A female pedestrian suffered serious and possibly life-threatening injuries after being struck by an SUV while she was crossing the road near Northgate Mall Monday morning.
According to KOMONews.com, the woman was crossing the roadway at Roosevelt way near 108th Street in Seattle. Police received reports of a seriously injured pedestrian at approximately 10 a.m. and responded to the scene.
The woman was found still in the roadway with what officials say were potentially life-threatening injuries. The pedestrian was immediately rushed to Harborview Medical Center to receive treatment for her injuries, but her condition was unclear.
Police said that the driver who struck the pedestrian remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, which has been a bit of a rarity in pedestrian accidents near the Seattle area as of late.
Pedestrian Law Regarding Unmarked Crosswalks
Pedestrian laws in Seattle are relatively straightforward in regards to a person crossing a street or roadway that features a marked crosswalk and traffic signals; if the traffic signal is in the pedestrian’s favor, the pedestrian has right of way to cross the roadway in the designated marked crosswalk and motorists must yield to the pedestrian(s).
In this instance, however, it would appear that the woman may have been crossing the roadway in an area where there was no pedestrian traffic signal or marked crosswalk. The following excerpt of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 504-14-940) addresses the rules for these types of situations:
(2) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation at pedestrian crossings, a vehicle must yield the right of way, by slowing down or stopping, when the pedestrian in the crossing is upon the same half of the roadway as the vehicle, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(3) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(4) Pedestrians who are between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation must not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
Ultimately, it will be important for investigators to determine the exact sequence of events that led up to this particular collision in order to determine fault. Per the WAC referenced above, if the woman had already begun entering the roadway well before the vehicle approached, then she may have had the right to be crossing at this particular time.
Conversely, subsection 3 states that pedestrians must give drivers a reasonable opportunity to yield before entering the roadway. If it is determined that the woman entered the roadway without allowing the driver a reasonable opportunity to yield to her, then she could potentially be held at least partially responsible for the collision.