Cyclist hit, killed by truck on street where a protected cycle track is about to be built

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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.

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  • Josh

    There is no “road tax” in Washington State. Second Avenue is primarily paid for with sales, property, and B&O taxes, like every other city street in Seattle, meaning non-drivers subsidize drivers use of this public street.

  • Kate Morris

    Yes it IS dangerous to be a cyclist on city streets – which is the reason I am NOT a cyclist on city streets. They choose to put themselves in the risky position.

  • Deborah Duggan

    Once again, this city has engendered the idea in bicyclists that they can write off all conventional bicycling rules, like riding to the far right of the right lane, as is what the Seattle traffic code also says, and this is the result. I drive for a living, and I also have a very nice bike. I feel for this cyclist, as she was misled by our appallingly spineless civic authorities. They are the ones who created “sharrows”, confusing half of all Seattle drivers, and all of any visiting tourists or non-locals. It is the City of Seattle that caused the death of Sher Kung. My condolences go out to her family, as well as to the truck driver, who came into this situation unaware of the idiotic attempts by Seattle municipal authorities to cave in to every passing whim of those who claim that they are sacrosanct environmentalists, while endangering the sanity of all of the conventional people around them, who deliver their groceries, bring people to work, etc. etc. All hail to the Lord of the Flies mentality… Your child, if you should have one, will try to ride like you do, and perish, for no good reason.

  • Eric Johnson

    it’s statements like this that are asinine…
    “Police say cyclists in the bike lane have the right of way and vehicles must be careful to avoid collisions.”
    Oh Yeah…How is that working out for the poor Soul that was lost…
    So comforting to know…She had the Right-of-Way…

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