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Seattle cyclist warning others after he was struck by an inattentive driver

Bryan Howie says the driver of the car who hit him didn't stop. The incident is part of a troubling trend in Seattle, one the city says they're working to combat.

SEATTLE — Bryan Howie is banged up, but thankful to be alive. 

On Wednesday, March 22, Howie was in the bike lane at the intersection of S. Myrtle Place and Holly Park Drive when a car hit him.

"If I had fallen down immediately, I very well could have been run over," Howie said. "It's hard to be lying on the road wondering if you're going to see your loved ones again."

Howie explained how the crash happened.

"As we got to the intersection, of course, I'm going straight through and I noticed the car started to turn which was surprising because they hadn't had a turn signal but I thought, they must see me. They'll stop," he said. "My back wheel felt like a huge force had grabbed onto it and was pulling it to the side and at that point I realized they'd hit me and I just went into survival mode."

Howie managed to make it through the intersection before falling back on his head and shoulders. Those injuries are still healing. His helmet protected him from an even worse fate.

Credit: Bryan Howie
A picture of Bryan Howie's injuries after he was hit by a car on Wednesday, March 22.

"The helmet is cracked right in half," Howie said. "That is from the impact, this helmet saved my life 100%."

Credit: KING 5
A picture showing Bryan Howie's cracked helmet.

The driver of the car that hit Howie didn't stop, which for him, is the most concerning part.

"I would hope if somebody saw someone who had fallen violently off their bike, was lying motionless in the middle of the road, any human would go help," he said.

Rachel Schaeffer, Cascade Bicycle Club's policy and advocacy manger, says stories like Howie's are far too common.

"The reality is, when you get in a car, you're in a 3,000 pound vehicle and with that comes greater responsibility," Schaeffer said. "People are getting injured and killed while walking and biking at far higher numbers than they have in the past."

According to SDOT, crashes involving people and cyclists being hit made up 7% of total crashes in the city in 2022. However, they accounted for 61% of deadly crashes.

The City of Seattle is working to end all traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. It's part of their plan, Vision Zero. Hoboken, New Jersey & Oslo, Norway are two cities where Vision Zero has been successful.

The city says road improvements are coming to SODO, downtown, the University District and Rainier Valley to help lower those numbers. There's also a push to put up no turn on red signs throughout downtown and possibly South Seattle before the summer season.

RELATED: What is Vision Zero?

Schaeffer explains it's going to take a lot of effort to make the streets in Seattle safe for everyone, making All Ages and Ability Bicycling Infrastructure part of the norm.

"Our streets have been historically designed for a lot of cars to move at speeds that are too fast and it's going to take a lot of money and effort to redesign our streets for safety as opposed to speed," Schaeffer said.

Credit: KING 5
Flex posts knocked over in South Seattle show drivers continually drive into designated bike lanes.

Knocked-over flex posts around the city show drivers continually veering into bike lanes. Howie hopes his story makes everyone more aware.

"I'm not just a cyclist, I'm a driver too and learning to be extra conscious about this," Howie said. "I'm always extremely thoughtful if there are pedestrians and cyclists around. I check my mirrors so many times before I turn. I try to be very thoughtful of the people who'd be in big trouble if I hit them with my large vehicle."

Howie did file a police report but doesn't anticipate the driver of the white sedan will be caught.


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