Update: Dec. 10, 2011 — The driver of the vehicle, Nathan Godwin, 27, of Kirkland was bound over to the King County Jail on $500,000 bond on suspicion of vehicular homicide. His blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest was .078. He told authorities that he had taken the drug Suboxone to treat his opiate addiction; drug warnings urge avoiding alcohol while on that medication.
Dec. 9, 2011 — Friends and family of the bicyclist killed in Kirkland early Thursday morning are planning a candlelight vigil at the scene of the crash from 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
The cyclist was identified as Bradley Nakatani, 36, of Kirkland, a software engineer for Alstom Grid. He was bicycling home from work as a software engineer in the Totem Lake area when he was struck by an SUV at the intersection of NE 124th Street and 132nd Avenue NE/Slater Avenue.
The driver of that SUV, identified as Nathan J. Godwin, 27, of Redmond, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. Kirkland police told the Seattle Times that they want to increase those charges to vehicular homicide after their investigation.
The Cascade Bicycle Club says Nakatani's friends and family issued an open invitation to anyone who wants to attend the candlelight vigil at the intersection of NE 124th Street and 132nd Avenue NE (see map) in Kirkland. It will serve to raise awareness about the dangers of drunken driving.
Nakatani was a longtime member of the Cascade Bicycle Club.
The bicyclist was dressed “head to toe” in reflective gear, according to reports. He was heading west on Northeast 124th Street and was turning left to head onto Slater Avenue when he was struck by the eastbound SUV.
The intersection was closed for nearly 9 hours after the collision that occurred at 2:50 a.m. Nakatani's wife and father showed up at the scene after hearing about the crash on the news.
Kirkland police are asking for help in the investigation, according to Seattle Times:
“Police are asking anybody who has information about the crash to contact Kirkland Police Sgt. Lisa Brouelette at 425-587-3493 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
This is the second bicycle fatality in Kirkland this year. In July, the driver of a pickup truck swerved off the road and hit bicyclist John Przychodzen, 49, as he rode his bicycle on the shoulder.
The pickup truck driver was fined $42 for improper lane change. A Washington state “vulnerable users” law that increases penalties when persons are injured or killed due to negligence won't go into effect until July 2012.