• Accident Causes

    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

    Speeding Car Slams into Kent Apartment Building

    Kent (April 8, 2021) – A dog was killed and a man is in serious condition after he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into an apartment building in Kent, Washington early this Easter Sunday. 19-year-old Bryan Orihuela was headed westbound on South 259th Street towards Central Avenue when his car veered off the road and crashed into the side of the Madison on the River Apartments.

    Excessive speed likely caused the single-vehicle car accident, which occurred on a curved portion of 259th Street. Orihuela veered across both lanes before slamming into the residential building. The two apartments that sustained most of the damage were unoccupied at the time of the crash. According to witnesses, the car was full of passengers, including multiple children and two dogs. The extent of their injuries is unknown. Source: Kiro 7

    Speeding-Related Fatalities in Washington, 2011-2020

    Statewide (March 18, 2021) – According to the Washington State 2020 Traffic Safety Annual Report, speeding was a factor in at least 1,660 fatal car accidents between 2011 and 2020. This represents nearly 35% of all fatal traffic accidents throughout the state.

    A study by Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) identified four kinds of drivers who speed: deliberate speeders (who purposely engage in risky driving behaviors), typical speeders (who engage in casual speeding), situational speeders (who may engage in minimal amounts of aggressive or “cruising” speeding), and unintentional speeders (who unknowingly engage in casual speeding).

    According to the study, most speeders fall into the second category, and are between the ages of 16 and 25. Speeding tends to level off over time, with most situational speeding or unintentional speeding occurring in older drivers. Source: WTSC

    Impairment the Main Factor in Fatal WA Crashes

    Statewide (February 25, 2021) – According to the 2020 Washington Traffic Safety Annual Report, drug or alcohol impairment continues to be the most prevalent issue resulting in fatal car accidents throughout the state.

    While Washington has made significant progress in battling drunk and drugged driving crashes, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) still found that over half of the fatal car accidents from 2015 to 2017 involved one or more factors of impairment.

    Poly-drug use (use of one or more impairing substances, including alcohol) has become the Commission’s most recent concern. In the past five years, poly-drug use accidents have increased by 15% each year. The most common type of poly-drug use in Washington is alcohol and cannabis, both of which can seriously impact driving ability. Source: WTSC

    What Causes Wildlife-Involved Crashes in WA?

    Statewide (February 4, 2021) – According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there have been 81 wildlife-involved accidents in the past five years that have led to serious injuries or fatalities on Washington roads.

    Deer, elk, and other animals crossing the road can pose a serious hazard to motorists, particularly motorcycles. (Between 2016 and 2020, almost 84% of serious wildlife crashes involved motorcyclists.) Yet according to the data collected by WSDOT, it appears that wildlife itself may not always be responsible for these types of accidents.

    Speeding, inattentive driving, and driving under the influence were factors in many of the recorded crashes. Wildlife-involved motorcycle and car accidents alike can be prevented by driving sober, keeping your eyes on the road, and slowing down in areas where wildlife may be present. Source: WSDOT

    More Than 11,000 Crashes Caused By Distracted Driving

    Statewide (January 14, 2021) – According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there were at least 11,123 auto accidents caused by distracted driving in 2020. Of those crashes, 267 resulted in serious injuries and 82 proved fatal.

    Distracted driving can come in many forms, including texting, eating, grooming, making a phone call, or fiddling with the radio while behind the wheel. Any type of visual, manual, or cognitive distraction while in control of a motor vehicle can have deadly consequences, including pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

    Washington motorists can help reduce the number of traffic deaths in 2021 by committing to drive distraction-free every time they get behind the wheel. Source: WSDOT

    Drowsy Driving Causes Dozens of Serious Injury Crashes

    Statewide (December 17, 2020) – Drowsy driving has caused over 60 fatal or serious injury crashes in 2020, according to the most recent data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

    Getting behind the wheel while sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence (which has led to over 400 additional car accidents in Washington in 2020). Driver fatigue can result in nodding off, slower reaction times to changing road conditions, drifting from your traffic lane, and overall poor decision-making.

