Family and friends of James St. Clair, who died walking across the street the night of Dec. 30, will march in his memory Saturday afternoon, in the High Point neighborhood of West Seattle.
St. Clair, 69, was using a cane and trying to cross a four-lane stretch of 35th Avenue Southwest, commonly scorned by residents as “Interstate 35,” when a car struck him. St. Clair lived in Seattle for 30 years, moving to High Point late last year. St. Clair was crossing at the intersection. The initial police investigation found the car driver was not impaired, West Seattle Blog reported.
His brother Oscar St. Clair said in a statement: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for recognizing Jim. For seeing all people, even poor people. Our family, my brothers and sisters, are in sorrow. I pray a positive light will happen because of this. A lot of people need to walk in the evening. They want to go to the grocery store like Jim did on his last night. I hope in his memory we see brighter lights, a stoplight, a safer community.”
The march and community meeting from 1 to 3 p.m., will include city staff, police, and members of High Point Neighborhood Association, Women In Action, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and West Seattle Bike Connections. This is the sixth such memorial in the city since April, said Cathy Tuttle, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, a nonprofit organization.
According to march organizers:
Since 2006, there have been five fatalities as well as numerous serious injuries and near misses as children, adults and the elderly cross fast-moving 35th Avenue SW near High Point. Susanne Scaringi, 27, was hit and killed [while bicycling] at 35th and SW Graham in September 2006. Gregory Hampel, 39, was hit and killed near 35th and SW Dawson in August 2008. Oswald Clement, 85, was hit and killed at 35th and SW Othello in October 2007. A motorcycle rider died at 35th and SW Juneau in April 2011. James St. Clair, 69, was hit and killed at 35th and SW Graham in December 2013.
The city government has occasionally considered reducing the lanes and speed limit on 35th Avenue Southwest, and police often conduct crackdowns on speeders in the nearby West Seattle Elementary and Our Lady of Guadalupe school zones.