14-year-old bicyclist critically injured after being dragged by semi, but expected to recover

SHORELINE, Wash. --  A 14-year old bicyclist was in critical condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center Wednesday afternoon after colliding with a semi truck in Shoreline.

On Wednesday night, Shoreline Public Schools said, "We have been in communication with his family and they have shared that he is expected to recover from his injuries."

The boy was on his way to Shorewood High School Wednesday morning when the accident happened.

Emotions grip you the moment you see the mangled bicycle laying on its side under a semi truck. And then it's even more traumatic knowing the biker is a 14-year-old boy who was on his way to school.

“There was mass talking about it in class,” said one student.

“It was silent, quiet atmosphere today,” said another student.

At first the truck driver didn't realize a crash had happened.

“Unfortunately, drug him (the boy) several feet before learning that he was underneath his semi truck,” Shoreline Fire Department spokesperson Michelle Pidduck said.

Witnesses say the shaken truck driver had the right-of-way when he turned to get on Aurora Avenue from North 175th Street. The teenager was trying to cross Aurora Avenue at the same time.

“Had his helmet on, thank goodness. Fortunately, he was conscious, he was able to give us information,” Pidduck said.

Shoreline's 3-mile stretch of Aurora Avenue was once one of the most dangerous roads in the entire state.

But over the past decade, the city has made significant improvements, including wider sidewalks, center medians and crosswalk signals, for every intersection.

“It moves traffic and it moves it safely,” longtime Shoreline resident Richard Dawson said.

Since the improvements, the city says serious and fatal injuries have dropped by 50 percent, if you compare 2003 to 2005 accidents along the stretch to crashes between 2014 to 2016.

But still, some bikers say they will stick to nearby trails in Shoreline instead of getting on Aurora Avenue.

“Cars are going too fast and they are not used to seeing bicyclists and there are no dedicated lanes,” bicyclist Sharan Daniel said.

After school on Wednesday, Q13 News saw dozens of students walking home using the crosswalk across Aurora Avenue. Some say they feel, safe others say they do not and that is why they walk in groups so it’s easier for cars to see them.

As for the truck driver, police allowed him to leave the scene after investigators mapped out the accident for about four hours. The investigation is in its early stages but as of Wednesday there was no indication the driver will face any charges.

Shoreline Public Schools says they are grateful for the first responders and community members who helped the teenager. There was a fire department right across the street from the accident so help came quickly.

Shorewood High School had crisis counselors on hand and asked students to stay on campus and not leave during lunch hours so they wouldn’t run into the accident scene.