UPDATE: Pedestrian in wheelchair hit by SPU truck driver at Delridge/Brandon

12:21 PM: Avoid Delridge/Brandon [map] – an emergency response is arriving for a report of a wheelchair-using pedestrian hit by a driver and injured. The intersection is reported to be at least partially closed. Updates to come.

12:34 PM: Our crew reports the person, a man in his 50s, is being taken to Harborview. The truck involved in the collision is marked Seattle Public Utilities. This happened at the SE corner of Delridge/Brandon. SB traffic is getting through.

12:44 PM: Photo added. The victim’s wheelchair is beneath the truck grille. We are waiting to hear from police whether Traffic Collision Investigation detectives are being sent out..

12:52 PM: Police confirm TCI is coming to the scene. For now SB Delridge remains open but that could change depending on what the detectives need to do for their investigation, which is likely to last a few hours.

3:13 PM: Though we heard a while back that SPD was expecting to reopen NB Delridge shortly, we haven’t heard confirmation yet. SFD says the pedestrian, a 52-year-old man, was in serious condition when transported. We have some other followup questions out and will update as replies are received. We should also note that this is the same intersection where a 52-year-old man was hit and killed in November 2014.

4:20 PM: Just confirmed firsthand that the scene is clear.

5:50 PM: From SPD Blotter:

Shortly after noon today, officers responded to 911 calls of a collision at Delridge Way SW and SW Brandon Street. The large utilities truck was stopped for a red light, facing northbound on Delridge. The driver of the truck then began to make a right turn, colliding with the 55-year-old male in the wheelchair, who had entered the crosswalk in front of the truck. The impact from the collision caused significant injuries to the pedestrian.
Seattle Fire responded and transported the male victim to Harborview Medical Center. The driver of the utility truck was evaluated at the scene for any sign of impairment, which is standard protocol in injury collisions. The driver did not exhibit any signs of impairment.

We had also asked SPU for info; their only comment, “Seattle Public Utilities is aware of the incident involving an SPU vehicle and is investigating.”

49 Replies to "UPDATE: Pedestrian in wheelchair hit by SPU truck driver at Delridge/Brandon"

  • Neighbor May 7, 2019 (12:36 pm)

    So the circling chopper is a news chopper, not Medevac? Sounded like every single emergency vehicle in the city speeding that way a few minutes ago. Hope the victim is ok. 

  • KKing May 7, 2019 (12:40 pm)

    Sad to hear. I am guessing this is the reason for helicopter overhead. I live off Delridge and Edmunds

    • WSB May 7, 2019 (12:42 pm)

      Yes, it’s a TV chopper.

  • Nearby May 7, 2019 (1:04 pm)

    If you are travelling through and cutting over to 25th or 26th please slow down.  There are many children around and we don’t need another incident.

    • Brian May 7, 2019 (2:07 pm)

      Yes! Endangering lives isn’t worth getting to work a few minutes faster.

  • Trudy May 7, 2019 (1:19 pm)

    My daughter uses a wheelchair and has almost been hit so many times. Of course i don’t know the circumstances here but with her its usually someone who wants to turn right on a red who has gone past the stop line without looking. She has been waved to cross in front of the stopped car, placing her in cross traffic. With so many wheelchair users and school children in the area i beg people to stop fully before crosswalks and leave the cutouts free and clear.

    • Jon Wright May 7, 2019 (2:00 pm)

      Right turn on red is a big hazard to pedestrians. Drivers are often focused on looking for vehicles coming from the left (inching into the crosswalk in the process), not people coming from the right.

      • Trudy May 7, 2019 (5:45 pm)

        Exactly. Ive had a car do this, spd actually and he couldnt complete the turn and then a bus did the same thing trying to turn the other way. We were trapped in the crosswalk when the light turned green

      • Susie May 8, 2019 (8:37 pm)

        You are soooo right!!! This should not be legal!!!! I will now be more aware of this situation. If your behind me honk because I will piss you off before taking a chance! 

    • Kaitlin May 7, 2019 (2:33 pm)

      I had to comment for the same reason. I am a wheelchair user and I worry about things like this. 

    • KM May 7, 2019 (7:42 pm)

      Right turn on red is incredibly dangerous. It’s past time to ban this practice.

