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Hillsboro crash sends man to the hospital

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 28th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

The Oregonian has the story (emphasis mine):

A 21-year-old bicyclist was hospitalized early this morning after colliding with a pickup truck passing through an intersection, authorities said.

The 7:05 a.m. crash affected rush-hour traffic for three hours. Authorities did not release the identities of the cyclist or driver.

The cyclist suffered injuries to his head and legs and was taken by Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center, said Lt. Michael Rouches, spokesman for the Hillsboro Police Department.

The 57-year-old driver of a Ford Ranger pickup was headed south on Southwest 205th Avenue at about 35 mph when he entered the intersection of Northwest Quatama Road on a green light, Rouches said. The westbound cyclist entered the intersection on a red light and didn't have a light on his bicycle, Rouches said. The cyclist also was wearing dark clothing, had no helmet and was wearing headphones.

Rouches said the cyclist was carrying a book bag, leading police to believe he may have been headed to a nearby MAX station, which could take him to colleges in the area.

The driver of the pickup was not injured, Rouches said. There were no indications that drugs or alcohol was involved, and no one has been cited, Rouches added.

[Update: I just noticed a KATU story on this incident with the headline, Cyclist runs red light, gets severely hurt in collision with pickup. Not surprisingly, the comments to that story are quite heated.]

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Comments
  • dgc October 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    No light . . . wearing dark clothing . . . wearing headphones . . . and, allegedly running a red light. This is MY neighborhood. I talk to riders all the time coming into the MAX station at Quatama to wear the right clothes - BRIGHT - and get lights, and not wear the headphones.

    I hope and pray the injured parties heal quickly!

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  • Rock October 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Why was there no mention of if the driver had his windows up and radio on? Non-over the ear headphones at a low volume allow a lot more hearing than being in a car... I am fine with the he ran a red, or the he had no light as those things might actually be illegal, heck he didn't have a helmet might even affect his injury, but he was wearing headphones is not related.

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  • maxadders October 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    wearing headphones around traffic isn't smart, no matter what the volume. hell, I don't feel safe wearing them when crossing busy intersections as a pedestrian.

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  • Scott October 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    This person is NOT a cyclist and should not be labeled as one. He may well ride a bike, but that does not make him a cyclist. I hope he heals fast and that next time he will not only wear a helmet, but also use lights and take off the head phones.

    Common sense people, commons sense!

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  • velo October 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Rock, headphones are relevant. They compromise your awareness of your surrounds and ability to ride defensively. I am amazed at how much wearing headphones seems to compromise many riders attention and awareness. Be careful out there, you don't have 1 ton of metal to protect you!

    I dearly hope that the injured guy heals up soon. It is always a bummer when there is a bike/car crash regardless of the circumstances.

    An open question: Is it legal to wear headphones while riding on the street? I know in many states it is illegal to wear them while driving and since we are traffic it might follow that it would be illegal on a bike too. Any one know the Oregon Statutes on this issue?

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  • Rock October 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    It was previously posted to bike portland that it is not illegal to bike with headphones in oregon.

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  • gabrielm October 28, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    @Scott
    "He may well ride a bike, but that does not make him a cyclist."

    ???

    Your redefinition of this word confuses the hell out of me. He may no have been the safest cyclist, but the dude was on a bike - so, he was 'cycling' at the time of the accident...

    Tell me more about this exclusive 'cyclist' label you speak of.

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  • velo October 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Rock #6, do you have the statues by chance? Anyone else?

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  • kgb October 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    This person is a fool. I'm getting sick of being associated with these idiots just because we are both on a bike.

    I was almost hit the other day crossing
    Broadway by the Post Office, some idiot on a fixie came barreling at the red light almost slid out before just giving up and blasting through the red light at full speed. He could barely control his bike. I don't have a problem with fixies far from it, I do have a problem with hipster fools riding one to look cool when they obviously don't have the skills to control their chosen mount. The light was red way before he started to try to stop yet he could have easily ended his life right there.

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  • maxadders October 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Splitting bicyclists into "us" and "them" camps isn't going to help anyone. Bike infastructure, resources and the like should be intended for all users, not just people who consider themselves part of the "bicycle community". A guy riding a borrowed 24" Magna to the train station should be treated the same as a guy who's invested $3k in his ultra-visible, ultra-reliable, ultra-fendered commuter rig.

    And you're never gonna weed out reckless people, because there's always someone doing something stupid at any given moment. The best you can hope for is not to split peoples' perception of bicyclists into "the good ones" and "the bad ones", but to encourage people to evaluate an individual's actions without condemning the group as a whole. Two sides of the same coin...

