Mountain biker stabbed by hiker after right of way dispute

Mountain biker stabbed by hiker after right of way dispute

A Bellingham mountain biker was stabbed after a dispute over the right of way on the Stewart Mountain Trail in Bellingham. A post on the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page reported that MPs were called to a parking lot at the trailhead at the 3500 block of Y Road on the afternoon of March 6 after a report of a stabbing with multiple parties involved.
A group of hikers were walking the two-way multi-use trail when they encountered a mountain biker walking up the trail. It appears that neither party was willing to give in and an argument arose over who had the right of way. The sheriff’s report contains two separate versions of what happened next, one by the 69-year-old hiker named Dake Traphagen and the other by the anonymous 66-year-old mountain biker.

Traphagen was questioned at the start of the trail and claims the mountain biker attacked him with his bike after the disagreement and they fell to the ground. Traphagen then claims that during the altercation he pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the mountain biker in self-defense to bring him down.

The mountain biker was however questioned a few days later and said he was riding a climb when he encountered the group of hikers and asked them to step aside. He said he was trying to negotiate a tech section that had exposed tree roots and was hanging off his bike. A man in the group grabbed his handlebars, causing him to lose his balance. He and the bike fell on the hiker and got tangled while the victim was still hooked to the bike. The hiker started hitting him and everyone was yelling at him to get off the man. He then noticed that he was not hitting, but that the hiker had a knife and was stabbing him in the arm and leg.

The mountain biker left the scene after the altercation and 911 was called by the hikers. The mountain biker called an ambulance later that day with stab wounds and loss of blood. He was first rushed to the local hospital and then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the severity of his injuries. The final extent of his injuries is not known at this time.

After two weeks of investigation by local police, Mr Traphagen attended the sheriff’s office yesterday and was booked into Whatcom County Jail for first-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon (the knife qu ‘he used in the incident was a knife-blade spring which is not legal to own in this condition).

We wish the mountain biker involved in this horrific incident a speedy recovery. We will update this story as more news arrives.


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