• July 22, 2022

Shawn O’Donnell Killed by Truck on 21st Street in Washington, DC

Washington, DC — July 20, 2022, 40-year-old cyclist Shawn O’Donnell was struck and fatally injured by a construction truck on 21st Street in Northwest D.C.

According to reports the incident happened around 8:00 a.m. at 21st and I streets. Preliminary investigation suggests O'Donnell was riding a bicycle on her way to work when she was hit by a commercial truck owned by construction firm Ernest Maier. She was pulled underneath the truck and suffered fatal injuries.

Investigators noted that new traffic signals had just been installed at that intersection the day before, and were flashing when the accident occurred.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Shawn O'Donnell Accident in Washington DC

Right now it's not entirely clear what happened in this tragic incident. There are still far more questions than answers. The intersection of 21st and I looks to be in a dense urban area with buildings, with traffic on I Street meant to yield to passing vehicles on 21st. If the vehicles collided in the intersection, did someone fail to yield? Is it possible the bike or the truck couldn't stop for some reason? Were both operators able to see one another as they approached the intersection?

That's just a handful of the many details to address here. Not only is it important to learn the whole story, but depending on what that story turns out to be there might be some issues of accountability to settle as well. I'm not accusing the truck driver of anything as there aren't enough facts yet to tell the whole story, but I hope investigators--police, or if they aren't thorough enough then independent professionals--will get to the bottom of things. If there are steps to take beyond simply ensure the victim's family knows the truth, they will depend on what that truth turns out to be.

Shawn O'Donnell Killed by Truck on 21st Street in Washington, DC
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