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  • Oliver October 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Well as evidenced by the (inevitable) katu coverage, this is more ammunition.

    However, this brings up a topic I've been rolling around in my head for quite a few weeks now.

    @gabrielm & @scott.

    Is every motorist a ĎDriverí? No.

    People without lights, people 'evading' police in bicycles, people on sidewalks, people going the wrong way, people crossing against the signal, and people doing any and every combination of the above at all times of the day and night. Obviously I have an (admittedly imperfect) and somewhat subjective definition of what I consider a 'cyclist', we arenít all the same, we donít ride the same mileage or for the same reasons. But I don't do these things, and most 'cyclists' don't do these things.

    I see these people; kids, tourists, teenagers, hooligans, homeless or the homeless looking, drunks, drug dealers, or whoever, on bikes. And they are breaking all sorts of common sense rules in addition to any number of laws.

    Iím a cyclist, and I canít identify with these people. And hopefully without sounding Ďelitistí itís obvious to anyone with any sort of cycling experience that they are not.

    They have no concern for the law, they have no concern for how motorists view them, but the have even less concern for cycling's image. Most of them probably have a disdain for what I consider a cyclist. So no, they are not Ďcyclistsí.

    Regardless of the fact that they happen to ride a bicycle.

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  • Schrauf October 28, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I agree that anyone on a bike is a "cyclist" at that moment. I've never understood why some believe the term should be reserved for enthusiasts, or whatever.

    Is an operator of a motor vehicle only a "driver" if they are an enthusiast, and consider cars a passion or hobby?

    Please, enlighten me.

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  • K'Tesh October 28, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    The goal of any mode of transit is to get to where you are going safely. Why on Earth would someone choose to stack the odds so far against themselves?

    Dark clothing, no lighting, AND limited ability to perceive their surroundings, compounded with running of a traffic light. It's almost as if the guy was trying to get hit.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sorry he was hurt. If the story is accurate, the driver is the innocent party here. I'm sure that he is feeling terrible about what happened too.

    I'm sure that I'm going to catch hell at work tomorrow when my motorist co-workers try to rub my nose in this. "You bikers always...". It's a bulls**t argument, but many of them resent the "You bikers" crowd.

    I ride with more lights than nearly anybody else I know, I wear light colored clothing, have a bike that is nothing but a reflector, and try to behave in a manner that reflects my belief that we all have our place in the Public ROW, but I know I'll never hear the end of the "You Bikers"...

    Sad, Sad, Sad

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  • gcrays October 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I keep coming back to what someone said a couple of months ago in one of the "cyclists vs drivers" threads. "It's not cyclists vs drivers, it's the assholes vs the rest of us."

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  • wsbob October 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    I hope this collision is cited widely as an example of exactly the kind of casual attitude some people have towards biking as transportation that works against all the positive efforts other people make to create better road conditions for, and better relationships between all road users.

    7am in the morning...probably isn't much traffic out there that time of day. Because of that, some people probably figure they can, and mostly do get away with this kind of nonsense; blowing lights, the dark clothing, no helmet routine. The days when it was realistically possible to do that are long gone, just like 39 cents a gallon gas is.

    I hope this kid heals to where he has normal mental function and can ride a bike again.

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  • Jebus October 29, 2008 at 12:19 am

    No lights, no helmet, dark clothing, ran a red, AND wearing headphones? Against a 57 year old with the green light and probably less than stellar reaction time... Call me an awful person but I have no sympathy for the kid.

    I also understand the "cyclist" term and agree the kid wasn't one.

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  • zilfondel October 29, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Hate to say it, but...

    Darwin award runner-up

    not stopping at a light, no lights and no helmet (in the burbs no less!) is just plain stupid.

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  • bArbaroo October 29, 2008 at 7:08 am

    wow, so busy arguing about right and wrong, anyone wonder how the CYCLIST is doing? Smart, stupid, cylist or not he's still a human being - where's the compassion?

    I hope he's ok

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  • Brian E October 29, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Did you notice? A Ford Ranger isn't really a pick-up, either. It's a mini-truck. Basically a car.

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  • E October 29, 2008 at 8:32 am

    On the one hand, it's Darwinism. I'm sorry for the driver that he had to be the tool for this idiot's attempted suicide.
    On the other hand, young guys are always doing stupid things. Most of them survive, and then the next group of young guys does the same dumb stuff all over again. Not much we can do about it, sadly.

