Family argues that Seattle bike policy led to cyclist’s death

May 25, 2017, 6:22 AM | Updated: 9:42 am

The City of Seattle claims that rider error was the cause of an accident that led to cyclist Desiree McCloud’s death. But there are those who aren’t buying that conclusion and they are suing the city over it.

Desiree McCloud grew up in a small Indiana town with her brother Cody. She moved to Seattle after college and spent a lot of time on the road; on her bike.

RELATED: Duff McKagan argues against Seattle bike routes

“Last Friday the 13th, last May, she was on her way to Alki Beach,” Cody told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don about the last bike trip Desiree took in Seattle.

“She definitely was a recreational cyclist … in her free time, it was what she loved to do,” he said.

En route from Capitol Hill to Alki Beach, Desiree crashed and was sent to a hospital with severe injuries – she died 11 days later. The city’s report on the incident argues that there must have been rider error that caused the incident.

Cody’s attorney, Jeff Campiche, doesn’t accept that version. He’s had the accident analyzed by an engineer. They came up with a different conclusion, one that some in Seattle have previously claimed – that Desiree’s bike tire fell into the streetcar tracks on Yesler Way and got stuck. The bike suddenly stopped because of this and threw Desiree from the bike.

“But the reason she died is because the city chose to encourage bicyclists to ride next to the notoriously dangerous trolley tracks,” Campiche said. “There’s been over 80 people injured.”

“Seattle has encouraged alternatives to automobiles and developed trolleys, which are small trains that drive on top of the roadway – they are not in tunnels,” he said. “The tracks go right down the roadway and the city chose to put the bicycle lanes and the routes for the bicycle paths on the streets and encouraged, and almost require, the bicycles to go down certain streets.”

Cody traveled to Seattle Wednesday to announce the lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Sound Transit. He is arguing that the First Hill Streetcar tracks are the cause of his sister’s death. The family is seeking $2 million in claims.

Ron and Don

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Family argues that Seattle bike policy led to cyclist’s death