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PCC student dies from injuries one week after collision [Updated]

Posted by on November 4th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

A 21-year-old student enrolled in the International School of Portland Community College (Rock Creek Campus) has died from injuries sustained in a collision with a Ford Ranger pickup-truck last Tuesday.

According to an email sent to staff at the college, Roy Tze from Hong Kong died yesterday evening at Emanuel Hospital after an “unsuccessful operation”.

The Hillsboro Argus reported the collision on Friday and said that according to preliminary investigations, Tze

“apparently missed a stoplight while headed westbound on Quatama Road at 7:05 a.m. when he entered the intersection with Northwest 205th Avenue against a red light.

Hillsboro’s Jay Humphrey, 58, was driving his truck southbound on 205th at about 35 mph.

According to witnesses, the bike had no light. Tze was wearing headphones and dark clothing, but no helmet. No citations were issued.

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  • bahueh November 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    crap…I have a bad feeling it was out on West Union…which would be especially upsetting since I ride there almost weekly..

    condolences to the family.

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  • K'Tesh November 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    My prayers go out to the family…

    God Bless

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  • KimJSCP November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Heartbreaking. It is terrible that this happened and my heart and prayers go out to both the rider’s family and the drive of the truck.

    As a cyclist I am horrified and embarrassed by the number of cyclists I see riding dangerously – i.e. no lights, dark clothing, disrespect for traffic laws and disrespect for other bikes, cars and trucks. Is there anyway we can use this to educate riders? I can’t think of what else can be done, but we have to do something.

    For more info – http://www.oregonlive.com/news/argus/index.ssf?/base/news/1225480825194860.xml&coll=6

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  • jim November 5, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Saw a bike blow through a stop sign in front of my house tonight with a kid trailer, No headlight.
    All bikes need to follow the rules. Not one is more special,or above the law. Don’t be P O’d at me if I am in my car at a stoplight and I honk at you as you blow the light.

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  • Richard November 5, 2008 at 10:23 am

    I’m sorry, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for Roy Tze. He ran a light. He willfully and wrongly rode his bike into legally and rightfully crossing automobile traffic. Of course he got hit. I feel more sorry for Mr Humphrey, the driver of the truck, than I do for Roy: by absolutely no fault of his own he was involved in the death of a young man.

    Would you feel sorry for Roy if he had been driving a car? If he had been drunk and driving a car?

    Continue breaking the law, continue to wrongly assume prerogative on the road and there will continue to be tragedies like this. And you will succeed in keeping bicycling in the margins.

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  • ME 2 November 5, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Richard I feel sorry for the loss of life. I also feel sorry that Mr Humprhey has to deal with his role that was a result of another individual’s carelessness.

    And your comments about continuing to break the law, and wrongly assuming perogative on the road resonates strongly with me. That is exactly what many motorists do and it leads to 10s of thousands of tragedies every year.

    Those in glass houses should not cast stones.

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  • wsbob November 5, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I wish it were possible to know more about why Roy Tze took the actions he did on that fatal morning. Think about it: A 21 year old student at PCC’s International School, a Hong Kong citizen it would seem. He probably had a lot banking on success in school in this country, possibly to him, a foreign country.

    Doesn’t sound like this person was some dumb bunny crackhead. But there he was, as I imagine it might have been, susceptible as many of us are at times to the temptation of trying to be cool under pressure with the i-pod and urban guerrilla gear.

    It’s not worth it. Everyone should be opening their eyes and stopping at the damn signs and lights. Get your funky bright colored geek wear on, the styrofoam hat, and live for another day.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

    I think any crash this bad is something none of us should accept. no matter the circumstances.

    was this intersection engineered in a way that made it as safe as it could be for all modes of traffic? Was there any specific bike facility here?

    before we come out and call for someone to wear bright clothes and heed traffic signals (which I obviously think are important), I think we should focus energy as well on more balanced traffic engineering policies that will lead to safer roadways for everyone.

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  • bahueh November 5, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Jonathan…so a red light is no longer enough for you? would you prefer draw gates at each intersection?

    red means stop…just like stop signs. having seen red light and stop signs at nearly EVERY SINGLE INTERSECTION for my entire life, I’m pretty used to the fact that I should expect them whenever a cross street is present…

    no amount of engineering is going to compensate for a lack of common sense, experience, or an individuals unwillingness to adhere to such engineering…

    you can build all the separate bike lanes you’d like in the world..there will still be people who run stop signs/lights and die as a result..

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) November 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    “Jonathan…so a red light is no longer enough for you? would you prefer draw gates at each intersection?”


    of course not. i think you’re misreading my comment. I’ll try to break it down.

