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Updated: Serious injury crash at SE 122nd/Division

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 9th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

This just in from the Portland Police Bureau's Public Information Office:

UPDATED statement posted at 11:10pm:

"On Tuesday, September 9, 2008, officers from East Precinct and the Major Crash Team were called to the area of Southeast 122 Avenue and Southeast Division Street on a serious injury collision involving a motor vehicle and bicyclist. During the subsequent investigation, officers learned that a Subaru driven by 24-year-old Stuart Brown was in the process of making a westbound turn from the northbound lane on Southeast 122 Avenue when a bicyclist struck the right rear side of his car. At the time of the collision the bicyclist, 19-year old Andrew Constantinescu, was southbound on Southeast 122 Avenue and believed to be in the bike lane.

Investigators are in the process of interviewing witnesses and reconstructing the collision. Just prior to the collision, motorists had stopped in both on the southbound lanes of Southeast 122 Avenue to allow Brown to complete his turn into the restaurant. Investigators have yet to determine if the fact that vehicle were stopped, blocked the view of either the motorist and the bicyclist.

Mr. Constantinescu was transported to OHSU with possible life threatening injuries but doctors believe he will survive. Speed or impairment are not believed to be factors in the collision.

No citations have been issued in this continuing investigation."

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I'll stay in touch with the story and put it on the Front Page if necessary.

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Comments
  • peejay September 10, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I hate it when people stop to allow other vehicles to make left turns, especially when there are multiple lanes, and others don\'t stop. It gives the turning driver false confidence, and creates a very hazardous situation.

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  • t27 September 10, 2008 at 10:05 am

    \"Investigators have yet to determine if the fact that vehicle were stopped, blocked the view of either the motorist and the bicyclist.\"

    Where in the Law does it say \"yield the right of way unless you do not see the oncoming traffic\".

    I did not see them is an excuse for I did not look and should not be grounds for the police not to inforce traffic laws.

    The situation with cars stopping for left turning vehicals happens to me frequently. I can see the left turning drivers so I know they can see me, but they turn anyway. I don\'t get hit because I don\'t expect drivers to obey traffic laws. Sorry situation.

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  • a.O September 10, 2008 at 10:46 am

    We should follow this one closely.

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  • postmoves September 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Curious as to why we should follow this closer than any other (such as the two Hawthorne collisions I witnessed this week)?
    If you saw the photos of the rear quarter of the Subaru hit by the pedaler, and read the further logistics, it seems there was passage granted by the vehicles in two lanes of traffic to eneter a commercial driveway (which to my understanding is legal); which was not observed by the cyclist. To my thinking, he had a right to deny that passage, but any argument seems to go out the window with the fact he struck essentially the back of the vehicle (proper distance observence, etc.)
    Tragic as it is, reconstruction took about two seconds as it was a very visible/visual ACCIDENT.

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  • El Biciclero September 10, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Three main things make this type of scenario very dangerous:

    a) Gap in stopped traffic can be hard to see from the bike lane
    b) Bikes are hard to see coming from behind stopped traffic
    c) Drivers are looking only for that precious moment to seize the gap and bolt across to their destination; they are not looking for bikes.

    One simple principle, if grasped by drivers, would really increase the safety of cyclists: a bike lane is a lane of traffic! Treat it like an HOV, bus-only, or any other dedicated lane. This means check it before you cross it, don\'t drive in it, don\'t park in it, etc. Basically, if you wouldn\'t do it in any other reserved travel lane, don\'t do it in the bike lane!

    Of course the principle best followed by cyclists is to exercise extreme caution passing on the right (bike lane or not) near intersections and driveways.

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  • Pete September 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    El Biciclero (#5): exactamundo!

    I shouted \"car up!\" and may have saved a biker in front of me once because there was an obvious gap he didn\'t seem to see. The only reason (in my mind) a driver would leave a gap in traffic is to let another driver pass through it. I was already braking for it five cars back and he was still three away, looking up but not slowing down.

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  • Donald September 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Just from an editorial standpoint, I am interested in why this rates page two and Lance rates page one.

    To me, this is much more of a biking in Portland issue than Mssr. Armstrong\'s latest thrill-seeking.

    But that may just be me.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) September 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    \"Just from an editorial standpoint, I am interested in why this rates page two and Lance rates page one.\"

    Donald,

    i posted this story immediately upon receiving notice from the PPB. i was in a meeting at the time and wanted to quickly publish something.

    i have not had time to do proper follow-up and thinking that I\'d like to do before putting it on the Front Page.

    And, as for comparing it to Lance... editorial decisions are not always cut and dry. This site isn\'t just about what is the most important issue of the day, but what makes for the best story at any given time given a variety of variables i juggle.

    thanks for the input.

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  • a.O September 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Postmoves, when I said \"we,\" I wasn\'t referring to you. I should have used a different venue for that message. My bad.

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  • postmoves September 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    If you read my post, from my perspective, I have looked at it and simply questioned the focus intent, blame versus education.
    Interesting code there a.O, as I wasn\'t necessarily speaking only of \'you\'; but while you\'re there, and since you clearly do not know \'me\', I\'d love to hear some elaboration upon your point of concern - otherwise, it reads as if us mere pedaling mortals are not privy to subtext posted on this very public discussion forum (definition of elitist?).

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  • a.O September 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Your moral outrage is duly noted, postmoves.

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  • jack September 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Hey a.O,

    Is the \'we\' you are referring to a member of the \'us\' or the \'them\' group? Is there an application process or is it invite only to become a part of \'we\'? Do you feel divisive exlusion/inclusion oriented statements a postive way to advance biking issues? What is the appropriate venue for these types of statements?

