Woman injured in crosswalk

A car struck a female pedestrian Nov. 4 in a Juanita Village crosswalk while the driver allegedly used his cell phone.

The Kirkland Police Department responded to 911 calls at around 6:25 a.m. concerning an accident at a marked crosswalk in the 11800 block of 98th Avenue NE. A 24-year-old female reportedly tried to cross 98th Avenue using the crosswalk, according to witnesses, when she was struck by a Ford Econoline van. The force of the impact knocked her into the air for several feet and caused serious head injuries, said KPD Traffic Sgt. Mike Murray. She was transported by Medic One to Harborview Medical Center for treatment and released several days later.

“He just didn’t see her,” Murray said. “It’s just one of those things (that can happen) with a distracted driver.”

He said her family expected a full recovery.

The driver, a man in his mid-40s, was not injured and immediately pulled to the side of the road to help the victim. In addition to the poor weather and short daylight hours affecting road visibility in the fall and winter, Sgt. Murray said the main reason for the accident was using his cell phone while driving, a secondary traffic violation. The suspect later admitted to using the cell phone while driving and was cited for not yielding to a pedestrian and his cell phone use.

Kirkland Police have issued 52 citations so far this year for driving while using a cell phone.

The north bound lanes of 98th Avenue N.E. near the Juanita Village shopping center were closed for several hours while police conducted their investigation. Kirkland public works personnel will also examine the crosswalks for any potential safety improvements. City transportation engineer David Godfrey said the accident marks the 15th local pedestrian accident this year, 13 of which have resulted in injuries.

“Car-pedestrian incidents are on a downward trend,” Murray said. “The numbers have dropped significantly due to all the measures the city has taken.”

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