home
Advertise on BikePortland

DA declines criminal prosecution in case of man whose leg was severed in collision – UPDATED

Posted by on September 30th, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Bike safety meeting and press conference-7.jpg
Alistair Corkett at a bike safety meeting
in City Hall three weeks after losing his leg in
a traffic collision.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office announced today that they will not pursue criminal charges in the case of Alistair Corkett, the man whose leg was severed in a traffic collision at SE 26th and Powell back in May.

In a seven-page memo, Senior Deputy District Attorney Glen Banfield explains that the man driving the 1988 Dodge Pickup that collided with Corkett might have been careless or even negligent, but his actions do not rise to the legal threshold necessary for a finding of criminal negligence.

According to the DA’s office and the Portland Police Bureau’s investigation, here are some facts in the case:

— On May 10th at around 9:52 am Corkett and his riding partner Anthony Disano were riding southbound on 26th. At the same time, Barry Allen was driving northbound. As they approached the intersection with Powell, Allen was in the left turn lane preparing to go westbound and Corkett and Disano were going to continue south on 26th.

“Although Mr. Allen may have been negligent or even careless in failing to yield the right of way to Mr. Corkett, his conduct under the present circumstances is not the type of conduct that rises to the level of criminal conduct. This tragic event is not chargeable as a felony assault. Accordingly this case is declined for criminal prosecution.”
— Glen Banfield, Senior Deputy District Attorney for Multnomah County

— Disano and Corkett told investigators they were riding at a speed of about 18-23 mph. The posted speed at the intersection is 25 mph. Speed was not considered a factor in this collision.

— As he approached the intersection with Powell, Disano said Corkett was just a bit behind him. With the light at Powell a steady green he saw a car turn left (westbound) onto Powell in front of him and proceeded into the intersection thinking it was safe. Then Disano saw Allen’s truck. “He said he saw into the cab as the driver hesitated, ‘like he was waiting for us,'” reads the DA’s memo. “Mr. Disano thought to himself ‘ok, we’re good’.” At that point Corkett was following right behind Disano.

— Seconds later Allen’s truck began to turn right in front of Disano, who then slammed on the brakes of his bicycle and veered to the left. Disano just missed hitting the rear passenger side of the Allen’s truck.

— Corkett told investigators he too believed Allen was going to wait for them to go through the intersection. There seems to have been a bit of miscommunication. The DA’s memo says that Allen began to turn left, right in front of Corkett, but then appeared (to Corkett’s perception) to have hesitated just a bit so he thought he could make it through the intersection.

— Corkett was unable to avoid Allen’s truck and collided with the rear passenger side bumper. He thought he had successfully avoided the truck, “But soon realized,” states the memo, “that he had lost his leg.” “… he looked up and saw his leg on the sidewalk,” states the memo.

— When PPB Traffic Division officer interviewed Allen he said he waited for a car in front of him to turn left and then waited for another car headed southbound to go by him. He says he did not see Disano or Corkett until he was already making his turn. They were “going faster than he realized”, he stated, and he tried to turn out of their path.

— The DA agrees with Allen and concluded that he was not aware of Corkett’s presence until he began his turn into the intersection.

— Allen was not under the influence of any intoxicants. He was remorseful at the scene, responded with aid for Corkett after the collision and cooperated with the investigation.

The investigation proves that Corkett was riding legally and had a green light. Therefore under Oregon law, Allen was required to yield the right-of-way. He didn’t do that, so there’s a possibility he’ll be given a traffic citation by the PPB.

When it comes to whether or not he deserves criminal prosecution, the DA would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Allen’s failure to yield the right-of-way was reckless or done intentionally to cause physically injury to Corkett.

Here are the legal definitions the DA works with in this case:

​Under Oregon law a person acts intentionally or with intent when that person acts with a conscious objective to cause a particular result or to engage in specific conduct. A person acts knowingly or with knowledge, when a person acts with an awareness that the conduct of the person is of a particular nature or that a particular circumstance exists.

A person acts recklessly if that person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

Given the facts of the case, the DA feels they can’t prove Allen acted recklessly or intentionally. “When Mr. Allen began his turn into the intersection he believed he could safely proceed through the intersection,” DA Banfield wrote in conclusion. “As Mr. Allen proceeded through the intersection he saw Mr. Corkett and was unable to clear the intersection in time to avoid the collision.”

Whether or not Allen should have seen Corkett prior to the collision is the key point this all hinged on. If he could have been aware of Corkett, yet he still continued with the left turn, the DA might have had a case for reckless behavior. However, the DA relied on evidence gathered by a PPB officer who retraced Allen’s travel route a few weeks after the collision.

The PPB officer who retraced Allen’s route found that as he approached the intersection to make a left turn, “the north side of the intersection [where Corkett was coming from] appeared extremely busy and congested with activity… he observed pedestrians on the corners of the intersections waiting to cross as bicyclists, and vehicles entered and exited the intersection. The bicyclists he observed were ‘only visible for a short amount of time prior to entering the intersection southbound on SE. 26th Ave.'”

With that experience as part of their investigation, the DA was inclined to believe Allen’s claim that he wasn’t able to notice Corkett until it was too late.

Since the collision Corkett has raised over $90,000 to help with medical bills and physical therapy. In response to a community rally at the intersection The Oregon Department of Transportation installed a new left-turn signal.

​— Download the DA’s memo here (PDF).

UPDATE, 10:00 am on 10/1: Mayor Charlie Hales confirmed this morning on Twitter that the man driving truck will be issued three citations: careless driving, dangerous left turn, and driving uninsured. The careless citation will trigger the Vulnerable Roadway Users law (because it led to serious injury) and therefore Mr. Allen will face a steeper fine (up to $12,500), community service, and so on.

And we just saw that the PPB has issued a statement confirming this news. The PPB says the citations were dismissed initially due to an “administrative error.”

NOTE: At BikePortland, we love your comments. We love them so much that we devote many hours every week to read them and make sure they are productive, inclusive, and supportive. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with someone. It means you must do it with tact and respect. If you see an inconsiderate or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan and Michael

205 Comments
  • Dwaine Dibbly September 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    What the #^@%$?!?

    Recommended Thumb up 17

    • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Incredible legal analysis.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    “I didn’t see him.”
    O.K.

    “The DA agrees with Allen and concluded that he was not aware of Corkett’s presence until he began his turn into the intersection.”

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Why isn’t it Allen’s responsibility to SEE Alastair?!

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        It’s all about the legal standards. If a person can prove there was no way they could see another person, they cannot be found guilty for not seeing them. We’ve had this situation many times in the past and it’s always the same conclusion. Tracey Sparling, Kathryn Rickson, Brett Jarolimek… In all those cases the DA found that the person operating the motor vehicle simply had no way of knowing they should yield to a person because in their mind there was no person to yield to.

        I’ve struggled to come to terms with this concept for years. Not sure what the answer is.

        Recommended Thumb up 19

        • Alan Kessler September 30, 2015 at 3:13 pm

          I think what’s frustrating is that the DA decided these facts by fiat.

          It was well within his power to decide to have the credibility and mental state of the witness (and the level of his intoxication, since THC was found in his urine) evaluated by a jury.

          Recommended Thumb up 15

          • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

            By fiat? What the heck does that even mean. The DA has prosecutorial discretion so, of course, he exercises his judgment and discretion whether to charge someone. I mean, I guess you could color it as “by fiat” if you wanted to pretend that exercising the power of the office is inappropriate or without merit.

            Really?

            Recommended Thumb up 4

        • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 3:14 pm

          I think this is simply another manifestation of Car Head.

          Is there any other way of making sense of this? If I say I didn’t see the red light, does the cop and the DA and the jury just shrug and accept my word?
          Of course not.

          The fact that cars are hard to see out of in lots of reasonable circumstances is not my responsibility as someone biking home; it is (or should be) the responsibility of the person piloting that automobile.
          With our streets laid out on a grid that tends to align with cardinal directions, when the sun is low it can be hard to see traffic lights when traveling East or West. That doesn’t however excuse me from paying enough attention to those lights, slow down, not proceed until I can see the light. Why should it be any different for people/objects/animals who are not in cars?

          I don’t think I will ever accept this kind of double standard.

          Recommended Thumb up 25

          • B. Carfree September 30, 2015 at 5:03 pm

            “If I say I didn’t see the red light, does the cop and the DA and the jury just shrug and accept my word?
            Of course not.”

            Sadly, as a Springfield, OR incident this summer involving an old man driving a pick-up through a red light and three children (killing them all, as well as injuring their mother) shows, the DA will indeed believe any motorist who says they didn’t see the red light or the four people crossing with the right of way. No charges filed. He did receive a failure to yield citation. Whoopee.

            I honestly don’t know what constitutes neglect in Oregon if these sort of cases don’t do it. Perhaps we can find some legislators with enough guts to write some legislation to require jail time for motorists who choose to just hit things that are right in front of them.

            Recommended Thumb up 11

          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm

            “If I say I didn’t see the red light, does the cop and the DA and the jury just shrug and accept my word?”

            That’s not the same thing at all 9watts.

            If you say you didn’t see the red light, the DA/PPB would do an investigation. If they concluded through that investigation that you should have/could have seen the red light you would found guilty and possibly negligent.

            In this case, they did the investigation and found that the driver could legitimately claim that he did not see Corkett until it was too late… therefore the case falls apart.

            Recommended Thumb up 8

            • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

              Huh.
              I guess I don’t see the difference. In both cases there seems to be no argument about the physical facts – the light was red (my hypothetical); the two cyclists were approaching Southbound from what would have been about 11 0’clock from Allen’s point of view (this case).
              The question hinges on whether Mr. Allen saw/could have seen (the light) or the cyclists. It is his responsibility (I would think unequivocally) to see the (hypothetical) light. As I understood it, Mr. Allen *did* see the two cyclists, but did “not see Disano or Corkett until he was already making his turn.”

              You wrote: “the driver could legitimately claim that he did not see Corkett until it was too late”

              But whose fault is that? Surely we who participate in traffic all know that there is the potential for someone (especially someone with the right of way) to appear in our path/or we in their path. That is exactly who he should be/must be looking for when preparing to make a left turn. I’m really not getting the DA’s logic, how he can find in favor of Allen. I know that intersection well. There is nothing (outside of the cab of his truck) blocking his view. Why is this anything more complicated than Allen didn’t allow for the possibility that there might be cyclists approaching Southbound?

