On Saturday, July 6, around 10 PM, my sister Alana and her husband Ben were riding to Capitol Hill from Ballard when Alana was struck by a car. The car did not stop. Alana was taken to Harborview and sent home just after 5 AM with relatively minor injuries: road rash, skin lacerations, severely sprained wrists, severe bruising. She took a severe blow to the head but the helmet absorbed most of the impact, as you can see in this video. Incredibly, she had no broken bones or internal bleeding, nor did she suffer a concussion.
Alana and Ben are visiting me from LA. They have been borrowing bikes from me and my boyfriend Archie. The four of us have been riding bikes all around Seattle for the last several days, as Archie and I very rarely drive. Alana and Ben had become more confident with urban cycling. Alana went to the University of Washington for undergrad and is fairly familiar with the area.
The details of what happened are a little complicated, but I will try to explain as best I can for the Seattle bike community who will want to know. We had all been out in Ballard together. Alana and Ben decided they were ready to go home but I was not. They knew the way home as we had ridden it a few times together, so they were comfortable with going home on their own. They took the Burke Gilman trail from Ballard. They took the stairs on the East side of the Fremont bridge, and rode on the sidewalk on the East side of the bridge. They walked their bikes across the crosswalk to the Southeast corner of that large intersection, at Dexter and Westlake. Then they rode their bikes across the crosswalk at Dexter. At the end of the crosswalk, Alana turned South to begin to climb Dexter in the bike lane. Ben was still in the Dexter crosswalk when a car traveling East on Nickerson made a right turn to go South on Dexter, striking Alana in the bike lane. She never saw the car and describes the experience as like being lifted up by a wave. The car did not slow or stop. The EMT report described the car as traveling at about 30 miles per hour.
There were many witnesses at the scene - one of the first people to approach Alana was an off-duty EMT. We don’t know this person’s name but she was a godsend.
Ben did not get a good look at the vehicle. We are hoping some of the other witnesses did, and that they told the police who quickly arrived on the scene, but we haven’t been able to connect with the officer who took the police report today so we don’t know how much information he has. We have little hope of the driver being identified, but if anyone knows anything, please call the Seattle police.
Alana was riding Archie’s Masi Speciale Commuter. The police took it and we haven’t recovered it yet. Alana described it as “fucked.” More to come when we see it.
Big big thanks to Haley Woods who drove me to Harborview to join Alana and Ben, all of the helpful witnesses at the scene, the EMTs, everyone in the Harborview Emergency Department, and all our friends and family who have sent love and support. This was a really really scary close call. We are rattled but remain committed to doing all we can to make Seattle streets safe for all users. Alana is strong and healthy and healing fast. Thanks for the support everyone.