      • Trudy May 8, 2019 (6:18 pm)

        I agree. The city has thrown out the idea of putting cameras at intersections due to these types of accidents as well as “blocking the box” also known as blocking the ramps. Recording the accidents does not seem as important as preventing them.

  • Kaitlin May 7, 2019 (2:30 pm)

    I live on delridge and Brandon, I didn’t hear the crash(though I was home) but I saw the aftermath. Hard to see especially as a wheelchair user. This is a touch spot to cross for wheelchair users. 

  • Michele May 7, 2019 (3:19 pm)

    Kaitlin- Do you have any ideas on how the intersection could be made safe for wheel chair users?

    • donttreadonme May 7, 2019 (4:55 pm)

      Police actually enforcing traffic laws would be a good start.

    • Josh May 7, 2019 (5:25 pm)

      Raised crosswalks would be an inexpensive start.

    • Trudy May 8, 2019 (6:23 pm)

      The west brandon part of the  intersection has a ramp/cutout that does not meet up with the crosswalk. Also to activate the light change cars need to pull up to far, putting the nose of the car into the crosswalk. 

    • Kaitlin May 17, 2019 (11:42 am)

      The side walk lips on that particular cross walk do not meet each other, infact on the other side one of the side walk lips(ramps) is not actually on the cross walk at all. The condition of the road on that side is very messed up so you have to slow down to make sure you don’t flip over. It does seem that in the last few days the timer for that cross walk is longer, I do think that will help. 

  • Scott May 7, 2019 (3:47 pm)

    First off—everyone should attend driving SCHOOL annually.  This is atrocious.

  • Jim P. May 7, 2019 (4:13 pm)

    Car (and motorcycle) drivers simply are unable/unwilling to see anything that is not a direct threat to themselves, so pedestrians of all sorts in any location are effectively invisible at all times and merely an irritation even when noticed.Park yourself at a marked school crossing and watch just how many people think all those signs and warnings do not actually exist as they blast through at speed even when the crosswalks are occupied.  Check the road and I will bet a reasonable sum you will find one or more set of skid marks without even having to look hard at every ,marked school crossing in the city.

    • SkidMark May 7, 2019 (5:22 pm)

      Jim P.,I’ll take your wager and you money!  What do you consider a reasonable sum?

      • J. H. May 7, 2019 (5:43 pm)

        Jim P. Is right.   I work at a school and am shocked at how many cars blow thru a crosswalk with lights flashing and children in them.   

  • flimflam May 7, 2019 (4:55 pm)

    it will be interesting to see how this plays out – it seems metro is immune to law enforcement, wonder about SPU?

    • Railroaded May 7, 2019 (7:56 pm)

      If the driver is at fault he/she will be cited. Guaranteed. That is how that will play out.

      • Trudy May 8, 2019 (6:30 pm)

        I have seen other SPU trucks do this at this location a couple of times over the past couple of weeks. Last week I started  going straight when my light turned green and had one of their trucks turn right on the red(same spot as the accident) as i was headed through.

  • DJ May 7, 2019 (5:50 pm)

    Yes there is no Air medivac when you’re in the city of Seattle….far quicker by 4-wheels

  • D May 7, 2019 (6:03 pm)

    I hope the person injured is doing ok. Delridge way sw needs some major safety revamps to make it safe for everyone. City council member Lisa Herbold: please address the safety concerns on our streets.

  • Duwamesque May 7, 2019 (8:04 pm)

    This tragedy exposes what a joke the City’s “Vision Zero” policy really is. Enforce traffic laws on the books and pull the license of any truck driver of any truck driver who fails to yield at a right turn crosswalk. Maybe if people face consequences for dangerous actions there will be impetus to make this city actually safe for pedestrians and the disababled (and not just a haven for transfers and private truck drivers like it is now). What a poor lot for this innocent victim who already faces enough barriers in getting around.

  • Christine Cranston May 7, 2019 (8:28 pm)

    Do the people who moved here from other places realize that our law says pedestrians are the Priority? Pedestrians come first? That means speeding cars need to be vigilant for walkers, people on bikes and anything that’s less powerful than a car? You chose to move here, please follow the law. 

    • KM May 8, 2019 (7:13 am)

      This is nothing to do with where a person is from. Car drivers are prioritized all over America, including Seattle. Traffic violence is a nationwide problem.

