VIDEO: West Seattle bike rider survives collision after truck turns into his path

West Seattle bicycle rider Al survived a frightening collision with a semi-truck/trailer on Thursday – and it’s all on video, recorded by his helmet cam. He asked if we would share it here as, at the very least, a reminder of why it’s important to be aware of everyone and everything on the road – it can be a matter of life and death. It happened as he was riding southbound on East Marginal Way near its turn into Alaskan Way, as he headed back to West Seattle after yesterday’s Mariners game. WARNING: LOTS OF PROFANITY – the video is not edited and so, Al says, “A word of warning…If you don’t want to hear a bunch of words and phrases most parents don’t teach their children, hit the ‘mute’ button.” You have lots of time once you hit “play,” as the truck does not come into view until almost a minute into the video, and the collision happens shortly thereafter. Al adds, “I was very lucky and I’m okay (a scratch on my left elbow and thigh), my bike was mended (rode straight to Alki Bike with a rubbing I couldn’t find).” He says the crash was reported to police and that Port of Seattle PD took a report. East Marginal Way S. was in the spotlight in 2013 after a deadly crash (less than a mile south of Al’s incident), and is one of the “multimodal corridors” that SDOT is currently studying for safety improvements.

77 Replies to "VIDEO: West Seattle bike rider survives collision after truck turns into his path"

  • Maggie September 11, 2015 (10:02 am)

    WOW! I’m so glad you’re okay. That’s insane.

  • Alan September 11, 2015 (10:15 am)

    That was my most dreaded section of road when I was riding my commute. I always envisioned those rear tires of the trailer rolling over the top of me.
    It’s not quite as dramatic as a tractor-trailer, but cars frequently will pass bikers and immediately turn right in front of them. Similar language ensues.

  • Wb September 11, 2015 (10:18 am)

    Al (and WSB) thank you for posting and I am glad you are OK. Absolutely scary and a good reminder.

  • wsea September 11, 2015 (10:20 am)

    You had amazing reaction time. Glad you are safe.

    I’ve had a couple close calls in that same driveway but with the trucker pulling out onto marginal.

  • vincent September 11, 2015 (10:43 am)

    The trucks in that area are the worst scofflaws around, aside from dangerous passes and turns, they block lanes, speed to pass other trucks and perform uturns without signaling. They use the road as an overflow parking lot, and have started tossing urine bottles into the street. The port of seattle police despite having an office on the same street, don’t feel compelled to do anything.

  • sw September 11, 2015 (10:58 am)

    Most importantly – glad that you were not seriously injured.

    Good for you to have a helmet cam. I would encourage all cyclists to get helmet cams and post interactions such as these. Maybe the more damning evidence available, it will motivate the SPD and Port police to take action. The Port trucks are a menace on the road to cyclists and motorists alike.

  • Triathlete September 11, 2015 (11:01 am)

    I am glad you are ok. Funny I thought the fellow cyclist reaching inside his bag was getting a first aid kit.Nope. He was looking for his phone to take pics/evidence/whatever.
    First things first people.

  • Helga September 11, 2015 (11:34 am)

    I’m really glad the cyclist is ok, but I’m also not surprised.

    I drive that route every morning and evening and the truckers drive like madmen, running red lights, making dangerous right & left turns. And rarely is there any sort of police presence on that road anymore, even when the ports are back up and the trucks are backed up to Hanford.

  • westseaneighbor September 11, 2015 (11:53 am)

    That scares the bejeezus out of me. I ride that road on my daily commute, and have had so many close “shaves” with semis clearly exceeding the speed limit that I can’t even recall half of them. There’s a new product called “Fly 12” that is both light and camera for your bike–it lets you superimpose “foot” markers on the video for evidence, records in a continuous loop, and you can immediately edit clips wirelessly from your iphone and upload to social media. I have a similar rear camera, and I’m seriously considering adding the front facing one now.

  • rob September 11, 2015 (11:57 am)

    have problems at this exact spot almost every day, though for me it is usually trucks pulling out of there onto the road or going northbound making a left into there. last week had to do an emergency stop along with two other bike riders when a truck turned left into there in front of us. all 3 probably would have cleared the way in less than 2 seconds had he waited. the guy in front was no more than 50 feet from the truck before it turned. on several occasions i’ve come to this spot, a truck pulls up to the road and pauses or waits to look for traffic and pulls out right in front of me almost as if they intentionally waited for me to be closer before they did it. i’d get a helmet cam but since i’ve had things like this happen while port police were sitting there watching and they have done nothing about it, i’m not sure what value it would be.

