FOLLOWUP: ‘Ghost bike’ at site of deadly hit-and-run

Thanks to Eddie for sending the photo. A “ghost bike” memorial is now up over the site where a hit-and-run driver killed a 63-year-old bicycle rider Friday night, along SW Spokane east of the West Seattle low bridge. The two-decades-old tradition is explained here – hundreds have been placed around the world to “serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.” Police have not yet reported an arrest in the case; on Friday night, they said the driver was in “a white or silver sedan” and that they “fled the scene” eastbound after hitting the victim. If you have any information for police, you’re asked to call the Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000. The incident number to refer to is 2022-183308.

21 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 'Ghost bike' at site of deadly hit-and-run"

  • Ryan July 17, 2022 (9:30 pm)

    Any chance of an update from SPD? With so much traffic and at least a couple eyewitness sightings (if the WSB story comments are to be believed), they should have pretty clear camera views of the hit-and-run vehicle as it crossed over the bridge (presumably before hitting the cyclist). Such a sad story.

    • WSB July 17, 2022 (10:57 pm)

      Tomorrow when the media liaisons are back in the office I will of course be asking, it’s at the top of my followup list.

  • Adam July 17, 2022 (10:37 pm)

    I thought, when this was first reported, that a commenter mentioned having actual video of the car getting away? Can’t remember exactly but seemed like, if real, it should yield at least more info to give to the public to look for? Just curious if any more came of that, and I keep expecting to read about an eye witness account in the news but I haven’t seen it.

  • Karen B July 17, 2022 (11:14 pm)


    I’m so tremendously sad about what happened to this bicyclist, but am glad
    to see this Ghost Bike memorial – in the hope that it may cause people to
    remember, pause and think or wonder about what it might mean, and perhaps  inspire positive change.


    Music has always been a powerful driver of awareness and change in my own life, so I wanted to share Jim Page’s
    song, “Ghost Bikes” here.  You can catch him monthly/semi-monthly at local West Seattle venues
    such as C&P.

  • Rocket July 18, 2022 (12:08 am)

    Again.Since this murder I have been riding southbound on Fauntleroy just yesterday with my daughter on the back of my class 3 e bike and traveling 28 mph while a thin white man of the boomer generation in a gray CUV passed us in the center lane just so we could meet him at the intersection of Fauntleroy and California at a red light.  Why are you overtaking someone on a bicycle who is technically speeding I asked him, his response was sarcastic nonsense “I was trying to get out of your way”, ok guy who was behind me. This aggressive waste of gas is dangerous and pointless. This peninsula is a sleepy paradise, live and drive like it.  Today while returning home solo from the PCC on SB California a different thin white Man of the boomer generation also in a gray CUV passed me  tween Spokane and Charleston just so I could get back in front of him at the red light and ask him if he routinely passes folks going the speed limit on cars (it is slightly uphill there but it was just me and groceries and I was going 25 mph).  This man, I noticed in my mirror then turned into the 7-11 just after the light. Why ? There is a broad range of unconscionable harassment and reckless driving in general and especially targeting cyclists.  Some of us are trying to decrease demand and increase supply of your precious fuel all while going the posted speed.  Just because it isnt hydrocarbon driven doesn’t mean you need to fly on by them.  You will just get stuck at the next red light as I move to the front of the column where I am safest and start the insane dance over again.Even if you are one of they yahoos who decry SDOt lowering speed limits on arterials get it together and let’s all row together, and if not just leave those of us trying to live a good life and leave enough air for our future grandchildren to breathe alone and unmolested  or better yet, get with the program and trade one of your rigs in for a sustainable alternative that is both liberating and joyful. Lastly if you see a big fat man on either a blue long bike or a white front loader with one to two adorable little girls in tow instead of view us as an obstruction give us a little space and maybe a kind way.  We will all be the better for it  

  • Rocket July 18, 2022 (12:17 am)

    Kind wave I meant.  However we will take a kind way as well.We will not be harassed off the roads until one of you dangerous people murder me and my daughters  Just go with the flow and enjoy the journey and respect your neighbor, please.  My kids deserve to know a better future  You get nowhere speeding and only waste gas and your own catecholamines and the grace of your neighbors behaving as though the streets around here are your personal speedway.

  • Jay July 18, 2022 (9:04 am)

    Only two hours after I rode that exact route. I’ve had so many close calls in this city. One from a car making a left turn at speed on Admiral and missing a 30mph head-on collision with me in the bike lane by inches. (I had been lit up like a christmas tree, literally. In addition to my front and rear lights I had a battery powered string of christmas lights wrapped all over my bike’s frame.) That stopped me biking to work for like a year. Vision Zero in this city is a joke. Many infrastructure features are actively hazardous to cyclists and pedestrians. Sharrows. Beg buttons that still need to be pressed to turn a walk signal in 2022 (Admiral and California). The city keeps building awful infrastructure. That Friday when this poor guy was killed? A dozen cyclists and pedestrians were hit by cars in the city in that ONE DAY. It’s so frustrating and I feel so powerless. In 2018 I spoke with the Chief Traffic Engineer about the Admiral California area (beg buttons) and his rude and dismissive answers were appalling and made no rational sense, and he was at the time SDOT’s champion for cyclist and pedestrian safety. Seattle is building a legacy with these ghost bikes, and it’s not a good one.

    • Lysa July 19, 2022 (10:42 am)

         Around that time I was on driving on Delridge  and was coming up on the light to make a right turn onto W Marginal Way. Before I got to the light a white sedan was backing up  because he went to far to go onto the lower bridge. He went over those rubber things so he backed up and went to the light and made a right on red light. I don’t think he even looked to see if it was red or green. He was swerving and driving on the right side, basically on the edge where people would walk or ride there bike. I told my friend that that car is either going to get in an accident or get pulled over. You can tell he was drunk or whatever. My heart goes to the family. I despise people that drink and drive!

