87-year-old Edmonds driver arrested after hitting man in crosswalk

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Reposting to correct street name to Olympic Avenue

An 87-year-old Edmonds man is being investigated for vehicular assault and suspected DUI after he allegedly struck a 39-year-old Edmonds man in a crosswalk on Olympic Avenue at Main Street early Friday evening.

According to Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Shane Hawley, the victim suffered “numerous broken bones” and was transported to Harborview Medical Center.

The incident took place at 5:30 p.m. as the victim was crossing Olympic Avenue. The driver was headed eastbound on Main Street and took a left onto Olympic, striking the victim.

The driver was arrested at the scene. The roadway was closed until approximately 11:15 p.m., Hawley said.

 

31 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve had enough near misses at that intersection while walking my dogs that I am nervous about crossing it and keep a sharp eye out. Drivers typically go too fast around the corner from Main onto Olympic View and continue speeding on Olympic View.

  2. Walking through crosswalks is very hazardous in Edmonds. Many communities have flashing lights either along the crosswalk or at either side of it that the pedestrian activates.This would be a safer way to cross the busier ones. I was almost hit by a driver the other day . I think a flashing light would have alerted him someone was in the road

  3. Since the beginning of 2014 thru October 2015 we’ve had 33 pedestrians hit by vehicles in Edmonds; that’s an average of one every 3 weeks. In the past few weeks we’ve had one a week. I don’t see this situation improving until we get some appropriate traffic enforcement.

  4. We have noticed the many drivers who cut the corner. Those driving south on Olympic have to watch our for those turning left from Main. There are many pedestrians in that area, some crossing Main to go to Yost Park. I think it is a good candidate for orange flags. We cross 3rd where there are flags. We’d be interested in any statistics showing the effectiveness of those flags,
    A city wide campaign to promote wearing reflective/light colored clothes could help. Police officers can’t be everywhere to be sure people follow the laws. Walking is good so let’s promote safe practices.

    • Good suggestions, Barbara. The Police could do a better job ensuring that people follow the laws if the resources were there so that more more officers could be devoted to traffic enforcement. Unfortunately, to date, there is no city staff member or elected official advocating for more traffic enforcement officers.

      • Hi Ron, I and the majority of my fellow councilmembers are very concerned about the rise of traffic incidents in our city. The Police Chief and I have met and discussed these concerns.

        I wanted folks to know that I submitted budget amendments early Friday afternoon to fund an additional traffic enforcement officer. This will not solve the problem overnight but I believe is an important first step.

        Looking forward to working with the Mayor, Council, our Police Dept. and our citizens to help keep Edmonds safe for all those who walk, bike, and drive in our City.

        • Thank you, Mike. Your action is absolutely a step in the right direction. Hopefully you’ll get three additional votes to support your proposal.

        • I hope the man will be fine. I can’t tell you how many times in Edmonds people just walk right in front of your car. The don’t look before they cross the street, they stand and talk at the curb and then walk right out in front of you. Lets hold walker accountable also. We don’t need another traffic enforcement office. We need people to use common sense when driving, walkers to look both ways when they cross the street, bikers to stop at stop signs.

  5. As a pedestrian and daily dog walker in and around the bowl, I’ve learned to assume that driver’s are not paying attention to pedestrians at crosswalks and/or have no intention to allow pedestrians the right of way. If I had a nickel for every person staring down at their phone or elderly citizens pulling across a cross walk into an intersection, only looking in the direction they’re used to seeing the most traffic, people of all ages rolling or blowing through four way stops, while pedestrians stand on the corners waiting to cross…I could go on and on. I’ve just learned to assume that nobody is looking or waiting for pedestrians (of course, many are paying attention) to hedge my bet in safety.

    • Scott, I don’t assume anything until I’ve made eye contact with the driver or they’ve come to a full stop. I grew up in New York where you were taking your life in your hands walking out in front of a car, crosswalk or no crosswalk.

  6. My observations are both drivers and pedestrians share in the responsibility to keep things safe. I have seen drivers come to an intersection, not look left or right and just continue. I have also seen pedestrians just walk up to an intersection and not look left or right, they just start walking. Both are taking for granted they have the right to proceed without looking around, making eye contact and then proceeding. Both have the obligation to be more mindful of what is going on around them.

  7. I’ll add another voice to this issue. While walking my dog across 6th at Glen Street, a young man on a bike talking on his cellphone failed to even acknowledge our presence and nearly ran over my dog. The earlier suggestion of flashing pavement lights is, while maybe not the cheapest, the one thing that has any chance of getting the attention of drivers, both auto and bicycle. More staff could help but would be expensive and of questionable help in solving the problem.