  • AJP September 11, 2015 (11:58 am)

    YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad you are ok!!

  • bike_commuter September 11, 2015 (11:59 am)

    Glad you are ok; this sends chills down my spine.

    I did email the address listed on the multi-modal study page referenced by WSB in the story which is:

    Perhaps your video can help demonstrate the need for safety improvements along the corridor. No more ghost bikes need to haunt this route.

  • Lacey September 11, 2015 (12:00 pm)

    i ride this route every day to and from my work. How can this be made safer? There is a protected, somewhat separated bike lane, yet I’ve had to slam on my brakes more than once because of situations like this. Sometimes trucks are stopped in the side over the bike lane. What is the solution to making this route safer? A lower speed limit?

    That driver is probably going to be very conscious and vigilant when turning from now on. I bet he feels pretty terrible– I know I would.

  • miws September 11, 2015 (12:01 pm)

    Al, sorry this happened to you, but glad you were relatively unhurt.


    Healing Thoughts.



  • datamuse September 11, 2015 (12:09 pm)

    Yikes, that’s terrifying. I know there was a lot of discussion between truck drivers and bike riders after a rider was killed not far from there a few years ago, but it’s still a pretty scary place to ride. Not a lot of good alternatives between West Seattle and downtown, though.
    Glad you’re ok!

  • Jim September 11, 2015 (12:13 pm)

    It’s not just this section of street that is dangerous. Riding just about anywhere in an urban environment requires an extremely defensive mindset. We are entitled to our lawful place on the road but you have to ride as though people don’t see you. I run into this kind of situation several times a week (vehicle turning right through a bike lane) and sometimes I only survive because I am anticipating not being seen. Having a helmet cam won’t help in those situations. It’s not about who’s at fault, it’s about who survives.

  • Sheri F September 11, 2015 (12:35 pm)

    Coach Al! I’m so glad you are OK! As soon as I saw this I knew it was you. I will share this to spread the word. Drivers, especially truck drivers, be aware on the road!

  • sam-c September 11, 2015 (12:47 pm)

    That was really scary to watch! Glad you are ok.

    @Triathlete- if you listen to the audio – I’m pretty sure Al had just asked the other cyclist to “Get a photo of the license!”

  • Neighbor September 11, 2015 (12:48 pm)

    Scary!!! I too ride this way on my daily commute. If nothing else good comes of it, thank you for posting so it increases my awareness. Hope you heal mentally and physically from this. This looks like to me a near death experience.

  • wsn00b September 11, 2015 (12:53 pm)

    Glad you are ok. I wouldn’t have the cajones to drive on that road – ever. There is a nice smooth looking sidewalk on that road. Maybe that’s a safer place to ride there till Seattle gets its act together and makes protected bike lanes.

  • reality September 11, 2015 (12:56 pm)

    Jim – I totally agree. The truck should have yielded but one has to anticipate people not following rules of the road.
    Semi’s have a horrible track record in this area as well as on the WS bridge, I 5, etc.. But so do cyclists, not stopping at stop signs as just one example.
    I wish there was a better alternative for cyclists. There is no way I would ride in this area based on accidents and deaths in the past.
    What people may not realize is, the helmet cam may make things look further away so this was likely a closer call than it appears. Sorry this happened to you Al. God speed.

  • HC September 11, 2015 (1:11 pm)

    Ride/drive defensively. Don’t ever assume you’ve been seen. Glad you’re ok.

  • Don Brubeck September 11, 2015 (1:14 pm)

    I am so glad you were able to stop in time to avoid being run over. I know you are a really careful, skilled and experienced bike rider (and a professional driver of a large fleet vehicle), and are very visible on the road. Someone with less awareness might have been killed in this situation. We need this route to be safe for everyone.

    I find most of the truck drivers are good, too, but this really calls attention to the need for Port of Seattle and WSDOT to require side guards on trailers to deflect pedestrians or bike riders from being caught under the wheels. And to build a protected bikeway on East Marginal Way S from S Atlantic to S Spokane with a concrete barrier like on the Spokane St Bridge, and with intersection controls at the terminal driveways. Real improvements can happen on this road if we pass the Move Seattle levy, so the East Marginal Way Multimodal Corridor Project can be designed and built.
    The video shows that most of the traffic in the late afternoon on this stretch is actually bike traffic, not trucks or cars. This is the major bike route from WS to SODO and downtown. But just one moment of inattention by a driver can have the most serious consequences under the present conditions.

