Cyclist hit, killed by truck on street where a protected cycle track is about to be built
SEATTLE — A cyclist was killed early Friday when struck by a box truck at 2nd Avenue and University Street — right where the city is about to install a new, protected cycle track.
Police say the box truck turned left shortly before 9 a.m. Friday onto University, striking the cyclist and killing her instantly.
The Seattle Fire Department said the woman was between 20 and 30 years of age.
“All you heard was a bang and the biker was face down on the street,” said Daniel George, who saw the accident. “My whole body just started shaking. It was just bad, it was terrible.”
The truck driver was visibly shaken after the terrible crash. Police say he’s cooperating fully with investigators and did not show signs of impairment.
“It's still unclear what charges, if any, he could be facing,” said Seattle police detective Patrick Michaud.
The crash comes just days before Seattle Department of Transportation begins construction on a protected bike lane along 2nd Avenue.
Called a cycle track, it will create a physical barrier between drivers and cyclists – and a separate traffic signal for bikes. The 12-block long project is designed to reduce the number of accidents.
The city says there have been more than 60 collisions involving cyclists on 2nd Avenue, and more than half of those involved vehicles turning left at an intersection.
Bicyclists say the cycle track is long overdue.
“It’s like a dice game when you’re riding with traffic,” said John Kamph.
A memorial at the crash site grew all day Friday. People left flowers, cards and bicycles painted white called ‘ghost bikes’ in an attempt to raise awareness of cycle safety.
Police say cyclists in the bike lane have the right of way and vehicles must be careful to avoid collisions.
They added that it’s too early in the investigation to know if the box truck driver will be cited in the crash.
Construction on the new cycle track is scheduled to begin next weekend.