    • I’m not crazy about the idea of flashing lights everywhere; pinpoint light sources are a migraine trigger for some people, including me. Driving at night is already bad enough with all the headlights. I’ve also heard anecdotes about people ignoring them up at the five corners roundabout.

  8. It has been proven that more staff when used on the right things will eventually help. As long as 25 to 30 years ago there were radar traps around our city; we did not have the abundance of speeders that we now have. Drivers, in general, are careless because they know that they are unlikely to be ticketed for their infractions.

    • You hit the nail on the head. In the areas outside “downtown” it is even worse. Many all-way stops are ignored with drivers going straight through the intersection with a slight tap of the brakes. I have had several close misses while walking near blind intersections (blocked by hedges etc.) when a vehicle has “banged” a right/left at an all-way stop.

      Why has it gotten to this? Drivers know no one will be there to enforce it….ever, so the problem gets worse with time.

  9. Darrol Haug and Ron Wamblot make good points. My question for Ron, in regard to his comment about drivers possessing a potentially lethal weapon, is why do we have so many jay walkers in Edmonds? That is, why do people continue to jay walk in Edmonds when the attitude among so many residents is that drivers here are horrible. Logically, people would be hyper alert when walking. A statistic that is not tracked is all the pedestrians who are jay walking and are not hit because drivers do not hit them. I am in favor of increased traffic enforcement and sincerely hope it includes ticketing jay walkers.

    • If jay walking is defined as not crossing streets in crosswalks or at corners, some people have told me that they jaywalk in between corners because they find that to be safer here in Edmonds – because they only have to look in two directions, as opposed to having to look in four directions at corners.

  10. Mike Nelson, did you ask the chief about the effectiveness of the orange flags? It seems as though moving a bright flag helps. I agree that we also have to look at speed. I watched a car whiz around from 5th onto Bell St. going east. That’s a heavy pedestrian area and it was a miracle no one was hit crossing Bell St. Also in some places visibility problems make it safer to cross a street away from a corner with crosswalks.

  11. I was there the man was drunk as a skunk. He didn’t even know what was going on. Terrible. And yes Edmonds needs more street lights. Poor man….

    • There are any number of reasons an 87 year old might not know what was going on — I think we should let the police investigate it and decide whether to bring charges instead of publicly sliming the guy here. (I have absolutely no idea if he was drunk or not, and don’t know the guy.)

  12. I grew up in a large city and spent my younger years dealing with traffic. I was a bicycle commuter for a number of years in Seattle. The most important thing I learned was that right or wrong, the walker/bike rider loses. I am a driver and understand the legal and moral requirements that come with control of a 5,000 lb machine. As a driver I am also appalled at the people who are so impressed with my driving skill and attention span, that they walk with a cell phone to their ear, wear dark clothes at night and cross a street without ensuring they are seen by the driver of the machine bearing down on them. Drunken driving is inexcusable, but after removing that from the equation we are all human and have lapses of attention, make mistakes in judgement and just plain screw up. The driver of the vehicle has greater ability to do damage but the pedestrian and bicyclist suffers greater loss. How can you say one has greater responsibility? It is time we understood that we all bear responsibility for our own safety. We cannot put an officer at every intersection, nor can we prevent all accidents. But, we can all strive to do a better job of preventing accidents.

  13. Jim Orvis nailed it- “–right or wrong, the walker/bike rider loses.” Having your survivors win a legal aftermath because you ended up DEAD right or crippled isn’t a winning formula. Stay alive and let the cops handle the careless drivers.

  14. Jim got it. I’m more annoyed at peddle as a driver then I am as a walker at drivers. If your walking make sure you can be easily seen, and that YOU are paying attention, listening, making eye contact, undistracted.
    And I’ll do the same for you.

  15. lets see here we got one guy driving down the rr tracks and another guy drunk as a skunk hit a person both are past 85 years old hate to say it but when do we start testing the old folks to see if they can even drive. Ill tell you why so many people are getting hit by drivers in Edmonds cause there a bunch of terrible drivers around here seems like they go about 20 miles an hour no people dont go too fast around here fast is 80 to 100 miles an hour you should never hit anybody 30 to 40 miles an hour if you are paying attention to what you are doing sorry folks but the drivers around here are not very good. I go fast the speed limit in the downtown over it a little on the outskirts but i pay attention thats all a driver has to do, i also have a cdl drive semi from time to time love it and ride a motorcycle I refuse to drink and then drive ill buy my beer and go home and if i go out and drink somebody else is driving sorry cops you aint getting me

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