Update: Woman hit while crossing Barton at Westwood Village

Eastbound SW Barton is closed at 26th – the east entrance to Westwood Village – because of an accident. Police at the scene tell us a pedestrian crossing Barton was hit by a car and has been taken to the hospital. 10:22 AM UPDATE: Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vander Houwen tells us the victim is a woman in her 60s, taken to Harborview Medical Center “with life-threatening injuries.” 11:06 AM UPDATE: Police at the scene tell us they have spoken with the driver, who told them she had visibility problems – that “the sun got in her eyes.” History note – this is the same area where 55-year-old Teri Soike was hit and killed in February of last year (WSB coverage here); that crash happened at night, in the rain. 4:12 PM UPDATE: SPDBlotter has now published a summary of this incident with a few more details, including which way the car was turning and which way the woman was crossing – read it here.

47 Replies to "Update: Woman hit while crossing Barton at Westwood Village"

  • onceachef December 1, 2009 (10:30 am)

    The city needs to do something about Barton in that area…too many people think it’s a 2-lane street because of how wide it is (on the north side of it). Right turn only lanes should be “installed” for entry to Westwood SC at all of the entrances (by McDonald’s/Rite Aid, Hollywood Video and at Target). That will keep people from trying to scoot around traffic (going west) on the right hand side of the street. Who do you contact about street revisions…DOT?

  • Colleen December 1, 2009 (10:35 am)

    But isn’t it a two way street? When one of my siblings took their driving test, he got dinged because he was treating it like a one lane.

  • arborheightsdad December 1, 2009 (11:02 am)

    This is too sad. I’ve seen this almost happen more times than I would like to remember. It is, indeed, a 2-lane street. Left turn arrows into Westwood and south to 26th would be helpful.

  • WSB December 1, 2009 (11:06 am)

    I am looking up the story in the archives but I believe this is at or near the same spot as a fatal pedestrian/car collision a year or so ago. By the way, the Westwood Neighborhood Council meets this Thursday night, 7 pm, Southwest Community Center. Area safety is one of the issues with which they have dealt for a long time.

  • samson December 1, 2009 (11:52 am)

    I totally agree with onceachef about two lane which i am really confused with. I usually go to Westwood village for shopping and I have noticed that most cars go on the right lane as I DO NOT see any two lanes. this West Seattle needs to have this street clean up with two ways or ONE way lane. where do drivers get the idea to have two lane way?

    what’s more, why do people not giving a FULL STOP, not rolling STOP to get going? how can drivers pass their driving test and rolling through the stop SIGN?! wake up and smell the coffee, McDonald’s, or whatever!

    I was the witness and helped Teri Sioke as it was horrible to see her injuries. I could not explain more as it was messy with the rain and her blood. bless her.

  • bridge to somewhere December 1, 2009 (11:57 am)

    if barton is a two lane street in the west-bound direction, the street should be marked as such with lane markers. it’s too ambiguous now. in any event, i’m not sure if this issue is the cause of the tragic accident this morning . . .

  • JEM December 1, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    How is this two lanes in westbound direction? there are no lane markers, just a wide lane. Do you just assume a wide lane should equal two lanes? I will continue to hog the middle of the street until I see some lane lines painted there indicating this is two lanes. And why just one side of the street and only up to the light at 32nd? Stupid.

  • Krystal December 1, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    These lane situation is very very hard to figure out. I am so bummed this has happened. Not sure if this what has contributed to the accident, but some lane markers and repainting would really help organize the traffic in that area (hopefully).

  • AmyT December 1, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    The real issue is that people are always in too much of a hurry and are not paying enough attention. Common sense tells you that if you have sun in your eyes take the extra time necessary to make sure that nothing is in your path before you advance forward.

    I’d like to add that the entrance at McDonalds (side of QFC) also needs stop signs…it’s marked on the road but is not clear enough. Most people blow right through that section and I’ve seen many a close call there.