  • AJP May 7, 2019 (9:23 pm)

    I have personally witnessed two rear-endings on this stretch of road. People drive SO FAST. That doesn’t seem to be what happened here, but it’s a reminder that people need to slow down and pay attention.

  • Delridger May 7, 2019 (9:25 pm)

    This is is sad to hear. Delridge is so dangerous for pedestrians! Lisa Herbold, I hope you’re listening this is what we need:1- a 25mph speed limit, strictly enforced with cameras2- no right town on red. 3- more marked crosswalks, ideally raised crosswalks that will also serve as speed bumps. 4- a serious commitment to vision zero! Otherwise it’s just a cute catchphrase.Lisa, you’re the west Seattle resident with the most power to effect change. Today proves that the our city is not moving aggressively enough to keep our most vulnerable road users safe. Please tell us what you’re going to do to fix this problem! We need your leadership.    

  • Don Brubeck May 7, 2019 (9:33 pm)

    I’m so sorry for the victim of this crash, and family. Also feeling bad for the truck driver,  If you look at the photo, you can see that the driver probably could not see a person in a wheelchair (or most any pedestrian) crossing right in front of their truck.  This is not a problem of enforcement of traffic laws. The report says the truck driver stopped at the red light, and then turned right. That is legal. This crash shows a problem with the law. Right on red causes injuries and fatalities. It should be banned. As a start, fleet operators like City of Seattle could train their truck drivers not to turn right on red.

    • CAM May 8, 2019 (8:31 am)

      I was thinking exactly the same thing when I read the description of the accident. The blind spots on some vehicles are very large and pedestrians and cyclists do need to take that into account. As a pedestrian I have caught myself in some near miss situations that were good reminders to keep myself more aware when crossing an intersection. 

    • donttreadonme May 8, 2019 (8:44 am)

      I agree with you that right on red should be banned, but turning right on red across an occupied crosswalk is not legal.

    • Trudy May 8, 2019 (8:59 pm)

      This is a very quick light. There is no way for someone, espically a wheelchair user who needs to use the cutout to cross with the light without already having had been at the coner waiting.

  • MJ May 7, 2019 (10:34 pm)

    DonRight turn on red is safe when done properly, aka looking all directions before making the turn.  Having vehicles idling waiting to turn right adds more pollution and wastes fuel.As a pedestrian and bicyclist I make eye contact with the driver before moving into the path of a vehicle.  MJ

    • Ice May 8, 2019 (4:29 pm)

      Right turn on red is safe when done properly, aka looking all directions before making the turn.” Assuming that people will do something right every time is completely silly. Decades of research shows that allowing a right turn on red is, on average, not safe.  See any of the studies here: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C48&q=right+turn+on+red&btnG=  “Having vehicles idling waiting to turn right adds more pollution and wastes fuel.” This is like saying that you should always drive 35MPH on residential streets because cars are more fuel efficient at that speed, and therefore you create less pollution. The reality of the matter is that you are causing pollution merely by driving your car. An extra minute or two of idling is not significant when you take the entire trip into consideration, especially when the reason you are doing it is for the safety of others. “As a pedestrian and bicyclist I make eye contact with the driver before moving into the path of a vehicle. ” What’s your point here ? Are you saying the person who was hit should have made eye-contact with the truck driver? 

  • Delridger May 7, 2019 (11:51 pm)

    Thanks Don. You’re right, we need to ban right turns on red. Then we need to actually enforce those bans. Stand at the corner of Juneau and Delridge, or Andover and Delridge, where there are already right-turn-on-red bans in place. You could issue dozens of tickets per hour! Car and truck drivers simply have no respect for the law.  Your sympathy for the truck driver is commendable, but I don’t share it. The fact is that the pedestrian had the right of way (regardless!) and it was the truck driver’s responsibility to stop. They didn’t. I hope they don’t ever drive a vehicle again, and I hope that our city will take responsibility to make sure that incidents like this won’t continue.  Lisa Herbold: as the elected official representing us, what are you going to do to help solve this problem?

    • Lindsey May 8, 2019 (3:33 pm)

      Yep. Came here to say this. I can see Delridge/Juneau from where I work from home, and the cars who recognize the new “no right on red rule” are in the extreme minority. Some people stop a little at first, then get sick of waiting and just go. 

