Frustration continues to grow in the Mill Creek community this week, after a 22-year-old man became the second person killed in a pedestrian crash while walking along Bothell-Everett Highway over the past seven months.
Mill Creek police say that 22-year-old Quincy Tigner was struck by a passing vehicle at approximately 9:30 a.m. Monday in the 17300 block of Bothell-Everett Highway. The victim was walking south on the side of the highway, also known as State Route 527 (SR 527), when a northbound SUV struck him.
It has not yet been determined how or why the SUV veered into the shoulder of the busy highway, though police have said the driver has been cooperative with their investigation and did not show any signs of being impaired by drugs or alcohol.
— Eric Jensen (@EricJensenTV) September 27, 2016
Familiar Grief For Mother of Another Victim
Area resident Vicki Moore has been pushing for safety improvements to the road ever since her 18-year-old son was tragically killed in a similar pedestrian crash back in March. She has started an online petition that has garnered a couple thousand supporters, but no changes have been made to the busy roadway thus far.
Moore’s son, Parker Lang, was walking home from work on March 9th when he was struck by a car while he was crossing the street. Police believe he may have tried to cross the road at the wrong time, and that the dark and rainy weather conditions likely contributed to the crash.
Both of these tragic pedestrian crashes occurred within just a few blocks of each other on Bothell-Everett Highway, where streetlights and crosswalks are sparse. But the real problem, according to Moore and several others in the community, is the lack of sidewalks along this busy roadway.
The stretch of SR 527 from Bothell to South Everett is a particularly busy commuter zone for many drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. Certain parts of the highway fall within the Mill Creek city limits, while others fall under the jurisdiction of Snohomish County. State Representative Mark Harmsworth of Mill Creek says this complicates the process, as coordinating the necessary improvements is difficult between separate government entities.
“It’s certainly a tragic situation and it’s something that I think we can certainly address,” said Harmsworth. “It is a state highway, so from a state perspective, we can take the lead on coordinating between the different agencies.”
Moore obviously feels for the family grieving about the latest fatal incident, and she says it’s beyond time that the city, county, and state worked together to do whatever it takes to prevent more unnecessary loss of life.
“Who can help us? This is so important,” she says. “Does a mom and baby have to die? Does another young man have to die? Who else has to die?”
What Can Be Done to Prevent Another Pedestrian Crash?
When KOMO News reached out to the City of Mill Creek earlier this year, an office clerk indicated that the city had not yet received an official petition requesting the sidewalks be added. It was not clear if Moore had gone through that process yet. If and when the city does receive such a petition, then the City Council would have to make a decision whether or not to add it to the list of upgrades.
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome will undoubtedly be funding; Harmsworth estimates that adding sidewalks in the necessary areas to make a significant safety improvement would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million. Safety advocates might suggest that although $5 million is no small sum, how do we calculate the value of two lives lost? Without a doubt, preventing more fatal pedestrian crashes should be towards the top of the City Council’s list of priorities.
In other words, “Who else has to die?”