Update: Child hit by car by Lafayette Elementary

September 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 92 Comments

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
3:48 PM: And another crash that’s being investigated right now – a 6-year-old boy is reported to have been hurt, apparently hit by a car, at California/Lander, the Lafayette Elementary/Admiral Safeway/Hiawatha intersection. That’s all we know – we have a crew on the way.

3:57 PM: Per scanner, the child will be taken to a hospital. More police are headed to the scene to help get information from witnesses.

This is also likely to affect traffic for a while, so avoid the area.

4:32 PM: Southbound California was closed at the scene at last report, and northbound was down to one lane, per WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand. Photo added – though we haven’t confirmed whether the child was riding the bicycle you see in the photo or walking with it. Still trying to find out his condition, too.

4:44 PM: From the scene, WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli reports that traffic is now open both ways. Police told him the investigation is ongoing and they have not determined if the driver will be cited – they did say the driver remained at the scene afterward.

5:21 PM: We just got the first official comment on the child’s condition, from police via Twitter – “minor injuries.” Police confirm he was on his bicycle and describe the driver as a teenage girl.

5:36 PM: And we have heard back from SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore, who says that while the boy was taken to Harborview as a precaution, he had no visible injuries, and was stable when transported. He was wearing his helmet; his mom was with him, Moore said, but was not hurt.

92 Comments

  1. Just drove by there. He was in the crosswalk, wearing a helmet, medical is loading him up. Hug your kids tightly tonight!

    Comment by Mom2.0 — 3:55 pm September 26, 2013 #

  2. Many prayers for that little boy!!

    Comment by Gabby — 4:01 pm September 26, 2013 #

  3. I was just there when it happened. The lady that hit him was 3 cars ahead of me making a left south bound. It was horrible! I was so shaken up by seeing it I pulled off to the side and sat till I was calm enough to drive. Really makes me think….. I’m a new mom and my 5 month old was in the car with me. I hope that little guy is OK!!!!! So glad he had a helmet on! There were so many children crossing and a crossing guard and this still happened!

    Comment by Nicole — 4:04 pm September 26, 2013 #

  4. Just got a call from my wife. She was behind the car who hit the boy. Our prayers go out to the families in the crosswalk. My wife was pretty shaken up seeing the mom over her son’s body under the car. The mom had another child in a stroller. the car nearly ran right over the kid on a bike into a kid in a stroller. WTF! She described hearing the impact not realizing there was a boy under the car until a few seconds after passing around the scene. Described the driver as a younger Somali lady on the phone. GDMFI@#$%! My wife drove a few blocks, pulled over overwhelmed and gave me a call. Praying everyone is ok.

    Comment by James — 4:09 pm September 26, 2013 #

  5. BRAVO to the child for wearing a helmet!

    And I hope he is not hurt badly and that they are just taking him in for observation.

    Comment by payrollgirl — 4:11 pm September 26, 2013 #

  6. Unbelievable and so tragically sad – My wife was picking up our boy and heard heard the child’s screams – needless to say she was more than upset. Way to go west Seattle drivers, you suck so unbelievably badly – this is so sad and so maddening – I posted Weds morn about the speeders around Gatewood, and now you’ve gone and run over a 6 year old kid. WSB this is why I emailed you to ask about getting involved in some kind of anti texting and driving campaign – it’s an epidemic and West Seattle is at the heart of it – you’re the heart of WS, so please, please help us. The sheer number of texting Moms driving giant SUVs in WSea is terrifying (yes, you statistically are the worst offenders 25 to 44 year old females with children – it’s true, I’m a mobile data statistician) second, the 16-19 year old males, I was one, and we are unequivocally poor and unsafe drivers, followed by same aged females. The posts on this blog alone, from inside cars during rush hour, are shameful. If you do it, just don’t, think about the kid who JUST GOT RUN OVER and slow down and put the phone the he!! away. If you use a phone while driving you may as well just drive around drunk too – it’s no worse than what you’re already doing (also proven in three independent studies). Edit – She was on the phone?!!!! I can’t, it’s just, I’m going to lose my mind – I hope she goes to jail, I hope her license is pulled for life, but I really just hope the kid is ok. Unreal.

    Comment by zark — 4:19 pm September 26, 2013 #

  7. I hope they lock her up and take away her license. This cell phone thing is OUTRAGEOUS and out of control. I was hit by a car 58 years ago and can still feel the shock and terror of that moment. That poor child. This enrages me.

    Comment by anonyme — 4:25 pm September 26, 2013 #

  8. Just drove past another crash at approx 38th and Myrtle involving postal vehicle. Drive safely and slow down!

    Comment by hammy — 4:33 pm September 26, 2013 #

  9. I was the second car in line facing the accident. I saw the impact (happened quickly) and the woman (somali? Female late 20s early 30s) who hit the child get out of her car. It was a terrible sight to see the child on the ground and the mother standing there. We all cleared the area as quickly as possible. I wish I had noticed more details to be helpful but am glad there were so many witnesses. Im also very shaken by the whole thing. I saw other people called 911 and pulled over out of the way. I am praying this family will be ok and that people try to drive with more caution in school zones.