    — Our entire transportation culture (especially in places like Beaverton) has been built up around the efficient movement of motor vehicles — at the expense of everything else.

    — Therefore, when a bike is thrust into that mix, there are deficiencies.

    the question isn’t how can we create a system that completely separates and protects bike traffic 100% of the time. That’s impossible.

    The question is, are we doing as much as we can to change the existing culture so that the highest possible percentage of people on bicycles can operate them in a safe, efficient, and legal way?

    I’m not trying to absolve Mr. Tze, I’m merely trying to have a different conversation.

    I think there’s more to it than simply saying, “well, the light said stop, so he should have stopped”, and then moving on with our lives.

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  • wsbob November 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Are we not, as editor Jonathan Maus seems to suggest in comment #8, focusing on “…energy as well on more balanced traffic engineering policies that will lead to safer roadways for everyone.”? I would have thought that such a focus is likely to be a concern of almost everybody that bothers to spend time reading anything on this weblog.

    In case I haven’t made it mentioned it in the past, the kind of policies mentioned are certainly important to me. So with that, I think its entirely reasonable and important at this time and always, to encourage anyone and everyone thinking of riding a bike to get as much of the full visibility regalia they can afford if they’re going to be out on the road.

    Regarding the intersection where this fatal crash occurred, it’s worthwhile to consider how its design meets with a goal of safer roadways for everyone, derived from balanced engineering policies. I won’t go into great detail here. Just look at the google aerial map, and know that this intersection seems to be modern, wide and open. It has a separate left turn lane (where Roy Tze would likely have been before turning).

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  • Quatama rider November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    The intersection is new within the past year +/-.

    Tried to buy yellow/orange bike clothing at the local shops? It is hard to find. Very sad- and unsafe.

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  • El Biciclero November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    According to how things look on Google Maps, the only way to cross 205th Westbound on Quatama is to be leaving the apartment complex on the East side of 205th. Assuming Mr. Tze lived in that apt. complex, this would have been his first intersection of the day, and it was essentially his driveway. I know I’ve been guilty of distracting myself during the first block or so of my morning commute with fiddling with mirrors and toe straps and thinking about what I may have forgotten, somehow subconsciously thinking that my ride hasn’t really started yet–I’m just lucky there are no intersections within a couple blocks of my house. Although it is purely speculation, something similar could have easily happened to Mr. Tze.

    Things like this always seem so ironic, if that’s the right word–such a seemingly small lapse has such hefty consequences. I think we’ve all been guilty of being distracted or riding on “auto-pilot” occasionally, and we’re just lucky we haven’t done it at the wrong time.

    Condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Tze, and everybody else stay alert and visible.

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  • Quatama rider November 5, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    El Biciclero is correct – he’d have to be coming from the apartment complex parking lot.

    The intersection has cameras – were any images recorded?

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  • Richard November 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    You could be covered from head to pedals in brightly blinking super-reflective clothing and accessories and still be killed by a truck when you try crossing active lanes of traffic when you don’t have the right of way. Blinkies can’t save you. Obeying the law can.

    I agree with Jonathan: road design and traffic behavior need to change to safely accommodate all users of the road. It’s fascinating that many studies show how roads are actually made safer when they are made seemingly less safe: fewer markings, fewer signs, tighter lanes, fewer divisions and closer interaction between pedestrians and bikers and drivers. But no road design, no matter safe, can save you from your own poor judgment.

    We have a wonderful law here that allows us full lane usage. If you want to make bicycling more visible and do a small part to change car driver behavior, then you should assert that right. But do it intelligently. Don’t run red lights or stop signs. Use front and rear lights at night. You’re not special just because you’re on a bike. To be treated fairly, we have to play fairly.

    Just a few nights ago I was biking up Grand, obeying the laws and asserting my right to the full lane. And at an intersection a woman who had been biking in the same direction, on the sidewalk, came off the sidewalk and pulled up next to me, saying “You inspired me to ride safe on Grand.” And she biked in the lane, catching up to me at lights, until she turned off.

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  • wsbob November 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Roy Tze might have been coming from the apt complex. Whichever direction he came from, I don’t know that it explains why he did what he did. It seems a mystery. Regardless of that, if something about this intersections design suggests that balanced infrastructure was lacking, then we should try figure out what that something was.

    To me, this seems like a relatively safe intersection. There’s lights and probably crosswalks with crosswalk buttons/lights (…the google map doesn’t show them, but the pic might have been taken before they were installed. Maybe someone can confirm that.)All a person wishing to cross has to do to be fairly safe in crossing, is wait for the light to turn green and cross.

