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Bike-truck crash kills 24-year-old cyclist in Brier

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office recently reported that a bicyclist was killed on Saturday, Sept. 22, after colliding with a pickup truck near Brier. The bike accident occurred at Barker Road and Atlas Road at around 10:30 a.m., and the 24-year-old cyclist reportedly died at the scene.

Police indicated that the driver of the pickup truck did not appear to be intoxicated, so drunk driving isn't thought to be a factor in the collision. However, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office intends to continue investigating the accident to determine exactly what happened.

In both Brier and Seattle, drivers of motor vehicles have a legal obligation to share the road with bicyclists. While not every bike-car collision is the fault of the motorist, too often that is the case. Operators of larger vehicles can't enter a bicycle lane unless the driver is turning, and he or she must yield to any bicycles in the lane before entering it.

In addition, drivers of cars and trucks must yield to bicycles that are turning, stopping or making any other legal maneuver. Bicycles are not necessarily required to remain in the designated bicycle lane, and motorists must treat bikes the same as any other vehicle on the road.

In this particular collision in Brier, if police investigating the accident find that the driver of the pickup truck did not follow the rules of the road, then the family of the deceased cyclist may be entitled to compensation for his wrongful death. This kind of compensation is nothing in comparison to the family's incalculable loss, but many people who have suddenly lost a loved one find some measure of comfort in knowing that the negligent party has been held accountable.

Source: kirotv.com, "Bicyclist killed in collision near Brier," Sept. 22, 2012


Unfortunately I witnessed this tragic accident. The news reports are very misleading; the truck did not strike the bicyclist, it was the other way around! The bicyclist was going at speeds that were too fast to be safe for the condition of the intersection, described above. He was wearing no helmet. He lost control and cycled right into the truck, into the oncoming lane, at very high speeds. The truck swerved to the right to avoid him, but there is a severe drop off there and he risked his own life just trying to get out of the way. Very tragic, everyone please cycle very mindfully and safely; it is not always the motor vehicle’s fault!!

David, thank you for your comment. Your perspective provides an important reminder that it is almost impossible to recreate exact truth after an accident like this. Different witnesses experience and recall the events differently from each other. In cases like this we often use qualified accident reconstructionists to consider all of the available eyewitness testimony as well as the physical evidence to establish the most likely scenario. Of course, nothing can ever be established with absolute certainty, but the burden on any personal injury plaintiff is to establish that the incident was more probably than not someone else's fault and that the injuries were more probably than not the result of the incident.

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