Thursday, August 13, 2015

I WAS ALMOST MURDERED TODAY IN SEATTLE....


1 hurt as car careens wildly through streets of Pike Place Market
SEATTLE - A pleasant morning at the Pike Place Market mutated into instant destruction.


My name is Ron Barbour and I'm the guy who was hit by the out-of-control driver at Pike Street Market on August 13, 2015. I’ve just got back from the ER after spending the day there getting the best in professional medical treatment at the Harborview Hospital. I was very lucky - I only needed eight stiches on the top of my head to sew it back together again. My outlook is good.
About the accident - before I started across the street on the crosswalk that was controlled by a stop sign, I checked the traffic and observed no cars in sight. When I was nearly across Pine Street, a car came down the hill like a bat out of hell, and before I could react I was hit and went flying through the air like a Hollywood stunt man. My head hit the bricks and I was dazed and bleeding like stuck pig from my head wound, but still functional.
 I looked around to look for the car that had hit me and observed it had disappeared down Pike Street after making a right turn.
 This was clearly a felony “hit and run.” The reports I heard from the people who stopped to give me help was the driver - who was later Identified in the police report as John L. Herzog of 5113 South 106 Street, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437 - only stopped because his car was disabled by accidents with several other vehicles that made further evasion impossible.
 I do not buy Herzog’s story that he got the gas pedal mixed up with the brake pedal, or some such nonsense, because several witnesses to his interview with police thought he was a rude and obnoxious character with a bad case of road rage. I was not able to judge whether or not the allegations against Herzog were true or false: He did not deem me important enough to talk in person at the accident scene, or in the Emergency Room at Harborview.
However, the police officer in charge of the accident bought the Herzog’s absurd story and released him without the usual drug /alcohol tests and traffic citation(s).
 I should note that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has been under heavy fire since 2009, without just cause in my humble opinion, over alleged civil rights violations and the U.S. Department of Justice closely monitors their law enforcement actions in Seattle. This results in police officers being very selective when it comes to arrests and even traffic tickets.
 I have no idea why the police did not take Herzog into custody and require that he take the drug / alcohol tests, as the SPD has refused to answer my questions concerning the incident, although they did give me a copy of the accident report concerning what many people have called, “The Pike Street Massacre.”
 My age is 66 years and I'm a retired Army NCO with service in Europe, Africa, Asia and on Pacific islands. My years of service were 1966 to 1986. I was one of the lucky ones to survive a shooting war in Southeast Asia and a Cold War in Europe without severe injury, but I was nearly murdered on the streets of Seattle at high noon by a deranged driver.

 I have not yet decided whether or not to take legal action against Herzog that could result in criminal sanctions.

In regards to civil damages: I made an excellent settlement out of court with Herzog's automobile insurance company. I highly recommend the law firm of Hardwick and Pendergast, P.S. in Renton, Washington.


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SEATTLE - A pleasant morning at the Pike Place Market mutated into instant pandemonium Thursday as an out-of-control car hurtled through the cobblestone streets there, hitting one car after another and striking a pedestrian as screaming tourists looked on in horror, police and witnesses said.

"I saw the car coming down Pine Street here at about 40 (mph). He blew through the stop sign and took a right. He struck a pedestrian. There were people running. ... There was screaming everywhere," said one witness, Richard McManus.

Another witness, Dylan Trudeau, who was at the crowded tourist destination on his first visit to Seattle, said the careening car triggered instant panic among the crowds of people thronging through the market.

"There was a lot of screams, a lot of running around, people clutching for their phones, trying to make phone calls," he said. "It was crazy. There were a lot more people in the street, and it was lucky that only the one man got hurt. ... I’m still shaking now. It was very traumatic. I’ve never seen anything like that."

Travis Nuss, a vendor at Martin Family Orchards, said the car was flying down the Pine Street hill.

"The guy ... passes another car, doesn’t stop. Goes tearing around the stop sign. Tires are screeching. He hits the guy right there. Guy goes up over the top of the car and he speeds up. I don’t know if he freaked out but he sped up and took off down the road. ... We ran down there and tried to stop him."

Eventually the car came to a stop against another car.

Police and medics responded to the scene at about 10:45 a.m. and found the pedestrian, a man in his late 50s, with a head wound. He was alert and conscious as he was loaded onto a backboard and taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is expected to recover.

Witnesses said it appeared the man was injured when his head hit the cobblestones.