    Re: headphones: In NYC, it is now illegal for pedestrians to wear headphones or use a cell phone while crossing the street. This is because it's stupid and dangerous. In a perfect world, the kid retains enough brains to learn his lesson and maybe teach a few friends. It has happened; A cyclist friend once hit a pedestrian walking with traffic, in the bike lane, wearing dark clothes and headphones. No one was injured; my friend explained to the guy that he was blind, deaf, and invisible, and later saw him again - walking against traffic, wearing bright clothes and no headphones. :)

    I hate the "you cyclists" thing too. :(

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  • velo October 29, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I have to say I think we need to move beyond the cyclist vs. person on bike split but I absolutely understand it. I can't stand the fools who blow lights, ride with headphones, don't wear helmets and can't be bothered to control their fixie. I don't want to be lumped with them.

    When I see people blow lights across Burnside, MLK and other major streets I just cringe. When these idiots get run over it's bad press for all of us and it creates the perception that all cyclists are unpredictable, so it is OK not to try and share the road. I've taken to calling people out when the do blatantly illegal moves and we all should-let's get together and exert some pressure.

    To be a cyclist is a great thing, someone who loves bikes, lives bikes and learns how to ride.

    Turn someone into a cyclist, teach them, show them the rules of the road, make sure they have lights and show them how to bike handle. We are in this together as people who aren't in cars. It's easy to get lost to the fact that some people just don't know and need to be told. That said, it doesn't excuse people riding like fools hell bent on their own destruction.

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  • GLV October 29, 2008 at 9:44 am

    "7am in the morning...probably isn't much traffic out there that time of day. "

    TriMet, PDOT, and Metro all define "AM rush hour" as 7-8 AM.

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  • Brad October 29, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I know that intersection and MAX station very well. At 7:05 AM on a weekday there is always light to moderate traffic at that intersection. It has left turn lanes and a traffic signal was just added in the past year. It is next to a big TriMet Park and Ride lot and surrounded by apartment complexes and townhome developments. Street lighting on the south side is negligible.

    To be going westbound the rider either (A.) blatantly ran the red light exiting the apartment complex on the eastside or (B.) disregarded the left turn signal on the south side. Regardless of his lack of lights, use of headphones, or poor apparel choice, this rider was clearly in the wrong and the driver is a victim as well. In fact, he was at the speed limit for that stretch of road and most drivers I witness are doing close to 45-50 mph when the light is green and the intersection is clear.

    Sad, stupid, and completely avoidable. I hope the kid gets better but what incenses me about these things is the ammunition it gives rabid anti-cyclists to "prove" we are all toy riding scofflaws without the good sense to protect ourselves from harm.

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  • matt picio October 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

    GLV (#22) - AM Rush "Hour" is typically defined as 7am-9am. PM Rush "Hour" is I think currently 4pm-6pm, but technically meets the definition from 3:30 to 6:30.

    Which doesn't invalidate your point at all - plenty of traffic at 7am.

    I hope the cyclist heals quickly and fully, and I hope that next time the cyclist considers being more visible. That said, sometimes it's hard - especially at night. The other day, I found myself out past dark without intending to (i.e. hadn't planned with it in mind) and rode home wearing dark pants and a black T-shirt.

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  • xiousgeonz October 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

    no lights, headphones, running a red light, etc. - the litany of sins was so comprehensive that, frankly, I found myself questioning its veracity. I hope there were multiple witnesses.
    On the other hand, I know the type :(

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  • Arem October 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

    selectively ignoring self-preservation common sense (hah, not so 'common') is just begging to land a place on the list of Darwin awards. Running a red traffic light, especially when it is dark out, is foolishness. Still...I wish them full recovery and hopefully for their sake, lesson learned.

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  • KWW October 29, 2008 at 11:21 am

    where's the proof of the bike running a red light? (not that it doesn't happen...)

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  • GLV October 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    "AM Rush "Hour" is typically defined as 7am-9am. PM Rush "Hour" is I think currently 4pm-6pm, but technically meets the definition from 3:30 to 6:30."

    Not to get nit-picky, but the time periods you cite are technically the AM and PM "peak" travel times. By definition "rush hour" can only be 60 minutes. But that's really not the point, I was merely stating that one should expect lots of traffic at that time of day.

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  • amanda October 29, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, GLV, that is awfully nit-picky. Someone is seriously injured here. Let's keep focus.

    Obviously, this rider paid dearly for his mistake -- I wish him recovery.

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  • Icarus falling October 29, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves for your written reactions to this accident.

    Jump down off of your high horse for a minute, and think back to some of the mistakes you have made in life.

