The incident just after 6 AM has closed the area to traffic as an investigation continues.
UPDATE (2): According to Metro, there is no indication that the bus driver was impaired at the time of the accident.
“He was very shaken up by this collision,” said Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer. “Anytime there is a collision where someone is hurt or killed, it deeply affects everyone throughout the whole organization.”
The bus driver was hired by Metro in October 2010. Switzer said this investigation is currently the highest priority for Metro safety officers, who are working closely with SPD.
An hour after the collision, the Metro coach remained in the roadway, parked midway down the hill between 12th and 11th in the westbound lane of E Pine.
Police say the circumstances that lead to the pedestrian being hit were not yet known. Traffic collision investigation detectives were at the scene recording evidence. Unlike recent weeks, the morning was clear and free of fog.
According to East Precinct radio dispatches, Seattle Police officers were first on the scene after a passerby reported the incident at the nearby precinct at 12th and Pine. SPD says ”officers arrived on scene and discovered a deceased adult male lying in the street behind a Metro bus. There were approximately three people aboard the bus at the time of the collision however, it does not appear that any of the passengers witnessed the collision.”
Several construction workers waited nearby to enter their worksite at 11th and Pine, blocked by the emergency response.
Traffic was blocked in both directions of Pine at the scene of the collision during the response and investigation which was expected to stretch into the daylight hours. The driver of the bus was being tested by an SPD “drug recognition expert,” standard procedure after a fatal crash.
Metro reported that routes 10 and 11 were rerouted and may be delayed.
UPDATE: The street was opened and the area cleared by 10 AM.
Despite the multitude of routes and busy schedules, collisions involving Metro coaches and pedestrians in Seattle are relatively rare. Tests showed the driver who hit a pedestrian downtown in January was not high or drunk at the time of the incident. The most recent Metro-linked pedestrian fatality we are aware of happened in this freak accident downtown in 2007.
Busy day on the streets
- Seattle Fire also was responding to a significant motor vehicle rescue just before 6 AM Monday at Summit and Denny. No details were yet available about that rescue.
- Three people were trapped in their vehicles along Denny Way when power poles and lines fell after a backhoe incident at the construction site near Minor. The busy artery is expected to be closed up to 12 hours for the response, investigation and clean-up.
- A male pedestrian suffered non-life threatening injuries after being hit by a car that left the scene at Broadway and Pike around 1 PM. Police were looking for a vehicle with windshield and front-end damage after the incident. We do not have a verified description of the vehicle to share.