Bicycle Fatality Report 1998 - 2000

David Smith Seattle, Washington
The first is a report on 6 fatals reported in The Seattle Times.

The second is a summary of fatals reported by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Seattle Times plus WTSC:  

10 adult fatals, 8 at night, all without front light. All (4) rear end fatals were at night and without rear reflector.

6 child fatals, all failure to yield, 4 at stop sign, 2 along road

About 50% of motorists speeding, drunk, or inattentive.

With lights, and yielding about 90% of cycling fatals could have avoided collision and any injury. 30% of fatals had helmet.



This report shows a shockingly high correspondence of adult cycling deaths and their failure to take the most simple and obvious safety measures. All the adults (100%) reported killed in The Seattle Times were riding at night without proper lighting, which the newspaper failed to report, as well as other significant safety failures.

Others have researched cycling accidents by examining police reports of bicycle/motor vehicle collisions for who was at fault and, apparently, assumed that a cyclist not at fault was innocent and incapable of avoiding the accident. The Washington State Vehicle Collision Report form and the form used by police do not have boxes to check for the cyclist errors that were involved with all the adult deaths – front light and, or rear reflector.  This report shows that all the cyclists killed, without regard for fault, were not innocent and it appears that all of these cyclists could easily have avoided their accident and death. Also, cyclists can be killed without the involvement of a motor vehicle.

When a cyclist death is reported, the authorities who investigated the death are contacted without delay about motorist and cyclist behavior. This eliminates the limitations of inadequate forms (with regard to cycling) and can provide additional information directly from their memory of the accident investigation. This method of collecting data followed by an effort to analyze the interaction between the colliding vehicles (and their drivers) revealed, accident-by-accident, a disturbing pattern and provided the compelling results documented here.

Anyone concerned with cycling (cyclists, cycling advocates, government cycling programs, as well as motorists who would like to avoid accidents with cyclists) should carefully consider the contents of this report.  We should reflect on the different methods and their results when accident statistics are used.

The Seattle Times reported the deaths of six cyclists from June 1998 to May 2000, a two-year period. (I may have missed child deaths, as my focus is adult transportation.) All the cyclists reported killed appeared to be violating the rules of the road (traffic procedures and required lighting). Five out of six cyclists, and all the adults (100%), were riding at night without lights, according to the authorities answering my questions. Bicyclists who were following the rules of the road had none (0 %) of the deaths reported in this period. Motor vehicles were involved in five out of six deaths and motorist culpability was potentially significant in four deaths. Four motorists were hit-and-run, and two of those were turned in later. I did not ask who was at fault. No motorists were reported injured in these collisions.

To avoid personal injury cyclists must avoid accidents more than the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Injuries and deaths to drivers and passengers in motor vehicles have been reduced by improving the ability of the vehicle to protect its occupants. Seat belts, padded interiors, air bags, and impact absorbing body design have contributed to reduced deaths and injuries in motor vehicle collisions. Helmets represent a similar effort for cyclists but a helmet cannot deliver similar protection. The cyclist, due to their much greater exposure, and almost certainty of falling to the ground, must avoid accidents to provide for their safety. It is more important for a cyclist to follow the rules of the road that prevent accidents than it is for a motorist when avoiding personal injury is desired. Although cyclist deaths are very rare when compared to the number of injuries, I include only cyclist deaths here, as a sample of cycling accidents, as they are more likely to be consistently reported in The Seattle Times.

There are cyclists who enjoy good transportation by bicycle with very low accident rates while riding with reasonable comfort in almost all traffic conditions. They have no worse outcome than motorists as their accident records show they have no greater probability of injury. And there are cyclists, like those reported here, that are killed.

Is there a risk factor for involving a cyclist in an accident regardless of the primary cause of the accident? As my concern is in understanding how good transportation by bicycle may be realized given current traffic conditions, I may be much less concerned about the finding of fault than in understanding how the bicyclist may reliably avoid accidents.


June 14, 1998 The Seattle Times reported:

Bicyclist killed in hit-and-run at Westlake Ave. North area


A Seattle man died yesterday at Harborview Medical Center from injuries he suffered in a hit-and-run accident in the 1200 block of Westlake Avenue North early yesterday morning.

