Hoquiam police and fire were dispatched to a vehicle versus bicyclist collision on Lincoln Street at Washington Avenue.
According to Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers, there were multiple 911 calls regarding the collision indicating the bicyclist was down on the pavement and had suffered visible injuries.
When officers arrived, they say they found a 45-year old Hoquiam man laying on the pavement covered with a blanket tended by the driver of the vehicle and other motorists.
Hoquiam paramedics treated the bicyclist at the scene before transporting him to Grays Harbor Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the driver of the involved vehicle, he was on Washington Ave moving slowly forward to the intersection with Lincoln Street so he could see any approaching traffic.
According to the report, the bicyclist appeared from the driver’s left “at a fast rate” and struck the front of his vehicle.
There was a scrape and dent on the hood of the car according to HPD, which they say was likely caused by the bicycle’s handlebars as the bicyclist went down from the impact with the front of the car.
During the investigation, officers determined the bicyclist was not using a required headlight and rear red light in order to be riding during the hours of darkness.
The bicyclist was also not wearing a bike helmet.
Under state law RCW 46.61.780: Lamps and other equipment on bicycles: “(1) Every bicycle when in use during the hours of darkness as defined in RCW 46.37.020 shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the state patrol which shall be visible from all distances up to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. A light-emitting diode flashing taillight visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may also be used in addition to the red reflector.”
Myers says that officers frequently contact bicyclists at night as lights are required during the hours of darkness. This is not only state law, but also an important safety feature to be visible to other traffic. In any car versus bicycle collision, the bicyclist will almost always suffer the worst of injuries in the impact.
Although bike helmets are only required in Hoquiam for children under age 18, Myers adds that bike helmets have been shown to drastically reduce the likelihood of a traumatic head injury in a bicycle collision.