Bicyclist killed in south Seattle collision with a semi-truck

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Update: A 54-year-old male bicyclist died in a collision with a semi-truck Wednesday morning in Seattle at the intersection of South Hanford Street and East Marginal Way South.

Location of Wednesday morning fatality

Location of Wednesday morning fatality

The cyclist was identified as Lance David of Federal Way, an avid cyclist. Reports say he regularly pedaled more than 5,000 miles a year and rode from his home to a job in downtown Seattle twice a week.

He was married for 31 years to his wife, Jane, and they had twins, Diana and David, 31. More at Seattle Times.

A memorial bike ride is scheduled to leave 1200 Madison Street at 3 p.m. Friday and go to the crash site.

Seattle police said witnesses called 911 at about 7:15 a.m. They gave the bicyclist CPR until the first responders arrived, but the man could not be revived.

Police said the bicyclist was heading north on East Marginal Way when he collided with the left rear tire of a flatbed semi that had turned northbound onto Marginal Way from Hanford. According to Seattle PD:

“Preliminary investigation indicates that a 53-year-old man driving a flatbed semi-truck was attempting a right turn from westbound South Hanford Street to northbound East Marginal Way South.  At the same time a 54-year-old male bicyclist was northbound on East Marginal Way South approaching South Hanford Street.  For reasons that have yet to be determined, the bicyclist collided with the truck-trailer’s left side wheels in or near the intersection and went down.” 

The bike trail from Alki Beach ends at a sidewalk that heads north along the west side of Marginal Way. To get to a bike lane heading north on Marginal Way, they have to cross southbound and northbound lanes of traffic.

To avoid timing their crossing against both lanes of traffic, some cyclists cross Marginal Way with the traffic light at South Spokane Street, instead of following the sidewalk. Although it’s a protected turn with traffic, the bike lane on Marginal doesn’t start for another 100 yards or so.

The man’s identity has not been released.

We’re always saddened by such occurrences and our condolences go out to the man’s friends and family.

Tom at the Seattle Bike Blog is posting updates on the tragedy. The West Seattle Blog has some comments from people at the scene and those who are very familiar with bicycling in that area.

This certainly casts a pall over the opening day of National Bicycle Month in Seattle.

This intersection has been a problem for a long time. As explained in the Seattle Times:

Cyclists and the city government have long understood the hazards in the area, as described in a Seattle Times story five years ago.

Cyclists will typically arrive from the West Seattle Bridge Trail, turn a corner toward downtown, and find themselves on a sidewalk west of Marginal Way. They then ponder how to cross the busy truck route to either reach a northbound bike lane, or pedal inland toward Sodo destinations.

“I ride this twice a day. It really could be anybody,” said Bob Anderton, an attorney who specializes on bicycling law. He commutes there and said it was shocking to see the downed cyclist. “I have no idea what happened,” he said.

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