  • AE September 11, 2015 (1:37 pm)

    OMG – I nearly vomited watching this. This is also on my commute (and not even the worst part), and I’ve had some close calls, but nothing like this. If you’d been just bit farther forward… I shudder to think.

    So, so thankful you are okay and had that camera. Please let us know if the police even pursue it.

    I have to go have a coronary now…

  • AE September 11, 2015 (1:41 pm)

    Another quick thought – I’m usually flying through this part of my commute in the dark, both because I want to get home and because the isolation of it seems to compel drivers to act particularly lawlessly. Had you been going any faster and paying less attention than you OBVIOUSLY were, the outcome would have been tragic.

    I hope you’re able to heal mentally!

  • Lamont September 11, 2015 (1:49 pm)

    Before I moved to West Seattle I used to bike down Yesler from the CD to downtown.

    Coming down the really steep hill I’ve been cutoff by one woman without a clue, one taxi and one metro bus turning left right in front of me. For whatever reason bikes just don’t register in a lot of people’s minds as something to care about. The woman’s expression was kind of priceless as she noticed me at the last second and her eyes went all wide as she still just proceeded through the intersection and cut me off. And this was in the morning (my definition of morning which is around 9:30am), good visibility, road surfaces not wet, and me wearing a bright yellow jacket.

    The metro bus was a pretty similar situation to this one, only I managed to stay upright and skid to a stop.

    And as to riding defensively… Yes, the more experience I had riding down that hill the slower I tended to go, and the more I just anticipated someone being an idiot and cutting me off. I think the metro bus was the first one and it was more pants wetting, the other two I was already half expecting them to be idiots and got to a stop easier and just cursed at them.

    The video cameras are an excellent idea.

  • Trickycoolj September 11, 2015 (1:57 pm)

    Terrifying. I know lots of folks outside west seattle that also commute this corridor to Harbor Island and Boeing Field and I get scared it could be one of them every time there’s an incident. I am very glad Al was able to walk away and had impeccable awareness and reaction time. I can only hope that I also have split second reaction on my bike too, but having to pass through several stretches with short haul truckers and scrap metal haulers on my short commute keeps me in the car. Anxiety would be through the roof otherwise.

  • gymbo September 11, 2015 (2:01 pm)

    Most of all, glad you’re OK!

    Great cautionary tale about riding defensively. The second that semi slows at all is the time to hit the breaks. We all just have to ride with our head on a swivel. As Al points out, the driver is really sorry, but what could be a bad day for him is the LAST day for us.

    Be safe all

  • Panda September 11, 2015 (2:48 pm)

    Collision? Where was the collision? I saw heavy breaking to avoid a collision but no actual contact. You do have to watch out for those container haulers. They aren’t the most observant.

  • skeeter September 11, 2015 (3:13 pm)

    Panda – no collision? Did you see that his bike ended up under the truck’s tire?

  • unknown September 11, 2015 (3:23 pm)

    First off I am glad Al is OK!
    But not to say who’s right or wrong in this situation but did the truck have it’s turn signal on it kind of looks like it did and yes Al was in the right lane and the truck was crossing over to make the right turn but what do some trucks on the back of their vehicle… “if you can’t see me I can’t see you”??? do you think Al could see the drivers face in his side view mirror?

  • Gatewooder September 11, 2015 (3:31 pm)

    That was a close call, the consequences could have easily been death. I hope that the driver of that rig gets suspended, he is a danger on the road, but we should all learn from this video to never expect the other guy to do the correct thing. I may have to add a video camera to my equipment list, it seems to be the only way to prove the kind of crazy stuff that goes on our streets every day. Al, hope you are OK, and thank you (and WSB) for the learning opportunity. Stay safe, everybody.

  • Kevin September 11, 2015 (3:44 pm)

    This wasn’t a collision. The cyclist’s own words on the youtube video: 9/10/15~While riding home from todays Mariners win a tractor-trailer passes me and then turns right into a driveway cutting me off, I had to slam on the brakes which sent me over the handlebars and the bike ended up lodged against the rear tire of the trailer (and inside the mud flap).

