Seattle police say that a man was killed Monday morning after he was reportedly struck by a Metro bus in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
According to news reports, a person believed to have witnessed the bus accident came running into the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) east precinct just after 6 a.m. Monday to report a serious accident involving a metro bus near 11th Avenue and Pine Street in Capitol Hill. The Seattle Times reports that the scene of the accident is nearby the east precinct office.
Police arrived at the scene to find a westbound bus in the middle of the block at 11th Avenue and Pine Street. A man believed to be in his 20s or 30s was reportedly the victim of the Metro bus accident, and first responders pronounced the man dead at the scene of the accident.
There were three passengers on board the bus at the time of the accident, and there were no reports of any of those people suffering any injuries in the collision. Detectives had interviewed the driver of the Metro bus and the passengers who were on board, and a drug recognition expert was called in to determine if there was any possibility of impairment by drugs or alcohol. There was no information available regarding whether they believed impairment was a contributing factor to the accident.
Liability in Metro Bus Accidents
It is important to note that bringing in a drug recognition expert as part of police’s investigation into this bus-versus-pedestrian accident is standard protocol in all bus accidents, according to Lieutennant Randy Yamanaka with the SPD. It does not necessarily imply that police believe the bus driver was under the influence of any controlled substances, but is rather a precautionary measure.
In this particular case, there are too few details available to the public in order to determine who may have been at fault for the pedestrian accident. If the victim was legally walking in a crosswalk at the time of the collision, then there is a chance that the bus driver could be held responsible. Now that the fall season has arrived in Seattle, it is much darker outside at 6 a.m. than it was just a few weeks ago, and there is a chance that may have played a factor as well.
In the coming days and weeks, the results of the investigation by police will help to determine if the family and loved ones of the victim will have grounds for legal action in relation to the fatal pedestrian accident. If the investigation shows that the bus driver was at least partially at fault for the collision, then the family may consider pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim.