The cyclist killed in a crash Friday morning in downtown Seattle was a new mother and well-regarded attorney from the law firm Perkins Coie.
Sher Kung, 31, was riding in the bike lane along Second Avenue when she was struck by a truck making a left turn. She died at the scene.
Perkins Coie released a statement Saturday calling Kung “one of our brightest young lawyers.” Kung, who the firm said was heading to work, was “an exceptional lawyer and a wonderful comrade, with boundless energy, legal brilliance and relentless optimism … Our hearts go out to her partner and their child, her extended family, and her many friends.”
A photo on her Facebook page from February 2013 shows Kung down on one knee, proposing to Christine Sanders during a snowshoeing outing. “Will you stop hamming it up for the camera and look at the ring, because I’m actually proposing,” reads a post on the page from Kung.
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The couple had a daughter this year, according to Facebook postings.
At Perkins Coie, according to the firm’s website, Kung was an associate working in the litigation group, focusing on intellectual-property issues, and maintained an active pro-bono practice.
In 2010, she was part of the ACLU trial team that successfully challenged the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. ACLU Washington spokesman Doug Honig said she helped the ACLU represent Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse dismissed from the military for being gay.
The case in U.S. District Court for Western Washington helped set a precedent that the military would need to prove sexual orientation had a negative impact on morale in order to dismiss someone, and made it possible for Witt to return to her position.
Honig said Kung also worked on educational materials that helped educate farmworkers about their rights.
“She was fun to work with and very committed to equal rights for everybody,” said Honig, who worked with Kung during her yearlong fellowship in 2009 and 2010.
Kung received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her law degree in 2009 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Seattle’s Second Avenue bike lane has long been known as dangerous because of its location on the left side of the busy one-way street. Kung died less than two weeks before the city was scheduled to make major bicycle-safety improvements to the route.
The truck driver who hit Kung cooperated with investigators and showed no sign of impairment, according to police.