Seattle traffic deaths show no sign of slowing as second bicyclist fatally struck this year

Gan Hao Li rode his bike every day, sometimes two or three times. And every day on his way out the door, he’d smile and wave to Marena Ostbo, the manager of Hirabayashi Place in Seattle’s Chinatown International District. Wednesday, May 10, was no different.

“He stopped, smiled, said, ‘Good morning, enjoy the sunshine,’ and left,” Ostbo said.

Except this time, Li, 73, didn’t return. He was killed around 10:30 that morning in Sodo, when a Jeep driver pulled out of a parking lot on Fourth Avenue South and South Holgate Street and hit him, according to the Seattle Police Department. Li died of his injuries later that day. Police are still investigating.

“I’ve never met somebody who was as genuinely kind as he was,” Ostbo said. “Seeing his wife over the last few days, I can only imagine. I can only imagine.”

Ten people have been killed on Seattle’s roads in 2022, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation, outpacing the number of deaths at this time last year and the year before. At least 59 people have been seriously injured.

Although fewer people die on Seattle’s streets than Portland’s or Austin’s, for example, the trends of the last two years have yet to reverse themselves in 2022 and Seattle’s “Vision Zero” goal of no fatalities on the roads remains maddeningly out of reach. Despite recent efforts, the combination of speed, larger vehicles and infrastructure that’s unfriendly to people outside of cars has meant deaths continue to rise.

“It’s really frustrating and devastating,” said Allison Schwartz, SDOT’s Vision Zero coordinator. “And that’s just for someone who reads the collision reports and is trying to make a dent in this issue with my team and with others in the department, you know? It’s hard to think about what the people closest to those who’ve been killed or hurt are going through.”

On the heels of one of the worst years for traffic deaths in Seattle — and across the country — four pedestrians have been killed so far this year and Li is the second bicyclist. The first, Antonio Tiongco, was also hit on Holgate, just a block away on Third Avenue South.

That the two bicyclist deaths occurred in the city’s main industrial district is no coincidence, said Clara Cantor, community organizer for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Since at least 2004, more serious injuries and deaths have occurred there than in any other Seattle neighborhood, despite having fewer total collisions than downtown.

“It’s like every single year there are people that are dying in Sodo because of how unsafe the streets are,” Cantor said. “Because it’s such an intense freight corridor, very little has been done there to improve safety for people walking and biking.”

SDOT counted an average 925 riders per weekday through the industrial district in 2020. As a busy stretch for commuters, especially since the West Seattle Bridge’s closure, and with a sizable homeless population, the mingling of pedestrians, bicyclists and large vehicles is ever-present.

“One of the primary issues is speed,” Schwartz said. She pointed to the area’s long blocks, wide streets, large vehicles and minimal crossings or protected bike lanes.

Several projects are planned for the neighborhood to improve safety. East Marginal Way was recently promised $20 million from the federal government to finish building a two-way protected bike lane between South Atlantic and South Spokane streets, in addition to other upgrades to the area. Construction is to begin later this year.

The city also has promised a continuous bike lane from Georgetown to downtown along either Airport Way South or Sixth Avenue South, although the project’s progress was stalled in 2020.

But Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales, whose district includes the city’s industrial district, as well as another deadly stretch, Rainier Avenue South, said she’s growing frustrated with talk about improvements and wants more action.

“It just feels like it is clear that there are some roads in the city that are more dangerous, there are some parts of the city that have been underinvested in and we have to be serious about keeping Seattleites safe, and I don’t think we are demonstrating any serious commitment to that,” she said. She called for a council hearing on traffic deaths, which transportation chair and Councilmember Alex Pedersen has agreed to this summer.

“My favorite resident”

Orbst, the manager of Hirabayashi Place, isn’t supposed to have favorite residents. But of Li, she said, “he was my favorite resident.” When she took the job last year, he was the first to welcome her. A Chinese immigrant, Li spoke little English, but the intention behind his waves and gestures was clear enough.

“You can truly feel the sadness in the building since he passed,” she said. “It really is a tragedy.”

Linda Vonheim, the building’s manager until late last year, moved the Lis into the building when it first opened in 2017. She, too, called them her favorites. On his way out the door for his daily rides or evening walks with his wife, he’d greet Vonheim with a hearty, “Hello, manager!”

“He was just a great man, one of the pillars of our community at Hirabayashi,” she said. “If you needed help he would be right there. He would never say no to anybody.”

Crystal Ng, who lives in Hirabayashi Place, said Li and his wife were the only two people to use their building’s rooftop deck, doing exercises and playing pingpong together nearly every day. Ng speaks Chinese and would often help them communicate with other residents in the building.

“He always asked me if I’d had dinner yet and tell me that he hadn’t seen me for a long time,” she said.  

Ng didn’t hear the news of Li’s death right away, but started to suspect something was wrong. She didn’t see his bike in storage. While watching the evening news, she saw an image of a “crunched” bicycle and realized she recognized it.