Customers at the Latitude 47 restaurant reported hearing a noise and went outside at about 1:30 a.m. They found the victim on the ground, but did not see a car. The victim was identified as Martin Dale Pechina Jr., 32.  He was apparently riding a bicycle north in the lane next to the curb when he was struck from behind, said Christie-Lynne Bonner, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Police Department. He was taken to the hospital and died just after 10 a.m., according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

Copyright ©1999 Seattle Times Company. Used with permission.


In response to my questions about this nighttime death, Christie-Lynne Bonner reported to me that the bicyclist had:

March 15, 1999 The Seattle Times reported:

Bicyclist killed near Alderwood Mall

LYNNWOOD - A 66 year-old bicyclist was killed Saturday night when he was struck by a car near Alderwood Mall. Ronald H. Camfield of Lynnwood was struck about 8:10 p.m. at 117th Place Southwest and Alder Way, according to the State Patrol. The driver, a 42-year-old Lynnwood man, was not seriously injured.


Washington State Patrol trooper Mark Pederson responded to my questions regarding this nighttime death.

The bicyclist had reflectors and a helmet but had:

Local News: Monday, May 10, 1999

Hit-and-run driver kills Kent girl

by Arthur Santana
Seattle Times staff reporter
KENT - Socorro Madrigal knows the memory will haunt her for a long time. In the darkness Saturday night she saw her friend, Jennifer Bedingfield, 14, and Jennifer's father sitting on their mountain bikes in the turning lane of Highway 515 at Southeast 224th Street, a busy five-lane section of roadway east of Kent that is notoriously difficult to cross.

Then, a dark-colored sedan with tinted windows seemed to come out of nowhere. "The car just came up and ran right into her," Socorro, 14, said, fighting back tears. "Then she just went flying over the car's roof. I ran over there and kept thinking, `Oh, God, I hope that's not Jennifer.' "

But it was Jennifer, an eighth-grader at Kent Junior High School, who had been riding with her father when she was struck and killed about 9:30 p.m.

The car that hit her slowed down, but then, about as fast as it all happened, the motorist drove off - leaving behind Lance Bedingfield cradling his daughter, calling her name, crying uncontrollably.

The State Patrol is asking the public's help in finding who struck Jennifer.

Little else is known about the car, said Patrol spokesman Tom Foster. The windshield may be shattered and there may be damage to its roof.

It was unclear how fast the vehicle was traveling, and there didn't appear to be any skid marks, Foster said.

"What we really want to do is just talk to this person and get their side of the story," Foster said. "Oftentimes, a collision like this will occur, and the first reaction is one of shock and fear, but once they think about it, they realize that the right thing to do is contact us."

Jennifer, or "Jen" as she was known, was described as a nice girl - fiercely loyal, always willing to support her friends, said Socorro, who knew Jennifer for about three years.

Jennifer enjoyed riding bikes with her father. She wanted to go to college, have a nice husband and about three kids, Socorro said.

"She was so nice," Socorro said. "She was just an innocent little girl."

At the time of the accident, Jennifer was not wearing a helmet. An interview with the girl's father by Patrol officers likely will give troopers more information about the incident, Foster said.

Socorro said Jennifer lived nearby with her father, stepmother, two stepsisters and two stepbrothers.

Area residents say the bending stretch of roadway where the accident happened is extremely dangerous, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross the street against a seemingly never-ending flow of vehicles traveling no less than 45 mph.

"There are about three blocks of blind spots as the street winds around. During rush hour, you can't even cross the road," said Sonja Cano, who has lived in a nearby apartment for about eight years. "My son and I are lucky to be alive, considering how many times we've tried to cross this road."

Jennifer and her father were apparently cycling north on the sidewalk along Highway 515 when they stopped to cross the street, Foster said. Once the northbound traffic was clear they moved into the street, waiting in the center turn lane for southbound traffic to clear. They were only a few blocks from home.

That's when the car, northbound and apparently straddling the lanes, slammed into Jennifer, who was thrown about 70 feet, Foster said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her father was uninjured.

Yesterday afternoon, residents gathered in a parking lot near the scene of the accident, speaking quietly to each other, listening to and watching the cars pass.

Marcia Cardona, who did not know the Bedingfields, brought flowers. Pamela Duran, who lives in an apartment across from the accident site - spoke to her 5-year-old daughter, who was perched on a small bike in the parking lot, telling her the same thing she's told her many times before. "Now you see what I'm talking about - about crossing this street," Duran told her daughter. "It's very dangerous."