              Recommended Thumb up 9

              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 6:51 pm

                9watts,

                do you expect everyone to drive in a way that always assumes that a person/vehicle might magically appear from outside their view at any time? That’s not reasonable IMO.

                And the DA didn’t find “in favor” of Allen. He found that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove to a jury that Allen was guilty or criminal negligence.

                Recommended Thumb up 10

                • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm

                  “do you expect everyone to drive in a way that always assumes that a person/vehicle might magically appear from outside their view at any time? That’s not reasonable IMO.”

                  Magically? No.
                  My point is that there is no magic here; no mystery; no special circumstances, & no heroics required for Allen to see them. What in the mind of the DA was supposedly obstructing Allen’s view of the cyclists?!

                  And that the DA’s siding with Allen’s interpretation here is, frankly, just one more nail in the coffin of future prospects for justice for people who were not hiding, not invisible, not magically appearing, or anything of the sort, but who were simply biking where they were supposed to be.

                  Recommended Thumb up 30

                • Evan Siroky September 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm

                  100% side with 9watts here.

                  Furthermore, even the police officer notes that “The bicyclists he observed were ‘only visible for a short amount of time prior to entering the intersection southbound on SE. 26th Ave.'” So they were NOT invisible!

                  Recommended Thumb up 26

                • Bill Walters September 30, 2015 at 10:23 pm

                  “Magically” jumps the shark in this setting. It’s just the kind of status-quo apologist hyperbole that has helped endanger so many of us for so long on the road. And it’s shocking to read it from you, Jonathan.

                  Without it: “Do you expect everyone to drive in a way that always assumes that a person/vehicle might … appear from outside their view at any time?”

                  Yes, absolutely. Is that not very close to the essence of both defensive driving and Vision Zero? Though this isn’t NYC, it still teems at times. A person, possibly aboard a vehicle, _can and often will_ appear from outside your view at any time.

                  Even the relatively stodgy Oregon Drivers Manual is on board, on page 63: “Think about what is going to happen or what might happen as far ahead of the situation as possible. Never assume everything will be all right.”

                  Recommended Thumb up 26

                • JAT in Seattle October 1, 2015 at 7:59 am

                  I agree with your critics here, Jonathan. Especially in Portland there are cyclists on the roads; I don’t think that means a different legal standard applies in Portland, but I do think it undermines any position to the effect of “I didn’t expect” or “I didn’t see until too late” or “they were going faster than I realized.” If you drive in Portland you should have experience with cyclists on the road. Hell, you drive anywhere in the world you should have experience with cyclists on the road.

                  Legal standards change because social conditions change and people in the legal profession have the vision to test the boundaries of established law. Here the D.A. chickened out.

                  Would Alistair Corkett be better served by a criminal prosecution – the State exacting its revenge for Mr. Allen’s misdeed? Perhaps not. Would his Civil case be bolstered by criminal charges? Probably, but not necessarily. But would the rest of us benefit from a shift in the prosecutorial landscape, an erosion of the “I didn’t see him” defense, an imposition of the presumption that, like a red light or a school zone or an ambulance, motorists have the absolute duty of care to alter their behavior behind the wheel where there are cyclists and that motorists should know cyclists are there?

                  I think Yes! Do we not all agree on that?

                  Recommended Thumb up 17

                • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 8:02 am

                  Agreed. And well said too.
                  “Legal standards change because social conditions change and people in the legal profession have the vision to test the boundaries of established law. Here the D.A. chickened out.”

                  Recommended Thumb up 10

                • TJ October 1, 2015 at 8:16 am

                  I do not assume everyone drives in a way that always assumes a person/vehicle might magically appear from outside their view at anytime –this would be foolish. But the expectation to look at least twice without bias to our immediate need should exist for all road users — especially, in need to yield situation such as a left turn.

                  While I am not comfortable with justification placed on conditions such as the sun, fog, rain, poorly designed roads, poorly designed cars, etc, I understand the law must simultaneously protect and hold accountability from all side — however fair or not it may seem.

                  Regardless, Allen went too far in his assumption, “nothing would magically appear from outside his view”: He choose to drive without insurance, essentially deciding his needs were greater than the reckless or circumstantial odds of injuring another human.

                  Such a poor and selfish decision should not be so easy for drivers to make.

                  Recommended Thumb up 4

                • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 9:36 am

                  Agree with TJ here. That Allen chose to drive without insurance, that he did not drive congruent with conditions (he said there was lots of activity at the far end of the intersection – which means slow down!). These are the reasons he was reckless.

                  Recommended Thumb up 11

                • wsbob October 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm

                  “…What in the mind of the DA was supposedly obstructing Allen’s view of the cyclists?! …” watts

                  There may be more lengthy comments elsewhere from the DA about his understanding of what Allen either did or didn’t see of the two guys biking, but in the fact summary included in this story, is the following:

                  “…DA Banfield wrote in conclusion. “As Mr. Allen proceeded through the intersection he saw Mr. Corkett and was unable to clear the intersection in time to avoid the collision.” …” bikeportland

                  Elsewhere in this story, read Allen’s comments that ahead of the two guys were a couple motor vehicles, which Allen let pass by him. Motor vehicles were what may have blocked his view to the guys on bikes until it was too late.

                  That blocking of his view, would not have been a legitimate excuse for unsafely crossing their direction of travel. Allen didn’t have to proceed through his turn until he was absolutely sure the way was clear. In fact, it was his obligation as the driver of a vehicle to be absolutely sure the way was clear before proceeding into his turn across opposite direction of travel.

                  There are though, road situations where vulnerable road users not being reasonably visible, is a valid claim. This incident is not an example of one of those road situations.

                  Recommended Thumb up 3

          • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

            There is no double standard to accept here. You’ve completely fabricated a standard and unfairly attributed it to the DA. Why even expend the mental energy to do so?

            We can disagree with the DA’s assessment and determination here, but we don’t have to pretend that he applied some magical standard in order to suggest his reasoning was hypocritical.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • are October 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm

              when motor vehicles first started appearing on the roadways a hundred something years ago, it was widely understood these were dangerous machines that threatened the safety of the default nonmotorized road user. i wasn’t expecting to see, i didn’t see, etc. was not acceptable back then.

              several things have changed since then. nearly everyone drives a motor vehicle. nearly every driver expects an uneventful experience. the technology and the infrastructure have evolved to support that expectation. and the culture has evolved to support the expectations of the inattentive motorist.

              the reason police and prosecutors do not press serious charges in these cases is that they do not expect a jury of motorists to convict.

              but what the law says is you are reckless if you disregard known risks. it used to be the presence of nonmotorized users was a known risk. no longer. double standard? well, it is an altered standard, anyway.

              if we wanted to get back to a place where this stuff could be prosecuted, we would have to change the culture. to some extent MADD has achieved this with drunk driving. what exactly was their path? did they persuade prosecutors to prosecute? did they persuade juries?

              Recommended Thumb up 4

              • 9watts October 4, 2015 at 5:51 pm

                Excellent points, are.

                “the reason police and prosecutors do not press serious charges in these cases is that they do not expect a jury of motorists to convict.”

                This part always surprises me a little. I’m not lawyer, but where/how/by whom is the law made or changed? How do we get past this impasse within the legal realm? Has it always been like this? What if DAs started leading, started sending lots of these cases to juries, and judges started taking this much more seriously (can judges affect how these cases are handled, decided)? Somehow this piece of the puzzle strikes me as incredibly weak, a sad commentary on how our system fails us.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Dan Sr. September 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

          If there was no way for the driver to see Corkett, then the relevant DOT (PDOT?) should be liable for creating that situation. No two ways about it: either the driver failed to observe the basic rule, or PDOT is liable for designing an interchange where driver’s views are dangerously obstructed.

          Recommended Thumb up 21

          • Bill Walters October 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

            No doubt that’s a big part of why the relevant DOT moved so quickly to install a left-arrow cycle afterward.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

        • shirtsoff September 30, 2015 at 3:58 pm

          I feel that motor driven vehicles, and perhaps all users of the public space, must assume that there is another user whenever they are unable to see into a space. To claim otherwise is negligent and borderline criminal from my perspective.

          Recommended Thumb up 10

        • Tony T
          Tony T September 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm

          “the person operating the motor vehicle simply had no way of knowing they should yield to a person because in their mind there was no person to yield to”

          To me, this is the PROBLEM, not the excuse. When I am driving, I take it as my highest responsibility to be aware of everything around me. If I fail at that, I view it as my fault; I needed to do something differently.

          We simply need to have expectations that rise as the level of potential devastation rises. People walking can cause the least damage therefore we should have lower expectations; go ahead, look at all the birdies. Someone driving a huge truck has the potential to wipe out a dozen people in one swoop. WAY higher expectations. Know what is going on around you at all times.

          It should be the legal expectation that a motor vehicle operator should know what is going on around them. If they fail to do so, then they have failed in their duties. If that’s too much responsibility for you, then don’t drive.

          Recommended Thumb up 12

          • wsbob September 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm

            Another question about the collision that comes to my mind, is how fit Allen may have been to be reliably able to drive a motor vehicle without posing an unreasonable threat to other road users.

            From the fact summary, noting the on the road appraisal of the two guys biking, about Allen as they were approaching the intersection, they describe him as “…hesitating…”. Disano on his bike, facing south towards the bright sky, this being morning, says he could see Allen inside the cab of the truck, hesitating. Yet, Allen apparently claimed to the DA that he for some reason, he did not see the two guys on bikes soon enough to decide not to commence turning across the opposite direction of travel.

            Allen facing north, was looking away from the glare of the morning, partly sunny sky (as I remember that day being.). After the two cars passed him, it seems as though he would have had a clear view of the two guys biking. Their speed, 18-23 mph, does not seem excessive for this intersection. What legally acceptable reason may Allen have had for not seeing the two guys biking, in time for him to decide not to commence turning?

            By this description, in terms of his demeanor, Allen sounds jumpy, perhaps for some reason, not in condition to have been making judgments reliably enough for him to have been a safe driver. Not being under the influence of intoxicants does not necessarily mean people are sufficiently fit to drive safely.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

        • wsbob September 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm

          If I have correct, the description of how the collision transpired, based on the summary of facts from the DA’s office and the Portland Police Bureau’s investigation, included in this bikeportland story:

          Allen had opportunity to see the two guys on bikes approaching him from the opposite direction across the intersection. He simply failed to wait until the two motor vehicles ahead of the guys on bikes passed him, so that he had clear view to the bikes.