    Comment by ali — 4:35 pm September 26, 2013 #

  10. Prayers for the child and his family. For the rest of us, put down the phone when driving.

    Comment by N Admiral — 4:36 pm September 26, 2013 #

  11. So scary and sad for this family. I live around the corner and the California/Lander crosswalks are regularly quite dangerous. For some reason, people turning left onto California often do not see pedestrians. I have had close calls several times with myself and children. I always make eye contact now to be sure they see me. I hope this little boy is going to be ok.

    Comment by Neighbor — 4:41 pm September 26, 2013 #

  12. I was almost mowed down in the crosswalk at California av & Edmund’s today. The man didnt even see me and i was already in the street when he decided he wanted to take a right turn. all he said was “oops”.. after i yelled HELLO….

    Comment by Becky — 4:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  13. This happened a few years ago too, same location. Sad. Something needs to be done!

    Comment by enough — 4:46 pm September 26, 2013 #

  14. Thinking of that little boy and his family as I snuggle my little boys extra tight!

    As a note: try driving with your phone just out of reach. It’s there for emergency or if you pull over, but too far to be a distraction!

    Comment by Rachel — 4:50 pm September 26, 2013 #

  15. Yes she was on her phone and not paying attention at all. Once she hit him she just kept plowing through for a couple more feet. Does anyone know his condition yet??????
    I was just saying to my boyfriend the other day how dangerous it is on Avalon with no crosswalks by Bradford st. People running across traffic to catch the c line or go to duos. Please do not pass the c line bus on the left and cross the double yellow. Just wait so no more people get hurt. Please everyone slow down! Please no texting or phone calls even with speaker phone. You are operating a multi ton vehicle! If you need to make a call please pull into a parking spot and get off the road!!!!

    Comment by Nicole — 4:57 pm September 26, 2013 #

  16. Per the WSB update at 4:44, police haven’t decided whether or not to cite the driver. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?????????? She should be in JAIL. Period. Do you have to kill someone to be cited for distracted driving? Running over a child in a crosswalk isn’t enough?! This is disgusting. I’m really sick to death of this hands-off approach (read, non-existent) to enforcement of the law. The only winners are the criminals. I would support a law that required an automatic night in jail for anyone caught talking on a cell phone while driving, with mandatory sentencing if there is a related injury-accident. ENOUGH.

    Comment by anonyme — 5:02 pm September 26, 2013 #

  17. @Zark,
    This is a tragic accident but do you really have to say that West Seattle drivers suck and that woman are the worst. Talking on the phone and texting while driving is an issue all over the US and not just West Seattle.
    I hope the child is ok and that they work on safty around the schools. Wouldn’t walk all ways be a great idea in the school zones, making all traffic stop in all directions!

    Comment by AN — 5:03 pm September 26, 2013 #

  18. I drove through that area about 10 minutes early as school was getting out. Some high school students were crowding the street and jay walking and I almost hit one of them. I do not text and drive or talk on the phone while I drive and I literally do not expect high school children to walk into the middle of the street while cars are moving. After I ran my errand I started back to that same intersection and saw the fire and police there. It somehow didn’t surprise me there was an accident. Flashing crosswalks would be great right at that section but the high school kids ignore them and would never use them anyway. Terribly sad this child was hit by that car. Just seems to me that section is very dangerous any way you look at it. And oh, before I forget, don’t use your phone while you drive. I totally agree about that.

    Comment by Linda — 5:03 pm September 26, 2013 #

  19. Enough- Yes, something needs to be done. These people need to stay off their damn phones that’s hooked to their ear while driving. I got cut off by one the other day, on the phone. Slammed on my brakes and my black lab went flying into the windshield . I hope she gets a very long sentence for this. My friend and her kids witnessed this and they’ll never forget it.
    I pray to God this boy makes it, he’s so little.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 5:05 pm September 26, 2013 #

  20. I was asked last night by my 14 year old daughter if she could ride her bicycle to school, which means from admiral area down to the Fauntleroy ferry. I said no, citing safety concerns. Which is hard to say since I ride 2000+ miles a year on my bicycle. This is horrible to hear. And my fear as a parent that my child might be hit by a driver. I hope the child makes a full recovery physically and mentally.

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 5:11 pm September 26, 2013 #

  21. A senseless and needless tragedy.
    -
    I really, really hope this lil’ kid is gonna’ be okay.
    -
    If you drive with a phone in your hand or next to your ear you are an idiot beyond comprehension, and deserve whatever ill befalls you.

