• Accident Causes

    Ice, Fog Played a Role in US-195 Car Crash

    Spokane (October 14, 2021) – The Washington State Patrol (WSP) said a multi-vehicle crash on US-195 this morning was caused in part by icy and foggy road conditions. The car accident occurred in the southbound travel lanes, about half a mile north of Sprangle. Police say an SUV rolled over and caused two additional vehicles to crash.

    On Twitter, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) cautioned drivers in the Spokane area to turn on their headlights and allow for extra distance between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them due to the ice and fog. With the season’s first snowfall on its way, the personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys remind Washington drivers to review best practices for driving in snowy conditions. Source: KREM 2

    Wet Weather, Speed to Blame for Deadly I-90 Crash

    Snoqualmie (September 23, 2021) – Three people were killed last Saturday in a car accident on Interstate 90, near Snoqualmie. Washington State Patrol (WSP) has attributed the crash to a combination of wet roads and driving too fast for conditions.

    According to WSP, 42-year-old James Budnick was driving eastbound on I-90 when his vehicle hydroplaned, ultimately crossing the median into westbound traffic. 64-year-old James Horner’s vehicle then struck Budnick’s car. Budnik and his 34-year-old passenger, Alyxandria McGriff, both died at the scene. Horner was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he also died of his injuries.

    Even the most experienced drivers can be caught off guard by wet weather conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer. Source: Kent Reporter

    Speed and Alcohol To Blame for Fatal Collision

    Yakima (September 9, 2021) – Three people were killed and two others wounded after a Yakima car accident police say was caused by speeding and driving under the influence. 20-year-old Kolby Funkhouser was taken into custody this week after being released from the hospital.

    Police say that Funkhouser’s vehicle “reeked of beer” at the scene of an August 30 car crash that killed his passenger, 23-year-old Mason Euteneier, and two passengers in another car, 20-year-old Kiona Whitefoot and 19-year-old Steve Bueno. The driver of that car, 23-year-old Kisha Whitefoot, and her 5-year-old daughter both survived the crash, although the child suffered a lacerated liver.

    Funkhouser, who was also hurt, has been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide in addition to two counts of vehicular assault. Source: KIRO7

    Truck Driver Ran Red Light, Caused Fatal Crash

    Tacoma (August 19, 2021) – Distraction may have caused a fatal accident between a semi-truck and a pickup truck in Tacoma last Saturday. According to reports from the Washington State Patrol (WSP), the collision occurred around 9:30 a.m. on August 14 on northbound State Route 509 at Alexander Avenue East.

    According to the investigation, a 34-year-old semi-truck driver ran a red light as he was headed West on Alexander Avenue, hitting a pickup truck and killing the driver, 78-year-old Huan V. Le. The semi-truck driver told police he was looking in his mirrors as he turned and didn’t realize that the traffic light had turned red.

    Neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in the wreck. It’s still unknown what other factors may have contributed to this tragic accident. Source: KOMO News

    WA Impaired Driving Crashes, Year to Date

    Statewide (July 29, 2021) – According to the most recent crash data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there have been 305 serious or fatal traffic accidents involving alcohol or drug impairment this year.

    Alcohol-involved crashes have resulted in the highest number of deaths, with 40 people killed. Drugged driving has led to at least 21 traffic deaths. Not wearing a seat belt was a common factor in many of these accidents, with more than ⅓ of impaired driving wrecks involving an unrestrained driver or passenger.

    Impaired driving doesn’t just cause car accidents, either. This year alone, there have also been 21 heavy truck crashes, 30 motorcycle accidents, 42 pedestrian accidents, and 3 bicycle crashes related to drunk or drugged driving. Source: WSDOT

    Debris Thrown From Overpass Leaves Motorists Concerned

    Seattle (July 15, 2021) – Drivers who commute along Interstate 90 are more worried than usual about getting into a car accident, particularly when they drive under area overpasses. According to Washington State Patrol (WSP), police have received at least 161 reports in the past year of people throwing debris onto King County freeways from overpasses or the side of the road.

