Followup: New information on man hit by truck this morning

During our morning-commute coverage today, we reported on what fire department medics described as a “jogger” hit by a semi-truck on the east end of the West Seattle “low bridge.” WSB’ers via e-mail and comments have provided new information on his condition and on plans to raise money to help with his recovery. He is identified by friends as Tim Nelson; he was running to work as a Viaduct alternative, according to Justin Coffey, writing on his website Peanut Butter Coast:

Tim is currently in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center. His back was broken, as well as his right shoulder, right arm and a few ribs. His skull is fractured, a lung punctured and his spleen lacerated. His injuries are severe, but his spirits are high. Whether you know him or not, please keep Tim in your thoughts and prayers.

Justin mentions a benefit planned for Friday, November 11, to help with Tim’s expenses – more information in his post. We don’t have official information from police on the circumstances of the crash. (Photo courtesy Mark)

33 Replies to "Followup: New information on man hit by truck this morning"

  • Karissa October 25, 2011 (8:56 am)

    Thank you for following up on Tim. So glad to know he survived!

  • JennyB October 25, 2011 (9:08 am)

    I’ll be checking here as well as Justin’s blog for any details on how to help. I’m not able to attend the benefit on 11/11, and wish Tim a speedy recovery.

    I really do admire what Tim was attempting; I have also considered running from West Seattle to downtown as a commute alternative. I’m fortunate to have the option to work from home this week.

    I’ve heard stories about injured cyclists (now runners) who say the risks of getting to downtown by anything other than car/bus wheels are too great. Everyone makes their own judgement about that, but Tim’s story will certainly weigh on my mind.

  • Matt D. October 25, 2011 (9:19 am)

    I was the cyclist behind Tim who saw the incident and called 911. I don’t know exactly what happened, but Tim was crossing against the light and ran into the path of the truck coming off the bridge. I saw him get hit and tossed into the air and land pretty hard – he was unconscious when he landed but came to a few minutes later. Other bikers came up to help almost immediately. The truck driver stopped and came over also and gave a statement to the police. The crossing there has multiple lanes going different directions so maybe Tim got confused as to which way traffic was coming and was looking the wrong way. But I am just guessing, I didn’t notice him until he got hit.

    Tim has my wishes and prayers for a full and speedy recovery!


    • WSB October 25, 2011 (9:24 am)

      Matt – maybe that’s why a couple folks told us they believed the crash was bicyclist vs. semi – maybe they saw your bicycle, since you had stopped to help? – TR

  • Karissa October 25, 2011 (9:33 am)

    Matt – Thank you so much for stopping to help him. From what I hear, that intersection has been confusing for cyclists/and individuals on foot. I do not think Tim has run that route before. It is a truly unfortunate event. Thank you for explaining what you witnessed.

  • Mark October 25, 2011 (10:30 am)

    Thanks for helping him, Matt. And thanks for the update, Tracy. I was on my bike near the scene a few minutes after it happened and it really wrecked my morning. Thinking of Tim and everybody else out there on foot or on a bike… be careful… Good thoughts to Tim for a speedy recovery.

  • James R. October 25, 2011 (11:07 am)

    Matt- Thank you for helping my good friend Tim!! It is greatly appreciated! I unfortunately cannot make the benefit, but am keeping Tim in my heart and prayers!!

  • DenverFirefighter October 25, 2011 (11:36 am)

    Thanks for reacting so quickly. Your actions undoubtedly intitiated a quicker EMS response, which can mean the diff between life and death when someone suffers as much trauma as Tim did.
    The outpouring of support here and on Facebook for Tim has been truly amazing. My parents and I can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness.
    – Chris (Tim’s twin bro)

  • Michelle October 25, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    We had no idea how to get a hold of you yesterday. I arrived at the hospital about an hour after he did and I know they contacted your mom’s work but I didn’t have a # or anything for you. I’m sorry about your brother. I was with him for about 6 hours yesterday and will head back out this afternoon. If thers anything I can help with for you, Anne Marie or Steve, please let me know!