The State Patrol is asking anyone with information about the incident to call 425-455-7700, Ext. 0, Foster said.

"She was just a little girl," Duran said. "This is just such a tragedy."

Arthur Santana's phone message number is 206-515-5684.

Copyright © 1999 Seattle Times Company. Used with permission.

Trooper Foster responded to my questions regarding the nighttime death of the 14-year-old girl riding with her father. The girl had:

On October 1, 1999 the Seattle Times reported:

13-year-old boy killed in hit and run

SPANAWAY - A 13-year-old boy who was walking with his bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run accident last night, police said. Todd Mitchell Jr., who lived in the area, was walking on 168th Street near 14th Avenue East when he was struck, said Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Witnesses told police the driver was speeding and driving erratically, Troyer said.

Police are looking for a gray or light-blue compact sedan, with damage to the front and passenger side.


Another article followed a few days later, which I have misplaced. The motorist had turned himself in and the article referred to the bicyclist as riding his bicycle.


Ed Troyer responded to my questions.

There were four child cyclists, the motorist saw three and changed lanes but did not see the fourth. The cyclist was described as "riding around in circles" on the road. The motorist was traveling about 25 MPH over the speed limit.

On January 2, 2000 The Seattle Times reported:

Man on bicycle killed by car

SKAGIT COUNTY - One man was killed early Friday when a car struck the bicycle he was riding just north of the Skagit River Bridge. Kevin Lane, 22, of Burlington suffered massive head and internal injuries when he was hit on Burlington Boulevard by the car driven by William C. Melin, 26, of Sedro-Woolley, the State Patrol reported. The collision occurred just before 1 a.m.

The bike and car were traveling north. Melin was not hurt. He was arrested, and police were investigating the possibility of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run charges, State Patrol Lt. Walt Fisch said. Troopers reported that after hitting Lane, Melin drove another mile north after Lane was hit before stopping at a bar and telling someone about the incident. That person called 911.

State Patrol Lt. Walt Fisch responded to my questions about this nighttime death.

The bicyclist had:
The motorist may not have been speeding but alcohol was involved

On May 8, 2000 The Seattle Times reported:

Fall from bike kills 60-year-old Renton man

RENTON - A bicyclist died early yesterday after he fell off his bike and suffered a head injury, police said. The man, about 60, was bicycling in the 1400 block of Southwest Grady Way about 1:30 a.m. when something he was carrying got tangled in the bike's front spokes and caused it to crash, said Sgt. Kent Curry.

The man was not wearing a helmet, Curry said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The King County Medical Examiner's Office was not releasing his name, pending notification of his family.


Sgt. Mike Luther, Awai and Curry responded to my questions about this nighttime death.

The cyclist had:
The cyclist was traveling downhill on a sidewalk when an item carried in hand or on handlebars fell into the front wheel. It appeared that a helmet would have reduced the head injury.


The cyclist deaths of this report reveal the strongest possible correlation between cyclist behavior and safety. All (100%) of reported deaths involve cyclists failing to use required equipment for visibility and to follow traffic rules, and that none (0%) of cyclists using required lighting and following traffic rules were reported killed. Motorist culpability was potentially significant in four out of six deaths but this should not be used as an excuse to diminish the benefit of cyclist behavior in avoiding accidents, most importantly by providing visibility (proper lighting at night is most significant) and predictability through following the rules of the road.


All the adults (100%) died while driving their bicycles at night without proper lighting. (This includes one child, 14, who I count as an adult as the child cyclist was with her parent.) Driving a bicycle at night without the required lighting would appear to pose the most serious visibility problem to others. A front light and a rear reflector required by law, and light colored clothing would significantly increase the visibility of the cyclist. Visibility was not directly implicated in one death as no other vehicle was involved. The front light serves both to allow others to see the vehicle while also allowing the driver of the vehicle to better see the road, or in the one case above, to see the sidewalk.

How well do cyclists provide for their visibility to avoid accidents?  My independent monitoring of cyclists at night shows about 50% or less of cyclists with proper lighting. This compares to about 1% of motorists without lights, mostly where street lighting makes it difficult to see that the lights are not on. It is much less convenient for a cyclist to use a front light than a motorist, however most new bicycles are sold with reflectors, require no maintenance, and would have to be removed for the cases in this report. I estimate nighttime cycling miles to be less than 20% of the total miles and with 50% without proper lighting, that leaves the improperly lighted adult cyclist with less than 10% of cycling miles but 100% of the adult cycling deaths. I see no evidence that a simple majority of nighttime cyclists understand the most significant risk factor for the most serious cycling accidents. (Do police understand the importance of lighting? The Renton Police Department reported four cyclists ticketed in the last 18 months for lighting and the Seattle Police Department is unable to provide information on ticketing cyclists for lighting.) 


Two deaths reported here involve cyclists behaving unpredictably beyond driving at night without proper lighting. One adult without a front light failed to yield in darkness at a stop sign while a child was described as "riding in circles in the road" by the Sheriff's spokesperson. Roads are designed, and traffic rules are imposed, to improve visibility and predictability of the traffic on the roads to allow efficient travel while reducing accidents. Failure to follow the safe and predictable procedures so established involved these cyclists in accidental death.

How well do cyclists utilize roads and traffic safety?  I could not find a simple and reliable indicator of cyclist compliance with traffic procedures as with proper lighting. It appears that cyclists are likely to calculate the opportunity of proceeding through a controlled intersection without the delay when required by the law, and weigh this convenience against the road and traffic hazard. My monitoring of cyclist and motorist behavior at a stop-signed park entrance (calm traffic, recreational and "racing" type cyclists) showed almost all cyclists would fail to recognize the stop sign when traffic conditions would appear to allow while very few motorists would behave similarly. A survey of cyclist and motorist behavior at intersections controlled with a stop-light (major streets, more traffic, utility cyclists) showed much better cyclist behavior here and perhaps worse motorist behavior with traffic congestion, although the cyclists were many times more likely than motorists to behave unpredictably with regard to the law by proceeding through the intersection against the light.


Would the cyclists have survived if they had followed the rules of the road? Motorist culpability was high in four out of six deaths so it should not be assumed that the accident would have been avoided in these four cases by cyclist action alone. What is significant is that no cyclist who was obeying the rules of the road was reported killed, while all those who were killed were violating the rules of the road.

In four out of five deaths where motor vehicles were involved, the motorist likely could have seen the cyclist and avoided a collision. The error of one vehicle does not always make a collision necessary. I notice that I see unlighted cyclists but often much later than if they had used proper lighting.  Also, cyclists who do not follow the rules of the road are much less predictable, and often less visible as their position in the road is often outside the flow of traffic on which I focus my attention. In this case I have to look out much more carefully for cyclists and react much more quickly when action is necessary. If the motorist is distracted momentarily or possibly impaired by alcohol then this motorist is going to see the cyclist even later and respond even more slowly. The result is a narrowing of the safety margin between vehicles increasing the possibility of a collision. In this case the unlighted or unpredictable cyclist becomes an efficient two-wheeled sacrificial "breathalyzer test" for finding the less than fully attentive and responsible motorist. All of these motorists left the scene of the accident although one turned himself in later and another was reported after he stopped a mile away and told another about the accident.


Only one adult cyclist out of five reported killed had a helmet. My observations are that helmet use is much more popular than consistently following traffic procedures or using lights at night. Perhaps 70 to 80% of cyclists use helmets. In this case the 20 to 30% of cyclists without helmets had 80% of the cycling deaths. Helmets have received much more attention than the utility of following the rules of the road and I often see cyclists being advised to "always wear a helmet" without any mention of traffic safety.

Is the absence of a helmet responsible for the high accidental death rate of cyclists without helmets? I have observed that most cyclists who are riding at night without helmets also do not have proper lighting. And, most cyclists who ride at night with lights are more likely than the average cyclist to have a helmet. This report shows the presence of a helmet follows the cyclist who is more likely to avoid accidents, and the absence of a helmet follows the cyclist who is much more likely to fail to avoid an accident.  It is ironic that the cyclists who most needed helmets due to their failure to avoid accidents were the least likely to wear helmets while those who used traffic rules to avoid accidents, and therefore needed them the least, were most likely to use helmets.

In this way, the helmet is more an indicator of the cyclist's frame of mind, their view of safety and willingness to follow traffic rules, which allows the cyclist to avoid accidents. While it is much more important to take the simple steps that allow a cyclist to avoid most accidents, the cyclist should use a helmet to reduce head injuries as the cyclist may not be able to avoid all accidents.