          It was Allen’s responsibility to be certain the way was clear of approaching traffic before he started moving his vehicle across the opposite lane of travel from which traffic in this case was approaching.

          He failed to do this, and if the only reason he can offer for having failed, is that the two motor vehicles ahead of the bikes blocked his view to the bikes, it seems to me that’s not a reasonable excuse. It seems that if he’d waited say, until the rear of second motor vehicle passed him, easily within two or three seconds, he would have seen the guys on bikes approaching.

          Just a guess, sounds like what Allen may have been doing, is what people waiting at intersections sometimes do to cut their waiting time to the minimum. They overly focus on the rear of the approaching vehicle so as to be prepared to turn immediately upon the rear of the approaching vehicle having passed them; that is, rather than wait for the passing car to be say, a car length past.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • wsbob October 1, 2015 at 11:16 am

            Correction:

            It seems that if he’d waited say, until the rear of second motor vehicle passed him, easily within two or three seconds, he would have seen the guys on bikes approaching. That is, before it would have been too late for Allen to decide not to commence his left turn.

            What Allen apparently did, is decide to commence his left turn before being certain he had enough distance from the approaching guys on bikes, to make his left turn without causing a collision. Allen cut his timing too short, directly leading to the collision.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

    • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      The “Ignorance is Bliss” Defense (bicycling.com)
      http://bit.ly/wvrs06

      “You’re supposed to be able to see what’s on the road in front of you and you should only proceed when it’s safe to do so,” Outagamie County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Jobe said. “When you run into another vehicle or in this case, a bicycle you should have seen, then obviously it’s our view that the only reason you didn’t see it was because you weren’t paying attention.”

      Recommended Thumb up 32

  • Paul Atkinson September 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Today I discovered that I’ve been using the word “unconscionable” wrong. I’d have thought it applied here, but apparently I was mistaken.

    I also learned that if I ever hit anything while driving, I should just claim I didn’t see it. That way I can’t be charged with reckless driving.

    We just might need to update Oregon law to hold people accountable when they hurt others in this way.

    Recommended Thumb up 24

    • Mark September 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      If cycle groups teamed up with motorcycle riders, that would work. Bikers have long been marginalized by the law.

      Recommended Thumb up 19

      • was carless September 30, 2015 at 5:02 pm

        This. When I first got my old scooter, I was sternly warned by veteran motorcyclists to ride extremely carefully, and to assume that every. vehicle. on the road would try to kill me.

        They were not kidding… was amazed at how blind drivers in general are. Can’t wait for driverless cars!!!

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • Dan October 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

          Saw a video on driverless cars yesterday that said that 93% of collisions were caused by driver error.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

  • ethan September 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I wonder if DA Banfield has any relation to the highway?

    Or if he would feel the same if his leg was forcibly removed from him?

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Adam Herstein September 30, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Honestly not surprised by this. Our judicial system in this country is set up to protect drivers above all else.

    If a person is driving and is involved in a crash, it should be prima facie of the drivers guilt and up to them to prove they are not at fault. The fact that the crash occurred should be evidence enough that the driver was acting recklessly or irresponsibly.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      “The fact that the crash occurred should be evidence enough that the driver was acting recklessly or irresponsibly.”

      Oh wow…

      By the way, upon what basis do you conclude that the judicial system is “set up” to protect drivers?

      Just curious.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • are October 3, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        on the basis of an accumulation of instances such as this

        Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Mark September 30, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    At this point, its a civil case. To any car driver reading this, simply bulk up your liability coverage to 1 million ansndrive however you want. No need to even look, or keep looking through the turn. At leàst, the DA has no desire to even try a case.

    Now…steal a candy bar or sell the tiniest amount of heroine, that’s criminal. Rip off a guy’s leg, no big deal.

    Recommended Thumb up 25

    • ethan September 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Yeah, it’s pretty messed up.

      Run over and kill 3 children? Here’s a $400 fine.
      Sell 3 children some powdered sugar and tell them it’s cocaine? Going to jail.

      Recommended Thumb up 17

      • Tom Hardy September 30, 2015 at 6:33 pm

        It is something that happens when stoners drive. Unfortunately it is going to get worse real fast, beginning tomorrow October 1.Oregon has all ready experienced a 40% increase in highway deaths this year. Over 40% of those involved in the deaths have tested as high in THC. Does this say something?

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Psyfalcon October 1, 2015 at 7:16 am

          Source?

          I only found one thing from Seattle, and a few from Aus.

          Recommended Thumb up 5

      • suburban October 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        Start seeing….cataracts.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Spiffy September 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    “With that experience as part of their investigation, the DA was inclined to believe Allen’s claim that he wasn’t able to notice Corkett until it was too late.”

    if somebody is unable to see something that’s there then it’s negligence of their ability to see clearly… the phrase “I didn’t see them” is an admission of negligence…

    you don’t drive forward just because you don’t see anything in the way… you drive forward when you SEE that the way is clear…

    the driver did not check to see and confirm that it was clear… they drove without looking… might as well have closed his eyes and hit the gas…

    I think the case could proceed…

    can’t one of the area bike lawyers take up the case against the driver? why do we have to rely on wishy-washy pro-driver district attorneys to proceed with charges?

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      to me this is different than simply “i didn’t seem him”.. Take sun glare for instance.. I don’t think that should EVER be something that absolves someone from guilt in a collision because if you proceed through space you can’t see you are responsible for what you it. That’s easy.

      But this isn’t that easy. The driver looks up, sees nothing coming (or believes that what he does see won’t impact him), starts a turn, then the person/thing collides with his car. That doesn’t sound criminal to me.

      There’s still a chance Allen could be given a careless driving citation. We’ll have to see what PPB does.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        I agree with the ‘criminal’ dimension here, but I think what many of us are reacting to is less the legal nuance and more the familiar pattern of reflexive absolution, or what sounds like absolution from the mouth of the DA.

        Recommended Thumb up 11

        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm

          the familiarity has to do with Oregon law… something that until it’s changed i’m afraid we’ll keep going over this same thing 9watts. The DA’s are not the bad guys here. How do I know that? Partly because I know them and I know they give a shit about these cases — the DA himself Rod Underhill does the weekly lawyer ride and DA Chuck Sparks commutes to work by bike. Even this DA Banfield is a regular bike commuter. I say that not to give them a free pass but in hopes that people understand they are not simply mailing these cases in. They are dealing with certain legal standards and if they don’t think they can win a case by reaching those legal standards, then why would they pursue it? As a public servant like a DA there’s a limit to how much advocacy you can do and still keep your job.

          Recommended Thumb up 9

          • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

            “As a public servant like a DA there’s a limit to how much advocacy you can do and still keep your job.’

            Sure. But sometimes (and this may not have been the time, but I can think of plenty of cases that might have been, should have been) it is necessary “put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop!” (Mario Savio, Berkeley Free Speech Movement, for those who didn’t recognize the exhortation)

            Recommended Thumb up 7

          • Nathan Alan September 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm

            “The DA’s are not the bad guys here.”

            Thank you for saying this Jonathan.

            I had the… fortune (…I suppose) to work with many of the DAs as a grand juror years back. People need to understand that pressing charges means nothing if they don’t have a case to present to the jury, not to mention getting this past a grand jury. I’ll add that adage about indicting a ham sandwich is horseshit.

            Unfortunately, these collisions aren’t just going to magically disappear, I’d suggest an article devoted to the subject of criminality in relation to this.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Pete September 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm

              What would a grand jury think of Mr. Allen’s previous two convictions, alleged failure to appear in court, and driving without insurance? Isn’t driving without insurance a crime in and of itself? Or is all of that inadmissible evidence (and why)?

              Recommended Thumb up 8

              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm

                those are great questions Pete.

                I think we’ll put together a Wonk Night and invite DA Banfield, DA Underhill and others to come in so we can hash all this out in person. stay tuned.

                Recommended Thumb up 10

              • Nathan Alan September 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm

                I do not practice law, and don’t remember specifics relating to previous convictions, so I can’t say.

                All I can say is: I am a regular commuter, I have been hit by a car as one. I have served as a grand juror, I have voted to indict motorists whom I believed acted criminally, and voted not to (this was HARD, I felt a crime had been committed, I didn’t feel the DA (Glen Banfield as it happens) could obtain a conviction (reasonable doubt.))

                If this case were put before me knowing what I know, I would not vote not true. I don’t believe he committed a crime as the law is written, and I don’t believe the DA could obtain a conviction

                Recommended Thumb up 2

                • J_R September 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm

                  Of course you won’t obtain a conviction if you don’t even try for one. If you try and fail, you are at least sending a message that what you believe that the motorist was wrong. And, if you fail, you may have a better chance of demonstrating to the legislature that the law needs to be changed.

                  Can anyone reasonably conclude that Mr. Allen should not receive SOME punishment for his recklessness, carelessness, not paying attention that was compounded by choosing to NOT have insurance?

                  Recommended Thumb up 3

                • are October 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm

                  well, yes. i think mr. allen should be prevented from ever operating a motor vehicle again. suspension/revocation is not enough, as something like one in seven motorists is unlicensed. but we do have the technology to make this happen if we had the moral courage to implement it.

                  Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Eric Leifsdad September 30, 2015 at 3:36 pm

        If a pedestrian looks for bicycles before rolling a massive stone into the crosswalk and it hits a car, does this work the same way? He looked for oncoming cars and didn’t see any. IMO, that’s not much different than driving with your eyes shut.

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Pete September 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm

        Didn’t you originally report that the Barry Allen has two previous careless driving convictions, or am I reading that wrong? What did the DA say about that, given that he seems to indicate that Allen was at least “careless” in this situation as well?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm

          From today’s Oregonian:
          “Portland police did cite Allen for careless driving, making a dangerous left turn and driving while uninsured. But those charges were dismissed Sept. 23, according to online court records.”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Dan October 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

            So he’s out there now, driving around in his art van, only looking for vehicles of a certain size.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

          • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 9:41 am

            Dismissed?! And those things were not even in dispute.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • B. Carfree September 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        I”d bet anything that if the cyclists, who he admits to seeing but says he assumed their speed was too low to make them a factor, had been something that would have killed him if he hit it, then he would have yielded. This is clearly a case of driving negligently and expecting “lesser users” to adjust.

        Recommended Thumb up 11

        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm

          related to that point B. Carfree… . The speed limit here was 25 and they were going around 20 or so… They were not technically going at an illegal speed… But do you think 20 mph is a safe speed to enter a busy intersection… especially an intersection like 26th and Powell?