  • DenverFirefighter October 25, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    I’m in Seattle now — I flew in from Denver this morning — and I’ll be at the hospital in a few hours. Tim’s in recovery now, so I’ll give him some time before I stop by. I hope to meet all of you when I get there. Thanks again. You guys kick ass.

  • Michelle October 25, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    Hey! Looking forward to meeting the other half of Tim. I’m scared! hahah Ummm can you post update or txt me with any news? If you want email me and i’ll send you my #. Tell Tim I’ll be back out this evening.

  • linda rickabaugh October 25, 2011 (3:20 pm)

    thanks to all of you who are friends of tim’s, and can support him as he recovers. i am one of his many aunts, and we are just devastated by the news. we are praying hard, and hope that you all will do the same.

  • john and Carol Marken October 25, 2011 (4:34 pm)

    I also was there (surly bike) trying to give 1st aid. I am so glad he survived but am very sorry about the extent of his injuries. He had me very worried so I was a bit shaken the rest of the day. One note after reading about the injuries. When at such a scene, please do not ever try to move/manipulate the person such as trying to get the backpack off unless it is absolutely needed, like getting to a bad bleeder. That was not a good idea. Could easily have made him much worse. Thats why if you must, you cut cloths etc off, not manipulate arms etc.

  • Stoke Harvester October 25, 2011 (4:49 pm)

    For those interested…we have set up an area on our website, where you can donate to Tim’s recovery. We also have confirmation, that the fundraiser is a go…which will take place at the Capitol Club on Nov. 11th, from 7-10pm. The Capitol Club is allowing us to tap a few kegs and will be donating the proceeds to Tim. We will also be holding a raffle.

  • DenverFirefighter October 25, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    Stoke, great idea. Thanks for doing this. Why not take it one step further? Why don’t we set up a website or Facebook page where people can read about this accident and donate to Tim’s med costs? What do you guys think?

  • michelle October 25, 2011 (5:44 pm)

    I was just watching the news and saw this story and felt compelled to comment, is there any way to send well wishes? It is so sad that this happened and just want him to know that strangers are praying for him, I woke up paralyzed 5 years ago and it doesn’t even matter fault when you wake up hurt in the hospital it is devastating. If you know him and read this let him know know he is in many peoples thoughts, Thank you kindly!

  • Billy October 25, 2011 (6:18 pm)

    I hope Tim will be ok, and great job to all that came to his aid. I agree with John and Carol 100%. I was not there but after reading all the comments I hope someone went to give some comfort to the truck driver. I’m sure he was also heartbroken.

  • kw October 25, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    I am glad nobody on here is blaming the truck driver…Its impossible to stop a big semi on a dime. Even a car for that matter. best wishes for a full recovery.

  • D-mom October 25, 2011 (10:00 pm)

    It breaks my heart to hear about this accident. I have to admit that safety was something on my mind as I thought about riding my bike to work this week. I don’t know Tim, but I’m pulling for him to make a full recovery and get back on the board to enjoy life to the fullest once again.

  • Karissa October 25, 2011 (10:22 pm)

    Here is a link to the fundraiser event for Tim Nelson at the Capitol Club.!/event.php?eid=209807919092948 If you are interested in attending, please rsvp!

    We will be uploading more information about the donations, raffles, etc. on

    Thank you all for your support. It is so great to see the community involvement!

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (10:32 pm)

      We’d like to remind people about it in a separate story when it gets closer – if anyone involved is able to send us a photo of Tim (I’ve seen the hospital bed pix on a couple sites and that’s not really what we do here … but a headshot or ???) so that we’d have one on file that we had permission to use, it would be great. Hope he is doing better. – Tracy (

  • Vinny P October 25, 2011 (10:53 pm)

    Ill be looking for updates and donating for Tim’s cause….time is so delicate. We need to enjoy what we have every day.
    Stay tough bro! Your in my prayers.
    Vinny P (middle school and high school friend) AZ

  • jeff October 25, 2011 (11:16 pm)

