The King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is investigating a possible hit-and-run pedestrian accident that took the life of an unidentified 54-year-old man in Shoreline Tuesday morning.
According to KOMO news, police and medical personnel responded to reports of a critically-injured pedestrian near the intersection of North 170th Street and Aurora Avenue North, or Highway 99, near Shorewood High School just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. When officials arrived at the scene, they reportedly found a 54-year-old man laying in the roadway with life-threatening injuries.
Police say the man’s injuries were somewhat consistent with someone who had been struck by a vehicle, but haven’t been able to identify any witnesses to an actual collision. For now, KCSO Sgt. Stan Seo says investigators are treating the incident as a hit-and-run pedestrian accident.
Witnesses Crucial to Identifying At-Fault Driver
It’s really quite rare that a driver would strike a pedestrian in a crosswalk on one of the busiest highways in Western Washington without anyone having actually witnessed the collision. Further complicating the investigation is the fact that the injured man died from his injuries before police were able to speak with him to gather any information about the circumstances of the incident.
There is a chance that this man’s injuries were caused by something different altogether; one person who saw the man collapse said he appeared to be crossing the street against the signal and only saw the man lunge into the intersection and collapse.
From a legal perspective, an insurance company would likely deny claims related to an incident like this due to the absence of proof that the victim was actually struck by a vehicle. Although it would appear likely that this was a hit-and-run, insurance companies rely on police investigations in order to determine liability and justify paying out a claim.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of the victim. If anyone has any information regarding this particular incident, the King County Sheriff’s Office is asking that they come forward and assist with the investigation. They can be reached at (206) 296-3311 or by calling 911.