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Portland man accused of attempted murder in Hwy 101 collision

Posted by on February 26th, 2010 at 11:05 am

The Daily Astorian reports today that a Portland man is being accused of attempted murder for intentionally driving his truck into a man who was riding his bicycle on Highway 101 just south of Seaside back in November.

Here’s more from The Daily Astorian:

Stephan Joseph Fox, 23, was arraigned Thursday in Clatsop County Circuit Court on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and felony hit and run in connection with the incident, which severely injured Seaside chiropractor Seth A. Goldstein.

Bail in the case has been set for $250,000. Goldstein, 48 survived the collision but will need physical therapy for the rest of his life. The paper says Goldstein frequently commuted by bike from his office in Seaside and he was riding his bike “well off the roadway” when he was struck.

Full story at DailyAstorian.com.

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  • Marcus Griffith February 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    My thoughts go out to the victim and his family.

    Murder is a horrible crime, regardless of the weapon used. Granted this incident will likely resonate in the bike community, but the core issue is a human issue. deliberately striking someone down and leaving them for dead is simply horrible.

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  • Allan February 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Do we need separated paths like they have in Denmark? Or are these incidents isolated enough to be in the noise. I hope these questions are being asked

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  • Anonymous February 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Wow, for me this a very timely article. I was on my way home yesterday, passed a stopped car with it hazard lights on, looked back and the driver flipped me off. I went back and asked what that was for, without answering the guy asked what I was doing. I explained I was going about him when he was stopped and his hazard lights were on, I began to ask him what he thought happened and he promptly rolled up the window. This pushed my button, a passenger was getting in, I said to the passenger, “you might tell him not to flip off cyclists”. I pulled in front of the van and he gunned his engine and rolled forward (luckily for me there was a crowd of peds at that corner). I turned around and yelled and pointed at the driver, “do not threaten me with your car”, turned back paraphrased the incident to the peds (one ped asked kindly if I was OK – which I responded yes to) then slipped between the peds (saying excuse me and thank you) and rolled on. I figured I had made the mistake engaging at all with the lunatic driver and I needed to get out of there while there were witnesses to see any further altercation.

    It is scary being threatened by a bunch of metal with an engine.

    I know it was a mistake to even try to communicate with someone flipping me off, but I did not understand where it came from. I thought it would help to calm the situation, boy was I wrong. My biggest mistake was not getting the License number of the car so that I could report the threat of violence to the police.

    I am so sorry to hear of this accident, and I am glad that the police are taking it very seriously! Best wished to the injured, I hope he recovers sooner and better than expected. I count my blessings daily when I ride to work because I am able to ride to work.

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  • Rex Marx February 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Nice Question Allan. A separate bike path down the Oregon Coast would be a world class tourist magnet. And, separate paths are nice everywhere (Mostly, I can think of a few paths crowed with walks and skaters). But, I still need to have the right to travel safely on open roads.

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  • The Biking Viking February 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    My best wishes to Mr. Goldstein for a speedy recovery.

    I’m also glad that this case is being prosecuted as an attempted murder. Hopefully others will learn from this incident that it is not OK to use your car as a weapon.

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  • q'Ztal February 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Accidents of inattention are one thing but intentionally using a vehicle as I weapon should be a ONE STRIKE AND YOU’RE OUT deal.
    If the court has proven that a driver has intentionally used their vehicle as a weapon then they have also proven that this person is a direct hazard to tax paying citzens and should not be allowed to control any heavy machinery until they can prove to the state that they are no longer a threat.
    I’m not calling for blood or retribution I just feel that, as drivers, these personality types can’t be trusted with power and should be treated a “guilty until proven innocent” in all vehicular issues.

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  • Kaeta February 26, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Is this related? weird…

    http://beaverton.katu.com/content/stephan-fox-found-alive

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  • A.K. February 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I agree, when vehicles are involved with issues such as this or drunk driving, the offender often gets off with a very light sentence.

    Someone who is convicted of willingly using their car as a weapon or driving drunk should have their license revoked for at least 10 years. Driving is a privilege, not a right. So sorry if your job is 50 miles away and you need a vehicle, you shouldn’t have been f-ing around in the first place!

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  • Stig7 February 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Oxymoron of the day from the headline: deliberate accident

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  • Giant Hogweed February 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Um, what’s a “deliberate accident”?

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  • 9watts February 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    “A separate bike path down the Oregon Coast would be a world class tourist magnet. And, separate paths are nice everywhere”

    Peak Oil & Climate Change’s silver lining?

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  • q'Ztal February 26, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    #8
    Faulty application of a highly flawed language.

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  • BicycleDave February 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    File this one under too damn easy to get a license to drive in this country.

    If you click through to the Daily Astorian article you get the additional details that the accused was being treated for mental problems and was found wandering in the woods near his abandoned pickup a ways down the road.

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  • D. Davis February 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I’m also glad they’re moving swiftly on this. Imagine the tourism fallout if stories of unchecked HWY101 collisions got wider attention.

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  • fredlf February 26, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if the mentally ill got real medical treatment instead of driver’s licenses? You know, like in civilized, first-world countries?

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  • jim February 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I have complained for years that it is way to easy for anybody to get a driver license. The test is a joke, it should be a much more inclusive exam that could weed out more idiots. Driving is a priviledge not a right.

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  • q`Tzal February 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    #15
    The driver’s license test gauges basic ability to drive a vehicle. There is not enough attention is pay to the ability of the applicant to dry safely in diverse and heavy traffic.
    How do you test if an applicant is prone to distraction?
    How do you test if an applicant is a sociopath?
    It would be really cool if the driver’s test could be administered by a simulator like National Advanced Driving Simulator.
    Sure there is some initial sticker shock for every region having enough to serve their region but this can be made back. Society will save money normally spent on vehicle crash repairs, medical costs, vehicular insurance, extra police coverage, court costs and so many other interconnected costs that we incur as by being willing to give any idiot a driver’s license.

