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Person killed while biking in SoDo one block from January death site

A person driving a Jeep struck and killed someone riding a bike in SoDo on Wednesday morning, according to Seattle police.

The driver of the Jeep was trying to pull out of a parking lot on 4th Avenue near Holgate Street and told police they were looking south for a traffic stop so they could turn north on 4th. The person on the bike was heading south on the sidewalk. “The driver collided with the cyclist as he turned onto 4th Avenue,” police said.

We send our condolences to their friends and family.

The crash happened a block from the site of another fatal crash in early January. A person driving west on S Holgate Street collided and killed Antionio Tiongco as he cycled through Holgate on 3rd Avenue S. Both cases sadly highlight the lack of safe cycling and walking routes in SoDo, which has very wide roads with few quality street crossings and no comprehensive, connected cycling infrastructure. As Ryan Packer reported earlier this month, “Almost exactly two years before the [January] 2022 incident, on January 7, 2020, Douglas Mayhew was walking through Holgate at 8th Ave S, where there is no marked crosswalk, when he was struck by the driver of a vehicle. He later died of his injuries. On October 2 of that year, another pedestrian was struck and killed at 1st and Holgate. The wide streets and unforgiving intersections of SoDo are not designed for the safety of people outside of vehicles.

Board Member Tammy Morales wrote on Twitter“, There are over 4000 miles of road in the city and less than 1% of it is protected cycle path infrastructure. These deaths are unacceptable because they are preventable. My thoughts are with the victim’s family. I hope people will join in the defense of safer streets for all.

While it’s not yet clear if it’s related, the crash happened around the time the West Seattle Lower Bridge was unexpectedly closed for an extended period. Anyone biking between West Seattle and downtown should have taken a detour over the 1st Ave Bridge through SoDo. Whether that person detours or not, the bridge closure has highlighted another reason why safe routes through SoDo are needed. SDOT is set to begin the process of designing a protected bike path from Georgetown to downtown this year. If all goes according to the current schedule, the route should be open by the end of 2024.

More details from SPD:

SPD detectives are investigating after a Jeep driver fatally struck a cyclist on Wednesday morning in a collision on the 4and Street.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., the driver of the Jeep was pulling out of a parking lot along South 4th Avenue and Holgate Street, preparing to turn north. The driver stopped to wait for vehicular traffic and was looking south when a cyclist approached on the sidewalk from the north. The driver collided with the cyclist while turning at 4andStreet.

Seattle firefighters were in the area and immediately responded to provide assistance. The cyclist later died of his injuries.

The driver remained at the scene and was questioned by the police. He showed no signs of weakening. Traffic collision detectives continue to investigate the incident.