“I had a gut feeling,” she said.  

“He and his wife were just enjoying their retirement, growing old together,” Vonheim said through tears, “and now that’s been taken away from her.”

A wake-up call

It’s not just bikers and pedestrians who want to see safer conditions in Sodo, said Erin Goodman, executive director of the Sodo Business Improvement Area. The people driving trucks through there certainly don’t want to kill anyone, she said.

Goodman supports completion of a bike corridor all the way through the neighborhood, to Georgetown, in order to distinguish between routes for bikers and routes for drivers.  

“Do I think that people need to be able to bike through Sodo? Yes,” she said. “On every street? No. There need to be safe corridors.”

“This accident is a little bit of a wake-up call that this area’s transportation system needs some attention,” she added.

The lack of such infrastructure is, on the one hand, the result of Sodo’s role as a freight-heavy neighborhood, said Cantor. But it’s also indicative of underinvestment in South Seattle more broadly, hewing closely to redlined areas of the past.

“Sodo and the entirety of southeast Seattle have really suffered a lot due to racism and people writing off that South Seattle needs to be safe to walk and bike and live in,” she said.  

Morales echoed that point, saying that meeting the goals of zero fatalities will mean a much larger investment in capital projects.

“We have to fundamentally change how we think about transportation in this city if we want to meet our Vision Zero goals,” she said.

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DOJ appealing ruling that struck down travel mask mandate

The announcement came after the CDC said masks aboard planes are still needed.

The Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that said the federal government’s travel mask mandate was unlawful.

The announcement Wednesday came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it still maintains that masks aboard planes, inside airports and other transportation hubs are necessary.

“It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health,” the CDC wrote in a statement.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Miley Cyrus’ Plane Was Struck by Lightning and Had to Make an Emergency Landing

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Winter Storm Landon Live Updates: Power Outages Top 150,000; Plows Struck in Ohio | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

  • At least two plows were struck in Ohio, a DOT spokesman told The Weather Channel.
  • Power outages were rising quickly in Memphis because of icing.
  • Ohio State University canceled in-person classes at its main Columbus campus Thursday.
  • One death was confirmed in New Mexico, where roads became treacherous.

Winter Storm Landon continues to dump rain, ice and snow on the Plains, Midwest and Ohio Valley, leading to travel woes both on the ground and in the air, power outages and road closures.

(MORE: The Latest Forecast for Winter Storm Landon)

Here’s a look at what’s happening right now. For our live updates page from Wednesday, click here.

“Galloping” Contributes to Power Outages

A triple whammy of rain, freezing temps and winds in some areas is creating what’s known in the power industry as “galloping.”

“‘Galloping’ occurs when rain, freezing to the power line, coupled with steady wind, creates an air foil – basically the same shape as an airplane wing,” power company Entergy Arkansas said in a tweet along with a video. “Wind blows across and creates lift. If lines slap together, can cause outage(s).”

Kentucky FEMA Disaster Relief Centers Closed

The weather has shut down sites set up to assistance victims of the Dec. 10 tornadoes in the western part of the state.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency closed the sites in Caldwell, Graves, Hopkins and Warren counties early on Wednesday and they will remain closed through at least Friday, several local media outlets reported.

Help is still available online at

A decision is expected Friday on whether they will reopen Saturday.

Power Outages Top 150,000

More than 84,000 power outages are being reported in Tennessee and more than 74,000 in Texas as of 11 a.m. CDT, according to Some 25,000 homes and businesses are without power in Arkansas.

Nearly all of the outages in Tennessee are in the Memphis area, where freezing rain downed trees and power lines.

Many of the Texas outages are in Hunt, Collin and Fannin counties in the northeast part of the state. The National Weather Service in Fort Worth said those areas received the highest accumulations of freezing rain and ice overnight.

What To Do If Your Power and Heat Go Out

If your electricity powers your heat and the power goes out, that can lead to frozen pipes and overall home damage. Being cold for a period of time can also be hazardous to your health, and in extreme cases even deadly. That’s why it’s incredibly important to be prepared for power outages during winter storms, or anytime in the winter.

Here are a few tips on what to do during a power outage. Click here for a complete listof ways to safe before, during and after one.

-Keep doors and windows closed, put towels in front of any drafts.

-Layer your clothes to stay warm, put on a hat, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs and put on mittens (they’re better than gloves). Huddle under extra blankets.

-Know the signs of frostbite — loss of feeling and color in fingers, ear lobes and the tip of the nose — and call 911 if someone has these symptoms.

-Know the signs of hypothermia — uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness — and call 911 if someone shows these symptoms.

-Never use generators or grills inside or close to buildings or other structures.

-Be very cautious going outside to inspect your home for storm damage because downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by show drifts, trees or debris and could be live. If you see any downed wiring, assume the line is live and report it to your utility company. Don’t touch anything the wire is touching.

