No Arrest Made in First Hill Hit-and-Run, Although SPD Knows Driver's Identity
A Cleanscapes truck driver hits a Seattle pedestrian on First Hill, killing her instantly.
According to the Seattle Police Department, the perperator of yesterday afternoon's alleged hit-and-run collision on First Hill, in which the driver of a large truck reportedly hit and killed a pedestrian, worked for CleanScapes (now renamed Recology Cleanscapes), the waste management and recycling company that contracts with the city.
Despite knowing who the driver is the SPD has, so far, not arrested the man because they have no grounds for doing so under the law, which requires a driver who hits a pedestrian to do so with "malice," and to know that he or she has hit a pedestrian.
"We don’t have evidence supporting that he necessarily committed a crime."—SPD Captain Chris Fowler
Cleanscapes spokesman Keith Kelly would not release any information about the name of the driver (who has not been arrested. and who, according to SPD, is male), but said in a statement, "All of us at Recology Cleanscapes would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the pedestrian affected by this accident."
Contacted by phone, SPD Captain Chris Fowler said the reason the driver wasn't arrested was because "we don’t have evidence supporting that he necessarily committed a crime."
Fowler added, "He was driving a very, very big truck, and if he didn’t, with his eyes, witness hitting the person" he might not be liable for committing a crime. "You have to knowingly leave the scene."
To be charged with anything, drivers who hit pedestrians (even drivers who kill them) have to be aware that they're doing so—which, according to SPD, may not always be possibe for a driver in a large truck hitting a much smaller person on foot.
SPD also says the driver has to be aware that they're hitting someone, whether the person is a pedestrian or in a car.
Fowler confirms that SPD has confirmed the identification of the driver, whose truck "had five or six cameras on it."
Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Sheridan says the department doesn't "really have any comment because we want to let SPD complete their investigation."
Although several web sites have identified the intersection as "one of the most dangerous in Seattle" for pedestrians, Sheridan says "there has been only one pedestrian-involved collision in the past five years" at the site of today's accident.
We have a call out to Seattle Public Utilities to ask about the identity of the Cleanscapes driver.
Seattlish has a guide telling you what to do if you witness a hit-and-run.
UPDATE from KING 5: The Medical Examiner has identified the woman killed in yesterday's hit-and-run as 42-year-old Rebecca Scollard from Seattle.