  • sbre September 11, 2015 (3:50 pm)

    Hello all, and thank you for your well-wishes and constructive input. REALLY nice not to read one negative comment on this situation, and REALLY saddening to read of all the other close calls others have had to experience along this stretch of road and elsewhere.
    To add more insight into the situation that my camera could not capture: First, those that know me as a rider know I wear a mirror attached to my sun-glasses, and with that said…as I was approaching the Coast Guard station I could see (in my mirror) the truck slowly coming up behind me but still a distance away and thought ‘cool, he’s going slow here where the road is the narrowest’ as I continued on.
    As I passed the men’s shelter @ Massachusetts St. I could hear his engine producing more power and looked to see he was still a few cars lengths behind me and was comfortable (as can be expected given the conditions) as the road was widening at that point and assumed (yeah, I know) he was heading on and beyond.
    As the trailer section was passing me I looked into my mirror again to see a light colored sedan (and possibly a second vehicle behind it) approaching from behind but still a little ways away, then as my eyes went back to the front I saw that the cab had already crossed the over the bike lane and sidewalk, and my thought was to slow some, move right and bunny-hop up onto the sidewalk (which I’ve done many times to avoid other situations) however I grabbed too much front brake and physics took over. We all know how that turned out.
    Luckily the only contact made with the trailer was when my bike finally came to a rest with the front sprocket against the rear tire of the trailer, and my front wheel tucked nicely between that wheel and the mud flap. Obviously my guardian-angle was there to control my fall enough to only sustain the two small scrapes reported, one each on my left elbow which was noticed at the scene, and on my left thigh which I found during my shower later in the evening.
    And it wasn’t until watching the video on my computer did I see the flashing right blinker on the rear of the cab (under the front of the trailer), there’s no way in Haiti would I be able to see it on the front or side of the truck.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH to two cyclists who stopped right away; the first calling the police for me, the second asking if I needed medical assistance AND taking a photo of the trailers license plate number at my request in case the driver decided to leave the scene.
    A Port of Seattle officer was there within minutes, courteously did his due diligence and provided me with a case number (subsequently I’ve e-mailed him the link to the video), I realigned my rear tire and found nothing else amiss with my bike and eventually headed home only to discover a mysterious rubbing I couldn’t find so went straight to Alki Bike who helped me solve the minor issue.
    This morning I: A) feel just fine, no ‘day-after’ problems have raised their ugly heads, and just a few minutes ago parked the same bike in the garage after a short 7 mile errand.
    And B) spoke with the dispatcher of the trucking company that driver worked for (yes, past tense I learned) who also now has the video. During our conversation I introduced myself as a member of the West Seattle Bike Connections I asked him what we can do to help prevent anything from happening again in the future, to which he offered that he and many of his drivers would like to meet with our group to collaborate towards that goal AND a peaceful co-existence.
    My wants out of all of this is more awareness, especially on all motorist behalf towards all those who are not IN a vehicle; walkers, runners, wheel-chairs, etc. AND cyclists. And for those cyclists who take too many unnecessary risks in and around traffic, giving us that do do the right thing a bad name. One moment of wrong judgment on your behalf and that helmet you’re wearing (or not) isn’t going to do diddly-squat to protect you.
    My hope is that everyone who watches the video will experience the same gut-wrenching reactions so many here have written about and then think twice, thrice and more about how they maneuver their multi-tons of steal around us less-protected that are sharing the streets, cross-walks and sidewalks.
    When all is said and done its about the physics involved. I’m a 175+- pound man on a 55+- pound bike who doesn’t stand a chance against most anything out there on the street.
    Please be careful, cautious and courteous towards and with each other.

  • J3 September 11, 2015 (4:09 pm)

    So glad you were not hurt more seriously. I too, have had problems with truck drivers right in that same area. Their general disdain for cyclists is prevalent along that whole stretch of road. Hope they come down on the driver, hard!

  • Neighbor September 11, 2015 (4:13 pm)

    Fwiw the sidewalk isn’t consistently good here as it has rough patches and uprooted sidewalk sections and twice a hydrant in the middle or near middle of the path.

  • sbre September 11, 2015 (4:17 pm)

    PS~Sorry for all the swearing, that’s not my normal way of speaking. However it did help to keep my fist off the drivers body!!!