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • Pete September 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm

            That’s tricky to assess. If they were going too much slower there’d be the risk of getting caught in the intersection on a stale green, and you have to figure the flow of traffic they were riding next to may have been doing 30. If they were going, say, 12-15, there’s still no guarantee they could have avoided the impact. I guess my question is, at what speed do we think they could have avoided striking the second vehicle, given that the cyclists were (likely) timing their speed to proceed behind the first car (and assuming it was clear to), and Allen was (probably) eagerly looking for a gap in traffic (while watching for a light change and pedestrians, to be fair).

            Another question, for the sake of discussion: if they were centered in the traffic lane that Allen was (likely) focused on, do we think he may have perceived their speed (or their ‘threat’) differently? Or how about if they were equipped with strobing headlights?

            There are certainly no right or wrong answers, only speculations, but I’m interested in what other factors may have made a difference, as you pose the question as if speed may have been one of them.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

          • J_R September 30, 2015 at 7:57 pm

            So, we’re blaming the victim now, are we? Was it safe for him to be riding in a bike lane at 18 to 23 mph on a bright, sunny day and expecting the other road users to OBEY THE LAW?

            Is it safe for a motorist to enter the intersection at a speed of 25? Is it safe for the motorists who regularly drive 35 to 40 mph on Powell? Is it safe for a pedestrian to be walking at 3 mph on the sidewalk next to a highway (ODOT’s term for Powell)?

            Recommended Thumb up 12

            • Dead Salmon October 1, 2015 at 1:26 am

              Any intersection where one moving vehicle can cross the path of another moving vehicle (or pedestrian) will never be “safe”. That’s the inherent problem with intersections. Turning left should only be allowed if opposing traffic and pedestrians have a stop light. If cars can turn left at the same time that opposing traffic (or pedestrians) can go straight, then collisions are guaranteed to occur. Because cyclists have no air bags, seat belts, steel cage, etc, the safe way to go thru busy intersections is to slow down and be ready to stop if you have to. You may still get hit, but your odds are better, and in this particular case, slower cyclists would have braked to a halt avoiding the collision. Is slowing down for safety as fun as going thru at 25 or 30? Nope.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Pete October 1, 2015 at 8:50 am

                “If cars can turn left at the same time that opposing traffic… can go straight, then collisions are guaranteed to occur.”

                I grew up near the city of Boston, which was (literally) laid out by cows and has many narrow roads lacking left-turn lanes. Left-turn protocol there (when I lived there anyway) was that when lights turned green, first person slammed on the gas and cut off oncoming traffic, and as many people as possible followed, using the first car as a shield, until someone lost their nerve and traffic going straight was able to proceed. Turn signals, of course, were a sign of weakness. Not surprisingly, Boston has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

            • lop October 4, 2015 at 2:12 pm

              >Is it safe for a pedestrian to be walking at 3 mph

              It’s often not safe for pedestrians to walk across driveways and crosswalks at 3 mph. Visibility is poor and you often have to peak your head around to see if a car is coming, and if one is if it’s going to stop. This morning I had a bus driver wave me through a crosswalk (not at a bus stop). Fortunately I never trust a driver to know what’s coming from behind him otherwise I would have been plowed into by the guy on a bike going ~15-20 mph within a foot of the bus. He stayed so close to the bus to avoid the rail tracks in the next lane. He’s not allowed to overtake a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian, and didn’t slow down enough if at all to make sure it was safe to proceed.

              >expecting the other road users to OBEY THE LAW

              Expecting other road users to obey the law is a great way to get yourself killed. This is true if you’re walking, biking, or even driving a car.

              >Is it safe for a motorist to enter the intersection at a speed of 25?

              When a driver is waiting to make a left turn they’re in a vulnerable position. A lot of cars are hit, and a lot of people are injured and killed while waiting to turn. It’s not that they’re doing something illegal. It’s just a dangerous position, because other drivers don’t behave perfectly. Turning drivers want out as fast as they can, for their own safety, not just because they’re in a rush. If the driver sees an approaching car and is waiting for it to pass before turning it is much more likely that they’ll see if there is a second car behind it than a bicycle, especially if the person on a bike isn’t positioned in a way to maximize their visibility. Right now a cyclist entering an intersection like that at speed is almost certainly more likely to be in a collision than someone driving a car.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • soren October 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

            Wow!
            Would you even be asking this question if a person driving a car was travelling 5-7 mph under the speed limit? How is this not victim blaming?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Martha September 30, 2015 at 5:47 pm

        The PPB officer who retraced the steps proved recklessness in his very observation! The officer observed that the intersection had quite a few pedestrians and that bicyclists were visible for only a brief period of time. Therefore, any non-reckless driver would come to the conclusion that this is an intersection that requires a special degree of attention, slower speeds than those posted, and lots of care to make sure that one can navigate a car through it without lopping off a major body part from another road user.

        If we want to achieve vision zero, we must teach motorists that the “Oopsie do! I am so totally remorseful that I killed that dude!” attitude doesn’t fly, nor does the “OMG!! Those cyclists came out of nowhere! They materialized into thin air!” argument. I have come so close to being hit (and actually being hit) so many times by speeding, careless motorists that I have no patience for those reckless (yes, I mean it in the legal sense) drivers.

        Recommended Thumb up 13

        • pruss October 3, 2015 at 5:53 am

          but doesn’t this lead back to what JM suggested above? that just b/c posted is 25mph doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go even slower thru a congested intersection? you are saying any non-reckless “driver” would recognize the intersection required slower than posted speeds and extra care…but presume you would agree with the edit any “non-reckless road user” i am NOT passive-aggressively hinting at any victim blaming, i am suggesting that we should establish a new standard for intersections that all road traffic has to proceed at 15mph or perhaps less during daytime hours. given the % of accidents that occur in intersections why don’t we try to slow life down there? throw up some red-light/speed cameras and generate some ticket revenue.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

      • soren October 4, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        “They were “going faster than he realized”, he stated, and he tried to turn out of their path.”

        It appears that driver saw them but assumed that the threat of collision with his vehicle would force the cyclists to yield. I see this kind of intentionally malicious behavior all the time.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • canuck September 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a civil action.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • m September 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      This.

      Different standards for criminal v. civil.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • are October 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      yes but if the guy has no insurance you are looking only at his nonexempt personal assets. often people drop their insurance because they calculate they cannot afford it. what we need is a fund that compensates people at least minimally where the driver is uninsured. this could be funded by auto insurers and by court costs and fines in traffic cases. new york and new jersey, among others, have had this for fifty plus years.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Mark September 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    After reading the initial article, I wonder why left turns are even allowed?http://bikeportland.org/2015/05/10/sunday-morning-collision-26th-powell-severs-leg-man-bike-142971

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Adam Herstein September 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Because if we don’t allow left turns at that one intersection, the entire economy of Portland will fail.

      Recommended Thumb up 15

      • Daniel Costantino September 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        So true.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Rob Chapman September 30, 2015 at 8:10 pm

        You forgot the /s Adam!

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • pixelgate September 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    And we’re still a “platinum bike city”? That’s rich.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Mark September 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Strike that, I am in favor of moving the bike lane to 28th. It already has a diverter that could be made larger with an on demand light. 28th goes through father south and doesn’t run along a major arterial that is narrow.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd Hudson September 30, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Also doubtful a civil suit against Allen will get much traction – suing a broke Burner who drove an uninsured art car doesn’t seem promising.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • El Biciclero September 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    So many inconsistencies here. Forget about “criminal” prosecution; if the driver was even “careless”, then ORS 811.135 (3)-(6) (the so-called VRU law) should apply. I know that this particular memo was related only to criminal prosecution, and there is still “a possibility he’ll be given a traffic citation by the PPB”, but…

    I note the DA believing that the driver “…wasn’t able to notice Corkett…”—based on the testimony of another driver (the PPB officer) who drove the same path (did he do this at 10am on a Sunday?) and concluded that the intersection was just too busy for anybody to notice bicyclists coming straight at you.

    So on one hand, the DA says Allen may have been careless, but then agrees that he “wasn’t able” to notice Corkett, so then, was he careless? We should note that the definition of “careless” does not require intent or even awareness, but merely the observation that any person or property was endangered or likely to be endangered—which in this case, I think we can readily see.

    Given the conclusion that Mr. Allen (the driver) “wasn’t able to notice” Mr. Corkett—not that he merely failed to notice, but that he wasn’t able—I would be surprised if there were any more than a citation for dangerous left turn, with no invocation of the vulnerable road user amendment to the careless driving statutes.

    Then there’s the whole signal thing: why take action spurred by the injury of a cyclist and add a left turn signal at this intersection, then allow ODOT to remove the bike lane and essentially tell cyclists “now that it’s safer, don’t ride here”?

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Now that the careless citation was reinstated, I’m even more curious to hear someone speak to El Biciclero’s questions above.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Eric Leifsdad September 30, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    If they were “going faster than he realized”, that means he saw them. When turning across an intersection which “appeared extremely busy and congested with activity”, it sounds reckless to go ahead without a clear right-of-way. How fast was the truck moving at the time of the collision?

    It’s time to remove the auto lanes from 26th.

    Recommended Thumb up 22

    • mran1984 September 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Another ridiculous “idea”…that is the direct route to Powell from my neighborhood. Should I utilize the residential side streets instead? A bunch of people could simply move back home and traffic would decrease. Yeah, leave town now! Traffic was not an issue before “everyone” thought they should move to Portland and make it more like the awful place that they left. It was better here.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Eric Leifsdad September 30, 2015 at 6:16 pm

        Okay. You can drive a car on 26th only if you were born on 26th? That might work too. We’ll need to carry RFID chips to activate the retracting bollards?

        Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Chris I October 1, 2015 at 12:22 am

        You will get your lanes back when you prove that you can drive safely.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Dan October 1, 2015 at 8:41 am

          Too many scofflaw drivers. Time to restrict access and come up with a transportation plan for them, if we are able to raise funding.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Buzz September 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    According to the Mercury, the driver was issued three citations, which were subsequently dismissed pending the criminal investigation, and should now (theoretically) be reinstated, including one for careless driving which could make the driver liable under the vulnerable user section of that violation.

    http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2015/09/30/the-driver-who-severed-a-cyclists-leg-in-may-wont-face-charges

    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.135

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Charley Gee September 30, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    The statute of limitations for citing the driver with violations, including careless driving, is 180 days so PPB better get moving if that’s what they are going to do.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

  • mark September 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Oregon needs to get rid of this “knowingly nonsense” and instead install “causes significant bodily harm”. Let a jury sort out what significant is. The knowingly stuff more or less provides immunity to a car driver…and they know it.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • El Biciclero October 1, 2015 at 10:03 am

      It doesn’t help with criminal prosecution, but to invoke the so-called VRU law, there is seemingly no need to prove knowledge, awareness, or intent. The definition of “careless” (from ORS 811.135) merely states that a driver must drive “in a manner that endangers”, NOT in a manner that they believe would endanger, or “knowingly” drive in any particular manner, they must merely drive “in a manner that endangers”. In my non-lawyer opinion, this should result in a stipulation that if any injury or property damage (VRU or not) occurs as a result of the commission of any traffic violation, it should be considered prima facie evidence of careless driving.

      I will be waiting to see whether a careless driving citation is issued in addition to “dangerous left turn” (if even that), and whether the VRU provisions are then applied (community service + traffic safety, else $12,000 fine + one-year suspension).

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • PNP September 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Has anyone heard anything lately about how Alistair is doing?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Judging from what I’ve seen (mostly via his social media posts) and heard from people in the grapevine, he’s taking it all pretty well. He’s gotten back on the bike a few times. But I would need to talk to him to really know how he’s doing.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • J_R September 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    What a gutless decision!

    Once again, it sends the message: we don’t care about people, especially those on bikes.

    Even prosecuting and failing would send a message that it’s wrong to run down cyclists and pedestrians.

    Choosing to drive without insurance should be viewed as a conscious decision by Allen that he was being reckless.

    Disgusting!

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • mark September 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      At the very least, prosecuting would involve the defendant would mean ponying up for a lawyer and/or slumming it for a PD.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Tom Hardy September 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Any driving without insurance should be regarded as conscious Premeditation. Drinking and driving is also to be considered as conscious Premeditation. Smoking weed and driving is also in the same catagory for 2 weeks. As long as the THC is in the system.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • LC October 1, 2015 at 11:06 am

        I don’t disagree about premeditation but your weed scenario makes no sense and reeks of reefer madness prohibition era fear mongering.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Paul Wilkins September 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    While I wish it were criminal, I think civil action is the way to go on this anyway. Even if he did get convicted, would he serve any jail time? Is there any amount of jail time that makes up for the loss of limb?

    A settlement that provides financial remuneraiton for Alistair is likely more just, because it’ll be tough for Allen to earn money to pay the settlement from the clink.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • J_R September 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Unfortunately, Allen didn’t even bother to have insurance and likely has no meaningful assets. That means he gets off scot free! Yippee!

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      “I think civil action is the way to go on this anyway.”
      Sure. And I’m not the least bit interested in vengeance or retribution. My own anger at how these cases seem to almost always unfold is that at the symbolic level—at least as far as what we are able to learn via bikeportland and Google—the drivers who kill and maim our fellow bikey folks tend to get off with a slap on the wrist. There is absolutely no readily apparent disincentive to driving like Mr. Allen did – tomorrow. That part rankles.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Pete September 30, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      I think 9watts nailed it in his reply. My neighbor was killed by a woman who was texting and weaving all over the road (witnesses who followed her say). She didn’t even stop. We watched her all through court proceedings and she didn’t show the slightest bit of remorse, like she was inconvenienced by the whole thing. The DA was quoted in the paper as saying she made a grave mistake by leaving the scene. Even after all the tough talk she got barely a slap on the wrist because it was her first offence. So you have to ask, how many times do you have to kill someone and then leave the scene while driving distracted to actually lose your “privilege” to drive, for even a short period?

      Civil actions are no picnic for the plaintiff. They’ll put him through a long and expensive process just to prove he has the right to collect a sum that he then has initiate another long and arduous process to collect. The defendant’s insurance company may get involved to ensure their losses are minimized. And then there’s the whole “blood from a stone” thing…

      Meanwhile, yet another opportunity has passed for the “legal standards” (quoting Jonathan) to reflect that repeated carelessness won’t be tolerated, but clearly it will, if a lack of previous record is significant enough to prevent a careless driver from losing her license in one case, while a repeat record of carelessness (that culminates in significant bodily injury) still doesn’t prevent another driver from losing his driving privileges in another.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • wsbob October 4, 2015 at 1:25 am

        “…yet another opportunity has passed for the “legal standards” … to reflect that repeated carelessness won’t be tolerated, …” Pete

        What ‘opportunity’ would you be referring to? Present some solid, realistic ideas for bringing a greater certainty of consistently responsible road use to the roads. Realistic, meaning legal measures that, put to the public for consideration, people won’t reject outright as unreasonable limitations on people’s ability to use the road with motor vehicles.

        It seems quite a stretch to consider the public will support ideas suggesting that people having caused collisions, any collision, while driving, unequivocally be responded to with license withdrawal, imprisonment or worse.

        Though if anyone reading here is truly serious about exploring such ideas and the public’s reaction to them, at least try put them in some tangible, legibly coherent form that could at least be considered as a possible law for submission to the public for consideration.

        From what information about him can be gathered from bikeportland and oregonian news stories, despite his reported display of remorse following the collision, there’s some serious indication that Allen is considerably far from being someone that can be relied upon to consistently drive safe. Nevertheless, at one time, apparently he did pass the driving test, and had a license to drive. At some point in time, he was considered by the state through testing, to have been a person competent to operating a motor vehicle on the road.

        So when people considered competent drivers make mistakes in driving (and almost everyone that drives, does make mistakes at some point.) at what level of mistake do critics of the current road use with a motor vehicle authorization believe the ‘wrist slapping’ cut-off point should be? A speeding ticket? Insurance policy lapse? A single cite for failure to yield?

        It’s very easy to talk about making access to the road with motor vehicles, tougher. Actually accomplishing changes to that effect, stand to be a very big challenge, if they even stand a chance of being brought about.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TheRealisticOne September 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I struggle with the “I didn’t see him/her” excuse. I’ve personally had problems with sun glare, which scares me, but I’m really getting tired of this irresponsible excuse. I expect chaos and stupid human behavior all the time, I actively look for it. I take great responsibility while driving, I only “drive” while in the car and recognize that I can be a deadly factor on the road. I almost hit a lady crossing a crosswalk and scared the shit out of myself, and her as well. I had distractions all around me as well as in the car. From that point, I don’t proceed unless I know for sure it’s safe to go.

    Buzz…you’re right on! this guy has had other citations, I believe he didn’t show up for one of the charges. This guy has shown a pattern of irresponsible behavior, do we really need these people on the road? Do we need prosecutors that won’t follow up on charges already processed and not resolved? So, we all get to watch his next move, likely to kill someone the next time. His crimes are elevating.

    My grandfather started to play “bumper cars” or Nascar swapping paint on the streets of Portland, and thankfully they took his license away.

    He’s likely uninsured, driving an “unsafe” vehicle and showing his inability to pay attention to his surroundings. Whether the DA thinks there’s a criminal case or not, some action needs to be taken. I call out to our cycling attorneys to step up, take this case pro bono (?) and show Portland that this won’t be tolerated.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Tom Hardy September 30, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Allen had a modified rear bumper on his pickup. It was modified with a horizontal spacer to set it back and provide a “capture hook” on the side so anyone’s lag would be cut off if the person was riding a bike and grazed the side of the pickup or a pedestrian was too close when the driver was turning a corner.The Extention had a serrated edge on it.
      Don’t believe me? Look at the pictures!

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Got a link? That sounds egregious.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

          I looked up photos of the truck I could find online, and (the paint job aside) the truck looked pretty stock to me. Jacked up a bit, sure, but besides that I didn’t see those grisly features you did. Rear bumper (from the left side at least) also looked perfectly stock.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

    • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Wait, what?

      You acknowledge the very real complication of sun glare, yet insist citing it as a contributing factor to an accident occurring is irresponsible??? What?

      “Whether the DA thinks there’s a criminal case or not, some action needs to be taken.”

      Right, because it will satiate your emotional need to punish Allen, ok. So long as we recognize your starting point. Maybe now we can deal with real facts and legalities and not:

      “I call out to our cycling attorneys to step up, take this case pro bono (?) and show Portland that this won’t be tolerated.”

      Take up how exactly? In a civil case? It cannot be criminal because only law enforcement can charge and prosecutors prosecute. So what civil case is there? Or are you in favor of throwing frivolous civil action after frivolous civil action at the courts in order to deliver a message that most people will never hear?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 9:52 am

        You acknowledge the very real complication of sun glare, yet insist citing it as a contributing factor to an accident occurring is irresponsible??? What?

        Because sun glare is not an excuse for failing to exercise due care. And it’s not an accident if it was preventable (with due care); it’s a collision that you could have avoided. If you cannot see because of sun glare – s l o w . d o w n !

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Dan October 1, 2015 at 10:06 am

          “An 80-year-old driver was blinded by a sun glare when he crashed his SUV into two men riding bicycles north of Battle Ground on Wednesday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies said.”

          http://www.kgw.com/story/news/2015/05/27/bicyclists-hurt-clark-co-crash/28047183/

          From the top of a small crest at NE 132nd, to NE 128th, where this collision occurred, is a full 1/5th of a mile of straight, flat road. Assuming the driver was going 55mph, he would have had 13 seconds to see the riders at any point and adjust.

