On Saturday evening, two pedestrians in a crosswalk were hit by an automobile while crossing Stone Way at 41st Street. The pedestrians are a young married couple, Zach and Ashley Adair, who were on their way to a performance at Stone Soup Theater. They suffered multiple, significant injuries and were rushed to Harborview, where Zach is still recovering in the ICU. Ashley, despite receiving a head wound that required eight staples to close, has already been discharged.
According to their friend Zac Eckstein, the driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and cooperated with the police. There was also at least one witness to the accident who stayed onsite and spoke to police.
Zach and Ashley, who are 28 and 26 years old respectively, will be unable to work for a yet-unknown amount of time. While they thankfully have health insurance, friends are anticipating that uncovered expenses and lost work will be a significant hardship for the couple. They have organized a fundraising website to help support Zach and Ashley during this time. Updates about their progress are also being posted. You can help support them in their recovery by donating at this website.
Additionally, local performance artist Jennifer Jasper is holding a fundraiser at the Jewelbox on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, featuring storytelling, dance, writing, music, and visual arts and more. Doors open at 7 pm. All tickets are $10. For more information visit her Facebook page.
That intersection at 41st and Stone, the site of several “crosswalk sting operations,” has been a problem for years. In 2005, a 12 year old Hamilton International Middle School student was hit by a driver who pulled around cars that had stopped so that the boy might cross. He survived, and his mother has been advocating tirelessly for pedestrian safety ever since.
Despite her efforts and NINE years of further accidents (including another one involving a pedestrian and a car in October), this crosswalk is no safer. SDOT put Stone Way on a “road diet” a few years back, reducing the number of lanes with the hopes that this would improve pedestrian safety. As the road did not get narrower, it seems like that was a bit of magical thinking. Visibility has not been improved and people are still getting hurt.
With many Hamilton students using that crosswalk, the Fremont Neighborhood Council has been petitioning SDOT to install a pedestrian-activated crossing light at that intersection. You can get behind this cause by contacting SDOT. While you are free to comment on this blog as much as you like in support of that idea, please remember that SDOT is NOT reading this blog. If you really want to support people like Zach and Ashley, and all of the other pedestrians who have been injured at this crossing, please take the time to actually contact SDOT and ask them for a pedestrian-activated crossing light at Stone Way North and North 41st Street. Enough is enough.
Goran Sparrman, Interim Director
Seattle Department of Transportation
PO Box 34996
Seattle, WA 98124-4996
SDOT Pedestrian Program