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Bicyclist seriously injured in collision with van at Pike/Boren — UPDATE

Seattle Police remain on the scene as investigators complete their investigation into what lead to a van striking a bicyclist at the intersection of Pike and Boren Tuesday morning.

The 6:20a crash sent the 20-year-old rider to the hospital with serious injuries according to Seattle Fire. SFD said the rider was losing consciousness at the scene. We do not have information about the rider’s current condition but we’re told the injuries are life threatening.

According to police, the driver of the van was evaluated at the scene, a standard procedure in this type of incident. More details on the investigation should be available later today, SPD says.

The intersection has remained blocked to traffic heading up and down Pike for more than two hours. Metro says routes 10, 11, 14, 43 and 49 are temporarily re-routed in the area of the collision.

The area around Pike and Boren can be a dangerous one for both riders and drivers. CHS reported on the previous car vs. bike crash at the intersection of Pine and Boren in February. Earlier this month, a SPD patrol car collided with a taxi cab at the Pike/Boren crossing.

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49 thoughts on “Bicyclist seriously injured in collision with van at Pike/Boren — UPDATE

  1. I wonder who was at fault? Bike riders tend to come speeding down those hills and you never know what they are going to do. Some ride in the bike lane some ride on the sidewalk almost taking out pedestrians in the process. Seems like they have no regard for the law at times.

    Hope the rider in this case is going to be ok.

  2. Seattle does a good job promoting use of bicycles and has made some inroads on bike lanes. However, many areas are just not safe to bicycle. That intersection, as well as the Convention Center down the hill are just two examples of where not to bicycle. The Arboretum, which offers no bike lanes is another dangerous area where bicyclists have too narrow a space with drivers.
    Until something is designed and implemented to provide safe bike lanes, you’re going to have to pick one or the other, cars or bikes. I know insinuating banning bikes from certain areas will cause a furor, but how many more bicyclists need to be seriously injured or killed before this condition is understood and respected?

  3. Like many, I make a left turn eastbound from Boren to Pike everyday. I heard on the radio this morn that the driver had the “right of way”. I don’t think people are trained any longer in who has the “right of way” as frequently I don’t see it given.

    Many times I have encountered bikers who race down the sidewalk, and then cross the road there in the pedestrian crosswalk, rather than wait with the cars to turn.

    Is a cyclist to be considered a pedestrian? or a vehicle?

    I do my best (as many do) to watch out for bikes. I just wish they would give us car drivers the same courtesy.

  4. Unless you saw the accident, you can’t say the biker was at fault.

    Cyclists are permitted to ride on the sidewalks or the street in the city of Seattle. You should treat them as pedestrians if on the sidewalk, and as vehicles if on the street.

    Cyclists should take care to slow down and enter the road slowly if using the crosswalk with pedestrians.

    And as a cyclist, let me say that I appreciate to your statement: “I do my best (as many do) to watch out for bikes. I just wish they would give us car drivers the same courtesy.” I thank you for watching out for bikes. But I disagree that “many” drivers look out for bikes (or pedestrians) for that manner. Many, many of your fellow car drivers are too distracted and unaware to look out for bikes, or don’t feel they should have to.

  5. Just a reminder that CHS comments are actively moderated and efforts to troll and disrupt the community will be removed. Please use common sense — and sensitivity — when discussing these situations.

  6. I wonder who was at fault? Drivers tend to come speeding down these hills and you never know if they are looking out for other road users, and they often don’t use their turn signals, or stop and look before turning, so you never know what they are going to do.

    Seems like they have no regard for the law or other users at times.

    Hope everyone in this case is going to be ok.

  7. Regardless of who is at fault, this was a bad accident. The operative word being “accident.” Sometimes cyclists are careless, other times motorists are careless. We all share the roads. Hopefully this young person comes out all right. I admit to usually riding down Boren on the sidewalk from my apartment on Boren and Union because the hill is steep and the cars going up/down it are pretty speedy. Check out all the skidmarks at the stoplight at Boren and Union, for example. Plus, cars turning left onto Pike from Boren usually have to really gas it just as the light turns red to avoid having to wait through another light cycle and causing more line buildup during peak traffic times. I consider it my responsibility as an urban cyclist to be aware of this dynamic. Shrug.

  8. A friend of mine was sitting in a line of eastbound at that intersection. The light was red for him. That seem to suggest that it was red for the bicyclist, too, since he was westbound. This was a tragic accident that will have a tremendous impact on a lot of people.

  9. People forget that Boren coming down that hill at Pike is a freeway. I used to live on the corner and it is a super dangerous intersection. I’d see people jaywalking there and think they were crazy. Coming down that hill, even if the driver saw you, their ability to stop is severely hampered due to the velocity of their speed and their site lines. Heading west on Pike as well is a fairly decent hill and then the stress of getting to the freeway on ramp, especially when it’s crowded. That intersection is just a death trap and everyone needs to be super careful there.

  10. I say, hardly. MUCH more needs to be done to create infrastructure favorable to bikes sharing space with multi-tonned vehicles. More and more people are (and should be) biking. However, infrastructure is nowhere near where it needs to be to ensure safety for all cyclists, careless ones included.

    So many drivers are careless, so give me a break and don’t lecture about careless cyclists. PEOPLE are careless. :-)

    Have a good day and the injured cyclist should be in all of our thoughts and best wishes.

  11. I walk down pike and up pike after work and often cross over at boren. I’ve been nearly mowed down no fewer than 3 times by drivers making unprotected left hand turns from pike onto boren. Part of the problem is sitting through cycles but that is no excuse to almost hitting a person in a crosswalk.

  12. Cyclists – please, please, please, PLEASE wear a helmet! It’s possible this rider might have incurred life-threatening injuries even if he had been wearing a helmet, but it certainly wouldn’t have made things worse and could well have prevented at least some/the severity of the injuries.

  13. I have suffered a “traumatic brain injury”, from which I was lucky to fully recover.

    I have also been hit by a car on my bike.

    I agree that there is no good excuse for not wearing a helmet (or for riding at night without lights and a reflective vest).

    There are many good, safe and courteous cyclists in Seattle.

  14. Apparently neither bike nor car were speeding down hills, as both were traveling *uphill* – if the above report is correct, that is.

    That aspect makes it a bit hard to understand how it could have been such a serious collision.

  15. Greg – the SPD report says the bicylist was going eastbound; i.e., up the hill on Pike. Of course it’s possible that he crossed into the intersection against the light …that could explain how he could have hit the van.

  16. Seriously, +1 on wearing helmets. I know a lot of people that have had bike/vehicle collisions (myself included) and we all avoided massive brain trauma because we were all wearing helmets (all of us having lost consciousness). I had a guy hit me with his SUV after he ran a stop sign and my head hit the ground hard enough to crack my helmet. That is way better than my skull taking that impact.

    There’s no question that helmets save lives. The argument against them is totally flawed. Yes, Germany has anti-helmet laws, but that’s also because they have adequate bicycle facilities. No one rides with helmets in Amsterdam or Copenhagen for the same reason. They don’t need it. The average speed is going to be 20 miles per hour or less for all road users. Here, in the US, it’s different. We are riding in traffic with people who aren’t looking for bikes a lot of times. Wear your helmet. Save your life.

    I hope this guy is doing okay, and hopefully he is able to come out of this experience with a positive outlook. Getting hit changes the way you think. I’d hope that he gets back on his bike, but also with a helmet.

  17. If he was traveling eastbound, the he was traveling uphill. That would probably make it pretty difficult for him to dart out into the intersection against the light. Did anyone see him stop beforehand? Some people wander out in front of the crosswalk as the lights are changing to get a head start on streets like this. That’s the only way I could think of the cyclist being at fault, but then technically wouldn’t both parties be at fault? The van driver trying to beat the light and missing his mark and the cyclist starting out too early and missing his mark?

  18. SPD has corrected their original report on the incident — the biker was traveling westbound.

    Also, we’re seeing increase in bogus eyewitness accounts on CHS bicycle posts. Treat accounts with skepticism. When warranted, CHS will follow up with commenters to do what we can to verify details.

  19. I wear a helmet.

    I also know that the tests that are used to certify them use speeds up to 13mph. That’s it. When they test on a pointed object, the impact speed is a measly 7mph So I don’t pretend my helmet will protect me in a serious accident. The unfortunate fact is that most fatalities for cyclists involve impacts with automobiles, which, as you may know, frequently travel at speeds greater than 13mph.

    So please, wear helmet. Just don’t assume they are tested for accidents that involve severe trauma. They’re not. People do die frequently while wearing helmets. Wearing a helmet and assuming it makes you safer is probably more risky than not wearing a helmet.

  20. The police report states that the cyclist ran into the side of the van, so unless the driver of the vehicle was running a red light it was clearly the cyclist’s fault…..he must have ignored the red light and entered the intersection illegally,instead of stopping, as some cyclists are prone to do.

  21. “Cyclists are permitted to ride on the sidewalks or the street in the city of Seattle. You should treat them as pedestrians if on the sidewalk, and as vehicles if on the street.”

    Uhh no. They are permitted on the sidewalks but they are NOT considered pedestrians. ALL CYCLISTS must yield and give right-of-way to ACTUAL pedestrians/walkers on the sidewalks at all times.

    How many bikers actually do this in practice though… very few I’ve seen.

  22. Justin, where do you get your follow up info specifically? Some of us might want to check up on this guy and appreciate that you are busy with other things today.

  23. As a resident of Pike/Pine – I see near hits / misses between cars and bicyclists on a regular basis. Although I’ll chalk it up to the original report of Eastbound direction – I find it frustrating that the article says ” investigation into what lead to a van striking a bicyclist”. This automatically insinuates the van driver is at fault. Yet, further into the same article – it indicates the bicyclist ran into the side of the van. So – which is it? Until fault is assessed and determined – the article should remain objective.