          Last I heard, the “investigation” was “ongoing”. Now, why you would need to investigate a clear case of a driver violating the basic speed rule and ADMITTING as much, I have no idea.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

        • TheRealisticOne October 3, 2015 at 9:58 pm

          John, I think it’s quite obvious that slowing down is what I do, you didn’t understand this?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • John Lascurettes October 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm

            I wasn’t replying to you. I replying to Beaverton Rider who was saying that it was inconsistent of you to say that using sun glare as a defense for irresponsible and unsafe driving was “inconsistent” – to which I was saying no, it’s not inconsistent. It’s logically consistent.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • John Lascurettes October 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

              … That is, “because of sun glare” cannot and and should not ever be used as a defense. If you hit someone because of that, you are driving unsafely and too fast. Beaverton Rider seems incredulous to that.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

      • TheRealisticOne October 3, 2015 at 10:14 pm

        Hey, BeavertonRider, I simply posted a comment, some of which you obviously misunderstood. I acknowledged sun glare as an issue, and I mentioned how I deal with it. Done, got it? It’s very clear that you’re blinded by the need to attack. I honestly don’t know the legalities of the case, apparently you know all the details. I didn’t ask you to comment on my post, sadly the cost of free speech is having to deal with people like you. If you don’t like the comments, then leave.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Mitch September 30, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    The cop observed a lack of visibility at this intersection. The DA found that the crash happened as a result of poor visibility. Is it possible to find out who designed the intersection and charge them with criminal negligence? Or at least recover compensatory and punitive damages from them in a civil case? And if he can’t go after the designer, could he go after the city officials who reviewed/approved the design?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Uh, no and no. You’re just out looking to hurt someone. Accidents happen. People here want to believe that Allen used his vehicle as a weapon because absent being 100% iron-clad sure that nothing would magically appear in front of him, this shouldn’t have happened, right?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Rob Chapman September 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve spent way too much money on reflective tape, B&M lights, helmets, helmet cam, Fly6, Hi-viz rain gear , etc. and I’ve spent too much time slowly learning how to get around in the city, reading and following the Oregon Driver and Bicycling handbooks and surviving too many near misses to give a shit about how little my life is valued by the “authorities”. Nobody is going to protect you but yourself.

    You take my leg and I’ll take yours, I promise. Censored in 3,2,

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    When the DA finds that Allen’s decisions and actions were not problematic enough to cite (do I have that right?), the message this seems to broadcast is that shooting the gap under conditions of poor visibility are in fact O.K.
    How can this be?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • 9watts September 30, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    “When Mr. Allen began his turn into the intersection he believed he could safely proceed through the intersection,” DA Banfield wrote in conclusion…

    When have we seen this kind of deference to judgment when the person in question was on a bike? If I believed that I can safely pass a line of parked(!) cars on the right, would that be good enough for the cops much less the DA? Would they defer to my judgment? Um, not in my experience.
    . . . . .

    I would have thought that if Corkett & Co. had been riding South through this intersection at night, in the rain that Allen would still be (held) responsible for seeing them, for taking whatever precautions he needs to to see them, not run over them. But if the DA cannot bring himself to find fault with Allen’s decision to proceed under the questionable circumstances in broad daylight, what hope is there for the night-time or rain-soaked biker to receive any justice, when visibility would certainly be far less good?

    This strikes me as madness, but the fact that you are pushing back, Jonathan, leads me to think that I must be missing something.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • soren October 1, 2015 at 7:14 am

      I don’t think you are missing anything. One of the limitations of journalism is that the need to maintain a relationship with relevant authorities *can* have an influence on the strength of any editorial commentary…

      Recommended Thumb up 4

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 8:53 am

      You are missing something and it’s huge.

      You’re demanding an orange when the DA only had an apple on the menu. The DA was assessing whether the driver should be prosecuted for criminal negligence. The DA was not trying to find fault in the driver’s evaluation of whether it was safe to proceed.

      You do see the important differences, right?

      We could all agree that the driver failed to exercise sufficient caution, failed to properly consider all factors in deciding when and how to proceed, and was a poor driver given his history and not being insured and, yet, none of that proves criminal negligence.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 8:56 am

        Yes I see those differences, and thought I said as much upthread. My point, however, remains: When and where in this process do we get to witness a finding, a statement, from the authorities that clearly and unequivocally communicates that what Allen did was unacceptable, was beyond the pale, cannot be allowed?

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

          Oh, so you’d be satisfied if the DA said a bunch of words? Come on.

          “Beyond the pale”? “Unacceptable”? Sheesh… The accident was a tragic one and thenbunch of words you want to hear doesn’t makenit any better, doesn’t community cate anything important, and will not help avoid similar accidents in the future.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

            I wonder if you’d talk this way if it were your brother or your son whose leg had been ripped off?

            Recommended Thumb up 1

    • lop October 2, 2015 at 1:11 am

      FWIW in my experience when driving, biking, or walking at night if a cyclist has a bright non blinking light it can be easier to spot them behind a car than during the day. If their light is blinking judging how far away they are and how fast they’re moving gets a lot dicier, never mind making it much harder to keep up with everything else on the road. Cyclists aren’t visible just because it’s midday.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BeavertonRider September 30, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    [Note from Publisher:

    Hi BeavertonRider,

    You might have noticed I have deleted several of your comments. You are being a bit too mean and you are using words of criticism directly toward other commenters. That’s something we don’t tolerate here. Please use more caution and choose your words more carefully. I value your comments and want to post them, but I don’t like your current tone. Thanks for understanding.

    –Jonathan Maus]

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      I hope that aporoach is consistently applied. Rolling through this thread there are several comments that are directly critical of me. Just saying…

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Dead Salmon September 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    This case proves the point that “if they can see you, they probably will not hit you”. It’s a sad reality that cyclists are small and difficult to see when riding in a sea of cars – this is even more so when the colors they wear do not stand out against the background. Not liking that reality, or choosing to ignore it or to believe otherwise, will not change it. Understanding that reality, a cyclist can choose to improve their odds of being seen. Obnoxious, fluorescent yellow and orange clothing at all times, reflective clothing at night, flashing lights all over more than any other place – these are a few of the things cyclists can do to make themselves more visible.

    Let the assassination of my character begin in 3, 2, 1……

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 8:41 am

      “assassination of my character”
      this is not the Oregonlive comment section. Since when does that phrase describe what goes on here? People who make wild, unfounded claims (here) do tend to receive push back but that is a far cry from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_assassination

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Pete October 1, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Being seen is key for cyclists riding in traffic, but clothing is only one aspect. If I’m wearing a high-viz jacket and I’m heading into an intersection like this, depending on my riding position, the color and brightness of that jacket may not actually enhance a driver’s sight of me that’s facing me. When you see road bikers riding around in the drops, how often are you able to read the logos on the front of their jerseys?

      We’ve done evening workshops (which I want to start up again) recording cyclists riding away from and towards a car with headlights on in low light. (I know there are many studies available too). Long story short, people are almost always surprised when reviewing the videos at how visible they really were. (Ironically some of the most reflective clothing materials we’ve seen are black in color).

      There are also those who’d argue that lane positioning makes a difference, as drivers tend to look for oncoming cars in the center of the oncoming lane.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 9:57 am

      I’ve got a very bright, always-on dyno light. I have a white helmet with reflective piping. I almost always wear bright shirts, many with reflective piping. I still get car drivers in broad daylight turning left across my path dangerously close. What’s the point? What happened in this case was not two riders, all in black without front headlights at night. This was broad daylight.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 9:59 am

        “What happened in this case was not two riders, all in black without front headlights at night.”

        And believe it or not in some countries (Strict Liability) even this would be handled with more compassion than we can probably imagine sitting here in this country.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Dan October 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Back with the character assassination claim again? I was still waiting for you to apologize for the last time you threw this out.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • wsbob October 2, 2015 at 11:59 am

      “This case proves the point that “if they can see you, they probably will not hit you”. It’s a sad reality that cyclists are small and difficult to see when riding in a sea of cars – this is even more so when the colors they wear do not stand out against the background. …” salmon

      Salmon…the point about ability to see vulnerable road users is relative to this particular traffic collision. Review of the facts summary in this story brings out that Allen, the person driving, before commencing to turn, apparently did see the two guys on approaching him from the opposite direction of travel.

      Though not in time to decide not to turn, he said. Why might that have been? Reasons maybe why are certainly debatable. Fact is though, as you basically noted, compared to most motor vehicles, people riding bikes are relatively small and difficult to see, particularly among other motor vehicles in traffic.

      In this incident, Allen said that preceding the two guys on bikes, were two motor vehicles, one traveling straight ahead, the other turning, both of which he allowed to pass him without commencing to turn. Allen’s view of the two guys on bikes may have been blocked somewhat until these two motor vehicles passed him by…or not; have to look at the traffic location more closely to be certain. And even if his view of the two guys on bikes was not blocked by the other motor vehicles, visibility gear they were wearing may have positively factored somewhat into how readily he happened to see them when he did finally see them.

      Regardless, the relative visibility of people riding, to other road users, is something important to consider. Various gear enabling vulnerable road users to visibly be more readily noted by road users, is an obviously beneficial aid to their safer use of the road.

      Bottom line in this traffic incident, Allen didn’t wait long enough to be absolutely certain the way was clear of oncoming traffic before commencing his left turn across that traffic’s lane.

      Don’t know what the two guys were using for visibility gear, but it stands to reason that because Allen apparently used some very bad judgment in deciding to commence his turn, even had the the guys happened to be equipped to stand out like a neon sign, and Allen had seen them before the two cars passed him, it’s not certain his awareness of their presence would have had him decide not to turn across their path, putting all three road users on a collision path.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dead Salmon September 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    The other thing this case points to is the dangerous nature of intersections. Over 9,000 deaths per year in the US occur due to collisions at intersections. And as a motor vehicle operator I’ve learned this: when one road user can cross the path of another road user significant danger exists.

    This occurs at intersections where left turning vehicles can cross the path of pedestrians in the cross walk. The pedestrian is always at huge risk in that scenario, and that scenario is the norm – white crosswalk lines do not stop cars. Another monster problem is the one in this particular case: left turns on yellow (or green ball) across opposing lanes of traffic – I suspect this one kills the most people. It should never be allowed.

    Intersections are horrible places, particularly for pedestrians, cyclists, etc. That’s why, given the opportunity I will always cross mid-block when no traffic is coming from either direction. I can’t always do that, but, when possible, that is the safest option by far. Mid-block I only have to worry about what’s happening in 2 directions – at an intersection I have to worry about 4 directions at least.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Chris I October 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

      We need more traffic circles.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jason September 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    This has nothing to do with who was right, or who was wrong, who was negligent or who had the right of way. It has everything to do with whether the DA thinks they can win the case. If there’s a shadow of a doubt, decline to press charges and preserve the win/loss ratio.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Dan October 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

      What’s frightening is that a case like this isn’t winnable in the US. Pretty much everyone on a jury is a driver.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Pete October 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

        Which begs the (hypothetical) question, if you were called to serve on the jury of a case where a cyclist was hit, what if you showed up for duty with a messenger bag wearing a helmet and reflective vest with your right pant cuff rolled up and pinned with a reflective Velcro band? ;-)

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Tom Hardy October 2, 2015 at 9:01 am

          Pete. From my experience with jury duty, if you showed up and even look like you might be a cyclist or mention that you are a cyclist, you would be permanently dismissed on the spot. I only mentioned that I was a cyclist after I was in the box and the judge dismissed me because I was familiar with the intersection in question.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Dead Salmon September 30, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Couple of points I did not see raised in comments above:

    How is it possible that Disano, who was in front of Corkett, was able to miss the truck while Corkett could not miss the truck?

