SEATTLE — A man has been charged in connection with the July hit-and-run death of a 63-year-old bicyclist near the West Seattle Bridge.
Mohamed Yusuf, 20, was charged Dec. 27 with vehicular homicide and hit and run-felony after he allegedly killed Robert Mason while he was riding home from his job in West Seattle.
According to charging documents, Mason was riding an electric bicycle and wearing a yellow safety vest as he traveled eastbound on South Spokane Street. Yusuf, who was traveling at a speed over twice the posted limit, hit Mason as he was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection of South Spokane Street and 11th Avenue SW.
Mason was killed instantly, and after initially braking, Yusuf allegedly accelerated away from the scene. Surveillance video from a King County Metro Coach helped police identify the make and model of the vehicle, which eventually was matched to a 2017-18 Hyundai Elantra registered to Yusuf.
After seizing his vehicle, search warrants were obtained for Yusuf's phone and Snapchat account. Police found messages in which Yusuf stated he did a hit-and-run and searches in which Yusuf sought out news articles and blog postings about the incident.
A ghost bike was hung at the scene in the aftermath, and a memorial vigil ride was held by members of the community.
“I have been living in a prison of pain and suffering... and I know that this man has been walking around free for 173 days at this point,” said Claudia Mason, Robb Mason’s wife.
Claudia Mason said it was just a matter of time before someone was held accountable and wants other hit-and-run families not to lose hope.
“I know that this person has been surveilled for months and that they worked really hard to get the evidence that they're going to use now to hopefully put him in prison for a very long time.”
She hoped Robb Mason's story would encourage others to be more careful in the future.
“I hope other people, especially cyclists see that the community cares about this sort of thing and someone can't just run another person down without impunity and think it’s nothing because it's not nothing.”
Even though Yusuf is facing charges in this crime he was never taken into custody. Court documents said he has no known criminal history, but did say after the hit and run he was cited for failing to obey a traffic control device.
Yusuf is expected to have an arraignment Monday where prosecutors plan to ask for electric home detention.