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  • Tony Columbo February 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    It’s about time bicyclist are educated, tested, licensed and insured and their bikes inspected for proper safety features and licensed.

    I would have loved to have called in “Anonymous” license plate number the other day.

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  • JAT in Seattle February 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Fair enough, Tony Columbo. given the predominant theme of the comment thread – that it’s too easy to get a license to drive and too hard to lose it, then, seeming trollitude notwithstanding, you make a valid point.

    I doubt too many here would agree with you, though, and for the record, what happens when you call in the license plate of a motorist who has offended your sensibilities? I’m curious.

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  • Red Five February 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I hope they don’t kill that whale because of this tragic accident. I’m sure in it’s own mind it was just being playful.

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  • Greg February 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    @18 How about we defer spending taxpayer money on that until *after* we put together the money to solve the driver licensing problem. As in the example shown here, we clearly aren’t spending enough regulating driving. (And the 40K+ deaths and millions of injuries each year from driving are kind of a hint, too :-)

    Spending money to license cyclists when you don’t have the money to properly license drivers is just not cost effective.

    It also ought to be a hint that Denmark and Holland who do have working drivers license programs and tons of cyclists for some reason do quite nicely without licensing either cyclists or their bikes. Shocking, I know, to a big government enthusiast like yourself, Tony, but you might want to take a look at those countries and see if their more libertarian approach might pay off in our case.

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  • Seth Alford February 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    @7 The KATU stories you linked to reference a Stephen Fox who was 22 last November, was from Beaverton, and drove a truck. At the end of the KATU story the reporter said Fox was going to receive a mental evaluation in the hospital, and that investigators said that Fox was despondent over a relationship.

    The Astorian says “Stephan Joseph Fox, 23, of Portland.” Beaverton is close enough to Portland that a newspaper from Astoria would conflate the two. November to February is 3 months, enough time for a 23rd birthday.

    But, Stephen Fox is not an uncommon name. qwestdex.com lists 35 Steve/Steven/Stephen Foxes in Oregon. So it might not be the same person.

    Regardless of that, I’m going to send an email to the Clatsop county DA Joshua Marquis thanking him for charging attempted murder rather than some lesser crime. The Clatsop County DA’s web page says his email is da@co.clatsop.or.us

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  • D.R. Miller February 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Jonathan, the first line of the story says the man is being “accused of murder”, I assume you want it to say “accused of attempted murder.”

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  • noah February 27, 2010 at 9:00 am

    @Seth #22: The Astorian and KATU stories all refer to Stephan Fox, not Stephen.

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  • Seth Alford February 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    @noah 24, thank you for the correction. Perhaps I was distracted by the fact that the victim was another bicyclist, also named Seth, who is about my age.

    FWIW, oregonlive.com also has the story. Beware that the usual oregonlive.com anti-bicycle trolls have commented there.

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  • Tony Columbo February 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I think a bike path to the moon one way would be nice. Now that would be world class. Just sayin.

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  • justasking February 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    is that where you live, Tony?

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  • wsbob February 27, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    As people above have noted, the driver’s test and examination only ascertains whether a person can physically operate a vehicle amongst other vehicles, and navigate it through the system of streets and traffic controls.

    It doesn’t do a lot to determine whether a person has the mental competence necessary to drive. It would be great if there were some easy, effective way to make sure people driving weren’t going to flip out by simply seeing someone riding a bike down the road.

    Another example is Anonymous #3′s story: a stationary vehicle with its emergency flashers on; of course there’s more than one reason people put them on. One natural thought people have upon seeing a vehicle on though, is ‘Is this person in need of assistance?’.

    Anonymous doesn’t say why he/she turned around to look at the vehicle, but nevertheless, the person inside apparently takes offense, not considering that the glance may have been out of concern for the occupant of the vehicle.

    Should we be trying to test and consider restricting motor vehicle operator rights for people that behave this way?

    The NADS mentioned by q`Tzal #17 is interesting.

    National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS)

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  • john in nh February 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    be thankful that charges are actually being put forward, in too many places across this country a slap on the wrist of the murder or attempted murderer is all they get no matter how guilty they are.
    A car is a weapon and an collision with a cyclist must be charged as potential assault with a deadly weapon, mistakes happen of course, but if you are scared shirtless about hitting that cyclist because you could be charged with murder than maybe you will drive just a bit more carefully when around them.

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  • El Biciclero March 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    “Society will save money normally spent on vehicle crash repairs, medical costs, vehicular insurance, extra police coverage, court costs and so many other interconnected costs that we incur as by being willing to give any idiot a driver’s license.” -q`Tzal

    Exactly. Do you think body shops and auto insurance agents want fewer car crashes? That would eat into their profits.

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  • carlos March 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    @Tony: It’s a lot harder to kill someone else with a bike than it is with a car. Did that anonymous cyclist slow you down 30 seconds from getting to work in your SUV? My heart goes out to you.

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  • Joseph G March 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    We may not know the facts of this case yet: The authorities claim that they “found Fox nearby in the woods while investigating the accident.” The truth is that it wasn’t until well after Fox was found in the woods were the authorities even apprised that he may have been involved in an accident. Fox himself was an avid bicyclist and was also a member of Team Oregon as a junior racer. The Clatsop County DA has been known to be overly aggressive and likes publicity. Don’t believe everything you read!

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