Bicyclist critically injured in Olympia accident, driver may be charged

Paul F. Stewart, 52, was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia with critical injuries after he was injured in an Olympia bicycle accident.

The Olympian, in an article written by Rolf Boone, reported that Stewart was riding on Meridian Road Northeast at 46th Avenue around 11am, when he was struck from behind by a Ford Expedition driven by Samalaulu C. Punimata, 22, of Lacey.

Police are investigating the bicycle accident but the article says that charges are pending. It’s unclear whether alcohol or drugs were involved or if Punimata was distracted by a cell phone. The section of Meridian Road where the bicycle accident occurred has a speed limit of 60mph.

If it is determined that Punimata was speeding, distracted or under the influence, he could face serious charges including Vehicular Assault.

Stewart’s bicycle accident is one that bicyclist’s fear most, getting hit behind. Even when a bicyclist is doing everything right, there is no way to avoid a hit-from-behind accident. In these types of accidents, bicyclists are thrown from the bicycle, sometimes out into traffic , and they can suffer blunt force trauma injuries or head injuries. Stewart was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident which hopefully went a long way in protecting his head.

Stewart’s family may want to follow up with an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer who will follow up with the official investigation and determine whether negligence or wrongdoing was the cause of the bicycle accident and who will work to insure Stewart’s rights are protected.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have seriously injured in bicycling accidents and the family of those killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Bellevue to assist you.