Helmets are very important in limiting head injuries in an accident however they have no part in avoiding accidents such as following traffic procedures and utilizing proper lighting. A helmet does not prevent carried items from falling into the front wheel. In this study far more accidents could have been avoided resulting in no injuries than the use of helmets would have prevented the cyclists' death where the surviving cyclist would likely have sustained many injuries. In one death involving only the cyclist the outcome would likely have been different if a helmet had been used although the accident, and resulting injuries, could easily have been avoided.


All the cyclists who were reported killed in this report made serious mistakes, and usually more than one, in providing for their safety. Although each error may not have had a direct bearing on the outcome, or would have been found as the fault for the accident, each error indicated a failure of the cyclist to provide for their safety. Each cyclist reported killed made many errors indicating a frame of mind that was insufficient to avoid accidental death. The most common error in avoiding accidents was riding in darkness without a front light, followed by failure to use a rear reflector, failure to use light colored clothing then failing to use proper traffic procedures and to properly store carried items. Over 80% failed to use a helmet to reduce head injuries in an accident.    


Five out of six deaths occurred on vehicular facilities and the one remaining death occurred on a pedestrian facility (in this case a sidewalk).

How cyclist behavior is treated

In all cases the newspaper failed to report any traffic errors of the bicyclist while leaving the tone of car-killing-bicyclist as the titles suggest: Hit-and-run driver kills Kent girl, Man on bicycle killed by car, Bicyclist killed in hit-and-run and Bicyclist killed when struck by car. Helmet use was reported inconsistently although helmet use cannot prevent accidents except where some helmets could increase visibility. If a reader assumes that obvious traffic errors would be reported then the reader would be left with the feeling that innocent bicyclists are placed in extreme danger by motor vehicles and uninformed of the role of cyclist traffic errors in involving cyclists in accidents and how cycling could be done safely.

The article about the 14-year-old Kent girl riding with her father described and repeated at length many dangerous conditions in an apparent effort to highlight the issue of safety. The issues described were: the darkness...busy-five lane section of roadway...(the street is) notoriously difficult to cross...didn't appear to be any skid marks...extremely dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross...(traffic) traveling no less than 45 mph…three blocks of blind spots as the street winds's very dangerous (crossing the street)...(the car) seemed to come out of nowhere.

If the street was dark, winding with poor visibility, high speed traffic of no less than 45 mph, known to area residents as extremely dangerous and "a few blocks" from their home so they should be familiar with the conditions then, under these conditions, the bicyclists should utilize proven safety equipment and behavior to provide for their safety. If these conditions would not warrant such behavior what conditions would? If the motorist came out of nowhere, then the cyclist with no front light, no rear reflector and no light colored clothing, where did they come from?

With the single exception of the reported failure to wear a helmet the article focused exclusively on conditions external to the cyclist such as the street and traffic over which the cyclist has no control. The article did not mention the conditions over which the cyclist does have control and are documented in this report to have a 100% correspondence with adult deaths (the 14 year old girl was riding with her parent so her behavior could be counted as an adult). Although law does not require light colored clothing, a front light and a rear reflector are. A helmet, the only item of cyclist behavior mentioned, cannot prevent or allow the cyclist to avoid accidents, it can only limit injuries to the head sustained in an accident.

By failing to report the behavior the cyclist must know to avoid accidents and death, the effort of the article to focus on safety measures up short. The article avoids any mention of cyclist behavior while elaborating a series of popular sentiments of the negative side of motor vehicles. The cyclist who reads this article may well be drawn into the emotion disparaging motor traffic and to become even less likely to examine the importance of cyclist behavior to provide for their safety.


The failure of the cyclists in this report to provide for their safety corresponded with all (100%) of the accidental deaths reported. Errors in required equipment for visibility at night and, or to follow the rules of the road was involved in each accidental death. Most deaths involved more than one violation of the laws for drivers of vehicles, as well as failure to utilize optional safety measures, and a pattern can be shown. The pattern consists of riding at night with:
This pattern indicates a cyclist without the proper frame of mind, the importance of traffic safety, to exercise sufficient vigilance in utilizing the many resources available to avoid accidents and death.  Perhaps it is not so much the situation: cycling, the streets, and the traffic that is so dangerous, but the frame of mind of the driver of the vehicle.

