, local Police Chief stated, “Technology has bugs, and we will try our best to work them out”.
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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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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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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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According to the San Juan County sheriff’s office, a 15-year-old was driving a speeding car that hit a group of bicycle riders and a jogger. The jogger was killed, and a 7-year-old girl was badly injured.

Sheriff Bill Cumming said that the driver and a 17-year-old passenger had been doing some work on a 1974 Chevrolet Nova. On Sunday afternoon, they took it out for a drive on Lopez Island.

The teenage driver lost control of the vehicle and hit the pedestrians and a group of bicyclists at about 2:40 p.m. on Lopez Sound Road. A 26-year-old jogger from Abbotsford, British Columbia died at the scene of the car crash in Washington.

The 7-year-old girl who was on the bicycle had severe injuries and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
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The website king5.com reported in an article on April 14, 2009 that the family of fifteen year old Haley Salvador wants to alert people, especially teens, not to cross Interstate 5. According to reports, Salvador had taken the shortcut countless times but the last time would prove to be a deadly one.

Niky Griffin and Daniel Leatherman accompanied their good friend Salvador the night of the dreadful pedestrian accident in Washington. They say that they went across the first time safely but on the way back Salvador took the wrong shortcut and actually cut across I-5 instead of going up the on ramp.

Griffin said, “You have to make sure cars aren’t going too fast that they could hit you. She didn’t go up the onramp. She went down it and across the freeway, which she wasn’t supposed to do. I don’t know why she went that way.”

Salvador is not the first to cross the I-5 at this juncture and will most likely not be the last. According to teens, the shortcut lessens their trip to Everett Mall by 20 minutes. With no pedestrian bridge, the shortcut entices teens to the point that they overlook their safety in order to avoid taking the long way.

Daniel Letherman said, “I live right across the freeway… and this is the fastest way unless you go all the way around. There’s no other way to get to the mall.”

Brandon Lee, Washington State Patrol said, “Running across four to five lanes, on-off ramps, it’s just not safe, especially at night, it’s really deceiving how fast people are going”.
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