BikeNerd: SPD Says Bicyclist Was Wearing Helmet When Killed by Car

The post was written by PubliCola intern Peter Johnson, who will soon have a byline of his very own. 

Seattle Police Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb says today that Robert Townsend, the bicyclist killed in a collision with a car in the University District on Saturday, was wearing his helmet at the time of the accident.

“We believe he was wearing a helmet,” said Whitcomb, who investigators said found Townsend’s helmet at the scene.

Townsend’s tragic death is the latest in a series of fatal bicycle accidents— two other local bicyclists were killed after being struck by cars in July. Despite the fact that Townsend was wearing a helmet, had plenty of experience biking on city streets (his job was to deliver Jimmy John’s sandwiches on his bike), and probably had the right-of-way, he didn’t have much of a chance. When it comes down to it, cars will always squish a bicyclist whenever a collision occurs.

Hopefully this sad story will give us some perspective. Let’s make sure the upcoming campaign against dedicating a portion the proposed $60 transportation car tab to bike infrastructure won’t come with the histrionic rhetoric we’ve seen in recent debates over road diets. I think everyone can agree that one life saved is well worth the price of a few stripes on the road.

Note: Cola readers probably remember BikeNerd and are puzzled about his long absence. I’ll be taking up Josh Cohen’s mantle as Cola’s in-house bike know-it-all. Send any bike-related questions my way, info@publicola.com.