    The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys remind drivers to break up long drives into shorter trips, avoid driving at night, and to pull over at a rest stop if you feel yourself getting tired. Source: WSDOT

    Driver Who Ran Red Light to Blame For Injury Crash

    Carlsborg (November 19, 2020) – Four people were hospitalized following a car accident involving three vehicles in Carlsborg, Washington, last Friday.

    Police say 23-year-old Justin Thompson-Petersen ran a red light on U.S. Highway 101 at a high rate of speed, crashing into a car that was entering the highway from Carlsborg Road.

    A third vehicle was struck by the second car as it spun out. Four people, including the at-fault driver, were taken to Seattle hospitals for treatment. According to family members, Thompson-Petersen remains on life support.

    There are no signs that drugs or alcohol played a role in this tragic accident, although police noted that Thompson-Petersen and another injured driver were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Source: Sequim Gazette

  • Accident Statistics

    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

    Fatal and Serious Pedestrian Accidents Declined in 2020

    Statewide (January 28, 2021) – The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported that there were 441 pedestrians involved in deadly or serious injury traffic accidents last year.

    At least 114 people died and an additional 319 people were seriously injured in 2020 pedestrian accidents throughout Washington. However, overall fatal and serious injury pedestrian crashes were down by about 9.8% compared to 2019.

    Further analysis of the data will be necessary to determine the cause of the decline, although decreased traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased pedestrian safety measures in cities like Seattle may have played a role. Source: WSDOT

    2020 Fatal and Serious Injury Crashes

    Seattle Metropolitan Area (January 7, 2021) – The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has released preliminary data regarding fatal and serious injury traffic accidents throughout Washington last year.

    In 2020, at least 204 people were killed in traffic accidents throughout the Seattle metropolitan area. At least 937 were seriously injured in car accidents, pedestrian collisions, motorcycle accidents, and other traffic wrecks.

    Statewide, the agency reported 527 deaths due to traffic accidents—the highest number of road deaths in the past decade. Seattle personal injury attorneys remind motorists to be especially cautious when behind the wheel by practicing safe, sober, and defensive driving.

    If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, compensation may be available to you. Contact us today for a free consultation. Source: WSDOT

    Impaired Driving Crashes Have Killed 107 People This Year

    Statewide (December 10, 2020) – Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol have contributed to over 100 road fatalities in Washington this year, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). An additional 515 people have been seriously injured due to drugged or drunk driving accidents.

    As Christmas and New Year’s Eve approach, the risk of being injured in an impaired driving accident increases. The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourage drivers to do their part in preventing drunk driving. Talk to your friends and family about the risks of not driving sober, set a good example, and know how to take the keys away from someone who’s had one too many. Source: WSDOT

    WA Serious & Fatal Car Accidents, Year to Date

    Statewide (November 12, 2020) – There have been 2,190 serious and fatal auto accidents in Washington state in 2020, according to the most recent data provided by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

    Since January, at least 472 people have lost their lives due to traffic accidents including motorcycle accidents, semi-truck accidents, bike accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

    In addition, more than 2,000 people have been seriously injured in these types of accidents. Many accident injuries and deaths have been caused by factors such as speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.

    With less than two months left in 2020 and the holidays quickly approaching, the Seattle personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys remind Washington drivers to drive safe and drive sober. Source: WSDOT

  • News

    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

    LINK Offers Free Scooter Rides to Vaccine Appointments

    Seattle (April 15, 2021) – With temperatures rising and vaccine eligibility opening up to more residents, Seattle is encouraging people to take advantage of free or discounted rides through its electric scooter-share program, which launched last fall.

    According to LINK, one of three e-scooter partners in the Seattle area, riders can get a free ride to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Riders just need to schedule their appointment, create a LINK account, and apply for a free $20 ride credit. In addition, scooter-shares are offering reduced fare and discounted rides on LINK, Wheels, or Lime scooters for essential workers and income-qualified riders.