    Comment by Del Martini — 5:20 pm September 26, 2013 #

  22. anonyme: The police were still conducting their investigation at the time they talked to the WSB. So they simply couldn’t say if the driver would be cited as they were still in the process of determining what happened. But they did say they would do what was appropriate when they had all of the information.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 5:23 pm September 26, 2013 #

  23. Guys, I’m sorry I haven’t been able to read as closely as it has been an intense few hours. Police say the driver was a teenage girl and that the boy’s injuries are minor. If you believe you saw how this happened, I hope that you have spoken to police, and if you have not, please try to contact them to make sure that what you saw is included in their report. Have added the new information to the story above, also will be adding a couple of photos.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:27 pm September 26, 2013 #

  24. I made a similar outraged comment the last time this happened and got put down for it. I hope this is a wake up call. This is atleast the 3rd accident involving a child since 2006 at this intersection!

    Comment by Todd — 5:31 pm September 26, 2013 #

  25. And we have just talked now to SFD, who says that there actually wasn’t any sign of injury on the boy but they transported him to the hospital just to check him out and be sure. Whew. His mom was with him at the time, apparently uninjured, SFD’s Kyle Moore says.

    Comment by WSB — 5:31 pm September 26, 2013 #

  26. Thanks, CJ. I’m a little wound up – can ‘ya tell?

    Comment by anonyme — 5:32 pm September 26, 2013 #

  27. My heart goes out to this family. Please God let this boy make a full recovery. I am a Lafayette parent and this is chilling. His poor mother must be beside herself.

    Comment by Lox — 5:33 pm September 26, 2013 #

  28. I was almost wiped out crossing the intersection at Avalon Way and Spokane street under the bridge. I was already out in the intersection with the walk sign when two vehicles (SUVs) made a mad dash to make a left turn in front of me. What is the big hurry people and is it worth it to possibly mow down a pedestrian?? I am so sorry for this little boy and the frightening ordeal he has endured and hope he will be well.

    Comment by Laura — 5:40 pm September 26, 2013 #

  29. @ AN
    No, I didn’t have to say West Seattle drivers stink, but we do, and I didn’t have to say that Women are the biggest offenders – but they are and it’s usually a shocker to most people that even Mom’s can’t put the phone down with kids in the car.
    If I got your attention, if it makes you crazy too, then mission accomplished.

    Sorry if you mistook my comment for misogyny; not my intention – there is no excuse though, and this incident does reinforce what I said. Just prove me wrong, don’t text/talk and drive, and encourage all the other responsible women like yourself to do the same. As we all know, Women run the show, if you guys make it unacceptable to behave this way us guys will follow suit (so will your sons and daughters). MADD sort of proved that nobody can outdo well organized Women.

    Comment by zark — 5:41 pm September 26, 2013 #

  30. Terrible. I’ve seen SO MUCH careless driving here and elsewhere in West Seattle. I witnessed a woman on a cell phone go through a red light at this very intersection during school hours, COMPLETELY preoccupied by her conversation.

    What’s wrong with people here??

    Comment by G — 5:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  31. zark do not lump all of us West Seattle drivers into one basket. Some of us actually follow the rules , put down our phones, stop for pedestrians, yield the right of way, go the speed limit, stop when people are trying to parallel park, etc.

    Comment by Bornonalki — 5:46 pm September 26, 2013 #

  32. I am a Lafayette parent and I want to send thoughts and prayers to the family. I am also so VERY mad about this. I have been almost hit on two occasions when walking through this cross walk w my boys. I always walk them across, can’t trust the drivers. Both incidences included someone on the phone. Additionally we were almost hit right at the entrance of the playground on Lander. I stopped in the middle of the crosswalk and motioned for the women to slow down, she screamed at me , flipped the “bird” and stomped on the gas to speed right by the school. I ran up to a police officer and told them, and they said they couldn’t do anything about it. Wouldn’t even walk over to her car and give her a warning. It is ridiculous! People need to S-L-O-W down and get off the phone. Also- I think we need more help with the crosswalks . The sweet gentleman does a great job there, but I am thinking it is time to get more volunteers out there to help. You can bet this is something I will bring up at the next PTA.

    Comment by Athena — 5:48 pm September 26, 2013 #

  33. I’m glad he is not injured and hope he brags about how he overpowered a car and escaped without a scratch. Isn’t it weird how people “see” things. If you read the comments from the supposed witnesses above (Nicole and zark), you would think this kid got mangled under that car. Weird how people “see” things.

    Comment by NotMe — 5:49 pm September 26, 2013 #

  34. Thank you for the update Tracy, my kids are the same age and are terrified that one of their schoolmates might be hurt. Wishing this little boy a speedy recovery.