    Although several arrests have been made, objects like rocks, cinder blocks, chairs, and even propane tanks continue to be thrown from overpasses into oncoming traffic. So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported, but several windshields have been shattered. Drivers who have witnessed these incidents say they are concerned not only about the debris, but also about cars swerving out of their lanes to avoid it. Source: King 5

    Speeding Causes 38% of WA Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (June 24, 2021) – According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), speeding is the biggest contributing factor in fatal car accidents, with as many as 38% of deadly crashes involving speeding.

    As a result, Washington State Patrol (WSP) will be out in full force this coming weekend along with law enforcement in 11 other western states to crack down on motorists traveling at excessive speeds. The agency is hoping to curb the number of people driving too fast for conditions ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

    High speed crashes are more likely to result in catastrophic injuries or death. According to Sergeant Darren Wright, WSP responded to more than 35,000 car accidents last year and issued more than 313,000 speeding tickets. Source: KOMO News

    Cause of Fatal Construction Site Accident Unknown

    Seattle (June 3, 2021) – While new details about a deadly construction accident on State Route 520 are emerging, what caused the accident and the construction worker’s identity have yet to be disclosed.

    The Seattle Fire Department reported that a 45-year-old man died en route to the hospital yesterday after suffering catastrophic injuries on the SR 520 Montlake Project construction site around 5:00 p.m.

    According to several reports, the man was pinned between a pillar and a flatbed truck carrying an 11,000 pound steel beam. Although rescue workers managed to free him, he ultimately succumbed to severe chest injuries.

    There’s no word yet as to whether construction has been halted or whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been contacted. Source: KOMO News

    Freeway Speeding Causing More Severe Accidents

    Seattle (May 13, 2021) – According to local traffic analysts, driving speed is up by about 15% in the Seattle Metropolitan Area compared to 2019. Experts believe this unsettling trend began more than a year ago when overall traffic numbers decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns.

    Such speeding has led to an increase in severe car accidents, including several that happened last week on Interstate 5, near Fife. In the first crash, a pedestrian was struck and killed by two speeding cars. The second crash, involving three semi-trucks, occurred as a result of backed up traffic from the first collision. That accident, while not deadly, led to the spillage of diesel fuel in addition to milk and cream being transported in one of the trucks. Source: King 5

    Drugs, Alcohol Were Factors in Deadly I-5 Crash

    Cowlitz County (April 29, 2021) – A deadly car crash involving three vehicles is believed to have been caused by drugs or alcohol, according to Washington State Patrol. 43-year-old Anna-Christie Ireland was driving northbound on I-5 when her vehicle left the roadway and smashed into the back of a disabled vehicle on the shoulder.

    In front of that vehicle was a tow truck operated by 63-year-old Arthur E. Anderson, who was crushed between the both vehicles and died at the scene. Two others, 55-year-old Richard H. Stoker and 54-year-old Karen C. Stoker, were also killed in the car accident.

    The 25-year-old passenger of the disabled vehicle and Ireland were both transported to the hospital with injuries. Ireland is expected to be charged with three counts of vehicular homicide. Source: The Reflector

  • Accident Statistics

    WA Crashes Involving Cell Phone Use, 2011–2020

    Statewide (October 8, 2021) – The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported 6,319 car accidents involving cell phone use between 2011 and 2020. Cell phone-involved crashes peaked in 2016, with 774 crashes reported that year.

    The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports that cell phone use is the most common type of distracted driving, with 70% of observed distracted drivers using a cell phone behind the wheel. Drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident while talking on the phone.

    Motor vehicle crashes caused by cell phone use can be difficult to track, especially when they result in fatalities. Drivers may also be hesitant to admit to using their cell phone, especially since holding a cell phone while driving has been illegal since 2017. Source: WSDOT

    Bicycle Accidents in Seattle, YTD

    Seattle Metropolitan Area (September 2, 2021) – At least 35 bicyclists have been seriously injured or killed in bicycle accidents in the Seattle Metropolitan Area so far in 2021. Data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) shows that 25 of the accidents have occurred in King County, six in Snohomish County, and four in Pierce County. Four fatalities have been reported.

    Despite being known as one of America’s most bike-friendly cities, Seattle has still seen its share of bike accidents caused by negligence. For example, at least 20% of this year’s serious accidents were in part caused by distracted drivers. Several more have been attributed to speeding, large trucks, or school buses.

