Shoreline, WA — October 11, 2017, a 14-year-old was critically injured as the result of an accident in which he was struck by a semi-truck.

According to police officials, the incident occurred in the afternoon hours of Wednesday at the intersection of Aurora Avenue and 175th Street.

Preliminary reports indicate that the teenager was riding a bicycle crossing through the intersection. As he did so, a semi-truck attempted to turn off of Aurora onto 175th. The driver did not see the bicyclist in time, hitting him.

The truck dragged the boy for some distance before stopping. EMS came to the scene and transported the boy to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

Police reported no charges or citations following the accident. The incident is still under investigation.

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Commentary

Some of the reports I’ve seen showed witness accounts saying that the truck had the right of way at the time of the accident. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t say. However, I’m sure some people will read those reports and believe that automatically means the bicyclist was at fault for the crash. While determining right-of-way is certainly an important factor for determining liability, it is not the sole factor which the law takes into account.

All drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely, and professional drivers are held to an even higher standard. When an accident occurs, the law basically asks, “Would a reasonably prudent driver have been able to avoid the accident?” If the answer is no, then that driver likely wouldn’t bear any liability.

For example, let’s say a car pulls out of a driveway into the path of pickup, causing an accident. If the car pulled out directly in front of the pickup with only a few feet to spare, even the most careful drivers would have difficulty avoiding such an accident. However, if the car was clearly visible and far enough away, a reasonably prudent driver would most likely be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. If the pickup driver failed to do so, they were probably doing something they shouldn’t have been.

So how exactly does that apply here? Well, if the truck indeed had the right-of-way, and the cyclist entered his path with barely a moment to spare, it would be unreasonable to expect the driver to avoid an accident. That being said, if the boy was clearly visible and far enough away, the truck driver would have a responsibility to avoid hitting him right-of-way or not.

Again, I’m not saying one way or another if either of these scenarios occurred. I feel it’s important that people understand that someone having the right of way in an accident doesn’t exonerate them of any wrongdoing. There still needs to be a thorough investigation which considers all factors contributing to the accident. With those facts in-hand, it can then be determined who bears more responsibility for the incident.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
— Hannah Sifford
I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
— Maureen
A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
— Martin Onasis
My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
— Mercedes Stanley
Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
— Erik Hofmann
I'd like to thank you for giving my cousin's death some type of recognition and letting our family know he is not a lost cause. Thank you <3
— Victoria

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