West Seattle

Driver charged after allegedly ramming bicyclist in West Seattle

Driver charged after allegedly ramming bicyclist in West Seattle »Play Video
Erika Soerensen
SEATTLE -- Drivers and bicyclists often struggle to share the road, and now that struggle has a Seattle woman facing potential jail time.

Prosecutors say Erika Soerensen was in her car at 26th and Andover in West Seattle when she revved her engine, squealed her tires and rammed Jake Vanderplas as he rode his bike.

"I think at the moment I was hit it was disbelief more than anything," Vanderplas said. "And then for the rest of the day just a feeling of nervousness."

Soerenson has now been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Vanderplas said he was riding his bike to work in the University District when Soerenson came up from behind and tried to pass him.

"All the sudden she was behind me, and for a block and a half just laying on the horn," he said.

He said he had just taken a right onto Andover when Soerenson hit him.

"She yanked her steering wheel to the right and knocked me onto the sidewalk," he said.

Many local cyclists commute along busy stretches of road, and many worry about getting hit by cars and trucks. In May, a cyclist was killed after colliding with a semi along the same route Vanderplas takes almost every day.

In his case, police say witnesses jotted down Soerenson's license plate number after the crash. Prosecutors charged her and she could face jail time.

Reached Wednesday, Soerenson said her attorney has advised her not to speak with the media. In court documents, she denies ramming anyone. She's due in court later this month and, if convicted, could face nine months in jail.

Vanderplas was not seriously injured.