  • sam-c September 11, 2015 (4:20 pm)

    Thank you so much for the follow up. I am glad to hear of the positive response from the trucking company and hopefully it results in improvements and better safety environment along that stretch for cyclists (by way of more awareness from those truck drivers).

  • AE September 11, 2015 (4:22 pm)

    Thanks for the updates, sbre, and glad to hear you were back on the bike today. My legs shook for days after I was hit. Also, very promising results from your discussion with the trucking company.

    One comment (from unknown) makes me wonder if some drivers really don’t bother to watch out for cyclists they JUST PASSED. When I’m driving, I’m always aware that there is a person or vehicle on my right if I just passed them/it. I think you’d have to have the memory of a guppy to forget it, but maybe drivers are just in another world and never register the rider/pedestrian to begin with. Maybe that happened here, but the fact that the driver signaled makes me think he thought that the other road users would just have to yield to him (although he cut the cyclist off before he would have been able to see the signal). But who knows – I’m an attentive driver, so I just don’t get it.

    Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, but can’t we ALL put down the phone, clear your mind, and concentrate entirely on driving/biking?

  • Kravitz September 11, 2015 (4:37 pm)

    @sbre – I’m so glad you’re alright. I’m impressed that, while verbally upset, you really held your ground with the driver and didn’t go overboard with a heated response out of an adrenaline rush combined with anger and fear. I can imagine so many other horrible outcomes of this incident. You and the other cyclists that stopped to assist are what’s good about the cycling community. I also think that the helmet cam is almost as important as a helmet these days. Very glad you had both and that you didn’t suffer any major injuries. I feel for the driver because he probably knew he was going to lose his job… but the lesson he’s learned from his mistake is invaluable. Please everyone be careful out there and share the road.

  • Panda September 11, 2015 (4:42 pm)

    Again, not a collision. Just over grabbed the brake and Al states as much. I’ve ridden for 30 years both motorbikes and bicycles and have seen this before. As soon as that tractor trailer is alongside you, one must assume it is going to cut you off. ALWAYS anticipate the collision and ALWAYS look for an out. Glad to hear Al likely does this, for instance referencing bunny hopping a curb which is a great way out. But I have also seen cyclists pushing the boundaries while I’m in my car, riding a little too close and not leaving room to get out of a situation. I don’t think Al did anything wrong here (other than braking too hard) and I’m glad he is ok. This situation however is a tough one to call. Who would get a failure to yield citation?

    Speaking of which…

    Was the driver cited? I sure hope not. There was no reason to even call the police and I find that, perhaps, the most annoying part of the whole story.

    ***As they say – keep the rubber side down***

  • LStephens September 11, 2015 (4:52 pm)

    Al, so glad you are ok! That video was truly scary. Every trucker and every other driver out there should see it and shock us all into more awareness.

  • Don Brubeck September 11, 2015 (5:18 pm)

    Overtaking and cutting off someone on the right from a lane to the left is a violation of traffic laws. Al had the right of way in his lane. The driver had to see him, and had plenty of time to judge his speed. All the driver had to do was slow down and turn behind him. Substitute a car for the bike and visualize. 911 is the appropriate number to call, and SPD can decide to cite or not.

  • Josh September 11, 2015 (5:24 pm)

    Panda – no reason to cite the driver? He began his turn before he had completed overtaking another vehicle, and failed to yield to that vehicle. Clear violations of law even if there was no contact between the two vehicles. When overtaking on the left, a driver must not move right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. Safely clear, not clear by inches.

  • miws September 11, 2015 (6:02 pm)

    Oh CRAP! I didn’t even put the Al=sbre connection together!


    Now feel even more bad that you had this scare, and more glad that it wasn’t serious. Sad enough to read about incidents like this when one doesn’t know a random bike rider, but a little more disconcerting when it’s someone a person knows.



  • Kimmy September 11, 2015 (6:40 pm)


    I’m happy to hear you are back on your bike and are okay! I truly hope that your video will help the city and our community push for more safe and comprehensive bike routes, as well as improve traffic enforcement. Thank you for sharing–our road safety is a really important issue for everyone.

  • formerbikecommuter September 11, 2015 (6:44 pm)


    first: sooooo, sooooo glad to hear youre ok!
    second: amazing composure from you having just see your life flash in front of you! i was astounded how well you kept it together having just gone onto the ground. I was also so glad to see people right there helping you with cameras and questions to ascertain the situation right after it happened.

