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Seattle - May 2017

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Seattle — Role in Cyclist's Death?

May 2017

The Seattle Times reports that the brother of a cyclist fatally injured a year ago blames the streetcar tracks for the death.

Cody McCloud, who said the year since his sister’s death has been “literal hell” for his family, announced at a news conference that the family is demanding at least $2 million in a news conference.

His attorney said the First Hill streetcar tracks are a "lethal bicycle trap" and that the city knew this risk.

Desiree McCloud, 27, rode with three other cyclists in May 2016 from East Capitol Hill to Alki Beach when the crash occurred. Surveillance video showed her riding between the streetcar tracks on East Yesler Way when she attempted to pass a fellow cyclist. Her bike wobbled then crashed sending her to the pavement. She died 11 days later of blunt force trauma.

The police report issued a year ago states that no evidence was found linking streetcar rail to the accident.

“It is unknown if McCloud attempted to cross back over and if interaction with the rail was what led to her loss of control, and that question appears impossible to resolve,” the police report said. “What is known is that no other vehicles were involved and that McCloud lost control of her bicycle, which caused her to fall to the ground. This incident, though obviously tragic, appears to be the sole result of some form of operator error on the part of McCloud.”

The family consulted a medical professor who concluded the bike slowed, throwing Desiree over the handle bars, consistent with bike tires getting caught in the streetcar flangeway, slowing it dangerously.

The city does not keep records of such accidents, but when the Times requested that readers tell of such accidents, more than 100 replied.


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