    Please slow down and put your phone away when driving by our families :-(

    Comment by Alki Mom — 5:50 pm September 26, 2013 #

  35. Now that there’s more comments and witnesses I pray the boy will be OK!

    Now that school is going again we must be extra careful, children just aren’t aware of everything around them, they’re just out to have fun which they should…makes me sad to hear this.
    To his Parents my thoughts go out to you that he gets well soon and is out playing like he should be.

    Comment by payrollgirl — 5:51 pm September 26, 2013 #

  36. I hear everyone calling for the head of the driver – and fair-enough, these are gut wrenching vengeance-inspiring incidents, but it’s standard practice not to cite the driver at the scene of a pedestrian or cyclist injury crash.

    http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/09/12/city-attorney-to-police-dont-write-a-ticket-at-scene-when-someone-walking-or-biking-is-injured/

    What one hopes is that follow-through doesn’t fall through the cracks. What one also hopes isn’t (cynically) that the reason this isn’t S.O.P. at motor vehicle crashes is that insurance company money is at stake in those cases.

    In any event, drive safe(ly) everybody – it’s an awesome responsibility to cruise around in two tones of metal – take it less blithely, please.

    Comment by JAT — 5:52 pm September 26, 2013 #

  37. Many many people talk on their cell phones while driving. As a bicycle commuter I’m very aware of it. If you talk on the phone while driving, it’s just a matter of time before you have your “accident”. What will you crash into? If you talk on the phone while driving you are also setting an example by your behavior. I know you’re having a VERY IMPORTANT conversation. Try and see if you can put it off a few minutes until you’re not driving.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 5:58 pm September 26, 2013 #

  38. does anyone know what kind of car it was? did it happen to be a light blue vw?
    my kids and I had just passed safeway on lander (coming home from school) and a car pulled a u turn and almost hit us as we were crossing 42nd. looks like same description of the driver and it must have been right before this accident.

    Comment by jillian — 5:59 pm September 26, 2013 #

  39. ZARK…I agree totally with you!!!

    PUT YOUR DANG PHONE DOWN WHEN YOU’RE IN THE CAR!!!!

    Until you lose someone you love to a drunk driver, texting idiot or just plain talking on the phone you’ll never understand what he’s saying and let’s hope you don’t have to learn that way.

    Comment by payrollgirl — 6:01 pm September 26, 2013 #

  40. @not me: I never said the kid went under the car and zark never said he was a witness. Yes it is weird how people “read” blogs too.

    Comment by Nicole — 6:06 pm September 26, 2013 #

  41. It was described on the scanner as a gray VW.

    Comment by WSB — 6:06 pm September 26, 2013 #

  42. The car was indeed a light gray VW Passat.

    Comment by christopherboffoli — 6:10 pm September 26, 2013 #

  43. Thoughts and prayers to the little boy and his family. I would like to add that at least once a week I am almost mowed down on the sidewalk on California that goes by the exit to the Thriftway parking lot. Invariably, it is a woman on a cell phone. And several times a week I see cars almost hit pedestrians, including me, at the Fauntleroy/California crosswalks between the Thriftway and the Starbucks and between the Thriftway and the WaFedSav Bank. The walk light flashes on, and these even have loud beeps, and invariably there is a woman in an SUV on her cell phone who makes the right turn on red while the walk light is on and almost hits someone. The law is that it is legal to make a right turn on red only when no pedestrians are in the crosswalk. These people that are on phones and driving distracted with one hand and cut off pedestrians are clearing breaking the law, yet I have never seen a Seattle Cop or MeterMaid ever ticket one.

    Comment by iggy — 6:14 pm September 26, 2013 #

  44. Ok, thanks for the info… I think this may have been the same car/driver. Was there a passenger in the car? They were driving very recklessly

    Comment by Jillian — 6:18 pm September 26, 2013 #

  45. People, just because she was an African American woman wearing a headscarf, that makes her a Somali woman? I agree this is a tragedy, and there should be consequences. But let’s not forget that she is also a person – and she is somebody’s daughter. She undoubtedly feels terrible about what happened, and will carry this lesson for the rest of her life. We should all be thankful it wasn’t worse, and use today’s event as a constructive talking point for us all.

    Comment by Admiral Mom — 6:27 pm September 26, 2013 #

  46. So grateful boy’s injuries were minor. Heard the impact, screams and saw the scene. It was really upsetting. PLEASE be mindful when driving–at all times– and slow down.

    Comment by Kq — 6:32 pm September 26, 2013 #

  47. The driving age should be at least 18. It is insane that we allow children to drive cars.

    Comment by Gabby — 6:35 pm September 26, 2013 #

  48. In the morning I catch the bus on 35th not far from the end of a school zone. In the last year I’ve observed an interesting phenomenon, in that quite a few cars continue to go slow well past the end of the zone. I thought it was caution, until I noted that every damn one of them was texting. They are using the slower speed through the school zone to TEXT, and are not even looking at the road.