    Everyone of you has at one point or another ridden at night without lights, or without a helmet. Maybe the person who was involved in this accident doesn't own a helmet or lights?

    I am sure many of you have even accidentally run a stop sign in your car, or on your bike. You may have even done it on purpose.
    How many left hand turns have you made that started from a point beyond the confines of the cross walk? Or California stops? Do you really go the speed limit required in a school zone, even on Sunday morning? It is the same as it is on Monday at lunchtime by the way.

    I personally ride a lot of the time with very quality, in ear headphones. I like to do it. I can also hear traffic around me just fine, and combined with paying attention, find it can be a safe thing to do.

    I also hardly ride with a helmet. Since my last one broke (the strapping died) I have not found one that fit well enough to spend the money I need to spend on one ( Which is over $100, cheap ass helmets fit like crap, and sweat like hell)

    And if there is one thing I know, probably more than a lot of you, it is how to ride on the road. And how not to.

    "Thou shalt not criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins" (Will Rogers)

    So the next time you write a bitchy comment about the actions of someone who is now laying in a hospital bed, maybe think again before you press
    submit...

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  • wsbob October 29, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    "7am in the morning...probably isn't much traffic out there that time of day." wsbob

    TriMet, PDOT, and Metro all define "AM rush hour" as 7-8 AM. GLV

    I won't quibble on that point, but here's how, from my own experience, I figured there wasn't much traffic out there that time of day, and ventured a bit recklessly in making that statement: I based it on people's start work times, thinking 8am and 9am. My experience has mostly been that if I beat it out the door before 15-20 minutes after, traffic isn't very heavy (better way of putting it), depending on location and so forth.

    I just wish this kid hadn't done this. Being busted up like that could have lasting consequences for him. Not such a great experience for the person driving the truck either.

    Since the statement was reported so confidently that the person riding the bike ran the red light, I'm wondering if this was verified by witnesses other than the driver...and I suppose the kid too, though it seems likely that he might not have been able to talk about it immediately after the collision.

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  • yarrrum October 30, 2008 at 9:36 am

    It seems to me with more people riding bikes there will be more incidents (duh...). Please, people watch out for other bikes and stop at red lights and stop signs. EVERY DAY I ride my bike and EVERY DAY I observe some idiot on a bike knowingly blowing through red lights. I stop and they blow. I have almost been hit from behind as some ahole without a helmet is astonished that I stop at lights. It's epidemic.

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  • bahueh October 30, 2008 at 10:33 am

    yarrum...don't try here...too many folks think its just their right to blow red lights...and feign righteous indignation when they see a car do it...the level of idiocy on the road amazes me too. You're right, it'll take a few more deaths in this town by cyclists running lights to actually wake some people up..

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  • A-dub October 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    gcrays @14. You are right on. It isn't cyclists v. motorists (using the most inclusive definition of both), but a-holes v rest or bad operators v. good.

    We all make mistakes and have probably fit in to both categories at one time or another.

    That said, I think I'm going to trade in my blue jacket for a yellow one now that they are back in stock at REI.

    I hope the cyclist has a quick recovery and that the motorist isn't too traumatized/jaded.

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  • Robert Dobbs October 31, 2008 at 8:11 am

    @Icarus Falling

    There is just so much FAIL in your comment, I don't even know where to start. Almost every paragraph has a little nugget of BS in it. I'll just pick the ones that are actually relevant to this post.

    Riding with headphones is stupid. It unequivocally reduces your ability to hear, along with the possibility of actually being distracted by what's playing. There is no way around this. Until you grow eyes in the back of your head, your only hope at all of detecting what's behind you is a mirror or your ears.

    Your excuse for not the kid not buying a helmet or lights is laughable. Would you also support drivers who broke the law and didn't maintain headlights on their vehicles because it was too expensive? Pity them because they got injured in a wreck? Or just when it supports your own irresponsible behavior?

    "Thou shalt not criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins" (Will Rogers)

    How about a several thousand in the saddle? Do I now qualify to comment on your highness' position?

    There is smart and then there is lucky. I prefer to have a positive influence on my odds of survival when possible.

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  • Icarus falling October 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Robert, Robert, Robert,

    I suppose if I was lying in a hospital bed, you would ride out of your way to tell me what I did wrong. And then pour salt into my wounds.

    I do know exactly what I am talking about, and could go on and on in response to your comment.

    But you wouldn't know this, because you know nothing about me, my knowledge, my safety record (stellar), or my cycling experience. (which is very vast)

    So I will respond to your comments very simply, with this...

    Keep your ideals off of my head, and away from my bike.

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