According to the Rainer Valley KOMO blog:

A 13-year-old girl using her cell phone stepped in front of a moving light rail train at the station at MLK and Othello and was hit on Friday afternoon.

The incident happened at around 3:45 p.m. The girl was not paying attention and didn’t see the train coming as it was pulling into the northbound station.  She suffered cuts to the face, but no other serious injuries.  She was taken to a hospital for treatment.  It isn’t known if she was talking or texting on her phone when the collision happened.

After some delays, service is now restored.

32 Replies to “Teenager Walks in Front of Link Train”

  1. Texting, because:

    1) Teenagers text waaaaay more than they talk. I should know; I used to be one.
    2) If you’re only talking, you’re pretty alert compared to texting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost walked into a tree/pole/side of the building because I was doing something on my smartphone.

    1. Even reading a book can be hazardous. When I was 14 years old and touring Israel (don’t ask…) I knocked myself out in the middle of Jerusalem by walking into a light pole while reading a book. Stupid is as stupid does…

  2. I’m getting increasingly close to advocating a law that bans not only driving using cell phones – but WALKING using the damn things. I’m seeing an increase in near-misses (and we’ve seen an upswing in actual collisions) between buses and pedestrians. Newer smart phones with touch screens have made the situation much, much worse. I have also seen people walking down the sidewalk right into fixed objects like signs, bus shelters, other people, etc. The good news is that they didn’t miss a bit of the old rerun of “The Jeffersons” they were watching on Hulu on their phone/tv/dvr/game/gps/e-mail machine.

    1. I agree – I have nearly been walked into/collided with inattentive texters in downtown.
      Heads up peeps! Out of your cocoon and into the real world!!

    2. We definitely need a law that prevents you from walking into fixed objects. I’m not sure such a law would pass any sort of court muster.

  3. Yikes. Glad she is OK. And glad there have been so few accidents to this point. Surely this kind of thing will become even more rare as people get used to having a train in their neighborhood.

    While I can’t really imagine not seeing a several ton train coming toward me, I have always felt that Link stations lack sufficient physical and visual reminders that you’re about to cross train tracks.

    1. I totally disagree Jason. ST’s design forces pedestrians to cross in a “Z” pattern so that they face oncoming train traffic before they get to the tracks. There are signs and auditory warnings. I will bet that this young lady either tried to beat the train or was seriously distracted.

      1. Operators sound their horns (not bells) when a pedestrian is too close to the tracks or edge of platform. This incident was no different, from KIRO: “Price [likely a witness] said the train’s operator had been sounding a warning horn just before the collision.” A split second of attention can make the difference between life and injury or death.

        Those horns are really loud! If that didn’t get her attention, then yes, I think she’s seriously distracted and/or had earbuds blocking noise.

      2. If I am shooting photos on a platform or near a track, I have often received a warning horn from the operator. When I hear it, I usually step back as a way to indicate to the operator that I have heard the horn and to acknowledge the train’s presence.

      3. Z pattern? I’ve certainly never noticed being forced to face the train before crossing, but will take closer note. And to both you and Oran, I wasn’t for a second doubting that the girl was distracted or that her distraction led to the accident.

  4. We need to band walking while holo-banding before that lobby grows too big, or the cubes (adults) learn how to use them.

    … in the name of the One who will chase away the Many bad plot lines.

  5. Never would have happened with a monorail, or other elevated train. I’m just sayin’.

    1. You’re right on the first part… b/c in all likelihood the Monorail would never have been built.. :p

    2. Well, someone inattentive could step off a monorail platform. There are many, many ways to be killed or injured by moving objects, and even fixed ones.

  6. I wish people included the cost of accidents, delays, and speed when comparing in-street routes with grade-separated routes.

  7. One of the arguments against streetcars and light-rail is the supposed noise from them. When in fact, in most cases, current vehicles are quieter than buses and trucks. That is one reason for their bells. To give a warning, though obviously in this case not everyone can hear them (hearing problems?).

    Newer vehicles coming out are supposed to be even quieter, due to “semi-soft and advanced soft wheels” and “bogie skirts”. Could be a problem if people with hearing problems can’t even hear the approaching bells.

  8. How is a 13-year-old able to obtain a substance as dangerous as a cellular telephone?

    Subpoena the phone records!

    Throw the phone company executives in jail!

  9. There is the same problem even on bike trails. People jogging with earbuds or walking and talking on cell without being aware.

    I think it should be illegal to walk/run/bike with earbuds anywhere there is passing traffic…including bikes and skateboards. Same with cell phones — you can’t talk while you drive…walking should be same.

    1. I agree that people can be inattentive while using earbuds and walking, but banning it would make my (walking) commute much more miserable. If people would treat walking like driving (walk on the right, look over your shoulder before changing direction) on the trails/areas where there are bikers/skateboarders, it would make things a lot easier.

  10. There’s a reason, a good reason, for the yellow line :) Seems simple, STAY BEHIND IT!

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