    Injured in a bike crash? The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys can help. Contact us today by calling 844-977-1900. Source: WSDOT

    2020 Distracted Driving Fatalities

    Statewide (August 5, 2021) – Data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) indicates that there were at least 102 deaths attributed to distracted driving crashes throughout Washington last year.

    The agency recorded a total of 98 fatal accidents caused by distracted driving in 2020. In addition, 427 people were seriously injured in 372 non-fatal distracted driving accidents. Serious injuries can range anywhere from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and paralysis.

    In total, there were 470 serious injury or fatal car accidents in Washington related to inattentive driving last year. Hundreds more likely weren’t recorded due to underreporting. If you were injured by a distracted driver, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for more info today. Source: WSDOT

    Washington Traffic Accidents, Year to Date

    Statewide (July 8, 2021) – In just over six months, there have been 35,885 traffic accidents reported in the state of Washington. At least 213 of these crashes have resulted in fatalities, and another 1,102 have led to suspected serious injuries, according to data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). While the vast majority were car accidents, the following is a breakdown of other crashes which have occurred on Washington roads in 2021:

    Source: WSDOT

    48 Pedestrians Killed in Washington This Year

    Statewide (June 17, 2021) – According to the latest crash data obtained from the Washington State Department of Transportation, 48 people have lost their lives in pedestrian accidents in 2021. In total, there have been 197 pedestrian-involved fatal or serious injury crashes throughout the state this year.

    Nearly 57% of all car accidents involving a pedestrian have occurred in the Seattle Metropolitan Area. In King County alone, 68 crashes have led to serious injuries or the death of a pedestrian. Of all accidents in the state, roughly 15.7% of pedestrian accidents involved a driver or pedestrian who was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Another 15.7% involved inattention or distraction. Overall, fatalities and injuries appear to be on par with this time last year. Source: WSDOT

    Washington State Car Accidents, Year to Date

    Statewide (May 20, 2021) – There have been 25,415 car accidents reported throughout the state of Washington in the first four and a half months of 2021.

    About 71.5% of reported crashes have resulted in no apparent injuries, with 18,183 crashes logged as property damage only. Possible or suspected minor injuries were reported in about 25% of accidents, and serious injuries have occurred in about 2.9% of collisions. Overall, just 0.6% of 2021 accidents have resulted in fatalities, with 143 deadly traffic accidents reported this year.

    About 23% of these accidents involved speeding. Drunk or drugged drivers contributed to a little over 20% of fatal or serious injury wrecks, and another 12.9% were due to inattentive driving. Source: WSDOT

    Motorcycle Accidents in Washington, Year to Date

    Statewide (April 22, 2021) – According to the most recent data available from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), 70 people have been seriously injured or killed in motorcycle accidents throughout the state in 2021.

    Almost 32% of crashes reported have been at least partially attributed to a speeding driver. In addition, distracted driving was a factor in just over 10% of accidents. Drug and alcohol impairment has accounted for just 8.7% of all motorcycle-involved crashes.

    More than 46% of all motorcycle accidents were single-vehicle crashes. 31.9% of accidents occurred in intersections, and another 31.9% occurred when the motorcyclist or vehicle was run off the road. At least two pedestrians have been seriously injured or killed in motorcycle-involved accidents in 2021. Source: WSDOT

    2020 Car Accidents Plummeted in the Seattle Metro Area

    Seattle Metropolitan Area (April 1, 2021) – Crash data obtained from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) shows that overall reportable traffic accidents in the Seattle Metro Area decreased by more than 27.6% between 2019 and 2020. This can likely be attributed to fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    King County, home to Seattle, saw the most significant decline in accidents, with a more than 32% reduction in overall reported car accidents, motorcycle crashes, truck wrecks, bicycle collisions, and pedestrian accidents.

    Accidents resulting in fatalities, on the other hand, didn’t see the same steep decline. Traffic deaths in King, Snohomish, and Pierce County in 2020 were similar to the year prior, with 210 fatal crashes recorded in 2019, and 205 in 2020. Source: WSDOT

    Washington State Car Accidents, Year to Date

    Statewide (March 11, 2021) – There have been 8,547 car accidents reported throughout the state of Washington in the first few months of 2021.

