City of Seattle Settles with Family of Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash for $6.5 Million
The city of Seattle reaches an agreement of $6.5 million with the family of a 22-year-old man killed while riding his motorcycle through a “notoriously dangerous” intersection in the city.
Jackson Reavis was riding his motorcycle through the intersection of 35th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street. It was a Monday night in June 2019. He had the right-of-way and was driving through the intersection when a pickup truck driver fatally struck him while turning left on a solid green light in front of oncoming traffic.
According to the Reavis family’s attorney, the city was aware that the intersection posed a safety risk. They had plans and funding in place to install left-turn arrow signals that could have saved Reavis’ life but did not act to improve the intersection’s safety until the fatal collision.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office released a statement stating:
“The plaintiffs contended that a protected left turn signal that was installed after the accident should have been installed sooner. In settling, the City did not concede that the location was dangerous at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs did not contend the location is currently unsafe.”
The city began working within a month of Reavis’ death to install the left-turn arrow signals on existing structures at the intersection.
“Jackson’s death was unquestionably preventable,” said Craig Sims, the Schroeter Goldmark & Bender attorney leading the case against the city.
“What I can tell you from working with the family is it’s been quite an emotional roller coaster to first deal with the tragic loss of Jackson and then to go through this litigation process to try to find out what happened,” Sims said.
Jackson had just returned to Seattle after graduating from the University of Redlands.
“Jackson was a fiercely loyal and compassionate brother, friend, and son who was just at the precipice of beginning the prime of his life,” said Nicole Van Borkulo, Reavis’ mother.
Jackson’s legacy lives on as he was an organ donor.
“It’s not just about Jackson being killed, but how it is that he’s leaving a legacy,” Sims said. “And that’s through ensuring that other people have the ability to live in a way in which Jackson lives.”
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