Unidentified driver strikes boy in Birch Bay, leaves scene

Published on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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A 15-year-old boy riding his bike along Birch Bay Drive was struck by an unidentified driver in a pickup truck last Wednesday, resulting in minor injuries.

The boy, Birch Bay resident Austin Lien, was riding his bike south on Birch Bay Drive near the intersection of Harborview Road at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22, when he stopped to let a pickup truck back out of a parking space along the beach side of the road, Whatcom County undersheriff Jeff Parks said. According to the report, Lien started to ride with the flow of traffic behind the truck after getting the driver’s permission, but the truck backed up, striking Lien and knocking him to the ground.

The driver continued along Birch Bay Drive without stopping to check on Lien. Lien’s grandmother, Karen Hartvig-Nielsen, told The Northern Light that Lien sustained an injured back, a possibly broken toe and minor scrapes. Hartvig-Nielsen added that about $70 worth of damage was done to Lien’s bike.

Parks said not much information about the driver was gathered, only that the driver appeared to be Caucasian and was driving a black Dodge Ram pickup truck with Washington plates. If Lien’s report is accurate, the driver would be held at fault, Parks said.

“You’ve got to yield the right of way to anyone in a lane of travel, and bicycles definitely have the right to be in the lane of travel,” he said.

To provide any additional information about the driver, call the Whatcom County Sheriff’s main office at 360/676-6650.