    So far, about 72% of all crashes have resulted in no injuries. Possible or minor injuries were reported in about 24.2% of accidents. Serious injuries have occurred in about 3.1% of collisions, and overall, less than 1% of 2021 accidents have resulted in death.

    As for accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists, there have been 18 fatal accidents and at least 70 suspected serious injury crashes this year. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Washington traffic accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Source: WSDOT

    2020 Reported Car Crashes Down, Fatalities Up

    Statewide (February 18, 2021) – Crash data obtained from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) appears to show a sharp decline in overall officer-reported car accidents last year.

    Recorded crashes (including fatal, serious injury, and minor/no injury accidents) dropped 22.9% from 2019. That amounts to 25,593 fewer motor vehicle collisions overall in 2020.

    Unfortunately, fewer crashes doesn’t necessarily mean fewer deaths or catastrophic injuries. Of the 2,618 serious injury crashes reported last year, 524 resulted in fatalities. In comparison, there were just 2,450 serious accidents in 2019, 516 of which were fatal.

    If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of a negligent driver, legal assistance is available. Connect with a Seattle personal injury lawyer today. Source: WSDOT

  • News

    Seven People Rescued After Car Goes Over Cliff

    Arlington (October 21, 2021) – Seven people had to be extricated by search and rescue and fire crews after their vehicle went over a cliff last Saturday. The car accident occurred around 6:00 p.m. on a forest service road to the Boulder River Trailhead in Snohomish County.

    One of the victims was critically injured and had to be airlifted to the hospital. The six remaining passengers were taken by ambulance to local hospitals for treatment of their injuries. It’s not clear at this time what caused the car to go over the cliffside, but the Washington Trails Association (WTA) has described the road to Boulder River Trailhead as “badly potholed in some places.” Source: Seattle Times

    Two Fatal Accidents Reported Overnight in Bellingham

    Bellingham (September 30, 2021) – Two people were killed in separate traffic accidents within an hour and three miles of one another on September 28 in Bellingham, Washington.

    Just before 8:00 p.m., a 54-year-old man was killed in a bicycle accident on Mount Baker Highway near Chance Road. Police say he was struck by a car headed in the same direction. The driver reportedly could not see the cyclist, who was wearing dark clothing.

    Later, just before 9:00 p.m., police responded to a single-vehicle crash into a tree at the intersection of Woburn, Iowa and Yew. A 28-year-old passenger in that vehicle died at the scene. 24-year-old driver Oscar A Bengoa-Alas has since been charged with vehicular homicide. Source: Bellingham Herald

    Aurora Reimagined Coalition Calls for Road Improvements

    Seattle (September 16, 2021) – According to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), at least 20 people have died on Aurora Avenue since 2015. A group of concerned community members calling themselves the Aurora Reimagined Coalition has banded together in order to make this major street safer for all users, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.

    The grassroots campaign spent the summer walking certain stretches of Aurora and collecting public input in order to reimagine a safer, more inclusive high-volume traffic corridor. The Aurora Reimagined Coalition hopes to influence city planners, who will receive $2 million in funding next year to assess Aurora Avenue’s issues and fund improvements.

    The coalition has suggested adding protected freight, public transit, and bike lanes, expanding sidewalks, adding more crosswalks, and removing all-purpose traffic lanes that encourage speeding. Source: Crosscut

    WSDOT Reminds Drivers to Travel Safe This Labor Day

    Statewide (August 26, 2021) – Labor Day weekend is right around the corner, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is sharing some tips and tricks for staying safe if you’re hitting the road for the holiday weekend.

    The good news is that most state highway construction work will be paused during the long weekend, allowing for quicker and more efficient travel. On the other hand, large amounts of traffic are expected on the following corridors:

    • I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma
    • I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum
    • US 2 between Skykomish to Stevens Pass

    To avoid delays and increased risk of car accidents, the agency recommends avoiding these areas during peak hours on Friday and Monday between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Source: WSDOT

    New Report Names Washington’s Deadliest Roads

    Statewide (August 12, 2021) – A new study is shedding light on some of the most dangerous stretches of road in Washington. The report, released by MoneyGeek, looked at traffic fatalities throughout the state between 2017 and 2019. More than 800 state roads were analyzed along with more than 1,500 fatal crashes.

