Community Post

Bad vehicle vs. pedestrian accident at 16th & Jeff

We’re at the scene of a bad vehicle vs. pedestrian accident at 16th & Jefferson, across from the Jefferson Tower medical building.

The victim was just taken away by ambulance in unknown condition. It appeared to a be a female, and could be serious given the size of the response and police investigation.

The vehicle involved is a 4-door Prius with a visible dent in the front.

It appears that it occurred about 20 feet east of the crosswalk. Cones there mark where the victim was struck.

The #3 and #4 bus routes are blocked, and will likely stay blocked for some tome while the investigation continues.

Update: According to Fire Department spokesperson Dana Vanderhouen, the victim was an 88 44 year old female. She was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries.

Update x2: The full story from the SPD blotter:

On May 3rd, at approximately 1:42 PM, a Toyota Prius was travelling southbound on 16th Avenue approaching East Jefferson Street.  At the same time, a 51 year old female pedestrian started to cross East Jefferson Street from north to south.  The driver of the Prius made a left turn onto East Jefferson to head eastbound.  The Prius struck the pedestrian.  The Seattle Fire Department responded and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with serious head injuries and possible internal injuries.

A DUI/DRE (drug recognition expert) officer responded as well and evaluated the driver for any signs of impairment or intoxication.  There were no signs of any impairment on the part of the driver.  She was interviewed and released from the scene.

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) responded and processed the scene.  This is an on-going investigation.

Medics examining the victim’s personal effects

The cones mark where the victim was laying when police and medics arrived

A dent was clearly visible in the front of the involved vehicle

0 thoughts on “Bad vehicle vs. pedestrian accident at 16th & Jeff

  1. oh, God. I hope she’s OK. Cops said it was a “little girl” and she got hit in the crosswalk. People regularly drive 45+ up jefferson, and this isn’t the first time someone’s been hit– the city just put bright yellow signs up to bring attention to crosswalks. Beware of crosswalk stings! plainclothes police “pedestrians” and cameras, topped off with big moving violation fines.

  2. I hope she’s ok. I agree with razorclammer, people speed all the time up and down jefferson even with all the crosswalks and bright signs. The last accident I almost saw in that exact spot involved a woman crossing with her dog. One car had stopped to let her cross, but the car behind that one decided not to wait and passed the car that was stopped. If that woman or her dog were a few feet farther along in the crosswalk, that driver would have hit both of them.

    I wonder if there are going to be more stings after this…

  3. if your in a crosswalk, all traffic that goes straight through it comes to a stop at the light…… im not understanding the two comments above. she must have not been in a marked crosswalk, thats when the speed issue should come up,

  4. I live on Jefferson, very close to where this happened, and I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. I hate crossing Jefferson – cars often speed and rarely stop at the crosswalks. I’ve also had cars go around a stopped car while I’ve been crossing the street. I can’t stand all the hospital traffic that is so focused on looking for street parking that they are distracted both from pedestrians and other cars around them. I’ve almost been hit, both on foot and in my car, numerous times by cars pulling out of side streets into traffic and by cars looking on the sides of the road for parking without being mindful of traffic around them. I’ve also almost hit pedestrians who will walk out into the street (not in the crosswalk) either coming or going from the hospital, although the near misses have more often been after dark.

    I’m not sure what the solution is… more designated hospital parking? street parking that is strictly zoned between business hours? flashing street signs indicating crosswalks a la Cherry in the SU neighborhood?

    p.s. was the victim 88 or 44?

  5. 16th and Jefferson is a marked crosswalk without a light. People going too fast or driving carelessly can miss seeing pedestrians trying to cross.

    Not that it matters whether the crosswalk was marked or not. If there’s a curb end at either side of an intersection, there’s an unmarked crosswalk in between, and pedestrians get the right of way. Marked crosswalks are only there to show pedestrians the safest places to cross.

  6. I always attempt to use the crosswalks when crossing Jefferson, but even then I step lively and look both ways. Never taking it for granted that people will stop. That said, all of the hospital workers parking in a residential neighborhood make it difficult for cars and pedestrians to safely cross. It drives me crazy walking the dog at 6am and seeing the streets go from empty to full in less than 30 minutes. What exactly did they build thos huge garages for?

  7. There are many marked crosswalks in the city that do not have lights. The recently added marked crosswalk at MLK and Marion is just one example. The city of Seattle gives right of way to pedestrians at intersections without traffic lights. While pedestrians are not allowed to just run into the intersection, it is amazing how many drivers are unaware of the law and won’t even slow down for people waiting to cross the street. It’s easy to get distracted and not notice pedestrians trying to cross, especially when speeding; I’ve done it myself. We should all try to remember we’re in control of what can potentially become a lethal weapon while driving.

    For Seattle laws regarding pedestrians you can go here:

  8. I am with you in well wishes for the victim, but also walk a great deal in our neighborhood, and am amazed at the number of signs that a motorist must attempt to keep track of. Though this most likely is not the case with this accident, I would not be surprised if motorists do not see or know the speed limit at this intersection.