    I used to commute from ws to the cd years ago. I stopped. it wasn’t safe back in the late ’90’s and I fear it’s less safe now.

    thanks for posting this! it gives anyone who gets behind the wheels of a car (or semi truck) the vantage point they need to be more conscientious of who/what is around them…..hopefully!

  • Max Power September 11, 2015 (6:49 pm)

    Maybe if you collect a few more of these, the city will remove that ridiculous gutter bike lane and put in a few “bikes may use full lane” signs.

  • MP September 11, 2015 (6:49 pm)

    Panda- I see your comments all over WS blog and I hope for your sake they are there to illicit conversation because if you truly believe what you say most of the time I feel very sorry for you.

  • unknown September 11, 2015 (7:01 pm)

    AE…Yes I am very aware of the bicyclists I’m coming up on and also passing and I also see how they don’t stop completely or at all at a marked/lighted stop intersection and also see them pass cars on their right so we’re all not perfect.

    I’m just saying that both “drivers” may have been at fault here, truck driver not paying attention to the road and Al thinking the truck was going to let him go by should never assume sadly enough.

    AGAIN I’m happy no one was hurt in this accident.

  • billdsd September 11, 2015 (7:04 pm)

    This is one of the main reasons why bike lanes don’t actually enhance safety. They’re not so bad when they don’t cross places where vehicles can turn right. This is a type 1 right hook. It’s far too common as crashes go. On many roads, I will ride in the middle of the travel lane instead of the bike lane to avoid this exact type of crash.

  • RS September 11, 2015 (8:14 pm)

    I commute through here every day on a bike and I hate these trucks and the whole arrangement. Our port is awful and ancient. That said, there are plenty of good drivers who have shown lots of sensitivity to myself and other bikers, especially after the last death. This driver was not one of them and I do hope he was cited as he was clearly at fault. He knew exactly where that biker was and made an error that nearly cost a life.

  • KBear September 11, 2015 (8:38 pm)

    I think someone must’ve gotten some funny bamboo. Clearly the trucker was in the wrong here. Blaming the victim is uncool.

  • ELLY September 11, 2015 (8:41 pm)

    Glad he is okay! All the roads around the port are scary to drive, let alone ride a bike! I commute under the bridge daily and get cut off by large trucks speeding way too fast to and from the Port. Don’t they have their own police who should be watching them along with the city cops? And under 99 there is a major lack of signage – so many confused drivers commit the “Seattle Surrender” and just stop in the middle of the road. It’s a dangerous area but this was clearly the trucker’s fault, even if he was sorry. Pay attention out there! Let’s keep each other safe.

  • ELLY September 11, 2015 (8:44 pm)

    And Panda, really? No collision? Are you kidding me? If the tire of your “motorbike” was under somebody’s semi trailer you wouldn’t consider that a collision? Start making sense. Or stop trolling.

  • jtm September 11, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    I drive this route every day – these truck drivers are morons and I’m very cautious around them, in a CAR. I guess I don’t know why anyone would assume they see you, or that they know how to obey bicycle/vehicle traffic laws. I am very conscious of the cyclists, but many are running lights & stop signs, crossing the street wherever they want, etc. It is just a tough road to navigate. Glad everyone is OK.

  • Mike September 11, 2015 (9:59 pm)

    Glad the rider is okay, easily could have been deadly.
    To those blasting Panda, Panda is correct. It’s not a collision, unless you want to say the bike flipped and hit the tire/wheel of the trailer. It’s not ‘under the tire’ as some stated, if it was, that bike would be completely toast too.
    Ride safe, ride smart, never count on anyone else to see you, especially along the Port. Chances are that driver of the semi didn’t even see the cyclist as they passed them, they sit higher than the roof of a 4×4 F150. Does it make it okay that they forced this rider to crash into the pavement, no, it’s just reality. I’ve been forced into another lane on 99 when a dump truck with trailer came into my lane and I was between the truck and trailer. Always be aware.
    Glad the rider is ok.

  • AE September 11, 2015 (10:27 pm)

    I think people are taking issue with the allegation that the driver was not at fault for the right hook. “Collision” or not, the driver was at fault and the cyclist was thankfully riding defensively and saved himself. The driver is very lucky – I doubt he commit his infraction intentionally, and killing someone likely would have wrecked him.

  • Alan September 12, 2015 (12:04 am)

    I meant to say in my first comment that I am glad Al is OK. I am.

