The United States has one of the worst driving records in the world, with 46,000 auto accident fatalities every single year. The roads are filled with drunk drivers, distracted drivers and all other kinds of negligent driving that make it dangerous to drive. Being an Olympia bicycle accident lawyer in a Bellevue personal injury law firm I know the dangers are even more apparent for bicyclists and pedestrians who have little protecting them from a 2000 lbs vehicle driven by a negligent driver. This weekend a Yelm bicyclist was injured after a drunk driver crossed the center line of traffic and struck him.

Early Saturday morning a drunk driver sent a bicyclist to the hospital after a vehicle-bicycle accident. 48-year-old Mathew Sandelius of Yelm, Washington was riding his bike along 118th Avenue and Filman Road when he was hit by a truck. The accident occurred just before 2:00 a.m. Saturday, March 12th when a truck crossed the center line of 188th Avenue and struck the bicyclist. Sandelius was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia to be treated for his injuries.

The driver of the 1982 Ford truck left the scene of the accident, but has since been identified as 24-year-old Ashley Wheeler of Rainier. Wheeler is suspected of drunk driving and a hit-and-run and has been arrested for her involvement in this vehicle-bicycle accident.

The bicyclist injured in this hit-and-run accident was not doing anything wrong when he was struck by the truck. Sadly millions of accidents happen every year when a negligent driver fails to follow some simple rules and hurts an innocent victim. For a bicyclist there are a few tips to help keep yourself safer on the roads…

  • Avoid riding your bicycle at night – visibility is low and drunk drivers are plentiful
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Make yourself as visible as possible – wear bright clothing, have reflectors and make sure you have a headlight on your bike if you are riding at night
  • Pay close attention to the vehicles around you – if you can see them you are better able to anticipate their actions and avoid a collision.

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