    The fact that this child was not “mangled” by the vehicle does not mean that he was unharmed, although the scars may not be visible.

    Iggy makes another good point: although I’ve seen multiple pedestrians get tickets for jaywalking, I have NEVER, ever seen a driver pulled over for illegally endangering a pedestrian.

    Comment by anonyme — 6:54 pm September 26, 2013 #

  49. This incenses me! HANG THE F UP, PAY ATTEND AND DRIVE. I see this $#!+ everyday in my neighborhood. Most of whom are flying through Yield signs.

    I hope and pray the driver who hit that innocent little boy feels like $#!+ and is so afraid she won’t drive again. But, I know that’s only a pipe-dream.

    P.S. Zark….love that you have the “you knows” to say it. Totally agree.

    Comment by EPL — 6:56 pm September 26, 2013 #

  50. Supposedly the police do “phone patrols” right? Lets call on them NOW to focus on ticketing people on their phones by schools.

    Comment by Nwmama — 7:19 pm September 26, 2013 #

  51. Perhaps this would be a good intersection for an all-ways walk, at least during specific after school hours. With a grocery store, a school, a major park, a bus stop and a karate studio right there, it should be nice if pedestrians and cars weren’t in the intersection together. Too much going on. Sending best wishes to the kiddo. Could’ve just as easily been mine — he was almost plowed over by a left turner there a few months ago. =(

    Comment by NeughborMom — 7:35 pm September 26, 2013 #

  52. I am working in a town in Illinois for a couple of months. One thing they have here at almost every signal that seems to work well is dedicated left turn green arrows. No other cars or pedestrians get their go ahead signal until the left turners have had their turn with the green arrow. Seems like this arrangement would work well at a dangerous intersection like this. Better safety engineering and signal coordination can save lives.

    Comment by Kathy — 7:50 pm September 26, 2013 #

  53. Very scary! But glad to hear the boy only suffered minor injuries and so glad he was wearing a helmet! Prayers to the family right now as I know how scary this incident must have been for both the boy and his mom who was with him. I was hit in that exact crosswalk about 2 1/2 years ago. It is a very busy intersection with a lot of activity. Drivers need to check and double check when making those turns.

    Comment by nanny — 8:44 pm September 26, 2013 #

  54. Hi. I’m the Dad of the boy that was hit and I just wanted to respond to let everyone know that he is doing okay. He is banged up with a bad cut on his forehead and a few other cuts and bruises but no broken bones. They are keeping him overnight for observation but as of right now things are okay. We are feeling very fortunate that it wasn’t much worse.

    Thanks for the fast response from the School, the Police and the West Side Gymnastics Academy. And thanks to all of you for the kind words.

    Comment by Jeff — 8:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  55. I am all for as many safety precautions as possible for this intersection. Illinois, france, india… i don’t care where the ideas come from. Our kids needs to be safe!

    Comment by James — 8:51 pm September 26, 2013 #

  56. Maybe I missed it- but where in this story does it mention this driver was under 18 ? And now we need a walk all ways- or a dedicated left turn green light? How about everyone be attentive- everywhere but especially around schools. Stay OFF THE CELL PHONES- it’s the law. Like many others commenting- there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see someone driving with a phone up to their ear- all genders – all ages.Prayers to this child & family- and yes the woman who hit the child SHOULD feel terrible & hopefully will carry it with her for the rest of her life.

    Comment by Gene — 9:24 pm September 26, 2013 #

  57. Thank goodness he is okay!

    Comment by Barb W — 9:27 pm September 26, 2013 #

  58. I cross that intersection many times each week as a pedestrian and as a driver, and have done so for almost 20 years. The east-west crossing sucks for drivers and peds because the timing is too short, which leads to impatience and bad decisions. Visual clarity is not great. Four way walk might be good there, though some peds would still cross against the light.

    Comment by onion — 9:27 pm September 26, 2013 #

  59. Police describe the driver as “a teenage girl.” Don’t have access to any further details tonight so I don’t know where that falls between 16 and 19.

    Comment by WSB — 9:31 pm September 26, 2013 #

  60. @Kathy – while you’d think that would work, I can not tell you how many times I’ve had to wait for pedestrians walking on a DON’T WALK when I have the turn arrow. Until EVERYONE obeys the law, it will never change.

    I drive a school bus and don’t bother keeping track any more of everyone the runs the STOP paddle – either because they’re looking down at their phone or looking at me defiantly as the drive by (in my experience it more men than women). No enforcement, no consequences, so it seems they just don’t care. Frustrating!

    Glad to he the kid is doing well.

    Comment by 2krazy4words — 9:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  61. Jeff- Your familys life has been forever changed, Im so sorry this happened. Thanks for the update. Count your blessings.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 9:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  62. Well. It’s happened. I’m finally too pissed off for words.