    I’d think that the cyclist in front would have the greatest chance to hit the truck. The cyclist behind, Corkett, should have more time to avoid the collision – but perhaps he was trying to avoid hitting Disano who was braking in front of him. Could this play a part in the decision not to file charges?

    Is it possible that the close proximity of one bike to the other bike, caused Corkett to hit the truck while attempting to avoid a collision with Disano? Tailgating is illegal in cars and contributes to many accidents. Although drafting (tailgating) is standard procedure on a bike, did it contribute to this accident?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • wsbob October 1, 2015 at 1:48 am

      Questions you’ve raised, aren’t much addressed in the facts summary in this story. As to whether they were drafting, beyond Disano reportedly saying “… Corkett was just a bit behind him…”, no report of how close the two bikes were to each other, or to the rear of the last of the two cars that preceded them through the intersection. Facts say Disano just missed the rear of Allen’s truck. Corkett hit it.

      Travel duration on the part of the guys biking, upon entering to the point of the collision, I doubt would have been more than two or three seconds. So split seconds were literally critical here, as they often can be in many traffic situations.

      I wrote earlier that I think 18-23 mph through intersections, isn’t too fast, and I feel certain about that, though, motor vehicles across the intersection waiting to turn left, are a scary, dangerous situation. While riding, from people driving in such a situation, I’ve sensed their hesitation as I approach and proceed through intersections. It can be difficult to be absolutely certain some people driving won’t decide to bolt into their turn, trying to get it done before I pass by them.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Dead Salmon October 1, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        In any case, I still question WHY the cyclist in front was able to avoid hitting the truck, and the cyclist behind him was not able to avoid the collision. There is a reason. I’d like to know what it is.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • wsbob October 2, 2015 at 1:32 am

          Keep thinking the collision through. Allen turned directly across their lane of travel, obliging the guys riding to divert from the direction they were traveling to try avoid a collision. The guy in front just missed colliding with the pickup. The guy behind almost missed the truck did but not quite.

          Speculating: leading up to and entering the intersection, one of the guys may have been somewhat closer to the right side of the road than the other. In other words, right behind but not directly behind each other; riding somewhat parallel lines of travel. So as they reach the point of collision, and Allen across the intersection from them proceeds to turn, one of the guys has farther to veer left in order to clear the pickup, but isn’t able to enough to make it.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Dead Salmon October 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm

            The cyclist in front had to veer left more than the cyclist behind since the truck was farther west for the 2nd rider. BUT the truck was also farther north on his arc path and that may play a part.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • wsbob October 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

              Possibly, what you’re suggesting is as valid as some other ideas. It’s all a lot of speculation though. Unless the nature of the investigation conducted was of such an in depth type that it was possible to recreate with a high degree of certainty, what each road users exact line of travel was, the time sequence of entering the collision to the point of collision, and so on. Most likely not anything close to such an investigation with this particular collision.

              Bottom line: Allen decided to turn across their direction of travel without allowing himself sufficient time to clear the intersection and avoid a collision. He caused this collision.

              It’s a sobering thought, or should be to everyone using the road, to realize that the kind of rather common road use riskiness that many people, even people that are very good drivers may occasionally feel tempted by, can result in such devastating consequences for other people. As bad as the consequences of this collision are, maybe it will somehow figure into giving Allen the kind of personal awakening that will lead him to being a better, person and better driver.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • davemess October 1, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Yes, I wondered this too.

      This is definitely a bit of a weird incident as the cyclists actually hit the truck, and not the truck hit the cyclists.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • soren October 1, 2015 at 9:15 am

        Huh? The people cycling had legal right of way and the truck turned into their path.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • J_R October 1, 2015 at 10:00 am

        So, is your definition of who hit whom determined by which vehicle had damage to the front? Assume you are driving along the main highway and I pull into your path from the side-street; I realize too late that I missed seeing the stop sign and stop in the middle of the highway; you initiate a panic stop but T-bone me. Since I was stopped and you sustained front end damage, you hit me, right? What relevance does that have to anything? What actually matters is who had the right of way.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • davemess October 1, 2015 at 12:27 pm

          Pretty much. My definition is simply based on physics: the truck was moving West and the cyclists moving south. The truck was hit on the North/South plain.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Bill Walters October 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

            Except it wasn’t moving purely west; that would be more cut-and-dried. Rather, its driver was in the process of changing its vector *from* northward *to* westward by turning left without benefit of a specific left-arrow cycle (because it didn’t exist there yet) — a maneuver that calls for caution and restraint, hence the right-of-way law.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Dead Salmon October 1, 2015 at 3:43 pm

          Actually, if you got all the way out into the street (not just front 1/3 of vehicle), and you had time to stop, had I been paying attention I might have had the time to see you, brake and stop my car. It could be my fault. Lots of factors to consider: speeds, road/lighting conditions, visibility of your vehicle (to me) as you entered the street, etc.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • wsbob October 1, 2015 at 10:58 am

        “This is definitely a bit of a weird incident as the cyclists actually hit the truck, and not the truck hit the cyclists.” davemess

        Weird, but not so extraordinary. Not uncommon, except that in this particular traffic situation, the timing of the road users relative to each other in the intersection, was so close that the guys on bikes were brought very close to Allen in his pickup truck.

        Apparently from the facts summary, Allen was debating with himself as to whether he could make it through his left turn before the guys on bikes would enter into what would be his path of travel. Allen apparently guessed that he could make it, and guessed wrong, just about making it but not quite, leaving the rear of his pickup still in the path of the guys on bikes as he proceeded into his turn, and they on their way through the intersection.

        Something I wondered about but didn’t see mention of in the facts summary, was whether there also were motor vehicles behind the guys on bikes in addition to the two in front of them. If so, possibly Allen may have been looking further in the distance for that traffic and a possibly looking for gap through which he could make his left turn, failing to concentrate on the two guys on bikes which the summary suggests he did say he had seen, but too late.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • lop October 2, 2015 at 1:57 am

      >How is it possible that Disano, who was in front of Corkett, was able to miss the truck while Corkett could not miss the truck?

      http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Barry-Allen-SPI-Crash-Investigation-final-2.pdf

      >Mr. Disano said he then saw Mr. Allen’s truck pull into the intersection in the northbound turn lane. He said he saw into the cab as the driver hesitated, “like he was waiting for us.” Mr. Disano thought to himself “ok, we’re good”, and described he was already crossing the “Bike Box” at this point and Mr. Corkett was right behind him. A second later he saw Mr. Allen start to turn left westbound onto SE. Po well Blvd. and thought “Oh no! He’s turning.” Mr. Disano slammed on his brakes and started left as the truck started to turn. He said Mr. Corkett came up behind him on his left, “probably trying to avoid hitting me, because I slowed down so fast.” Mr. Disano said tha t Mr. Corkett kept going straight through the intersection. Mr. Disano said he was in full skid when Mr. Corkett passed by him.

      Sounds like Disano, the lead cyclist, didn’t proceed south through the intersection, but instead swerved eastbound to avoid the truck. Why Corkett was not able to do the same is unclear.

      “He said Mr. Corkett came up behind him on his left”

      I’m not sure what this means. After Disano swerved left Corkett was on his left continuing south? Or Corkett tried to swerve left but then swerved back right to avoid Disano? Waited to swerve left until after Disano had passed him and was unable to thread between Disano and the truck?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • soren October 1, 2015 at 7:22 am

    BikeLoudPDX is discussing a possible protest next week. If you are interested please comment on our email list and/or community facebook page.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!forum/bikeloudpdx

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/293708270840115/

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Lester Burnham October 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Well now I know all those stop sign runners crossing the neighborhood greenways can just claim “they didn’t see me” before running me over. Great! Platinum!

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 8:42 am

      J_R
      Of course you won’t obtain a conviction if you don’t even try for one. If you try and fail, you are at least sending a message that what you believe that the motorist was wrong. And, if you fail, you may have a better chance of demonstrating to the legislature that the law needs to be changed.Can anyone reasonably conclude that Mr. Allen should not receive SOME punishment for his recklessness, carelessness, not paying attention that was compounded by choosing to NOT have insurance?Recommended 2

      No. What you’ re describing is prosecutorial abuse and prosecutors are sanctioned for it. Prosecutors are not supposed to seat a grand jury in order to teach the Legislature a lesson.

      The prosecutor here has determined that he could not successfully convict on avery specific charge. Perhaps he’s seeking other charges? Perhaps he sees no criminal wrongdoing.

      None of that, though, should suggest that he or anyone else doesn’t believe that the driver made a mistake, is responsible for the accident, etc. Quite frankly, not having insurance, while a citable offense, had nothing to do with this incident as having a piece of paper in the car was not going to avoid what happened.

      Look, can we set aside emotions and think more clearly about this? The emotional outrage, combined with the inherent anti-car bias is leading many people to presume perfect knowledge of facts, the law, etc.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Dead Salmon October 1, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        Hey! A post with some common sense. You’re not from around here are ya?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm

          I wondered how long it would take the two of you to discover each other :-)

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Pete October 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm

            LMAO

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 9watts October 1, 2015 at 8:36 am

    “What they are saying is that ‘I didn’t see him’ is a good enough defense. It is not.”

    Mark Ginsberg commenting on the Police exonerations in the Jarolimek/Sparling cases.
    http://bikeportland.org/2007/10/24/when-failure-to-yield-isnt-5663

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:21 am

      But, again, that’s not what the DA based his assessment and conclusion on, now is it? Why pretend that “I didn’t see him” was the central tent to the DA determination process?

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Actually, having read the article above morr closely, it’s more clear that respondents here are responding more from an emotional basis than a logical basis.

    None of the respondents here is actually addressing the legal standard of negligence nor are they citing facts that would suggest the driver acted intentionally and/or recklessly.

    The DA held out the possibility of other citations, so many of the respondents here are simply wrong to conclude that the DA failed to fund any fault on the driver’s part.

    I really am surprised by the animosity here given what facts are available to us. Perhaps some of the respondents here were eyewitnesses or have had the chance to interview the driver so that they are in a better position than the DA to judge that the driver was, beyond any reasonable doubt, acting intentionally or recklessly?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • soren October 1, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Intent and recklessness are not the same thing.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

        I know, that’s why I didnt assert or imply as such. I am using the words that the DA used.