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  • a.O September 11, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Hey Jack-

    The \"we\" I\'m referring to is a clandestine group, filled with elitists whose mission is to enhance the divisiveness of society, exclude those who we deem unworthy, and advance a super-secret bike agenda. Oh, and to piss off postmoves. So I can\'t discuss it further. But thanks for your interest and we\'ll let you know if you qualify.

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  • wsbob September 13, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Southeast 122 Avenue and Southeast Division Street...sounds like a major intersection that would have a signal light: yes or no? If \'yes\', does anyone know for a fact whether southbound 122nd traffic had a green light and were waiting for the westbound to division street driver anyway? Doesn\'t sound likely to me, but then, I won\'t claim to be familiar with how busy 122nd is.

    If there\'s a light there, the west bound driver might have been waiting on the green for the traffic to clear, and not finding an opening, turned on the beginning seconds of the red as traffic sometimes does. That would have given the southbound rider of the bike in the bike lane the green light.

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  • postmoves September 13, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    wsbob -
    not in the actual intersection, but before. Entering a private drive, and granted access by the drivers in opposing lanes - cyclist hit rear quarter of the car almost through turn.
    No red light, etc. was in play.

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  • wsbob September 14, 2008 at 12:46 am

    postmoves...oh thanks...I read that detail but then forgot it.

    Having got that straightened out, with what we\'ve got here to go on, it could have been an accident alright. Maybe though, it\'s not so easy to call. A certain amount of carelessness may be involved on the part of more than one party.

    South bound main lanes of traffic see the west bound driver waiting to turn and stop for him mid-intersection...will the driver wait before proceeding to turn and try to see through the stationary S-bound vehicles for bikes approaching in the bike lane?

    Will he begin turning and pause in front of the stationary vehicles while he attempts to peer down the bike lane looking for any approaching bikes?

    Or, will he roll down his window and wave on the stationary drivers so he can get a break in traffic in all lanes of travel including the bike lane, before making his turn?

    Visibility concerns definitely seem valid; bikes to W-turning vehicles and W-turning vehicles to S-bound bikes. Type of vehicles in the stationary lanes might have varied the visibility issue.

    Who knows what was up with the guy on the bike. Would he actually have proceeded across the restaurant driveway seeing the cars to his left immobile, without realizing a vehicle might be attempting to turn across his path? Could be he saw the line of vehicles in the lane immediately to his left, stopped, and imagined the lead vehicle intended to turn into the restaurant driveway and was waiting for him to pass before doing so. That\'s if the rider somehow didn\'t note any activity in the furthest over S-bound main lane of travel that would indicate to him that traffic there was also paused to wait for a W-turning vehicle.

    All for now... .

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  • Eileen September 14, 2008 at 7:59 am

    \"The \"we\" I\'m referring to is a clandestine group, filled with elitists whose mission is to enhance the divisiveness of society, exclude those who we deem unworthy, and advance a super-secret bike agenda. Oh, and to piss off postmoves. So I can\'t discuss it further. But thanks for your interest and we\'ll let you know if you qualify.\"

    I KNEW it. So I\'m not paranoid.=)

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  • Kt September 15, 2008 at 11:51 am

    This is a good learning moment for all of us who ride in traffic/with traffic.

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  • Eileen September 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Ugh, this morning when I was dropping my kiddies off at daycare, I had to make a left on Powell. As so often happens, one lane of traffic stopped to let me turn, the other did not. Then the other lane stopped and the first guy decided he\'d waited long enough and started to go, just as I was starting to turn. We played chicken for a minute and then I turned. So annoying!!! Thank goodness there wasn\'t a cyclist or pedestrian at that moment because I was pre-occupied with what the other drivers were going to do. It is SO much safer if all the drivers just follow the rules and not be \"nice\". There is always eventually a break (I make this turn daily) because of the timing of lights and I would rather the other cars be predictable than save myself an extra minute. I commonly see bicycles around this area too because it\'s near a popular place to cross Powell.

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  • Statisticista September 16, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    I\'ve heard drivers, cyclists and pedestrians complain about this behavior. It amazes me how being polite to one person in front of you (who doesn\'t have the right-of-way) takes precedence over being rude to the six people behind you (who do). Some places have laws that would have pinned fault on the \"polite\" one, but I don\'t think Oregon is one of them. Unfortunately.

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  • postmoves September 16, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I think your dilemna Eileen really gets to the crux of many issues regarding bike & auto behaviors.
    I think drivers do not necessarily know how to operate around pedalers. Living on a designated bike route, I see yours as a common occurence. Education is the key, but at the same time there are inherent loopholes in existing driver mentalities that are difficult to overcome, such as pedalers passing on the right (particularly at stops) or crossing in pedestrian walks, that lends to an overall wariness amongst drivers; leading to often an over-compensation in terms of gracious right away.
    I always foot down at an arterial as if I am at a complete stop in an auto, and as with an auto expect no passage over multiple lanes, and even wave that first position off if it\'s sketchy (particularly @ Powell, where I have a student). At the same time, I appreciate the sentiment, and understand that the driver is merely giving defference to me as a pedaler that he/she cannot differentiate from a pedestrian due to the vagaries in our rules.
    Simple enough to say no passage for all, and that would have avoided the 122nd collision, where all it took is one method of transit to not grant/acknowledge passage and we have conflict. But what about that civility, where we have all been stuck to stop, and someone has let us in? Tough social dilemna.

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