Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on August 31st, 2010 at 12:29 pm
The bus operator turned left prior to the collision and came in contact with Richard Krebs, who was on his bicycle (he suffered serious leg injuries and remains at OHSU getting reconstructive surgery). The Portland Police Bureau issued a citation to Krebs, for failure to obey a traffic control device. The bus operator was not cited.
(Photo: Bill Jackson)
But how exactly did the collision occur? Was Krebs cited for running the light, the “Don’t Walk” signal, or the bus’s flashing “Yield” signal? What lane was the bus in prior to its left turn? According to an update I just received from TriMet, I can now offer a better answer to those questions.
- Both vehicles were in the left-most lane of SW 6th headed north.
- Krebs was behind the bus “traveling at a high rate of speed” (according to TriMet). (Krebs has also allegedly stated that his brakes malfunctioned).
- Just before making the left turn onto Morrison, the bus veered into the center lane in order to make a wide left turn, which was necessary to clear a MAX train that was stopped on Morrison at the Pioneer Square North station. (TriMet referred to this as a “button hook” turn*.)
- The bus entered the intersection on a green light.
- During the turn, the light changed to yellow.
- The collision occurred on a yellow light.
- Krebs was cited for entering the intersection on a yellow light.
And here’s what TriMet’s Mary Fetsch says about the bus’s turn signal:
“The yield signal on the back of the bus has no bearing in this incident, since it’s only used for pulling back into a travel lane after servicing a stop.”
I hope this new information and the graphic above helps to clarify what happened. Given that TriMet won’t release the video because of pending court action, more information will likely come out in the weeks and months to come.
UPDATE: *A bus operator in the comments has pointed out that the ODOT Commercial Driver’s Manual warns against making the type of jug-handle turn that the bus operator appears to have made. TriMet has said the bus made a “button hook” turn (staying in the lane), but the photos from the scene show that the bus more likely swung into the adjacent lane and made a “jug handle” turn, which the ODOT manual says is “incorrect.” Here’s the graphic from the manual: