Updated on: 2/19/2019
A motorcyclist was struck and killed Tuesday night in Kennewick, according to the Kennewick Police Department.
The incident occurred at 8:47 p.m. at the intersection of Clearwater Avenue and Edison Street.
Police say a motorcycle, driven by a 31-year-old man, was westbound on West Clearwater Avenue. A Toyota Tundra pickup truck, driven by a 28-year-old Tri-Cities woman, was eastbound on West Clearwater Avenue. The Tundra turned left in front of the motorcycle, killing the motorcyclist.
The driver of the Tundra fled the scene, but was located by witnesses in the parking lot of Albertsons Grocery. She was booked into Benton County jail for investigation for vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run for her role in the crash.
Police believe that alcohol and/or drugs were a contributing factor with the driver of the Tundra.
The incident is now under investigation by the Kennewick Police Traffic Unit.
Location of the Crash
Left-Hand Accidents in Washington State
The law states that a driver making a left-hand turn has the right-of-way only if they are proceeding on a left-turn green arrow. Otherwise, the turning driver must yield to oncoming traffic.
Left-turn drivers must also watch for pedestrians and cyclists to cross through the crosswalk or street.
It is extremely difficult for a left-turn driver to prove they were not at fault or only partially at fault after an accident. There are some common exceptions:
- The approaching vehicle was driving too fast: This is a common defense in these types of accidents, but is still difficult to prove. Witnesses can only guess as to how fast the approaching driver was going, and the oncoming driver may not know or admit how fast they were going.
- The approaching vehicle did not stop or yield: If the driver blew through a red light or stop sign, the left-turn driver may be able to prove their innocence. Witnesses, as well as traffic cameras, may be used as evidence.
- The left turn was delayed: If the left-turn driver initiated the turn while it was safe, then unforeseen circumstances during the turn made it necessary to slow or stop, then that may be used as evidence.
Washington state is a pure comparative fault state. Any person at fault in an accident that causes damage to another is responsible for that damage. But if the person claiming damages shared in the fault, their damage recovery in a lawsuit will be reduced in proportion to his or her fault.
Washington State Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a left-turn accident, or any type of motorcycle collision, you’re not alone. Motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the country frequently encounter vehicles that simply don’t pay attention and turn right in front of you.
Call (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential online form on this page to contact our office.