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Boy on Bicycle Struck by Motorist Near Island Park Elementary

Eyewitness reports say cyclist was struck in a crosswalk, and the vicitm was later taken to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries.

Mercer Island Police shut down Island Crest Way for an extended period on Wednesday evening after a cyclist was struck by a vehicle in the roadway near Island Crest Elementary School.

Police dispatchers confirmed the victim was struck at 4:22 p.m. in the 5400 block of Island Crest Way. Eyewitness reports said Mercer Island Fire Department emergency personnel assisted someone on the ground just outside the most southern crosswalk by the school.

This is a Mercer Island Patch Breaking News Alert. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Unconfirmed reports suggested that the accident victim is an Islander Middle School student who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. He reportedly struck the windshield with his head. Another boy on a bicycle was riding behind the accident victim and was unharmed.

An on-duty lieutenant with the Mercer Island Fire Department confirmed the victim suffered minor injuries in the accident was transported to a local hospital.

Thomas Imrich February 07, 2013 at 06:18 PM
This sad event is just a start. Part of the responsibility for these kinds of safety breaches need to be laid directly at the feet of our Council, for their inappropriate and short sighted actions regarding bicycle policy and bike lanes. It is inappropriate to be encouraging addition of more bicycle traffic on ICW, East Mercer Way, and West Mercer Way. ICW is the Island's main arterial, poorly lit, with dangerous and inappropriately marked new islands, as well as numerous added hazards at night and in adverse weather conditions. East and West Mercer Way were never intended or designed to support bicycle traffic, let alone the inappropriate high volume of bicycle traffic they now experience. It is just a matter of time before there are fatalities. When, not if, that event ultimately happens, the liability needs to be partially placed squarely where it belongs, directly on the City and Council's doorstep.
Rita Moore February 07, 2013 at 07:49 PM
The fact that this child was not wearing a helmet is unacceptable. Everything we are is in our heads. Parents are negligent if they allow their children to ride a bike without a helmet. No helmet, no bike.
Kary Cobb February 07, 2013 at 08:44 PM
The fact that he was struck by a vehicle is unacceptable! No can drive safely around people, no car. Get your head out of the sand. Negligence is failing to stop for someone in a crosswalk. Have we gotten to the shameful place where it is acceptable for our kids to be struck by cars, then we blame the kid for not wearing a helmet? How must this kid, his family and his friend who was riding with him feel, and you're blaming *them*? What kind of world are we living in that children on the Island can't bike to their neighborhood school? This isn’t the future I want for my children.
Thomas Imrich February 07, 2013 at 09:57 PM
@ Rita. Good comment! @ Cobb. Without the results of the police investigation, how can one even begin to assign responsibility to the driver or the bicyclist yet, beyond perhaps the general concern for inappropriate road and bike use proximity. When bikes and cars mix in close proximity, bad things can happen instantly, regardless of vigilance. Just as when birds and airplanes get near each other. Was it Sully's "fault" to have to landed in the Hudson?? I think not.
Rouchard Duprie February 07, 2013 at 09:57 PM
It's ridiculous to blame the city council, or the lack of bike lanes on his accident. Doing so equates to blaming a women for being harassed because she my be attractive. A more likely cause may be a distracted driver.
Thomas Imrich February 07, 2013 at 10:05 PM
@Duprie. It is flawed traffic and road policy that helps put car and truck and bus traffic in close proximity with bikes. It can be done wisely, or it can be done poorly, as it is now sadly evolving on MI. That is a prime Council and City's safety responsibility, and they're muffing it as bad as they've muffed SOV/POV I-90 access, north end traffic, north end parking, north end zoning, and now I-90 tolling.
Scharlach33 February 07, 2013 at 10:36 PM
As with many accidents, there's plenty of blame to go around. The teen is absolutely responsible for not wearing a helmet (and possibly not stopping and looking both ways). He should accept blame -- to do otherwise implies that society is responsible for the harm that comes from bad choices. Indeed, each of us is responsible for injuries related to our stupidity, whether it's doing drugs, sunbathing excessively or biking without a helmet. It's shameful to suggest that the teen is a mere victim, not responsible for his lousy choices, and because he was injured we should not hold him accountable. He should accept his share of the blame, and moving forward, he, his friend and family should make safer decisions a priority. The motorist may be responsible if he/she was speeding or distracted. And the City is responsible for blocked lines of sight, lack of dedicated and separated bike lanes, etc. Mr. Suprie, please don't minimize harassment/rape by equating poor city planning and an accident to an intentional crime of anger -- the rapist would have attacked someone else had his victim not been available, while the biker and car would have avoided this accident had there been proper visibility, sound judgment, etc. There's no similarly between rape and an accident. Hopefully the City will take steps to prevent bike fatalities moving forward. And hopefully bikers and drivers will do their share, too, by making solid (not stupid) choices.
Rouchard Duprie February 07, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Huh? Ever heard of compare and contrast, parity? You missed the point. Let me break it down as simply as possible; sometimes a person is a victim do to no fault of themselves.
Scharlach33 February 08, 2013 at 12:49 AM
I apologize to the group for digressing from the discussion of the tragic accident that occurred earlier today. However, comparing rape to a traffic accident makes light of the former, and I think it's both dangerous and disrespectful to talk about the two as having "parity." By speaking of parity between rape (a violent, intentional crime of anger and hate with a perpetrator and a victim) and a traffic accident (an unintentional mistake), it would appear that you are missing the point. I 'do' hope you will give this 'due' consideration.
TooUpsetToGiveMyRealName February 08, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I am appalled that a tragic accident like this gives excuse to blame the City -- from a poster who has blamed the city for just about everything. Unbelievable.
Thomas Imrich February 08, 2013 at 03:23 AM
It is always tragic to have injuries in an accident. Transport accidents are particularly troublesome because the real root causes are often varied, complex, and masked. It is far too easy to simply (incorrectly) ascribe much or all the "blame" to those who happen to be nearest to the scene. In this case,...as for the City and Council...If the shoe fits???
Rouchard Duprie February 08, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Huh? You seem to be the only one talking about rape (I never mentioned it). I think we can all agree rape is terrible thing.
Rouchard Duprie February 08, 2013 at 04:15 AM
@Imrich. You don't the Rosetta Stone to understand most accidents. And even though some accidents, or mishaps, are the result of a series of events, many are the result from simple neglect and inattention by a single individual. It's not rocket science. Maybe the shoe will fit the other foot???
Thomas Imrich February 08, 2013 at 10:10 AM
@ TooUpset and Duprie . Oh Really?? This recent spate of expansion of bike lanes on MI isn't happening on its own. It also isn't coming from the "Little Prince on B-612". It's coming straight from the personal agendas of some of our very own Council members to turn this Island into some kind of "Bike-O-tiopia", or misguided version of a "Lance Armstrong memorial raceway". Just look at evidence in the inappropriate filling in of our bio-swales, or the implicit reason behind implementation of "ICW's Road Diet". History can't just be re-written for convenience. Look at the Council's discussions of proposals to siphon off a higher percentage road tax fraction for bike lanes, or for the creation of a new "Transport Benefit District (TBD)" to shift more road taxes to bikes. The record is clear. Check the public record of last year's Council meetings. When placed in close proximity, eventually bikes inadvertently meet busses, trucks, and cars, with an adverse safety effect. When that happens, safety is compromised, the results are ugly, and it isn't just typically the exclusive fault of the local immediate participants.
TooUpsetToGiveMyRealName February 08, 2013 at 03:47 PM
How convenient to be judge and jury -- irrespective of the facts or the conditions (since they aren't even known in this case yet). One tragic accident (we all hope the injured boy recovers soon) and you take this opportunity to rage on your favorite topic -- the evils of our local government bodies (looking back at your comments on this blog, it's not just the city but the school district in your sights -- perhaps your next response will show how the school district is responsible for this unfortunate accident). Well, since you have declared yourself judge and jury, why not post the total number of accidents on ICW since the Road Diet has been implemented? Have they gone up? Down? The same? Or does that not support your view of local government evil?
Islander Fan February 08, 2013 at 05:45 PM
@ Imrich Ah, more irrational public rantings against the City council. And so it goes. When will folks realize that their venom has a cost? Keep it up and we will have trouble filling city council and school leadership positions down the road. Before you spout off from your keyboard, pause and consider what you unleash.
Thomas Imrich February 08, 2013 at 06:46 PM
@Upset and Insider. I certainly concur on the sadness of accidents, and on any injury or loss. But Irrational?? Maybe just perhaps a nerve has been struck here ??? Getting too close to the truth ? Note: The accident rate goes to ZERO... if the mean velocity goes to zero.... Is that maybe the next plan ??? Also...M1v1=m2V2 doesn't need to obey either political commentary or any Council spun press release on these kinds of topics. PS. The School District and School Board are doing JUST FINE now, if not even an excellent job, now that they've essentially ignored all the advice they got previously from the last round of Council endorsements for the recently incinerated school bond levy..
Rouchard Duprie February 08, 2013 at 07:44 PM
@Imrich, bro, we all want a better community here on the island. We can solve many issues with clear, calm dialogue. Let's start by being civil to each other. An obnoxious, condescending tone will likely accomplish very little and alienate the very people you're trying to work with.
Thomas Imrich February 08, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Mr. Duprie, I fully concur. Many of these kinds of issues, like the future of bicycle accommmodation on our Island, are far too important for much of our entire community to escape wide notice, with policies now often being set quietly behind the scenes, driven by partisan interests or advocates. Instead these issues need to be dealt with openly, having wide public input, and with serious scrutiny, with some perhaps even being decided by public referendum, rather than by Council or City unilateral action.
TooUpsetToGiveMyRealName February 08, 2013 at 09:36 PM
@Imcrich -- Note that the article states the accident occurred " just outside the most southern crosswalk by the school.". This is an area entirely unaffected by what you suggest are the doings of city council...the "road diet" didn't affect that location one iota. Your railing about the city's efforts are totally off the mark, irrelevant and unrelated to the events at hand.
Thomas Imrich February 09, 2013 at 01:41 AM
@TooUpset. You're wrong again. My point is that the increasing exposure to dangerous bike, bus, truck, and car encounters on this island due to BAD transport policy, portends yet more safety concern. Instead, those City bike related policies and plans need to be widely publicly vetted, instead of essentially being set and controlled largely by small number of partisan advocates, typically in back rooms and private residences, or on yachts, over Perrier and wine.

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