Mercer Island police urge pedestrian safety after several collisions

Three vehicle/pedestrian collisions have occurred in the past week, according to a post on the Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) and Emergency Management Facebook page.

Two pedestrians, one male and one female, both in their 70s, were hit by a car while crossing the street at the intersection of 78th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 32nd Street at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The man said he thought the driver was stopping and had seen the pedestrians, who were both wearing dark clothing. Unfortunately, the driver did not see them. Both were transported to Harborview Hospital by medics. The man had non-life threatening injuries, but the woman suffered very serious injuries.

On Nov. 30, a pedestrian was struck in the 3200 block of Island Crest Way, but was not seriously injured and did not require a trip to the hospital.

And again on Nov. 30, a father pushing a two-seated stroller with his 2 and 4 year old son and daughter was hit in the intersection of Southeast 28th Street and 80th Avenue Southeast.

The pedestrians were in the crosswalk and were struck on the left side of the stroller. The children suffered minor abrasions to their faces and upper bodies from being thrown out of the stroller. The driver stated he didn’t see them until it was too late. The father and children were transported home by the Mercer Island Fire Department Aid Unit.

There are some common themes in the first and last incidents, which involved five injured persons. In both cases, it was early evening (4:30-5 p.m.) and the pedestrians were wearing dark-ish clothing.

“I recently noticed it is getting quite dark as early as 4:10 p.m., which many of us are not completely adjusted to yet,” MIPD Commander Leslie Burns wrote on Facebook. “The combination of low visibility and darker type clothing is a recipe for pedestrian involved collisions.”

Burns wrote that Islanders out and about walking, jogging or running in the early evening and late night hours should do everything they can to help motorists see them, including wearing light and bright clothing along with reflectorized items such as vests, attaching flashing lights to the front and backside of their clothing and thinking about carrying a powerful flashlight as well. If you are crossing a street, please keep your head up and eyes trained in both directions, she said.

“Drivers are often contending with heavy traffic, low visibility, rain, glare, windshield wipers and foggy windows,” the post noted. “Although you may think a driver sees you, they very well might not be able to see you.”

Emergency Management Officer Jennifer Franklin provided a link authored by the CDC regarding pedestrian safety at

“Please take a moment to review the information and have a discussion with family members, particularly children, teens and older adults,” the post states. “Please keep an eye out for each other and be safe.”