    Actually a truck running someone over in a crosswalk is pretty horrendous.
    I see a lot of these container hauling trucks driving like mad to get another can. The more cans you haul the more money you make. It’s a race actually. I drive through there all the time going to work, or going home. These drivers pull out in front of you. A lot of them really don’t care too much about roadside manners. I’d like to know if the truck driver even had proper licenses or paperwork to even be in this country.
    I have a CDL and no I am not saying all CDL drivers are this way. I used to haul cans from the T5 shipyard to the Union Pacific rail yard. I do know what I’m talking about.
    I think the trucking company should get involved in covering Tim’s medical expenses. Heal quickly Tim.

  • DenverFirefighter October 25, 2011 (11:30 pm)

    I’ll let my mom know that you’d like a photo of Tim. Theoretically, we could just send you one of me and it wouldn’t make a difference — no one would know, as we’re identical twins! We always argued over who was better looking, anyway.

  • DenverFirefighter October 25, 2011 (11:37 pm)

    One other thing: Let’s not forget what an awesome job the responding Seattle Fire Department crews did to save Tim’s life. Engine 36, Truck 7 and Medic 32 acted quickly and stayed cool in a very stressful situation. I’m still amazed at how professional they acted.
    If you agree with me, then write the Seattle Fire Department and let the chief know how you feel.

  • john and Carol Marken October 26, 2011 (8:44 am)

    I did talk to the truck driver, a young guy. He had no options or time to react. He was very helpful in bringing blankets to help keep Tim’s head supported so we could keep his neck straight and body immobile. I also agree with cudos to the fire/emergency responders.

  • Brooks October 26, 2011 (12:27 pm)

    I was arrived on the scene by bicycle what must have been seconds after it happened. I did not see the accident but spoke with one witness who was on his phone calling 911 (probably Matt?) and also spoke with the driver, who was obviously very distraught. Another bike commuter I was riding with is very skilled in first aid and was able to help attend to Tim until the EMTs arrived (note to self, get trained in first aid!). In the wake of this horrible incident, it was great to see so much help there on the scene and so much support for Tim now in his recovery.

  • john and Carol Marken October 26, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    Hi Brooks. Good to have you there and on the road.
    -John on the Surly

  • TA October 26, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Yesterday I rode my bike through that intersection and noticed many bicyclists making that dangerous diagonal dash across traffic and ignoring the stoplights and crosswalks. Same again this morning. I think it would be beneficial if some of these roving SPD foot presence would station themselves at the bottom of the east portion of the low bridge to remind people that this is the safest option for crossing here. There is no good reason to not use the pedestrian / bicycle path that goes back under the bridge and avoids the need to make that dangerous diagonal crossing as many seem to want to do. I have no idea what the circumstances were for Tim’s accident, but I have been riding this section for many years now and have always felt there was a bad accident waiting to happen.

  • Grace October 26, 2011 (6:22 pm)

    I drove by right after the accident and was very sad to see Tim laying there. Not a good visual to remember. I am a medical provider and wanted to stop and help but it was a very hectic scene and there was nowhere for me to stop my car. I am very happy to hear he is doing better and will keep my thoughts and prayers going while hoping for a positive and speedy recovery.

  • Karissa October 27, 2011 (8:00 pm)

    For more information on the fundraiser go here –>

    This will be a great event! If you are going to go out for dinner or drinks Friday night, why not make it worth your while and donate to a good cause at the same time!

    We’d love to see you there!

  • Tim October 28, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    Hey guys,
    I’m Tim, the runner and guy who was hit. First, thanks for all of the outpouring and support, I wouldnt have been alive without fist responders, nurses and doctors, and friends and family.
    Regarding the accident, no idea what happened but I am glad to be alive. Broken back, broken ribs, lacerated spleen a and kidney among mother injuries. Thanks again for your help with everything.


  • ellenater October 28, 2011 (5:46 pm)

    Tim! Glad you are (relatively) ok! So sorry but happy to hear from you. Take care. :)

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