      • Lysa July 19, 2022 (10:50 am)

        I meant to say that he was backing up from the light, when  I’m he realized he missed the turn to go onto the lower bridge. I’m assuming on that. 

      • Lysa July 19, 2022 (10:51 am)

        Its my assumption that that was why he was backing up. Because he realized he missed the right turn yo go onto the bridge.

  • Christopher Boffoli July 18, 2022 (2:29 pm)

    Hopefully the low bridge cameras caught at least the license number of the perpetrator..I recall covering another bicyclist fatality near the same location, also a hit and run, back in May 2014.

  • Bob Anderton July 18, 2022 (4:10 pm)

    I hope that the driver can be located.  As a daily bike commuter on this route I see so many cars with obscured or completely removed plates.  If there are photos, I hope that this driver was not among them.Additionally, as a bike lawyer, this tragedy illustrates why we need to legislate presumed liability against drivers involved in collisions with people walking or rolling.  Injured people generally have the burden of proof, but what if they lose memory of the event or are no longer alive? This bicyclist could have UIM insurance– insurance for people who harm you but don’t have enough or any liability insurance– and his own insurance company might be able to refuse to pay.More information on Presumed Liability here:

  • Mj July 18, 2022 (5:35 pm)

    Bob – as an expert witness in traffic incidents I respectfully disagree with your idea of presumed liability against motorists.  All users of the transportation system need to pay attention!  

    • Kathy July 19, 2022 (1:17 am)

      So MJ, why do bicylists have presumed liability when they hit a pedestrian and car drivers do not have presumed liability when they hit a pedestrian or biker? Why do other countries have presumed liability for drivers when they hit more vulnerable street users, but U.S. does not? Explain the inequality. Changing this law would make drivers more cautious. As it is, car drivers have an unfair advantage in these collisions, since they are not the person who is brain damaged or dead.

  • Lorax July 18, 2022 (11:21 pm)

    .  In the past few days I have been aggressively passed by two different people while traveling between 25 and 28 mph in 25 mph zones on California and Fauntleroy where there is not even the specter of a bike lane.  I don’t need a bike lane when I am traveling at or even slightly above the speed limit.  Accelerating to pass a user who is not ‘slowing you down’ (what a sin that is even if I were) is dangerous and targeted at cyclists.  I catch and pass 90% of them at the next stop sign or red light.  Driving safely also is just an infinitely better experience for the driver and passengers.  It costs less, feels much more tranquil and pleasant than viewing the journey as a battle to be won, and costs no time.  Any savings you get racing around are eaten up by stop lights, signs, extra trips to the pump and maintenance shop, and the inevitable ticket and at fault accident.  Don’t just think of others, think of yourself and just get there safely and quit the Mad Max nonsense and leave those of us reaching for a better world out of it.It seems these people just see a bicycle and think they have to pass it.  I also drive at 25 to 28 and have never been passed in the center lane. .People don’t grasp how unnecessary and dangerous this is, rapid rapid acceleration in either a high use street like California or a residential arterial like Fauntleroy. with the poor street design and speed mksmatch people mention as a contributor to conflict on the roadway it is obvious a significant percentage of drivers view cyclists as an obstruction when we truly are not.  We are people saving money and thinking of our childrens and grandchildren and trying to make a change to benefit us all.

  • don July 19, 2022 (7:01 am)

    I can’t wait for the high bridge to be back up and running.  will definitely make it safer for us riding bikes.  Less traffic will be so much better for us.   With the increased traffic down below and the inpatient drivers, I am surprised there have not been more accidents.    Admiral Don

  • Mj July 19, 2022 (7:04 am)

    Kathy – I never said that.  The cause and liability of each unfortunate incident needs to be assigned based on the circumstances and cause of the accident.

  • Mj July 19, 2022 (11:01 am)

    Don – yes getting the high bridge open will benefit everyone.

    Kathy – I never said that.  Each incident, I wish there were zero, needs to be evaluated to ascertain appropriate liability.  

    • Jort July 19, 2022 (5:01 pm)

      Yeah, that’s what Kathy’s saying, MJ, is that the law  defaults to the driver’s side of the story when a cyclist or pedestrian is too, you know, DEAD to be able to rebut their testimony. That’s what she’s advocating to change. You’re not listening. Listen.

  • Conrad July 19, 2022 (12:53 pm)

    The traffic violence in this city and country is completely out of hand.  I want to restate an important point.  I have been a daily bike commuter for my entire adult life and I am getting old.  I do, though, own a car.  Most bike riders do.  I have witnessed pedestrians and riders do dumb things but I have never even come close to raging on somebody while I am driving because I know what its like to use the streets as a vulnerable user.  I have never had a close call with a pedestrian or rider because I see them.   Always. Period.  If its a dark and rainy night slow the f–k down until you can see.   There is no excuse for this.  The majority of these incidents are hit and runs too and still it seems like the general attitude of law enforcement is that the rider or pedestrian somehow had it coming.   As Bob is saying above, the burden of responsibility absolutely is on the driver for the simple fact that the driver is operating a 4000 lb vehicle and if you are careless, innocent people will lose their life.  If a rider is reckless, you may lose your own life but nobody elses.  Its as simple as that. I cant stop thinking about that guy I saw all bloody in the street on my way home from work on Friday.  5 minutes earlier and it could have been me or anybody else.  I am anxiously awaiting the news that law enforcement apprehends and charges the driver. 

  • LK July 19, 2022 (4:44 pm)

    Has anyone heard the name of the victim? We suspect it is someone we know who we heard suddenly passed away, but we aren’t connected to any of his family to try to confirm. 

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