  • mjb December 1, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    besides all of the above, the drivers in westwood village seem to be the worst drivers ive encountered in seattle. ive only lived in the area 2 months but have been in more near accidents in the parking lot of westwood village and surrounding streets than in my previous 2.5 years in seattle. someone almost hit me by not stopping at the stop sign within the village parking lot (which from my experience is pretty much just standard in that parking lot) and then flipped me off and practically got out and assaulted me for honking my horn. all with her kids in the car, of course.

  • KBear December 1, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    State law allows for multiple lanes to be used, WHETHER THEY ARE MARKED OR NOT. If the road is wide enough to accommodate multiple lanes in each direction, it is considered to be a multiple lane road. Learn the rules before you get behind the wheel, please.

  • karen December 1, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    There are two stop lights there so I’ve always assumed that meant two lanes.

  • K-witty December 1, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    What a tragedy. My thoughts are with the victim and the driver.

  • CMP December 1, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    The real problem seems to be the driver not using her sunvisor if the sun was in her eyes. Few people in Seattle seem to realize that all cars come with this handy feature or you can even wear sunglasses…what a concept! Why do you think we have backups on the bridge when sunset and sunrise occur during rush hour?

    As for Barton being one or two lanes going westbound, I feel it’s one. If there’s actually a car parked on the north side of the street, it definitely becomes one lane which kind of solves the problem since it’s no longer wide enough to accommodate two cars and a parked vehicle. The SDOT should paint a white stripe along that rode like they have for California (throw in some sharrows to boot) which might help clarify for everyone. But that would make too much sense.

  • spikes December 1, 2009 (2:50 pm)

    There are people walking and crossing the street from Daystar Retirement home. Sometimes they are not able to cross in the amount of time given for the cross walk. People need to be aware of the older folks.

  • coffee December 1, 2009 (3:44 pm)

    perhaps someone could contact SDOT and find out if there are any specific plans for this area. I too have witnessed a few accidents at this intersection, I would think that soon the city will have to do something to make it safer….

  • Maria December 1, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    KBear is right. Legally it’s two lanes there. (I also was dinged points at my drivers test, when I acted like it was one lane.) But it’s also a parking lane on the right hand side at parts.(You will often see parked cars just outside of the Target entrance.)

    But I don’t think that’s the reasoning behind the accident…

  • WSB December 1, 2009 (4:17 pm)

    More details of who was turning which way (this wasn’t available when we talked with police earlier, at the scene and also via phone with the media unit) and who was walking which way, in this SPDBlotter summary I just linked from the story:

  • onceachef December 1, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    The state needs to revisit the “if it’s wide enough” rule…I need to see proof of that by the way, which I’ll look up next after writing this. It’s true that the accident did not occur because of the “wide street” controversy but it did occur because too many people are careless and drive like they’re the only one’s on the road…it’s too bad that people can’t understand the devastation a car can cause, especially in the hands (and feet) of someone who doesn’t give a “s$%#” about anyone else. As I said earlier if SDOT would make the right side a “right turn only” lane for access to the shopping center, a lot of problems would be solved.

  • concernedmom December 1, 2009 (7:57 pm)

    I saw the scene a short time after the accident. The two lane area is an issue but not with this accident. The problem here is people not yielding to pedestrians when turning, either left or taking a free right. I live in the neighborhood and cross that street to Westwood Village pushing a stroller almost every day. I don’t feel safe entering the crosswalk until I have made eye contact with all of the possible offending drivers. I am probably overcautious but I have had too many close calls avoided because I saw them not seeing me.

  • bluebird December 1, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    SMC 11.14.375 Multiple lane street.

    “Multiple lane street” means any street the roadway of which is of sufficient width to accommodate reasonably two (2) or more separate lanes of vehicular traffic in the same direction, each lane of which shall be not less than eight (8) feet in width, and WHETHER OR NOT SUCH LANES ARE MARKED. (RCW 46.04.350)


  • KBear December 1, 2009 (8:14 pm)

    I hate the term “free right turn”. It makes it sound like you don’t have to stop before turning (which is exactly what people do.)

  • WTF December 1, 2009 (8:35 pm)

    Ditto onceachef.