    If there is a way that more balanced traffic engineering policies could have kept this collision from happening, let’s hear it.

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  • janel sterbentz November 5, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    How about a traffic circle with speed bumps as crosswalks so when drivers encounter other pedestrians/cyclists head on they are doing so at safer speeds that would be less likely to kill. This way drivers, cyclists and pedestrians don’t rely on red light stop green go and possibly go through the red because they are distracted by something else.

    The traffic circle makes each mode more aware forcing each to negotiate with one another, rather than on autopilot. I know some cyclists don’t like traffic circles, but if there is enough room it can be engineered correctly with bike lanes and all. It also reduces energy use (no electricity used), and makes traffic run smoother reducing carbon emissions without stop and go and idling (they shouldn’t have stop signs like most do in Portland). My condolences.

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  • 21 speed November 6, 2008 at 12:55 am

    There are cameras pointing in all directions at that intersection so those should be checked.

    I’ve been looking all over PDX for a yellow or hunter orange sweatshirt for cool mornings. None of the bike shops I visited had any – although River City did have a Gore jacket with some yellow but with too much black and it cost $165 or something like that. I’m sure it’s nice but that’s not what I want – I want a cotton or poly sweatshirt that is fluorescent yellow or orange so I will be seen. Finally I found a fluorescent yellow pullover at Joes sports that says “Ducks” on it and it is a youth size but it fits.

    Do people not care for their safety, or are they unaware of what might make them safer? It is not surprising that cyclists are not aware of such things but BIKE SHOP OWNERS and BIKE WEAR MANUFACTURERS should have A LOT MORE awareness of safety issues.

    In the construction business we are taught to wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment). For cyclists that would include helmets, gloves, clothing that is EXTREMELY visible, flashing lights, etc. It isn’t always comfortable to wear your PPE and it may not be stylish but it is a lot more comfortable than broken bones, rehabilitation, wheel chairs, etc.

    PORTLAND CYCLING COMMUNITY: WAKE UP! GET RID OF THE BLUE, GREEN, RED, BLACK, etc colors while riding your bike: wear something that makes you visible even to the almost blind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bright yellow and orange are the only acceptable colors and reflective material is required for night use.

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    • sore bore August 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      2cents… lucky for me in my 45 years of bicycling and motorcycling the color of my clothes has done little in the way of keeping me out of harms way. No one here has even thought to mention a potential mechanical failure on the bike. There are too many facts it seems in this case to determine the out come. Pontificating what keeps you safe at work is sort of irrelevant since these items are required by OSHA and your company’s insurance company. I have freedom of choice to my clothing needs while cycling,and hope always to have them. These tired worn out conversations like this will never bring back Mr.Tze or comfort Mr.Humphrey.
      My thoughts and love go out to all involved.

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  • 21 speed November 6, 2008 at 1:08 am

    The article said the cyclist was headed westbound on Quatama when he entered the intersection. As noted by others, to be westbound at that location means you are in the apartment complex drive way and I don’t know if that is considered part of “Quatama” or not – doubt it. Could the article be mistaken? Maybe the person was eastbound? That would be the more likely scenario to run the light since there is a short downhill as you approach the light from the west.

    FYI: There is a very narrow bridge just 100 yards south of this intersection on 205th. There are very frequent head-on collisions there since it is on a curve and many people speed through there. No bike lanes in either direction so if on a bike make sure no cars are coming in your lane or use the sidewalk on the east side of the street.

    FYI: 205th is a popular road-racing street for assholes in those small cars with loud exhausts. I’ve called the cops several times to complain but they do very little about it.

    Don’t like being run over by cars and trucks? WEAR BRIGHT YELLOW OR ORANGE SO THEY CAN SEE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! USE FLASHING LIGHTS! BE SEEN!!!!

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  • wsbob November 6, 2008 at 10:58 am

    As an over-garment in rain, cotton mostly sucks, but for something cheap and bright orange (though not fluorescent)Old Navy has on sale for $10, long sleeve Orange v-neck t-shirts.

    Some of the construction wear jackets I’ve seen around have fluorescent shells with compositions made of different colored fluorescent panels. Looks good to me, even if the garment itself might somehow be ideal for biking.

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  • K'Tesh November 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    21 speed,

    Have you tried Pedigreen in Hillsboro? I haven’t been out there recently, but they do have a selection of yellow/orange safety apparel.

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  • Brad November 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I ride through this intersection a great deal and from multiple directions depending on my route. The engineering is fine. In fact, the recent improvements (signals, turn lanes, street lights) have made this very modern and safe.