    Comment by Cait — 9:50 pm September 26, 2013 #

  63. Jeff- I am glad to hear that your son is going to be okay. This story takes my breath away.

    Comment by Deborah — 10:42 pm September 26, 2013 #

  64. It’s too easy say “that’s not me. I drive and talk on the phone but I’m very careful”. Labeling the driver as a teen or Somali may be used as an out for drivers who think the shoe doesn’t fit them because they’re not a teen or Somali or whatever. As a bike commuter, the place I’ve experienced the most hazardous interactions and have nearly been struck numerous times by drivers who had no idea I was even there, is on the street with the entrance to the YMCA. Moms looking for parking while talking on the phone. Signaling right, going left. Not signaling. Not looking in mirrors. They’re in a bubble of their own making. Always multi-tasking and self-assured in the myth that they can do it all at the same time. If selfish entitled people would think about the effect they can have on others the streets would be so much safer. I think the key is enforcement. Whatever the current fine is now, it’s not being enforced and everyone knows it.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 11:13 pm September 26, 2013 #

  65. Jeff – Glad your little guy is going to be OK. My wife saw the whole thing while she was across the street with our 7 year old at Tang Soo Do. I can’t imagine. Glad he was wearing a helmet and hope he has a full speedy recovery.

    Comment by KCH — 11:19 pm September 26, 2013 #

  66. Not defending the inattentive driver, but the sun/shade combo around that intersection at certain times of day make for a real safety hazard. I almost ran into a lady there about 10 years ago making that same left turn. I really did not see her, then suddenly she was visible in the middle of the crosswalk. Ever since then, I just barely creep through that intersection. Walk All Ways would be great for that one.

    Comment by moji — 11:22 pm September 26, 2013 #

  67. Jeff, so glad to hear your son is going to be OK! Thanks for taking the time to give the community an update. Hopefully this will be treated as a serious incident by the police. Teens should not be allowed to have a cell phone in the front seat while driving.

    Comment by Diane Swierenga — 11:34 pm September 26, 2013 #

  68. Hearing about incident just as I was mtg up with friends. We were all absolutely disgusted that this had happened AGAIN in this same area! What does it take to fix an obvious problem? Is it going to take a child or a Mom/Dad to be killed before more safety measures are put in place? Thank GOD he is going to be okay (thanks dad-Jeff for updating us!). I guarantee he & his family will NEVER ever forget this. So to everyone out there “stay off your damn phone & pay attention…”. Amen!! Wake up WEST SEATTLE!!!

    Comment by Ms Pam — 11:45 pm September 26, 2013 #

  69. When school lets out, I avoid that intersection entirely. Just too nerve-wracking navigating through it with the crowds of kids crossing the street.

    Comment by elisabeth — 12:03 am September 27, 2013 #

  70. Coming back from Bellevue yesterday I saw a young girl driving southbound on Bellevue road, texting or surfing -staring down at her phone. She didn’t look up in time to see the car had stopped in front of her -I honked to try and get her attention, but it was too late. She slammed into the back of the car. We were in stop and go traffic, impact though was at 15-20mph. Major damage to both vehicles. It’s obviously happening all over the city…

    Comment by WS Driver — 6:02 am September 27, 2013 #

  71. Everyone….SLOW DOWN EVERY TIME you see a child…no matter where, when or how late you are!

    Comment by Todd — 6:04 am September 27, 2013 #

  72. I did pick up and deliver duty at that school for 6 years and the sun at that time of day and this time of year is an absolute blinding hazard to all the people cutting off the Admiral x CA intersection by cutting through by the safeway and the park. The phone did not help but was probably not the primary factor in this crash.
    The driving behavior of parents at this and other schools is the craziest thing I have seen in Seattle as well.

    Comment by Ken — 6:20 am September 27, 2013 #

  73. Driver, there are bad ones everywhere. I remember driving up the lake hills connector and suddenly there was a car coming at me. Had just enough room next to me to swerve into the other lane and nobody honked at me for cutting them off so abruptly..

    I also remember sitting at the light eastbound on NE 8th and I think 112th in bellevue with a backup to get on 405 South. I waited because though the light was green, cars were backed up to underneath the signal. Heard the screech of brakes behind me, and what looked like a bunch of teenage girls in a black cabriolet was fishtailing because they were going too fast coming up to traffic. Had to jump in the middle of the intersection to prevent getting hit. They ended their adventure exactly where I used to be sitting.

    Point being, there have been bad drivers since before the cell phone was prevalent. :)

    Glad to see that everyone appears okay in this incident.

    Comment by Civik — 6:48 am September 27, 2013 #

  74. Once again- we don’t need a walk all ways there- we are lucky to have the one in the junction as over the years there has been talk of removing it-I don’t think the city would ever ok another. What we do NEED is for drivers to be more attentive–slow down- stop using devices while driving. If the sun is in your eyes & you can’t see- then yes- crawl through- sorry the sun isn’t going anywhere- & it’s up to the driver to be sure the intersection is clear before proceeding- especially if the alternative is possibly hitting someone.