"He had a very large gash on the top back of his head – I assume from striking one of the cobblestones here," McManus said. "I’m amazed (the driver) didn’t hit anybody else for the fact that he was going that fast. ... People were just walking and then they were fleeing in every direction. It’s really fortunate no one else got hit."

The driver, described as an elderly man, told officers his foot got stuck between the gas and the brake of the rental car. He struck the pedestrian along with three cars, and one of those hit another car.

Witnesses tended to corroborate the driver's statement that he was trying to stop the car.

"Its brake lights were on, but it wasn’t stopping," said witness Rob Young. "It looked like he was trying to stop."

The driver was released from the scene, said Officer Lauren Lovanhill of the Seattle police. She said it's unclear whether he was cited. She said the driver was not impaired.

The four cars that were struck sustained moderate damage, police said.

Witnesses at the scene said the incident shows that the streets around the market, which typically are teeming with pedestrians, should be closed to traffic.

"People do drive through here at a pretty high rate of speed, considering the amount of foot traffic that comes through – especially in the summer during the busy tourist season," said Nuss. "It would be awesome if they closed the whole thing down to street traffic. There’s really no reason to drive down here unless you’re doing deliveries or picking stuff up. It would be a much safer place if there was not cars driving through here."

Man hit by car in front of Pike Place Market photo

The victim, reported to be a man in his late 50s, was transported to Harborview for a minor head wound.
By KIRO 7 STAFF
SEATTLE —


A car went out of control in front of Pike Place Market on Thursday and hit a pedestrian, sending him flying through the air.

Witnesses told KIRO 7 the driver was speeding through a crowd of people. He hit parked and moving cars as well.

When the pedestrian was hit, he went over the top of the car.

The driver kept going after hitting the man. He told police he hit the wrong pedal and panicked.

The victim, reported to be a man 66 years old.

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.

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SEATTLE - A pleasant morning at the Pike Place Market mutated into instant pandemonium Thursday as an out-of-control car hurtled through the cobblestone streets there, hitting one car after another and striking a pedestrian as screaming tourists looked on in horror, police and witnesses said.

"I saw the car coming down Pine Street here at about 40 (mph). He blew through the stop sign and took a right. He struck a pedestrian. There was people running. ... There was screaming everywhere," said one witness, Richard McManus.

Another witness, Dylan Trudeau, who was at the crowded tourist destination on his first visit to Seattle, said the careening car triggered instant panic among the crowds of people thronging through the market.

"There was a lot of screams, a lot of running around, people clutching for their phones, trying to make phone calls," he said. "It was crazy. There were a lot more people in the street, and it was lucky that only the one man got hurt. ... I’m still shaking now. It was very traumatic. I’ve never seen anything like that."

Travis Nuss, a vendor at Martin Family Orchards, said the car was flying down the Pine Street hill.

"The guy ... passes another car, doesn’t stop. Goes tearing around the stop sign. Tires are screeching. He hits the guy right there. Guy goes up over the top of the car and he speeds up. I don’t know if he freaked out but he sped up and took off down the road. ... We ran down there and tried to stop him."

Eventually the car came to a stop against another car.

Police and medics responded to the scene at about 10:45 a.m. and found the pedestrian, a man in his late 50s, with a head wound. He was alert and conscious as he was loaded onto a backboard and taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is expected to recover.

Witnesses said it appeared the man was injured when his head hit the cobblestones.

"He had a very large gash on the top back of his head – I assume from striking one of the cobblestones here," McManus said. "I’m amazed (the driver) didn’t hit anybody else for the fact that he was going that fast. ... People were just walking and then they were fleeing in every direction. It’s really fortunate no one else got hit."

The driver, described as an elderly man, told officers his foot got stuck between the gas and the brake of the rental car. He struck the pedestrian along with three cars, and one of those hit another car.

Witnesses tended to corroborate the driver's statement that he was trying to stop the car.

"Its brake lights were on, but it wasn’t stopping," said witness Rob Young. "It looked like he was trying to stop."

The driver was released from the scene, said Officer Lauren Lovanhill of the Seattle police. She said it's unclear whether he was cited. She said the driver was not impaired.

The four cars that were struck sustained moderate damage, police said.

Witnesses at the scene said the incident shows that the streets around the market, which typically are teeming with pedestrians, should be closed to traffic.

"People do drive through here at a pretty high rate of speed, considering the amount of foot traffic that comes through – especially in the summer during the busy tourist season," said Nuss. "It would be awesome if they closed the whole thing down to street traffic. There’s really no reason to drive down here unless you’re doing deliveries or picking stuff up. It would be a much safer place if there was not cars driving through here."


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