  • anonyme May 8, 2019 (6:20 am)

    Making eye contact with a driver (or in reverse, a pedestrian) is mostly nonsense, as it’s hardly ever possible.  Most of the time, glare or shadow keeps a pedestrian from seeing anything but the general shape of the driver’s head.  Drivers have a clearer view and tend to assume that they’re making eye contact.  In fact, the pedestrian is only looking at a spot where eyes should be and hoping they’ll be seen – which doesn’t really matter as many drivers don’t care.  I’ve actually been told by drivers that, having seen them, I should have stayed out of their way.  Right turns on red are problematic, but the lack of any enforcement in Seattle is key.  Also, when driving a huge vehicle like an SPU truck, drivers should be well aware of blind spots and extra careful at all times.  I’ve personally witnessed many city vehicles being driven in a dangerous manner for their size.

  • wshomegrown May 8, 2019 (7:57 am)

    Delridge were you there?? Yes the pedestrian had the right of way but the truck was stopped. Don is correct when he says that the driver probably could not see the person in the wheelchair in front of his truck when he started to make the right turn. So to say he did not stop is false. It was an accident plain and simple. We all share the road and we ALL need to be aware of our surroundings, drivers and pedestrians alike. So wishing they don’t ever drive again is a bit outlandish. That equates to not allowing a pedestrian to cross a street everytime they do so illegally, which by the way any one who works downtown sees quite frequently. So perhaps stop being so quick to judge the situation. Let’s just hope this man is okay and focus our energy there instead. 

    • D May 8, 2019 (1:51 pm)

      As someone who also lives on delridge, every time I leave my front door, I’m haunted by the fact that a kid was killed by a speeding truck and the city isn’t doing anything to address the safety on delridge.  

    • Delridger May 8, 2019 (3:16 pm)

      Hi WSHOMEGROWN. No, I wasn’t there. Apologies for wording my earlier comment poorly. I have no reason to believe that the driver didn’t stop. But that’s not the point. The photo and police statement clearly indicate that this happened in the crosswalk. That’s all we need to know. As was stated elsewhere here, entering a crosswalk that is occupied by a pedestrian is not legal. Anyone who can’t abide by that basic tenet shouldn’t be driving, and certainly shouldn’t be driving an especially large city owned truck. I also have no doubt that this was an ‘accident’. But that doesn’t make it OK.

  • J May 8, 2019 (9:29 am)

    Lots of speculation here, of what we won’t learn about until investigations that may drift into months.We can agree it was a tragic accident.The truck had apparently stopped at the red light.The truck driver opted to turn right. Right turns at red lights after complete stop are allowed (unless specifically restricted) with the caveat that pedestrians and crosswalks be clear. Poor visibility from inside a vehicle is never a viable excuse, especially when  waiting for the light to change might have avoided this tragedy.   

    • Trudy May 8, 2019 (6:39 pm)

      These trucks have been turning on the red here for the past couple of weeks and have not all come to a complete stop. Im glad this driver did, but its clearly not enough. If your going to turn on a red then you check out the sidewalks to see if anyone is approaching.not just look straight ahead of your vechile. 

  • My2cents May 8, 2019 (3:38 pm)

    Get a good laugh at all the “gotta do this” or gotta enforce that”. Magically you never ACTUALLY do anything. Why?? because you’re not perfect drivers either and YOU don’t want to face the fines. You’re trying to figure out how to only apply big fines to the “other” drivers

  • Cristina May 8, 2019 (5:56 pm)

    Eyewitness here. There were two workers in the truck (driver and passenger). The wheelchair-bound person had the light and was  entering the crosswalk when the truck that had been stopped at its red light began its right turn. The driver ran over the man, stopped when everyone on the street started yelling for him to back up, then backed up the truck while the victim was already completely underneath his truck. Personally witnessing a horrific accident as it happens is a truly awful and traumatic experience, especially when it could’ve been prevented by a “no right turn on red” restriction at this intersection.

  • Trudy May 8, 2019 (9:08 pm)

    Im so sorry you had to see that. Prayers for you as i can’t imagine having to deal with that trauma. As a parent this is my greatest fear. My daughter has been almost hit so many times. Thank you for sharing this info. Can i ask, was he already at the coner when the light changed for him to cross?

Sorry, comment time is over.