    I do not understand the few people that are suggesting the driver was not fully at fault. Suggesting that the cab was too high to see is just wrong, as the driver passed the bicyclist. He certainly should have seen him as he passed, seconds earlier. The biker was also back far enough that the driver would have seen him in his side view mirror, which he should have been monitoring for that bicycle that he had just passed.
    If you were driving in the right lane, when a vehicle in the left lane, parallel to you and slightly ahead, turned right into you and caused you to brake, skid, and/or slide into a barrier, would you think yourself even partially at fault? That is what we are looking at here. It just happens that “your” vehicle in this case is a bicycle and the right-hand lane is the bicycle lane.
    I don’t think anyone argues against everyone having to be watchful, distrustful and overly cautious on a bike. It doesn’t mean that, when all that fails, the bicyclist is at fault.

  • JanS September 12, 2015 (12:18 am)

    you know what? I don’t give a damn about what you see bicyclists doing at some stoplight, or intersection…we’re talking about this particular instance. I’m sitting here saying WTF to myself because of the comments like the one Panda made…and the guy who said well, you knew the truck was there, and he had his signal on…so damned what? That doesn’t give him the right to just turn right in front of the cyclist. He saw Al…he passed him…he was in the wrong. I was married to a trucker, TYVM, and what about slowing down and making sure he’s clear. If it had been a car already in front of him on the right when he sped past, that car would have been cremated, period. Al was ahead of the truck, not vice versa…onus on the truck driver. If the truck had been ahead of Al with right turn signal on, onus on him. And I echo Skeets’ comment..did you not see ther bicycle under the truck tire? what is with this blaming the victim attitude, Panda?

    Geez… (oh, and why did Al have to ask almost a half dozen times to see his license. Driver is damned lucky he didn’t kill someone that time !

  • unknown September 12, 2015 (6:26 am)

    YES the truck driver was completely at fault, he cut off the bicyclist and I am happy he (Al) made it out with just a couple of scrapes.
    And now the truck driver is out of a job because of a very stupid mistake he made which thankfully didn’t cause another death on that terrible stretch of road…but to some of us commenters on this blog I forget are perfect and have never made mistakes…

  • Don Brubeck September 12, 2015 (9:22 am)

    @billdsd: I ride this route every work day year round, and have never, ever seen one single bike rider stupid enough to “take the lane” on East Marginal Way S between S Spokane and S Atlantic. This is a major truck street for heavy trucks, and when trucks are not on it, it is a wide open drag strip.

  • AE September 12, 2015 (10:30 am)

    Alan and JanS-
    Nailed it. Thanks.

  • Neighbor September 12, 2015 (11:07 am)

    Hey Panda, if I were to anticipate a collision every time I see a semi next to me, I would be walking my bike to work along this entire stretch. From the west seattle low rise bridge to the waterfront trail. And what is this expectation that bike riders need these “skills” to bunny hop out of the way?! When riding in a narrow bike lane next to speeding traffic (For example, when I ride up the east side of Admiral Way during the time I can see the speed meter, almost every car is speeding) it is usually the motorized vehicle that has the control of “staying too close” and pushing the boundaries. Al’s incident happened within seconds. Motorized vehicles need to drive like it’s their child on the bike in the road rather than think “they” need to be careful of us (car/trucks drivers).

  • nolongerusingthestreets September 12, 2015 (12:05 pm)

    I’ve ridden this stretch to the tune of > 50K miles. After Lance David was killed 5/1/2013, there were Port emphasis patrols–and during my commute, it was about 3:1 tickets to cyclists vs cars. I started counting how often I saw motor vehicles either grossly in excess of the speed limit, using the center turn lane as a passing lane, or using the right-turn-only lanes as passing lanes, and on average it was about three per day. It’s a bad stretch, though much better than it used to be when there was no separation, rail cars next to the road, and exposed rails. (FYI I do also drive, just stating what I’ve seen on E Marg)

  • b town viking September 12, 2015 (12:20 pm)

    I’m all for sharing the road, but seattle is not built for bikes. It’s not safe period. I watched some documentary it think it was in Germany or Sweden where they developed roads just for bikes no cars allowed on these roads it’s safe and thousands of people use it. However you can’t paint part of a road green and call it a bike lane doesn’t work that way. P.S. I’m glad your ok that’s brutal

  • WS4life September 12, 2015 (3:53 pm)

    @b town viking – Absolutely correct! Motor vehicles and bicycle’s DO NOT MIX on the same road. A bicycle cannot accelerate or slow down safely enough with the flow traffic. Therefore impeding traffic.