    The deadliest stretch of road was found to be Aurora Avenue (State Route 99) between Winona Avenue and North 155th Street in Seattle. During the 3 years examined in the study, there was an average of 2.2 fatal car accidents per mile on this stretch of road.

    Pacific Highway (SR 99) between South 252nd Street and South 176th Street was the second deadliest road, followed by Interstate 5 between South 96th Street and Exit 133. Source: MoneyGeek

    Woman Seriously Injured in I-5 Motorcycle Accident

    Smokey Point (July 22, 2021) – A 50-year-old woman from Bow, Washington was critically injured in a motorcycle accident early Monday evening on Interstate 5 South in Smokey Point. According to Washington State Patrol (WSP), the woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.

    The single-vehicle accident occurred as the motorcyclist approached the aftermath of a previous car accident blocking the right lane. The woman swerved to avoid hitting the wreck, left the roadway, and struck a roadside barrier before being thrown from the motorcycle. Medics and troopers still on the scene of the previous wreck rendered aid to the victim.

    According to a Tweet issued by WSP, the rider is now in stable condition. Investigation as to what caused the accident is ongoing. Source: Komo News

    Officials Urge Boaters To Exercise Caution During Heatwave

    Statewide (July 1, 2021) – The Washington State Parks Boating Program is urging boaters to exercise extreme caution during a historic heatwave. According to a press release, the high temperatures create a unique hazard for boaters and paddlers.

    Although air temperatures are high, rivers and lakes remain cold due to snowmelt runoff—as low as 30 to 40 degrees. This drastic change in temperature can lead to cold-water shock. Even strong swimmers may find it difficult to keep their heads above water if their vessels capsize in these conditions. Recently, four people died in Washington boating accidents, with another two people currently missing.

    Officials remind boaters to avoid going out alone, always wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol, and to take frequent breaks in the shade to prevent heat illness. Source: Washington State Parks

    WA Man Killed in Electric Scooter Accident

    Kent (June 10, 2021) – An unidentified man in his 50s was killed yesterday while riding an electric scooter in Kent, Washington. According to a statement by Kent Police Department, the electric scooter collided with a semi-truck at Washington Ave N and W Meeker St around 2:20 p.m.

    Although reports indicate that the victim was talking to first responders at the scene, he later died of his injuries. It’s unclear if he was wearing a helmet or any kind of protective gear at the time of the crash.

    Witnesses stated that the man riding the scooter was weaving in and out of traffic leading up to the accident and did not notice the semi-truck turning right onto Washington Ave. The semi-truck driver has been cooperative with the police’s investigation. Source: AP News

    Rear-End Accident Leads to Four-Car Crash

    Lynnwood (May 27, 2021) – What started as a rear-end collision between two vehicles turned into a four-car accident early this morning on northbound Interstate 5, south of Lynnwood. Four people were injured and taken to area hospitals.

    According to Washington State Patrol (WSP), a blue sedan rear-ended a truck around 3:20 a.m. between 44th Avenue West and 220th Street Southwest. The blue sedan then lost control, left the roadway, and was struck by another vehicle. After hitting the guardrail, it went back into traffic lanes and was hit by a fourth car.

    Due to road debris, four lanes of the interstate were closed for about five hours. It’s unclear if rainy weather contributed to the accident, although photos of the crash site appear to show wet roads. Source: Kiro 7

    4 Injured in Spokane After Rear-End Collision

    Spokane (May 6, 2021) – Four people were taken to the hospital on Monday after a rear-end collision on Interstate 90 near Maple Street. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, the car accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-90 during heavy traffic.

    Leading up to the crash, a Chevy Suburban reportedly slowed down due to upcoming traffic. A Mercedes Sprinter subsequently crashed into the back of the Suburban. The 72-year-old driver of the Suburban and their two passengers were transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center, while the 28-year-old driver of the Sprinter was taken to Deaconess Hospital.

    If you have been injured in a Washington car accident, you could be entitled to significant compensation. Find out more by contacting a personal injury lawyer. Source: The Spokesman-Review