    This is a horrible spot. I see jackasses (and, if you read most of my posts, I’m being kind here!) speeding down this street every time I’m in the village. This is horrible & I believe more than one person had died from similar carelessness. Sun my butt: SLOW DOWN. There are pedestrian lights and walks. It’s a shopping center and established neighborhood! HELLO! Do we need to draw drivers a map?!?! Widening the streets do nothing but waste money. It’s stupidity, not physicality that caused the death of Teri and the injuries of today’s victim. People need to pay attention, slow down and realize they are NOT the only person in the world.

  • Amanda December 1, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    I’m with concernedmom. I push my stroller there all the time, and feel super nervous when crossing that very same crosswalk. People are trying to beat the oncoming traffic into Westwood Village and take that left turn really fast. I hope that woman is okay. The driver should be fined extensively, how can you not see someone in the crosswalk? You hit her with the FRONT of your car!


  • Jtk December 1, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    The numbet of lanes is irrelevant! Its a pedestrian crossing the road. They have the right of way! Period! I moved here from
    michigan a year ago. In michigan there is
    very little pedestrian traffic. In seattle there is a ton of pedestrian traffic in comparison! Slow down and look before you drive. Pedestrians have the right of way no matter what road you are on. Period! Everyone is in such a damn hurry ALL the time!!!!

  • Kel December 1, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    I agree with many previous posts. That perticular light and all through the parking lot people drive so carelessly and seem completely oblivious to the fact. As for the driver who hit the Rite Aide employee in the crosswalk, she is like 80 years old. I don’t know when they or even if Washington state makes elderly retake thier driving tests. If not we should start!

  • KatieM December 1, 2009 (10:49 pm)

    It’s not only dangerous to be a pedestrian in that area, it’s dangerous trying to leave WWV. Drivers approach the shopping area from both east and west directions on Barton way too fast. However, I agree that steps need to be taken to better ensure pedestrian traffic. The two lane discussion is really detracting from the conversation about today’s incident. I don’t appreciate a two lane hog who is trying to make a point, and I don’t appreciate someone recklessly passing to get ahead only to pull up to the same stop light as me. It’s been several years since I’ve pushed a stroller along that stretch of road, but I still find myself staring down drivers to double and triple check they know I’m there trying to cross the street.

    So sorry for today’s victim. Truly hope she comes through the trauma she’s endured today.

  • onceachef December 1, 2009 (11:23 pm)

    SMC 11.14.375 Multiple lane street.

    “Multiple lane street” means any street the roadway of which is of sufficient width to accommodate reasonably two (2) or more separate lanes of vehicular traffic in the same direction, each lane of which shall be not less than eight (8) feet in width, and WHETHER OR NOT SUCH LANES ARE MARKED. (RCW 46.04.350) (Ord. 108200 Section 2( 11.14.610*LINK*), 1979.)

    Okay so it looks like this is a state “law”- a “designation” is more precise- it’s absolutely absurd because it leaves open the interpretation of “space” to everyone driving…we’re supposed to evaluate how much space there is (we should determine there’s 8 feet)? This “law” was passed in 1979 – maybe it’s time (due to urban density and cars on the road) to revisit this and change it.

  • onceachef December 1, 2009 (11:24 pm)

    How is the person who was hit, by the way? Seems like we got off track here…

  • Anom December 2, 2009 (1:36 am)

    She is doing very poorly

    She is in ICU on life support

    The doctors say it’s possible she may not survive.. although I suspect they’re understating.

  • WSB December 2, 2009 (1:48 am)

    Thank you for the update, Anom. I am very sorry to hear that.
    If any family members or friends want to convey any information more formally, they are welcome to e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com … because of privacy laws, media does not have access to information about patients’ conditions, so once someone has left police/fire proximity, the information stops. (Saying that not as a complaint, but just because we are often asked, can’t you find out how someone’s doing?)

  • rob December 2, 2009 (6:26 am)

    There was no sun in her eyes at 9:00am, it was still foggy and overcast. You can’t legally proceed on a turn until the pedestrian clears the entire crosswalk!

  • Paul in Gatewood December 2, 2009 (6:34 am)

    I hate this intersection. I enter and leave WWV via Trenton unless I’m going to Target. And riding my bike down that stretch of Barton is always an adventure…I always breath a sigh of relief when I’ve cleared the light at 30th.