All the cyclist deaths of this report would likely have been prevented without any increase in cycling skill. I assume all the adult cyclists knew the rules of the road, most likely had a driver's license, and would have followed the rules of the road if they were driving a motor vehicle. If the bicycle had been driven with as much care as most motor vehicles all the adult deaths would likely have been avoided. (Although the deaths reported here involve simple and obvious safety errors, increasing cyclist knowledge and skill in handling traffic can significantly reduce cycling accidents beyond those reported here. The best presentation of traffic cycling is outlined in the book Effective Cycling by John Forester and should be taken seriously by all cyclists.)

Observations of cyclist behavior reveal cyclists increasingly disregard safety rules as personal convenience tempts and opportunity appears to allow. Cyclists are far more likely than motorists to violate lighting and yielding laws significant in cyclist deaths of this report. This report shows that improved cyclist behavior, the use of proper lighting at night being the most significant, would very significantly reduce cycling injuries and deaths.

Cyclists need your help to adopt a frame of mind that traffic safety is important and necessary to avoid accidents that cause injury and death such as those documented in this report.

Reports From Washington Traffic Safety Commission 2000

Reports from WTSC, tabulations at end.


For the month of January, the Washington State Patrol reported the following:

01/01/2000, Saturday    (#1) 71 year old bicyclist, Ronald P. Rose, male, Lakewood, died instantly as the result of a crash which occurred at 8:50 p.m. in Pierce county, city of Lakewood, on the 121 block of Pacific Highway Southwest, 1500 feet south of Bridgeport Way Southwest. Vehicle one northbound collided with bicyclist (subject) westbound. BICYCLE HELMET WORN.


For the month of February, the Washington State Patrol reported the following:

02/11/2000, Friday     (#2)  39 year old bicyclist, Rod A. Bevers, male, Spokane, died instantly as the result of a crash which occurred at 6:15 a.m. in Spokane county, 2 miles southwest of Spokane, at the 4200 block of Geiger, 300 feet north of Electric. Vehicle one (subject) southbound collided with vehicle two southbound. BICYCLE HELMET WORN.


For the month of March, the Washington State Patrol reported the following: (None)


For the months of April, May and June the Washington State Patrol had no reports of cycling fatals.


For the month of July, the Washington State Patrol reported the following:

06/19/2000, Monday  (#3)

14 year old bicyclist, Timothy E. Hodges, male, Lakewood, died at the hospital as the result of a crash which occurred at 9:05 p.m. in Pierce county, city of Lakewood, on 112nd Street Southwest at 91st Avenue Court Southwest. Vehicle one (subject) northbound on 91st Avenue Court Southwest collided with vehicle two westbound on 112nd Street Southwest. BICYCLE HELMET USAGE UNKNOWN

06/22/2000, Thursday  (#4)

22 year old bicyclist, Yianni Phillippides, male, died at 6:58 p.m. on 06/29/2000 as the result of a crash which occurred at 4:50 p.m. in King county, city of Seattle, on the 1000 block of Alaska Way at Spring Street. Vehicle one (subject) westbound on Spring Street collided with vehicle two northbound on Alaskan Way. BIKE HELMET NOT WORN.

 07/17/2000, Monday      (#5)

12 year old bicyclist, Thomas J. Washington, male, Everett, died at 7:10 p.m. as the result of a crash which occurred at 11:15 a.m. in Snohomish county, 2.5 miles east of Mill Creek, on Puget Park Drive, at 55th Drive Southeast. Vehicle one (subject) northbound on 55th Drive Southeast collided with vehicle two eastbound on Puget Park Drive. BIKE HELMET USAGE UNKNOWN.


For the month of August, the Washington State Patrol reported the following:

07/05/2000, Wednesday   (#6)

55 year old bicyclist, Michael F. Lascher, male, Olympia, died at the hospital as the result of a crash which occurred at 7:37 p.m. in Thurston county, city of Olympia, on the 1600 block of Eastbay Drive. Vehicle one southbound collided with vehicle two (subject) northbound. BIKE HELMET WORN.

08/10/2000, Thursday     (#7)

44 year old bicyclist, Glen A. Knudson, male, Mount Lake Terrace, died at 11:30 p.m. as the result of a crash which occurred at 10:37 p.m. in King county, city of Shoreline, on North 145th at Aurora Avenue North. Vehicle one (subject) on 145th collided with vehicle two southbound on Aurora Avenue North. BICYCLE HELMET NOT WORN.