    Comment by Gene — 7:38 am September 27, 2013 #

  75. I am horrified, but unsurprised. That entire intersection is dangerous – my son and I have had plenty and will continue to have plenty more discussions and create alternate routes of getting to where we need to in that area.
    Did anyone get a call from the school regarding this?

    Comment by Athena N. — 7:43 am September 27, 2013 #

  76. Last week my husband and I were driving north on I-5 through downtown. I was the passenger and was looking out the window to my right. The driver in the car next to us was texting but how he was doing it was unbelievable. He had his arms placed through and “resting” on the cross piece of the steering wheel with the cell phone in his hands texting. I guess he thought no one could see him texting while he was “driving”!
    Why risk your life and other lives?

    Comment by sc — 7:58 am September 27, 2013 #

  77. Last week my husband and I were driving north on I-5 through downtown. I was the passenger and was looking out the window to my right. The driver in the car next to us was texting but how he was doing it was unbelievable. He had his arms placed through and “resting” on the cross piece of the steering wheel with the cell phone in his hands texting. I guess he thought no one could see him texting while he was “driving”!
    Why risk your life and those of others?

    Comment by sc — 8:20 am September 27, 2013 #

  78. Yes, because villifying all teen drivers will prevent all other guilty parties from texting/talking on their phone while driving.

    Just be more attentive, cell phone or no, teen or adult, man or woman. Pay. Attention.

    Comment by M — 9:57 am September 27, 2013 #

  79. The same thing happened to me at that exact intersection 15 years ago or so. I was riding my bike across the crosswalk, and a guy in a pickup truck was turning and didn’t see me. Luckily the guy saw me at the last moment and was able to slow down enough so that he just knocked me over. I remember being barely able to stand I was shaking so much and then I got a ride home in a firetruck.

    Comment by Joah — 10:40 am September 27, 2013 #

  80. The woman’s race and assumed country of origin are completely irrelevant. Period.

    Comment by Rebecca — 11:58 am September 27, 2013 #

  81. Thank god he’s going to be ok, thank you for taking the time to let us know Jeff.

    Let’s all promise to watch each others kids closely, please.
    I pledge to watch your kids like a hawk if there’s a car within 100 yards of them. And I promise to dive in front of oncoming traffic as needed.

    I.Ponder said:
    “If selfish entitled people would think about the effect they can have on others the streets would be so much safer.”

    YES, Thank You! The sense of entitlement is so unbelievable, and so wrong.

    @Gene – City just put in two new walk-all-ways downtown, so it’s not off the table.

    Walking home yesterday a lady came rolling through the intersection texting – a cop happened to be sitting right there, door open, watching. I pointed, said “She’s texting and driving right now!” the “Police Officer” laughed – literally laughed in my face. I guess SPD doesn’t know how to enforce these laws, or they’re not lucrative enough to do so. The fine is $124, one parking ticket is $36, it’s a lot easier to write 3.4 parking tickets than to pull someone over and write the ticket and report.
    I suggest $124 fine for texting and driving, and a $1240 fine for doing it in a school zone.

    fyi – people are commenting on comments I made that were deleted – not sure why but I trust WSB, I prob said a bad word?

    Comment by zark — 12:20 pm September 27, 2013 #

  82. i saw it happen, the kid is fine the police confirmed it,,also the driver was not using cell phone when the crash happened, she took it out after the accident happened to call her parents,its horrible,i have 1 year old boy i couldnt imagine his mother’s pain… praying for the kid

    Comment by jessica — 1:09 pm September 27, 2013 #

  83. It was just pointed out that I published this comment to the wrong thread a bit earlier this afternoon. It was meant to be here. As follows:
    .
    ======================================================================================================================
    RIGHT NOW I need to say something, and apologize.
    .
    We did not enforce our usual very stringent rules regarding speculation about the cause of a crash (or other serious matters) and other things we try to keep out of comments. Therefore an entire mini-maelstrom has spun off of what is as far as I can tell one commenter claiming to have seen the driver on the phone. I failed to be engaged enough to step in and say STOP – police are still investigating this and have not said ANYTHING about calling/texting. It was a crazy afternoon full of news – that’s no excuse, but it happened, and I regret it. We have rules for a reason.
    .
    To that point and a comment (in another thread, but about this incident) a short time ago – there ALSO is no allegation of hit and run here. The very first thing we reported included that the driver had stopped at the scene. Generally in crashes, vehicles do not stop at the exact point of impact, so seeing a bicycle in the street and a car not stopped right there in contact with it does not suggest hit and run. Even if you slam on the brakes – it takes some distance. We also do not know whether the bicycle is seen in photos at the exact spot where the child was hit, or whether it was moved, went flying, etc.
    .
    Anyway, we got a call from an SPD sergeant today. We don’t usually get calls from them – it’s usually us attempting to contact them to get info, which is not always easy. So an unsolicited call TO us is rare. This call was from an investigator who was at the scene and is continuing to work on the crash. He read the comment thread and wanted to say that police HAVE NO EVIDENCE AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE WAS INVOLVED – and that is even though they spoke to so many witnesses that we even heard dispatches for more officers to come help talk with witnesses.
    .
    But, he said, if the person who commented here or anyone else wants to speak with them, they would appreciate hearing from them. I don’t have his contact info yet – he’s supposed to e-mail it to us – so please check back and I will add it as soon as it comes in.
    .
    Texting/phoning while driving IS an important topic. But in light of police saying they have no evidence that was what happened here, please do not proceed with assuming that the driver is guilty of doing it. Thank you. And I apologize for not enforcing our rules – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 1:09 pm September 27, 2013 #

