Monroe man Richard McKelvey died on the morning of July 4 when his motorcycle struck an elevated barrier in downtown Seattle.
The 29-year-old had been traveling southbound on Interstate 5 and heading eastbound to the I-90 interchange just before 7:30 a.m. when he struck the guardrail and was ejected from his blue 1988 Harley Davidson, according to a Washington State Patrol news release.
McKelvey flipped over the barrier and fell on top of a black 2008 Dodge Caliber being driven by a 47-year-old Seattle man heading northbound in an HOV lane.
According to the witness’ statement, “something suddenly landed on the car and shattered the windshield and blew out the driver’s window,” said WSP spokesperson Nick King. The car came to a stop between 200 to 300 feet from where McKelvey’s body landed after falling off the vehicle.
The Monroe man was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been wearing a United States Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, according to the release. The driver of the Dodge Caliber was not injured and had been wearing his seatbelt.
The crash affected traffic in the northbound lanes for almost 3 1/2 hours.
Initial reports assumed speed played a major part in the crash, said WSP spokesperson Chase Van Cleave. However, King said that conclusion might change when results of an investigation are finalized.
King was the public information officer sent to the scene that morning. When he arrived the motorcycle was still upright against the barrier. It had minor damage, which means speed might not have been the root cause of the collision, he said. WSP cannot be sure of the causing factor at his point, King said.
McKelvey’s motorcycle crashed while he was making the transition from I-5 to I-90, King said. The route is at an incline that stems from downtown Seattle. It curves off to the left above I-5 northbound traffic before emptying out onto I-90 at its peak.
King said he saw parts from McKelvey’s motorcycle more than halfway through the interchange. The 29-year-old fell about 50 feet before landing on the oncoming car. The Dodge Caliber was likely moving close to freeway speeds, between 50-60 mph, he said.
Alcohol was not involved.
It will take some time to determine what led to the crash, King said. A handful of witness statements have already been taken, and many more called in that morning to report the emergency, he said.
Those people still need to be contacted by the agency, King said.