Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 23rd, 2009 at 1:47 pm
A 13-year old boy remains in critical condition today in a Portland trauma center after a collision with an SUV in Vancouver on Wednesday.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, middle school student Kristopher Miles was struck while riding his bike in the marked crosswalk on SE 136th (at SE 7th, map). The official notice from the police department states that 28-year Andrea Dickinson had stopped at the stop sign on the opposite side of the street, but that she struck Miles as she crossed the street and dragged him and his bike 100 feet before stopping.
Miles — who was reportedly not wearing a helmet — is still (as of noon today) suffering from critical head, shoulder, and leg injuries due to the collision.
According to an article in the Columbian, Dickinson was not arrested or ticketed and speed and/or impairment is not a factor at this time. The crash is still undergoing investigation.
Given the initial description of the crash by the Vancouver Police Department, I am curious to follow how this turns out. There are several questions I have about this (I’ve left a message with the police investigator but have not heard back).
First, why wasn’t Dickinson cited at the scene?
A reader from Vancouver, sent along the Washington State law regarding bikes in crosswalks. First, RCW 46.61.755 states that “every person riding a bicycle upon a crosswalk…must be granted all the rights and is subject to all duties applicable to a pedestrian”. Then, RCW 46.61.235, titled “Crosswalks”, states that (emphasis mine):
(1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk …
Also, why did it take 100 feet before Dickinson realized she had a boy and bike underneath her Chevy Blazer? Was she distracted? Was her radio turned up?
According to a chart (that we’ve published in the past) from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, a car would be going about 30 mph to take 100 feet to stop:
Questions and concerns about this collision are also being discussed over in the Portland Bike Forums. One poster, jr98664, is familiar with the intersection and says the woman in the SUV would have had about 100 feet of acceleration before the collision.
This is a tragic situation and I hope some answers emerge.