    As more people get back on the road, our Seattle personal injury lawyers remind riders, motorists, and pedestrians to follow all traffic laws and travel safely around scooters. Source: SDOT

    Four People Killed in Head-On Collision on SR-22

    Granger (March 25, 2021) – Four people died in an early morning car accident on State Route 22 yesterday. Police say one of the deceased was a three-year-old child who was not buckled into a car seat. A two-year-old child was the only survivor of the crash.

    Washington State Patrol Troopers reported that a car heading west on SR-22 near milepost 9 crossed the center line and struck another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction head-on. The driver of the struck car was killed, in addition to three out of the four people in the other vehicle.

    There’s no word yet on what caused the fatal car accident. The surviving two-year-old is being treated at a hospital for a head laceration and a possible broken femur. Source: Komo News

    Semi-Truck Jack-Knifes on Tacoma Interstate

    Tacoma (March 3, 2021) – One person was killed last week in a semi-truck accident on Interstate 5 South near 84th street in Tacoma, forcing the highway to shut down for more than five hours.

    Washington State Patrol reported that multiple cars and a large truck were involved in an accident on Friday night that led to the death of an unidentified 81-year-old woman. The semi-truck was driving in the far right lane and attempted to avoid a traffic slowdown ahead by swerving into another lane.

    This caused the semi to jack-knife and strike cars in both lanes. Witnesses reportedly tried to assist the injured motorist, but she died at the scene. All travel lanes were subsequently blocked by the truck and traffic had to be diverted. Source: The News Tribune

    Winter Storm Warnings in Effect for Southern WA

    Seattle (February 11, 2021) – Meteorologists are predicting two winter storms will sweep through the southern half of Western Washington this weekend.

    Residents of Tacoma and Pierce County south along the I-5 corridor along with the southern Hood Canal area have been advised to prepare for up to three inches of snowfall between Thursday and Friday.

    Central Puget Sound, including Seattle and Bellevue, will receive light snow showers and flurries in the first storm—but still enough weather to cause slick roads and low visibility during tonight’s evening commute, increasing the risk of car accidents.

    A second, stronger storm is expected to bring between four to six inches of snowfall to the Seattle area between Friday and Saturday. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and practice safe driving in the snow. Source: KOMO News

    Two People Injured in I-5 Rollover Crash

    Seattle (January 21, 2021) – Two people suffered injuries following a rollover accident on Interstate 5 South in Seattle yesterday. The crash occurred around 11:00 a.m. and involved three vehicles, two of which overturned and blocked all but two lanes.

    Washington State Police (WSP) say that DUI was a factor in the accident, which occurred when an SUV changed lanes, struck a second vehicle, and sideswiped a third. The SUV and the second car both rolled over, seriously injuring the passenger of the SUV and causing non life threatening injuries to the driver of the second vehicle.

    The at fault driver has been arrested, and the scene is being processed as an assault. Injured by a drunk driver? Contact a Seattle auto accident lawyer for a free legal consultation. Source: Seattle Times

    Pedestrian Killed in Hit and Run in East Queen Anne

    Seattle (December 24, 2020) – A 41-year-old man was killed in a Seattle pedestrian accident last night in the East Queen Anne neighborhood, according to police. The fatal accident occurred in the 2400 block of Aurora Avenue North.

    Details of what happened prior to the accident remain unclear, but officials did say that the man was hit by a car, which then fled the scene. No suspect has yet been apprehended.

    Aurora Avenue North is notorious for serious injury and fatal car accidents, of which there have been 8 in 2020. The still unidentified victim is the second pedestrian fatality on Aurora Avenue North this year. Source: The Seattle Times

    As Days Get Shorter, SDOT Emphasizes Railway Safety

    Seattle (December 1, 2020) – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is highlighting the importance of exercising caution around commuter and freighter trains, especially as winter approaches and daylight hours are reduced.

    In addition to the recently completed Lander St. Bridge and newly-installed advanced warning safety systems at at-grade rail crossings, SDOT is focused on reducing Seattle train accidents through its safety awareness campaigns.

    Seattle pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists should never try to beat a train, look and listen for oncoming trains, stay back at least three feet from the tracks, and remember that trains always have the right of way. You should also only cross train tracks at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings. Source: SDOT Blog