Another injured on Seattle Streetcar tracks; friends of woman killed push for change

A memorial for Desiree McCloud, who was killed in a Seattle bike crash. (KOMO)

SEATTLE -- Jessica Hicks has a sling on her shoulder, an injury to nurse, and a new mission to bear.

"Something needs to be done. People are dying. A 27-year old girl is dead because of the streetcar tracks," Hicks said. "I don't know what it is but something needs to be done."

Hicks says she was riding home on her Honda Metropolitan scooter the night of May 18th. She was turning at the intersection of 14th and Yesler, when the scooter went out from underneath her as it hit the streetcar tracks.

The preschool worker believes she was driving between 10 and 15 miles an hour.

"It was the streetcar tracks, hands down. I was not doing anything different," Hicks said. "I've ridden my bike for a year. I have over 1,000 miles on my scooter."

"Every time I cross those streetcar tracks I'm cautious," she continued. "This time I was cautious but I don't think it made a difference."

Hicks went to the emergency room to be treated for bruises and a broken clavicle. She believes her helmet saved her life.

The crash was one block away -- and one week after -- cyclist Desiree McCloud crashed her bicycle at 13th Avenue and East Yesler Way. Friends believe McCloud's front wheel got caught in the streetcar tracks, causing her to fall head first.

McCloud died about a week later.

"She was always the life of the party," said friend Adam Dodge, who knew McCloud since their days together at Purdue University. "We had hope. We kept on having hope. And then one day I got a call from my wife saying an update had been posted and she had passed away."

Dodge is among those helping plan a march and meeting on Monday night in McCloud's honor. Dozens are expected to gather at the spot where she crashed her bike. Family members will speak, and then the crowd will engage in a discussion with city leaders about improvements they would like to see along the tracks.

"We just want the city to be safe for people," Dodge said. "We don't want anyone else to have to go through this."

Transit officials are still completing a fatal collision review for McCloud's crash, said Sue Romero, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

"Our review process will help determine if any modifications to the roadway are warranted," Romero said.

McCloud's friends are hoping a protected bike lane might help with cyclists in the area, allowing them a path that doesn't cross with the streetcar tracks.

"I think that we as a city need to value human life more, really," Dodge added. "All that you need to do to change that is get rid of, like, 10 parking spots."

"I think the value of life is worth more than 10 parking spots," he said.

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