Roads Closed Due to High Water in San Antonio

Portions of at least three roads are closed after heavy rain in San Antonio. One of the closures is at Interstate 35 and Interstate 10, officials said in a briefing at around 8:30 a.m. CST.

“If you have to travel this morning, make plans now and travel slow,” city manager Eric Walsh said.

Four warming centers are open in the city.

Police responded to seven major crashes and six minor crashes related to rain overnight, Chief William McManus said. He said first responders also carried out one high water rescue and responded to 10 other weather-related calls.

Plows Struck in Ohio, Spokesman Says

Matt Bruning, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, told The Weather Channel in a Thursday morning interview that two plows were struck by other vehicles while trying to keep streets clear. He did not say if those incidents led to any injuries.

“We just need people to stay home,” said Bruning. “That helps us tremendously.”

He added that the freezing rain was making it difficult to keep roads drivable in areas where accretion was occurring.

“There’s really not a lot we can do with freezing rain,” he said. “We’re rooting hard for snow in Ohio right now.”

Outages Rising Quickly in Memphis reported a rapid rise in power outages in the Memphis metro area mid-morning Thursday as the icing worsened. By 9:30 a.m. EST, some 12,000 homes and businesses were without power. The weight of the ice was starting to bring trees down in the city.

Ohio State Cancels In-Person Classes in Icy Columbus

Due to the expected impacts of Landon, Ohio State University canceled in-person classes Thursday, but the campus remained open. Columbus Public Schools were also closed Thursday.

Thursday morning, the city of Columbus experienced dangerous icing in some areas.

1 Dead in New Mexico

The Weather Channel confirmed the death of one person in a weather-related accident along Sandia Crest Road in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, just east of Albuquerque. The crash occurred Wednesday, but no other details were immediately available.

DFW Airport Closed; Thousands of Flights Canceled Nationwide

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in a ground stop Thursday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration announced. Wintry conditions were making it impossible for planes to take off or land. The ground stop was expected to last until noon EST.

(PHOTOS: Images of Winter Storm Landon)

About 4,000 domestic flights were canceled Thursday, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware. DFW led with more than 900 cancellations. There were also more than 100 flights canceled into and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

More than 6,000 domestic flights have been canceled in total because of the winter storm.

Ice Weighing Down Trees Near Dallas

Trees were beginning to slump under the weight of accumulating ice northeast of Dallas Thursday morning, according to social media posts.

More than 50,000 Texas homes and businesses were without power Thursday morning, according to This was the highest outage total of any state in the U.S. as of 8 a.m. EST.

Take Safety Precautions When Using Generators

While widespread outages weren’t yet occurring Wednesday evening, anyone using a generator is reminded to take the proper safety precautions to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. That includes these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

-If you lose power, use your generator outside your house only, at least 20 feet from your home or any other buildings.

-Never use a generator inside a home, garage or shed.

-Make sure you have working CO alarms in your home.

-Make sure you have working smoke alarms, too, and check the batteries.

Grills and similar equipment should also never be used inside a home.

At least 430 people in the U.S. die from accidental CO poisoning each year, and 50,000 end up in the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A car navigates a snow-covered street on Feb. 2, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A car navigates a snow-covered street on Feb. 2, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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Gary Sanchez has hand injury after being struck by foul tip

Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez was removed from Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rays before the bottom of the fifth inning, Bryan Hoch of was among those to relay. Sánchez was struck in the right hand by a foul tip in the prior inning. While he stayed in the game to take his next plate appearance, Sánchez was replaced by Kyle Higashioka thereafter.

Sánchez has been diagnosed with a contusion on his index and middle fingers, but X-rays came back negative, via Hoch. He is currently listed as day-to-day, but if it does require him to miss time, Higashioka would figure to pick up the bulk of the playing time behind the dish. Those two are the only catchers on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, so another move would be forthcoming if Sánchez isn’t able to make an immediate return to action.

Rob Brantly and Robinson Chirinos are both in the organization on minor-league deals, but the latter remains on the mend from surgery to repair a wrist fracture last month. That seemingly suggests Brantly is next in line should additional catching depth be required in the Bronx.

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Local boy, 11, in the hospital after being struck by hit-and-run driver

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – An 11-year-old boy was sent to the hospital after he was struck by an alleged hit-and-run driver in the area of N. College Street and W. Green Avenue Sunday afternoon.

Police said the boy was transported to McLane’s Children’s Hospital in Temple with non-life-threatening injuries.

Killeen Police Spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said the boy was on a skateboard heading south on Root Avenue when the driver of a “low profile black pickup truck with red rims” heading west on W. Church Avenue failed to yield right of way and struck the boy.

Miramontez said the driver continued to travel and turned left northbound on Root Avenue and then westbound on W. Green Avenue “effectively leaving the scene.”

Investigators urge anyone with information about this case to call 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at

You can also download the P3Tips App for IOS or Android and give an anonymous tip.

Police say, all information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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