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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 31, 2011 at 10:06 AM

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Family of Seattle bicyclist killed in crash settles suit for $1.5M

Posted by John de Leon

The family of a Seattle man killed in a bicycle accident more than two years ago has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.5 million.

Kevin Black, a molecular research scientist at the University of Washington and father of two, was killed by a van as he rode his bicycle to work in Ballard on Feb. 4, 2009. The collision occurred at 24th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 65th Street as Black was riding south in the bicycle lane.

A driver of a van owned by Ambient Control Company, a refrigeration and HVAC company, made an abrupt U-turn, causing Black to strike the van; the van's tire then rolled over him. Seattle police said the U-turn was illegal.

Black is survived by two daughters, ages 15 and 12.

Attorney James S. Rogers, who represented the estate of Kevin Black, told The Times that the case was scheduled to be tried in King County Superior Court later this year. The settlement was reached several weeks ago, Rogers said.

"Kevin was an experienced cyclist and commuted daily on his bicycle," Rogers said in a news release. "It's clear that the driver of the van did not see Kevin. But as more and more people choose to commute by bicycle, it is critical that drivers understand they share our roadways with cyclists. This was a preventable tragedy."

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