    I get frustrated to read so many comments about the need for improving the infrastructure for bicyclists. Did we not just add bike lanes to Pine – ONE STREET OVER? Did tax dollars from bicyclist license plates help pay for that improvement? Nope – pretty sure financial means for paying for this improvement weren’t sourced from there. Maybe funds to pay for those improvements came from speeding tickets or road rule infractions given to bicyclists? Nope – wrong again.

    I constantly witness bicyclists speeding down the hill (Westbound) and ignoring traffic lights – continueing at high rates of speed on through the red light. As a result, I am hypervigilent about checking my rear view mirror and trying to look back over my shoulder as far back as the eye can see to determine if a bicyclist is speeding down the hill. Because I see it daily – I prepare to yield to this bicyclist should they choose to ignore the red light at which I am stopped for a safe right turn. I am trying to be a safe and responsible driver, can we please please please expect the same from our green biking citizens? Basically – I’m asking everyone to step up and start taking responsibility for your own actions and decisions. Speed thru a red light intersection and get “struck by a van” in the right of way? It’s on you.

  24. Yeah, you’re right. The fading bike lanes that drivers routinely drive down or park in or use as turn lanes on Pine were paid for by property taxes that everyone pays and by federal taxes that everyone pays. The majority of road funding comes from the federal government (less than 1% of the federal transportation budget is dedicated to cycling. 0% is dedicated to pedestrian improvements) and property taxes.

    So yes, we need to improve bicycling infrastructure. Doon’t repaint the Pine bike lanes. Seperate them with bollards AND restripe them. Improved bicycle infrastructure increases cyclist safety. It creates incentive for cyclists to ride on the road and not on the sidewalk, thus imrpoving pedestrian safety. It removes cyclists from car traffic, thus allowing all of the impatient folks (not everyone is impatient) driving down Pine to go 10 miles above the speed limit with no hinderence. Good? Good.

  25. “I constantly witness bicyclists speeding down the hill”
    So, let me get this straight, you constantly witness bicyclists traveling at more than 30mph down that hill? You are either completely full of shit or you happen to commute at the same time as some guy who’s training for the Olympics.

  26. It is time to move past who is to blame but to pray for this young man whos life has taken a turn for the worst. There is a mother and father out there suffering the thought of never seeing thier son again. Please turn your thoughts away from blame but towards prayers for this young man. Thank You

  27. stop placing blame. you guys are literally ridiculous arguing about who’s at fault. you should be ashamed. Nap is sitting in the hospital, people waiting on each moment, each breath. he was genuinely one of the nicest people i’ve ever met. SHAME on you for turning this into some stupid debate. no matter what happened Nap was hurt and he was the nicest person out there. you guys are literally shitheads for talking about him like he’s not even human. i hope that when you are sick, people say the same shit about you, contemplate blame, talk about all your faults. you should be ashamed. this is a kid i went to highschool with. he made people laugh, he had best friends, he was calm and good natured. he deserves to be known like that instead of talked about like he’s just some victim. he was a person. maybe you should all try and remember that. be humans for two seconds and appreciate what his family, friends and he are going through. pray for him. he deserves that love and respect. he was always such a nice boy. you can sit and point fingers but you know nothing of the man Nap was.

  28. Are you seriously going to say, “it’s on you” when the person in question is dying of his injuries? There isn’t really an excuse for blatantly disrespecting a person like that. There are people who care about him who are probably devastated right now. Don’t judge a person by their mistakes. It was a tragic accident and should be treated like that, not an excuse for a political complaint or about how cyclists need to be safer. He was a person too, just like the rest of us.

  29. Where did you get the news that he died? I visited him yesterday evening with many other people and he was still alive. I haven’t heard anything about him passing away other then this comment.

  30. Are you seriously going to say, “it’s on you” when the person in question is dying of his injuries? There isn’t really an excuse for blatantly disrespecting a person like that. There are people who care about him who are probably devastated right now. Don’t judge a person by their mistakes. It was a tragic accident and should be treated like that, not an excuse for a political complaint or about how cyclists need to be safer. He was a person too, just like the rest of us.


    Unfortunately, the bicyclists routinely place blame when an automobile driver is at fault in an accident involving a bicycle, so it’s fair to note when the bicyclist was at fault.

    In this case, the cyclist sped down the street, ran the red light, and hit the van. Such recklessness is common at that intersection, owing to the steep grade.

    Bicyclists need to remember that safety and common sense are a matter of life and death.

  31. In this case, the cyclist was riding way too fast, ran a red light, and smacked into a van. Awful thing, but let’s not blame motorists for this one.

  32. It’s hard to believe in these cynical times, but sometimes the biker is at fault, and not always the motorist. I actually know the woman who was driving the SUV. All she was doing was driving to work, up Boren, with a green light, when the dude slammed into her car. He was apparently coasting down Boren very fast, and ran the red light. He had no helmet. He had a history of recklessness.
    My friend, the driver was traumatized (although not hurt), and was emotionally distraught over the accident, unable to work for about a week, as she was in emotional shock. Her SUV was totalled. She was completely absolved by the authorities of any wrongdoing.
    It’s sad that the biker died, but there are reasons why we wear helmets and why we obey traffic laws.
    And now you know the rest of the story.