08/22/2000, Tuesday      (#8)

18 year old bicyclist, Jeremiah M. Horne, male, Woodland, died instantly as the result of a crash which occurred at 5:25 p.m. in Cowlitz county, city of Woodland, on the 1473 block of Lewis River Road, 100 feet west of Cherry Blossom. Vehicle one (subject) eastbound collided with vehicle two westbound. BIKE HELMET WORN.


During the week of September 3rd, the Washington State Patrol reported the following:

07/31/2000, Monday     (#9)

6 year old bicyclist, Brandon R. Harney, male, Auburn, died at 12:57 a.m. on August 1, 2000 as the result of a crash which occurred at 12:57 p.m. in King county, on Southeast 304th Street, at 124th Avenue Southeast, 3 miles east of Auburn. Vehicle one (subject) eastbound on Southeast 304th Street collided with vehicle two northbound on 24th Avenue Southeast. BIKE HELMET NOT WORN.

 08/11/2000, Friday    (#10)

9 year old bicyclist, Lauren A. Burleson, female, Enumclaw, died instantly as the result of a crash which occurred at 6:35 p.m. in King county, on 284th Avenue Southeast at Southeast 472nd Street, 2 miles south of Enumclaw. Vehicle one (subject) eastbound on Southeast 472nd Street collided with vehicle two southbound on 284th Avenue Southeast. BIKE HELMET WORN.

09/01/2000, Friday     (#11)

11 year old bicyclist, Jovanny A. Gonzales, male, Lynden, died instantly as the result of a crash which occurred at 1:14 p.m. in Whatcom county, 5 miles southwest of Lynden, at West Pole Road and Woodlyn. Vehicle one (subject) westbound on West Pole Road collided with vehicle two westbound. BIKE HELMET NOT WORN.


Here are the results of my interviews:

#1    No front light, No rear reflector, cyclist rear ended, both drivers intoxicated

#2    No front light, No rear reflector, dark jacket no light clothing. Road curves, semi truck cuts curve while cyclist turning or intends turn, hits cyclist. Truck driver finds no pulse in cyclist and leaves scene. Another vehicle runs over cyclist. Another vehicle runs over bicycle.

#3    Cyclist failed to even slow down at stop sign.  Another child cyclist just ahead stopped, looked and went through intersection. Helmet unknown is by interview: helmet not worn.

#4    Seattle Police refuse any information, hung up on me when I asked if stop sign or stop-light at intersection. State Patrol say no info - go to Seattle. Reports are that cyclist from Spring Street to Alaskan Way, cyclists claim motorist fast, running stop light. I find no sign or light at intersection and Spring Street one way, and away from Alaskan Way, cyclist if in street would have to travel wrong way on Spring to get to Alaskan Way. (Update: Seattle Times article, shows this was a crosswalk/motorist stops for bike in crosswalk, another passing motorist hits cyclist in crosswalk.)

#5   Child cyclist in group looking behind, at rest of group, while going through stop sign without stopping. Helmet usage unknown found by interview to be: no helmet.

#6  Two cars collide at gradual curve when one distracted crosses center line. One vehicle with disabled steering deflects cyclist, riding in bike lane, into concrete retaining wall.

#7   No front light, rear reflector ok, dark clothing, intoxicated. Cyclist denied access to bus due to intoxication, goes across major arterial mid block, college age motorist with friends in car fails to see cyclist.

#8   Not a fatal accident as posted. Cyclist wrong way on sidewalk (opposite adjacent traffic in street) hit car entering road. Cyclist was able to walk away.

#9   16 yo by The Seattle Times, 6 yo by WTSC. Cyclist slowed but did not stop at stop sign.

#10   Cyclist was with brother also on bike and parent who was behind and walking. Cyclist did not stop at stop sign and rode down wrong side of street after turn.

#11   Cyclist swerved left into path of car on rural road, two lane 40 MPH.


Seattle Times plus WTSC:   10 adult fatals, 8 at night, all without front light. All (4) rear end fatals were at night and without rear reflector.

6 child fatals, all failure to yield, 4 at stop sign, 2 along road

About 50% of motorists speeding, drunk, or inattentive.

With lights, and yielding about 90% of cycling fatals could have avoided collision and any injury. 30% of fatals had helmet.