    • WSB September 12, 2015 (4:04 pm)

      If you want to say it that way, you could also take the flip side and argue that cars and trucks are too fast for the road, so they should just use Highway 99 through that area (which is already reserved for the exclusive use of motor vehicles). If you have a better idea for how to make sure everyone can use E. Marginal safely and multi-modally, please get involved in the process I mentioned in the story – SDOT’s multimodal study. I believe you’ll find contact info at the link. – Tracy

  • unknown September 12, 2015 (4:49 pm)

    Jan…anger management????

  • BBilly September 12, 2015 (10:01 pm)

    So glad you are okay. I ride that stretch and find most of the truck drivers to be very aware of cyclist, but it only takes one moment of innatentiveness. I often watch these types of videos with an eye for whether or not I think this could have happened to me. I feel like I am an extremely cautious rider. To be honest, I often think the rider with the GoPro in some of these vids could have been more careful. Not the case here. Absolutely the drivers fault and you reacted as I would have.

    One thing that would help:

    More fleets should require side guards.

  • Mel September 12, 2015 (10:59 pm)

    When did truckers become such awful drivers? I’m a car driver, and I’m scared by what I see from heavy work vehicles on a daily basis.
    I know there’s pressure to get where you’re going and get paid, but if anyone should be following laws to the letter rather than rough guidelines, it should be those who drive for a living.

  • oldgranola September 13, 2015 (1:33 am)

    Glad you are ok. Looks like you handled it very well. I’m impressed. I have had close calls there on that very spot and all along that way with a less peaceful outcome. Once a bunch stopped right on the bike path (north) crowding everybody and just flipped us off when we told them ‘off the bike path!’ That ended differently. The problem is Port of Seattle not the drivers. Truck drivers do what they are told. They work in a situation where their own bosses don’t care if they live or die. So they don’t care either.

  • nic September 13, 2015 (1:26 pm)

    Whenever I hear stories about this kind of accidents, I immediately think to myself “there’s no way professional truck drivers would be stupid/uneducated enough to take over a cyclist, then immediately turn!”

    I guess I’m completely wrong.

    I’m a car driver and I always try to avoid being around large trucks on the road, but when one does not have a choice (like Al didn’t in this situation), Omg…

    So glad he is alive. Holy crap. I am completely frightened right now.

  • JortSandwich September 13, 2015 (6:23 pm)

    Glad to see the helmet cam. Somebody up above said that the only thing that matters, cam or not, is to make sure somebody survives.

    That may be true, but if anything were ever to happen to me by an inattentive driver and I was seriously injured, I would hope that a helmet cam would provide evidence to ensure the driver was criminally prosecuted for injuring or killing me, and would also provide evidence for the impending lawsuit that my loved ones would file.

    What I’m saying is — sometimes a helmet cam is the only thing standing between “he said-she said” testimony. That’s why I wear one. I’m sure that seems “rude” or whatever, but if somebody hurts me because they broke the law, I want physical evidence so that I can do whatever I can to make sure they never drive again or hurt anybody else — again.

  • Panda September 14, 2015 (10:03 am)

    I’m glad that Al is ok. I’m also glad to see my comments stirred such debate. I’m however disappointed that it got so many bent out of shape. Some of you need to take a deep breath. I was just asking a few questions and raising the point that you always need to be aware. Be safe out there.

  • Born on Alki 59 September 14, 2015 (1:53 pm)

    Trucks and bicycles should not share the same lane in these industrial area’s, period. Clearly the “truckers” fault, but also a bad bike lane design. There are two sides of an 18 wheeler.
    The left side is the “passing side”.
    The right side is the “suicide”.
    Never take that for granted, especially with some of these can haulers….scary.
    Too many situations in this area put bicycle’s on the ‘suicide”.
    Stay alert and never assume you have the right of way, on bike, foot or car.

  • RayWest September 18, 2015 (12:56 pm)

    What jumps out at me is, the truck immediately stops, then you are waiting and waiting and waiting for the driver to show up and when he finally strolls into the shot, he rather blandly asks about how the guy is. Unbelievable. Meanwhile the other bikers are thoughtfully assisting the downed biker. Kudos to them. So glad this was not more serious.

Sorry, comment time is over.