    The analysis is simple: Roy Tze made a tragic choice to enter that intersection against the signal.

    It’s strange that many here are always looking to place blame on something or someone other than the individual. If we were talking about a driver willfully running a signal would we be blaming the county road department for intersection design flaws or the auto industry for not designing “smart” cars that prevent bad judgement? No. We would most certainly hold the driver accountable. Why must we always look for scapegoats when a cyclist makes a mistake?

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  • kev November 6, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    It’s useful to discuss these things. No disrespect meant for the deceased. Every traffic incident (I hate the term accident) has a chain of events and decisions that led to it.

    Roy Tze apparently made a series of errors and bad choices that likely led to his fatality. I feel awful that a promising young life was cut short and also that Mr. Humphrey will have to deal with the memory of that traumatic event.

    I ride in another city far from Portland. While waiting at a red light I am often shoved aside by fellow cycists eager to run the redlight and angry that I’m stopped at it. It boggles my mind.

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  • KWW November 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

    This is bad. It is almost enough to call the cops when you don’t see a bicycle with a light. It is a state law and people (bicyclists) potentially die because of a lack of lighting. Tough love…

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  • jim November 7, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Why would anybody want to bike on Grand?
    It makes more sense to move over to a side street and not ride in a place where it is difficult for traffic to give you any room when they pass.

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  • Richard November 8, 2008 at 2:04 pm


    Why bike on Grand? Because I have no reason not to. Because it’s convenient. Because if you’re going to cross 84 there aren’t many other options. None as direct, anyway. Why should I change my route?

    We’re legally allowed full lane usage. So bicycles are not second-class citizens on the road. You might be intimidated by ignorant, bullying drivers, and that’s fine — I don’t really enjoy being honked at or flipped off — but I’m going to assert my rights and do my part to make bicycling more visible as a legitimate mode of transit.

    It doesn’t matter to me that it might be difficult for “traffic” to give me “any room when they pass”. I’m a part of that traffic and I have as much a right to the road as a car driver.

    Be the change, right?

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  • jim November 8, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I didn’t say you wern’y allowed, I only asserted that it is a poor choice in judgement. Your rights don’t do you any good when you are pushing up daiseys. It’s good to talk about these things though because that can lead to safety improvements…..
    If you have some sugestions do bring them to the table.
    The MLK coridor could be really bad for a bike wth a wide trailer. Any ideas?
    Spare some change?

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  • Duncan November 9, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I wont wear orange, but for those that do go to Sanderson Safety supply.

    Also a good source of relective tape.

    If you are really concerned get an ODOT/ANSI approved vest- the color is mandated and the amount of reflective tap helps.

    Personally I spend half my life in Orange and steel toes, I have no desire to wear it on my time off.

    My pet peeve is people who put white blinky lights on the stern of their bike (or who have bike lighst with batteries so worn they look like candles). The red goes on the stern, white on the bow. Almost caused an accident driving because I saw a white blinky in front of me in the rain and assumed that someone was biking the wrong way down Clinton- so I slammed on the breaks and the guy tailgating me almost rammed me (which yes would have been his fault, but could easily have been avoided by the correct use of safety equipment), before I realized that someone had decided to be “extra safe” and use a white lite on his tail.

    Rant over, as you were.

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  • Duncan November 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Back on topic- while it is sad that a young man lost his life, it is lost because he chose to ride through a red light. I am sympathetic to the loss and grief his family and friends must feel, but I do not place the blame on the driver.

    The problem with those outlying areas is the speed at which traffic goes- you chancs of surviving a 35 MPH impact are dramaticly lower than the chances of surviving a 25MPH impact. The only solution is to not build 4-5 lane roads where people feel safe traveling at high speeds, but then a lot of those places you have to drive everywhere anyway… so maybe a more livable infrastructure is part of the solution?

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  • wsbob November 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Duncan, I think I get your aversion to wearing orange off duty. You’d probably have the same reaction to them, but there’s also yellow and pink. I’ve got an obnoxiously bright pink nike windbreaker jacket. Works great for visibility.

    I think the point you raised about speed limit on some of these connector roads is worthy. At first thought, to some people, 35 MPH, might not seem very fast, but when that speed limit is designated for an area in which many people are entering and exiting the road at closely connected points along the way, the potential for problems can be strong.

    I think that for years, planners and traffic engineers must have arrived at these rates of speed with thoughts of prioritizing maximum motor vehicle flow rates. Unfortunately, too often instead, the outcome has been a hostile, congested, dangerous mess.

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