    I hope that the pedestrian pulls through and heals.

  • Lachlan December 2, 2009 (7:13 am)

    I work in the ID. It’s a special kind of hell being a pedestrian down there, NO one stops at the marked cross-walks, and it’s just so unsafe.

    I’ve not had that experience in WWV, but as a driver, I’ve seen more than a few bone-headed maneuvers. People definitely speed, tail-gate, and otherwise drive poorly.

  • Divina December 2, 2009 (8:49 am)

    This pedestrian that was hit is my friend and my co-worker for years.
    The woman that hit her, she shouldn’t be driving anyways if she have visibility problem!
    She should go to jail!

  • bluebird December 2, 2009 (9:28 am)

    So sorry to hear she’s doing poorly. Sad and terrible. Will keep her and friends/family in my thoughts.

    I also don’t think discussing traffic, whether reckless driving or lane issues, etc. is disrespectful. It’s a coping mechanism for tragedy, to attempt to understand something that isn’t fair or right.

  • KBear December 2, 2009 (10:05 am)

    To those who think the city/state should paint white dividing lines between all the lanes on every multi-lane street and highway: Don’t be ridiculous. Think about how much time, paint, and tax dollars that would consume! And it still wouldn’t cause drivers to be any more watchful for pedestrians, which is what caused this tragedy. Drivers need to take their responsibility for other people’s safety more seriously, and no amount of paint is going to fix that problem.

  • Margaret December 2, 2009 (10:52 am)

    why do drivers in automobiles have to drive so darn fast! I live near Westwood Village. I can not tell you how many times I’ve almost been mowed down in the parking lot. If the driver had visibility issues she shouldn’t be behind the wheel of an automobile

  • ltfd December 2, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Engine 37 went to TWO incidents yesterday at 26 Ave SW/SW Barton St. Both were vehicles versus pedestrians. The early accident, mentioned in the WSB was the more serious one. The second incident was, fortunately, minor in nature.

  • Steph December 2, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    I feel so sorry for the women. I do hope she pulls through.

    I do think that making sure the road is one lane would help in making drivers slow down. I have never seen a two lane road that didn’t have any markings down the middle. I never treat that stretch of road as a two lanes.

  • kaye December 2, 2009 (1:03 pm)

    Could we all maybe just say a prayer for N. and her family today and decide whether it’s one lane or two later. Right now a wonderful lady needs all the prayers we can offer. Thanks.

  • WSB December 2, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    Ltfd, we got a couple tips about fire/police presence at the same i/s yesterday afternoon but gone by the time we got there (and the call closed) so figured it wasn’t major, thanks for mentioning, though – TR

  • KBear December 2, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    Steph, your ignorance of the law does not entitle you to break it. It’s already been pointed out that ANY road wide enough to accommodate multiple lanes IS a multi-lane road, striped or not. YOU MUST treat it as a multi-lane road, regardless of what you think it should be. If you truly have never seen a two-lane road without markings down the middle (of which there are many in Seattle), you are not qualified to hold a driver’s license.

  • bluebird December 2, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    Agreed KBear! I especially love the person who is defiantly going to hog the middle of the road because that is what they’ve decided is correct, screw what the law is. Another safe mentality on the roads. Mine, all mine!

  • Family Friend December 2, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    She is still doing very poorly, still on life support, hanging on to her dear life.

    Please include her in your prayers, good wishes and thoughts so she could overcome the Dr’s bleak prognosis.

    To the driver – Don’t use the sun’s glare as your excuse. It wasn’t bright nor sunny yet that time of the morning. Injuries this severe and life threatening could have been prevented if only you slowed down at that crosswalk.

  • me on 28th Ave SW December 2, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    This is so very sad. Sad for the family and friends of the poor pedestrian and sad for the family and friends of the driver of the car. My prayers are for both.

  • Matthew December 4, 2009 (8:39 pm)

    I had the pleasure of working with the pedestrian for a few years. She is one of the “good people”. The driver should have been arrested. I pray that my friend survives. I pray that her family gets a lawyer and sues the hell out of the negligent driver.

Sorry, comment time is over.