  9. Speed was not an issue. Perhaps the driver who struck the pedestrian lost the pedestrian in the driver’s blind spot, or was distracted, or both, or even something else; unless you are the driver, you don’t know. The pedestrian looked to be crossing in a legal manner, as far as I could see; other witnesses may have seen something more/different. To me, it looked like a tragic accident for both driver and pedestrian, and it could have happened to anyone, in either position, anytime. Blaming it on a reckless speeding person makes it sound like only bozos cause this sort of thing. The truth is that in city driving/walking, we ALL (both drivers and pedestrians) need to pay attention, and we ALL should probably pay more attention than we do. After winessing this bad accident, it makes me want to be especially vigilant, in both roles.

    For what it’s worth, the cones marked where the victim came to rest, not where she was hit. I feel for both the driver and the pedestrian. I hope the pedestrian is ok.

  10. I live right at that intersection & was stunned to leave my house today to find a heavy police presence and Jefferson shut down at the intersection. I immediately checked in with CD News to find out what was going on and was so glad to get the story that quickly. In fact, I think I saw your reporter sitting down with a laptop at the scene. Amazing local coverage. Thank you. Prayers for both the victim and the driver, who must feel horrible.

  11. The Prius takes another victim. When will we ban these machines of destruction??

  12. This is an all too common scenario. A car stops for a pedestrian, the pedestrian begins to cross, the cars behind it can’t see the pedestrian because the first car obstructs the view, they assume the car is stopped for some other reason, they pass, the pedestrian suddenly pops out in front of them, and tragedy ensues.

    Timothy Egan describes a horrifying example of this scenario in his book “The Good Rain”, where he had stopped for two kids trying to cross Rainier Avenue, one of whom was hit by a car driving in the inside lane. I saw the same situation unfolding once on Madison St and saved a elderly woman from being hit by jumping into and the street waving my arms wildly.

    I have two young kids and have told them never, never cross because someone in a car is waving you across. Always wait for the street to clear. And I’ll never cross under those circumstances unless no other cars are coming.

    The law behind this is certainly well intentioned, and I can understand the logic behind it, but I believe it unintentionally injures more pedestrians than it protects.

    BTW – I lived on Jefferson and the speeding problem is real. Slog, however, is reporting that the woman was turning left onto Jefferson from 16th Ave, so seems more a result of failure to see the pedestrian rather than speeding. I wish the victim a full and speedy recovery.

  13. You may be being sarcastic but there is a grain of truth in there too: Prius’ are silent a lot of the time and we are accustomed to using our ears as well as our eyes to alert us to danger.

  14. driving up Jefferson just this past Sunday I stopped to let a pedestrian cross, I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed a car two cars back dive to the inside (without slowing) to go around us on the right, I throw my car to the right to block… they got the point, stopped in time, and hopefully will never do that again. Urban drivers can be very clueless. it’s a shame and this report saddens me.

  15. same with jackson, although they drive 50+ lol not really lol cuz it isnt funny but its true

  16. i was not sarcastic – more people die from Prius than HUMMERS every year – its a fact. look it up on US DOT website.

  17. Does anyone know the status of the victim? I watched the entire afternoon from my office window and can’t seem to get it out of my head. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.

  18. We looked at all Prius fatal accidents from 2000-2007 using the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) along with the annual Prius sales. We did look it up and found the Prius has less than half the fatality rate of the USA fleet over the years 2000-2007. The full report is available at:

    We don’t know nor care about the Hummer accident rate, it has been discontinued. But we do care about Prius safety including pedestrian safety. One of the new car features of the 2010 Prius is it meets the European pedestrian safety standards. This means the hood, quarter panels, and bumpers are designed to minimize pedestrian injury. But the upscale Prius has accident avoidance.

    The top of the line Prius have a radar that detects impending accidents, tightens the seat belt, and even applies the brake to prevent or minimize an accident. This is the type of safety feature, by-passing a possibly distracted or poor driver or distracted pedestrian.

    Our Prius is safer than the USA fleet with half the number of fatalities per 100 million miles. It is one reason the Prius insurance rates are often lower than the car it replaces.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

  19. The women passed away this evening. She was taken off life support.

    May you rest in peace.
    We will miss you!

  20. Hi I am Sherry Williams Community Affairs Director for Swedish Medical Center. We would like to express our sympathy for the woman in the accident. Can you give me her name and a family address?

  21. The unfortunate victim in this accident did not use the cross walk (if you bother to read the story), if she had this accident likely would not have happened. Jay walking is a crime sometimes with tragic consequences.

  22. The 20 feet east of the crosswalk (in the story that you are referencing) was where the victim came to a rest, not where she was first hit. There was no jaywalking in this case. Bottom line is that if the motorist had looked both ways before turning, this accident likely wouldn’t have happened.

  23. All road users are entitled to the right to drive, cycle or motorcycle without fear of personal injury. Pedestrians and other vulnerable road users are owed a duty of care by drivers.

    Pedestrian Accidents