BELLEVUE – Bellevue Police are investigating a Sept. 19 van-pedestrian collision that injured two 14-year-old girls. The girls, believed to be students at Bellevue High School, were crossing Bellevue Way SE at the intersection with SE Wolverine Way at about 2:40 p.m., Tuesday, when they were struck by a white van traveling south on Bellevue Way.
Bellevue Police and Fire units arrived on the scene within minutes. Fire Department medics evaluated both girls and transported them to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The injuries to the girls were considered non-life threatening – one patient received hip and facial injuries – and both were admitted in stable condition.
The driver of the van, a 33-year-old Seattle man, remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigating officers. No drug or alcohol use was suspected, but he voluntarily provided a blood sample. He was later released along with his vehicle.
Officers closed the intersection and performed a detailed survey of the scene. The investigation at the scene was completed and the road reopened shortly before 5 p.m. Police interviewed several witnesses.
Speed of the van at the time of impact, whether the pedestrians were in the crosswalk and who had the right of way are still under investigation.
With school back in session, here are some general things to remember :
1. Drivers: Be alert at all times. Be prepared to stop on short notice, and avoid distractions that reduce your reaction times. This is true all the time, but especially in intersections and near schools.
2. Pedestrians: Use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible. Obey all signals and move in a predictable manner. Sudden turns into the street or dashing out from beyond line of sight reduce a driver’s ability to avoid you. In a car vs. pedestrian collision, the car always “wins”.
3. Parents: Talk to your children about safety issues. Whether they are drivers or pedestrians, safety is often the last thing on their minds when the bell rings. For many, the distractions are highest around the schools where their friends are walking, their music is loudest, and the temptation to show off and fool around is greatest.
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