Update: Police seek hit-run driver who left bicycle rider seriously hurt

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli, replacing previous traffic-cam image)
9:42 PM: Police are investigating a collision at the east end of the low bridge, at 11th/Spokane, reported (as monitored via scanner) as car vs. pedestrian. The area is blocked off for investigation, and it sounds as if the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad will be called out.

10:19 PM UPDATE: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports the male victim was riding a bicycle and that police believe it was a hit-and-run. The east end of the low bridge remains blocked.

12:19 AM: The traffic camera at 11th/Spokane indicates investigators are still there. No word on the victim’s condition; we hope more information will be available from SPD and SFD later this morning.

1:54 AM: Police have just announced (monitored via scanner) that the roadway is open again.

11:33 AM: More info just published on SPD Blotter, including what to do if you have any information:

Police are searching for a motorist who struck a cyclist on Harbor Island on Thursday night and sped away.

Witnesses found the bloodied and seriously injured cyclist lying in the street at 11 Ave. S.W. and S.W. Spokane St around 8:20 PM and called 911.

Seattle Fire Department Medics responded and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Traffic Collision Investigation detectives also responded to the scene and are investigating the case. Detectives believe the victim was struck while riding westbound along Spokane Street.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call them at (206) 684-8923 or 911.

ADDED: New information from SPD Friday night: “Detectives have reason to believe the suspect vehicle is light metallic blue and is missing the right side mirror. The vehicle should have damage to the front bumper as well as heavy damage to the windshield. The suspect’s vehicle had been traveling westbound at the time of the collision and likely continued over the lower bridge and into West Seattle. Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call TCIS Detective Andrew Norton at (206) 684-8934.”

26 Replies to "Update: Police seek hit-run driver who left bicycle rider seriously hurt"

  • In our hearts May 22, 2014 (11:54 pm)

    This is so sad and very scary. We are thinking good and healing thought’s for the man who was hit tonight. As fellow riders we are saddened by the fact that the driver fled the scene of this awful accident.

  • JanS May 23, 2014 (12:12 am)

    Another hit and run…seems that it happens all too often.Here’s hoping a speedy recovery for the victim :(

  • phil dirt May 23, 2014 (8:12 am)

    Why are there so many hit and runs? I think that there are many people driving drunk and or stoned or with no insurance …. probably all three. If there were a politician in Olympia with any cahones, they would write legislation with a mandatory 10 year sentence for hit and run. No! make that 20 years!! Yeah, I know, dream on, right?

  • alki resident May 23, 2014 (9:58 am)

    DRIVER- Turn yourself in, you know what you did. Do the right thing.

  • Andy May 23, 2014 (9:59 am)

    I rode up just moments after it happened. It appears the bicyclist was making an illegal cross which has been known to be very dangerous thing to do – it could of easily been avoided had he rode under the bridge where the bike path ensures our safety.

    This is a very sad thing non- the less.

  • Rob May 23, 2014 (11:40 am)

    “Witnesses found the bloodied and seriously injured cyclist lying in the street…”

    Key word is street and not bike bath.


  • wetone May 23, 2014 (11:49 am)

    1st thing is I hope rider is ok and recovers quickly.
    2nd thing is as said above turn your self if involved.
    3rd thing is that area is a very bad spot for drivers of vehicle’s as some bike riders don’t follow the bike path going under and around bridge deck and instead shoot across roadway at the intersection diagonal with out any care to traffic lights. I am down there almost daily and at least once a week end up having to slam my brakes on to miss a rider when heading east (east end of bridge to Harbor Island) green light, cross walk red light and not bike path. (From sidewalk and shoot across street) Same thing when I am coming back into W/S turning west to go across bridge I’ll have green light and some will blow thru red light heading west cross to sidewalk. Again hope bike rider is ok, but bad intersection for all when not used properly.

    • WSB May 23, 2014 (12:07 pm)

      I’m always sorry and incredulous that I even have to say this, but for some reason some people just want to pile on with general bitching about bicycle riders every time one is hurt, so I’m saying it now: Sorry, that stops here. We don’t know what happened and who was to blame. Right now all that matters is that a driver DEFINITELY broke the law by leaving the scene of a crash, and another person is seriously hurt and hospitalized because of whatever happened. If you have specific information about this crash, please contact the police, as requested in the story. Bicyclists are not REQUIRED to use the bike path – they have as much right to be on the rest of the road as any legal road vehicle – here are the Washington state laws, if you’re interested:

  • low bridge May 23, 2014 (12:03 pm)

    Mostly asking out of curiosity–I am sure they are looking at the traffic camera to see if they caught the hit and run last night? Do those cameras record?

  • CW May 23, 2014 (12:28 pm)

    It is amazing how often cyclists are hit by a car and the driver flees the scene. To leave someone there in such a vulnerable state is unbelievable to me. I hope the cyclist makes a full recovery.

    Obviously I do not know the circumstances with this particular collision and what I’m about to say in no way relates to this particular cyclist.

    First of all, I commute by bicycle through this area 5 days a week and often go through this area on weekends. Personally, I do not find this area unsafe for a cyclist. There is a bike path and site lines when crossing the road are very good. What I do often see is cyclists crossing the main intersection (Spokane Street) from the NE corner to the SW corner diagonally. First of all, this is unnecessary. The bike path circles under the bridge which makes crossing Spokane Street unnecessary. All it does is saves time. With that said, it’s perfectly acceptable to cross North to South at the cross walk and then East to West at the second cross walk. This is legal and relatively safe, though not as safe as taking the bike path under the bridge. Crossing diagonally is not only unsafe, it is not legal. Almost daily I see cyclists do this and I have seen a few close calls. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

    In terms of the bike commute from West Seattle to Downtown I think the bike path near and around the bridge is actually one of the safest parts of the commute.

    Once again, I have no idea what happened in this particular case. I just want to highlight the fact that there are often people crossing here in an unsafe fashion and there is a very safe route to take.

    I wish the best for this cyclist and regardless of how this unfolded, I hope the driver turns themselves in or is caught. I agree, the penalty for a hit and run should be very high.

  • JAT May 23, 2014 (1:03 pm)

    In my opinion the bike path is a horribly implemented example of the very worst of “cycling-specific” infrastructure, but that’s beside the point. Even if the “bike path” weren’t too narrow and circuitous and perpetually dark, the legal fact is cyclists aren’t required to use it.

    Motorists regularly drive far too fast for conditions on this section of road. Wetone above indicates he drives through there nearly daily and yet nearly weekly has to slam on his or her brakes due to the actions of fellow road users he observes frequently.

    If you know other people are there all the time slow down; it’ll cut down on the need for emergency braking.

  • Guy May 23, 2014 (1:28 pm)

    I hope the bike rider is ok, I wonder if he remembers the car or truck?

  • J.J. May 23, 2014 (2:59 pm)

    I commute over the lower level bridge by bike regularly and often see other cyclists dart across Spokane at the east end of the bridge instead of wind around on the path underneath (about 30 sec longer).

    No one deserves to be hit much less left on the side of the road, but I wince every time I see one of my fellow cyclists dart out and force a car to slam on its brakes when they (the car) has the right of way. Maybe this rider was crossing on a green—either way I hope he’s okay and they find the driver.

  • amalia May 23, 2014 (3:38 pm)

    Some people just hate cyclists for no defendable reason (ignorance or envy or something). There are THREE crossings there, and only one has a path, the path is NOT well marked and cyclists may not know it’s there, and it’s sketchy. I prefer to avoid it.
    The hit-and-run driver is a criminal. How can some people hate cyclists more than this criminal? Have a nice life with yourselves.

  • Mike May 23, 2014 (7:48 pm)

    Sad to hear someone was hurt. I am interested to know why there have been no witnesses as this as it’s a fairly high traffic time of the day there. If this person was hit by a vehicle, I imagine somebody saw it happen. Right now, nobody knows what happened other than one bicyclist was injured. The police believe it to be a hit and run, but no description of the vehicle, not even color or if it’s a truck, car, bus or big rig? For all we know the cyclist crashed on their own. I’ve done that myself cycling and put myself in the hospital (technically I was driven there after my crash, I can’t remember that 2 hour span of my life my crash was that bad).
    Hope the person recovers quickly.

  • Patrick May 23, 2014 (11:42 pm)

    Really? Blaming the bicyclist?

    • WSB May 24, 2014 (2:17 am)

      Note to those checking back here: SPD added a bit of information Friday night and we almost missed it because it was tweeted as being about an “early morning” crash. Anyway: “Detectives have reason to believe the suspect vehicle is light metallic blue and is missing the right side mirror. The vehicle should have damage to the front bumper as well as heavy damage to the windshield. The suspect’s vehicle had been traveling westbound at the time of the collision and likely continued over the lower bridge and into West Seattle. Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call TCIS Detective Andrew Norton at (206) 684-8934.” We will call this out separately later this morning but for anyone reading overnight, take note.

  • Mike May 24, 2014 (2:46 am)

    Thank you for the update with details on info the police have now released.

  • QA resident May 25, 2014 (10:06 am)

    I was the second driver on the site after the accident, and the guy’s clothes were so ripped up that he might have been dragged a distance. Also, we didn’t see a bike in or near the roadway. Don’t assume that where we found him at the base of the bridge is where he was hit.

  • AB May 26, 2014 (12:59 pm)

    QA resident, thank you for your reply. I am the sister of the cyclist/victim. Were you the one to call for help? Do you know who did? Anybody on this blog call in or know who did. Myself and my family would like to thank that person. I count my blessings. My brother is alive and we are in deep gratitude for helmets and caring people who call for help.

  • Dave P May 26, 2014 (4:39 pm)

    Hi AB … I was first on the scene and called 911 and stayed with him until emergency services arrived. I can’t stop thinking about that night and am interested to know how he is doing.

    • WSB May 26, 2014 (4:53 pm)

      We are glad to hear the rider survived and hopeful the driver will be found. With permission, I would be happy to forward contact info via e-mail so the commenters above can be in direct touch without having to post contact info publicly – our system asks for commenters’ e-mail addresses but they are not publicly shown – just let me know (you can e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com). Separately, if there is anything that the rider’s family would care to share publicly, further, about how he’s doing, and whether any community help is needed, we would be happy to write a followup. – Tracy (editor)

  • JV May 26, 2014 (11:09 pm)

    I am also the sister of the cyclist! He is recovering!!! And our family is immensely grateful to you Dave P!you are a hero and an angel. One of us will try to get in touch via Tracy…

  • JV May 26, 2014 (11:11 pm)

    We are also still looking for the driver that fled and left our brother! Please if anyone knows more details. Someone out there knows something.

  • AB May 27, 2014 (12:39 am)

    Dave P, Angel and Hero! – Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! Your courage and care that night mean the world to us and saved his life. We all look forward to being in touch and giving you the update. -AB

  • AB June 1, 2014 (11:58 am)

    QA Resident – When we met Dave P, he mentioned that you hopped out of your car and helped him to stop traffic while Dave P sat with my brother. Thank you for being there and helping in any way you could. Perhaps we could be in touch? Maybe Tracy can help put us in touch? Thank you again for supporting the rescue of John, my brother. In gratitude, AB and family

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