  84. Thanks for posting that Tracy, I wondered why it went unchecked for so long but it was a busy news day. Reading this thread last night was very frustrating and disappointing. So much accusation, assumptions and ranting from people who were not there. To point out where this woman was from is racist – why does it matter? I am now at the point where I will read the headlines of the blog to know what is happening in my neighborhood but I will not read the comments any longer. It just disappoints me that my neighbors can act that way sitting behind the safety of a computer. Is that their real self?

    Comment by annaeileen — 1:22 pm September 27, 2013 #

  85. Jeff, sending thoughts out to your son for a swift recovery. I am glad to hear his injuries were fairly minor. Poor kid.

    Comment by kayo — 1:27 pm September 27, 2013 #

  86. AE – if you do that, you will miss a lot of information. Even in breaking-news situations this doesn’t usually happen. And again, I’m sorry for not doing my part. Large news organizations ignore their comment sections and let this kind of thing go on all the time; we are usually the outliers in terms of enforcing civility, etc., and 99 percent of the time our system doesn’t fail … TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:28 pm September 27, 2013 #

  87. Reading the comments reminded me of
    “The Oxbow Incident”

    Comment by let them swim — 4:03 pm September 27, 2013 #

  88. Family member of an avid cyclist. Hearing this scares me to death:(

    Comment by Rvesdocs — 5:09 pm September 27, 2013 #

  89. Tracy, you shouldn’t apologize! You guys do a great job and it was a crazy news day. And Jeff, I’m so glad your little boy is ok. Hooray for helmets. Rather than Tracy apologizing, people should police themselves and not make assumptions. I was following the comment thread and actually went through it twice to see where the information about the driver being on her cell phone came from. It was not first hand, and it was not from the police. But one hearsay suggestion that this “woman in a head scarf” was on the phone when the collision occurred spread like wildfire, despite the fact that it was completely unverified. The comments really took on a nasty, racist, xenophobic, sexist tone. And now, based on actual information, it looks like it was a teenage girl who stopped at the scene, called her parents, and cooperated with police. She is probably traumatized and scared out of her mind, too. I’m so glad everyone is ok.

    Comment by Anita — 7:23 am September 28, 2013 #

  90. While we can’t know a person’s county of birth or upbringing by appearance or clothing, so speculating in this case is silly, I do think there’s a bit of truth in the more general case.

    Most of us born in the US were taught to drive by parents or drivers-ed on roads built with American signage, lines, dimensions, and standards. There are minor differences between cities, states, and coasts, but stuff more or less works as you’d expect.
    If you don’t read English well, textual signs are going to be hard to understand, your country’s crosswalks may look different, you may drive on the other side of the road, there. Laws may be different as well: North America (but not Mexico), Chile, and China are about the only places where right-on-red is legal, without there being a special sign. In Washington state, we have an unmarked crosswalk law, requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians at most corners. Definitely not all states and countries have this.

    I think someone should study what the tourist or recent-immigrant, or new-to-the-state driving experience is like, and see if there’s ways of improving how information is presented on the road could be clearer, or making license testing more focused on such differences, which could hopefully result in fewer injuries and deaths.

    Comment by Jeff Dubrule — 1:18 am September 29, 2013 #

  91. Hi again,

    I just wanted to let everyone know that after 24 hours in the hospital for observation Gabe is home and doing well. He is busy bouncing around the house as usual, tormenting his younger brother and enjoying all of the sweet treats brought over by neighbors or sent in from family out of state. It was a cookie bouquet for lunch yesterday and cupcakes today after breakfast. Thanks again for all of the kind words and support.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    Comment by Jeff Jones — 10:03 am September 29, 2013 #

  92. Glad to hear this! Thanks for the update! I was even asked about this while at Town Hall Friday night on a panel with esteemed executives from two regional newspapers and a citywide online site – “how’s the little boy doing?” – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:04 am September 29, 2013 #

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