        Not clear why you thought I was saying they were the same…

        Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Dead Salmon October 1, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      BeavertonRider said: “I really am surprised by the animosity here given what facts are available to us.” You are?

      This animosity is displayed every time a cyclist is hit, but if someone suggests safer measures that might actually make a positive difference, they are accused of victim blaming and we hear why car drivers are responsible for cyclists safety, not the cyclists themselves. Nope, it is all on the car driver and they should be thrown in jail, fined until they are broke, etc, if they hit a cyclist in any scenario. I’ve seen it a hundred times on this website.

      Right now, there are many car-hating comments on the BP article on how much to charge for car parking. If a vote were held today to outlaw cars in PDX many on this website would vote for it. :)

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • J_R October 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      OK, BeavertonRider, please spell out for us what a logical, non-emotional reaction should be to the huge amount of damage caused by inattentive and/or careless motorist behavior.

      Maybe you’ve done some calculations and boiled it all down to dollars and cents. Perhaps you’ve calculated the delay of motor vehicle drivers at $10 per hour or whatever and a few lives at $1 million and a few injuries at $50,000 and concluded that it’s “cost effective” to incur a bit of “collateral damage” as long as we’re collectively saving a few million hours per year.

      I want sufficient monetary and non-monetary penalties to deter or at least reduce the inappropriate behavior that is costing so many people their lives, livelihood, and their wellness. I’ve concluded that a more aggressive prosecutorial approach, higher fines, longer sentences, and a few other things might have the desired effect. I’ve previously advocated for random sobriety stops and requiring proof of insurance on a more periodic basis than the once-every-two-years requirement that Oregon uses. I recognize that these all have limitations and problems, but I’m not content with the status quo.

      I’d be really interested in what non-emotional approach you recommend.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Given the facts of the case, the DA feels they can’t prove Allen acted recklessly or intentionally.

    But I bet you American dollars that if he had turned across opposing motor vehicle traffic without a break in traffic (as was the case with the bicycle traffic), he would have been charged with recklessness. Why? Because it’s a reckless maneuver to do so without checking traffic.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Interesting hypothetical that is quite irrelevant and meaningless. Perhaps if you want to do a bit of data gathering and evaluate whether there’s a statistically significant disparity the in such bike v car prosecutions then you may have a point. Otherwise, you have an uninformed hypothetical.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • scott October 1, 2015 at 9:56 am

    This is really close to the logic that they use on civilian deaths from drone strikes. They didn’t know they were raining fire from the sky on innocent civilians, so how can the be held accountable for unleashing hell?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Uh, actually, no. Who has presented such logic? Not US officials as far as i know. In fact, US officials acknowledge and then investigate such incidents. The reports that have been published don’t ever conclude that the drone operator or the mission planners just didn’t know.

      In fact, ror’s require command approval when dumping ordinance in space populated by civilians in drone sorties precisely because commanders are given the authority to weigh the mission objective against the risk of civilian casualtirs and deaths. So, clearly, no one would argue they didn’t know they were dropping ordinance near civilians because there is a deliberate decision making process.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • scott October 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

        Kind of like he decided to go even when he knew the cyclist was there? Like that decision making process?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

    UPDATE, 10:00 am on 10/1: Mayor Charlie Hales confirmed this morning on Twitter that the man driving truck will be issued three citations: careless driving, dangerous left turn, and driving uninsured. The careless citation will trigger the Vulnerable Roadway Users law (because it led to serious injury) and therefore Mr. Allen will face a steeper fine (up to $12,500), community service, and so on.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:34 am

      And all this hand-wringing about whether the driver would be cited or not…

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Pete October 1, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Interested in hearing if he loses his license or not (and for how long)…

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Bjorn October 1, 2015 at 11:13 am

          ORS say that if you are in a collision while driving without insurance your license will be suspended for 1 year and then you have to do additional proof of insurance filing to get your license back. I helped draft and pass the Vulnerable Users Law, we wrote it for a case exactly like this where the standard for intentional harm wasn’t met but the driver’s actions clearly led to the serious injury of a VRU. We would have liked to have lowered the bar for criminal penalties but unfortunately the truth is that legislators don’t want to vote for a law that they could see themselves violating, and that juries don’t want to send people to jail for something they could see themselves doing. I think that when you look at the permanent financial harm that people cause victims when they cause this type of injury and are driving without insurance that the case can be made that the act of getting behind the wheel starts a predictable chain of harm the same way that we say if you drink and then drive the penalties will step up because you are more likely to cause harm to other people. I’d like to see an increase in penalties for people who make the choice to drive without insurance both when they hurt people and when they get lucky and don’t. I’m glad to hear that PPB will be following up with a VRU filing and hopefully the hundreds of hours of community service will at least make the perpetrator have to spend some time thinking about the consequences of his actions.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • HJ October 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm

            Now if only we could get Washington County to start using the Vulnerable Users Law.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

          • paikiala October 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm

            Civil penalties phase hasn’t even begun yet. Justice comes in many forms, as does injustice.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • 9watts October 2, 2015 at 1:06 pm

              Sure. But if we look back over the past few dozen cases where someone on a bike was maimed or killed by someone in a car, did we ever hear anything, any details, any guilty verdicts, after the ‘no citations were filed’ or ‘he couldn’t have seen him’? Of course not.

              It is only sort of comforting to hear that there is a process churning away in the background that is part of how the legal system handles situations like this. If it is, basically, impossible to ever find out what came of those proceedings, what good is it? The opportunity to communicate to the world at large that our system takes public safety seriously is lost.

              Recommended Thumb up 6

              • Dan October 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

                Sounds like a job for Nathan Hinkle!

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • barb lin October 1, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          Wouldn’t be the first time!!! Should permanently loose license, not that that will stop him.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Tom Hardy October 2, 2015 at 9:11 am

            Nickle to a hole in a donut that Allen is and has been back on the road behind the wheel.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

    • BeavertonRider October 1, 2015 at 10:35 am

      So now, how many posters will walk back there reactions that Portland cannot be bike friendly because the city failed to punish this driver?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Bill Walters October 1, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Depends whether PPB follows through with actual citations this time, not just an announcement of intent to (re)cite after “administrative error.”

        Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Rob Chapman October 1, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        I’ll walk back my reactions when traffic citations can regenerate a young man’s leg.

        Recommended Thumb up 10

      • J_R October 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm

        Wow! So he will apparently get a slap on the wrist. That’s assuming the PPB actually does follow through with reissuing citations. Allen has apparently had multiple citations over the years. He was driving without insurance. Allen should not have been driving at all. Even if Allen does forfeit his license for a year or two, do you really think that will stop him from driving?

        No amount of punishment will bring back Corkett’s leg, but the absence of punishment (or the relatively minor punishment) sends a clear message to drivers that they will be treated similarly and that they really don’t need to fear consequences for their carelessness.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

    • John Lascurettes October 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      VERY nice to hear that the VRU rule will be put into play here. It’s so rare it is put to use since it was enacted.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • El Biciclero October 2, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Color me very surprised. Have the VRU amendments to ORS 811.135 ever been applied before now?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • soren October 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Careless driving is reckless driving. People walking or biking are 2nd class people.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • barb lin October 1, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    ” He found that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove to a jury that Allen was guilty or criminal negligence.”
    ???????
    Jury trial is EXACTLY where this belongs. This looser had a crap driving record, was uninsured and had numerous prior moving violations. He is the type of person who should not be operating a motor vehicle. PERIOD. Jury trial? Slam dunk!
    And for Pete’s sake don’t ever let the words “administrative errors” appear on the same page as a story about someone loosing their leg.
    -Absolutely DISGUSTED

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Bjorn October 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      I don’t think a jury would ever know about his prior driving record as it would be inadmissible. I agree that he is the type of person who should not be allowed to drive, but I don’t think that this case would have been a slam dunk. The way the law is written makes it very difficult to convict, and legislators have not been supportive of making it easier.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • rachel b October 1, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I feel for Corkett. And it scares me to know that someone can convince the law “I didn’t see them” at what I consider to be an intersection with uncommonly good visibility on all sides.

    I think the way drivers have come to expect to be able to drive on both Powell and SE 26th contributes greatly to the danger at that intersection. The absence of speed enforcement on SE 26th has created the monster we now live with. I live on SE 26th (as many of you know, har). The attitude drivers exhibit here is one of impatience and entitlement : “Oh, good! I can step on it here and save some time!”  We’ve all seen how frustrated, thwarted drivers like to hit the gas when they can, and that flat, un-calmed stretch from Clinton to Powell is a real temptation. Even the presence of a school does nothing to slow speeders. I think there’s a similar attitude between SE Powell and Gladstone. And I believe that entitled driver mindset established on SE 26th barrels right into the intersection at Powell/SE 26th.
     
    Commuters who’ve ditched SE 39th and SE 11th & 12th have come to see SE 26th as the “fast” shortcut and they expect to be able to drive faster and to get home at a certain time. And absent the traffic calming measures (naturally occurring and built) of many other Portland streets, there’s nothing to discourage speeding (except more cars, and I see there are more every day). The light for north and southbound drivers on SE 26th at Powell is long, and the impatience builds to just get across the intersection so they can go go go on the other side.

    The mindset of drivers everywhere in Portland is rancid in general nowadays. But I do think it’s esp. bad on little streets like SE 26th for the very reason that it’s less logjammed (for now) than SE 11th & 12th and SE 39th, i.e. Drivers inching through Portland everywhere else look forward to those little stretches where they can floor it, like they floor it from Cleveland H.S. to the Clinton intersection and back. No visible speed signs, no crosswalks, no enforcement and a lengthy flat stretch to put the pedal to the metal.

    I see more and more dangerous situations every day on SE 26th between Clinton and Powell. Frustrated neighbors attempting to cross the street, waiting 5 minutes with no cars stopping and then deciding to hightail it w/ fingers crossed. Saw a man pushing a stroller on one corner and a kid (maybe 8 or 9) kitty corner from him yesterday, waiting, waiting… They decided at last to make a dash for it. The kid almost get mowed over by a driver who never even stepped on the brakes, and just sped on. This sis a common sight. There’s going to be another horrific accident on SE 26th if something doesn’t change, and soon. 

    Speed and carelessness begets speed and carelessness, and when they go unchecked, drivers have the power to maim and kill neighbors, and neighborhoods.

    My best wishes to Alistair.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • El Biciclero October 2, 2015 at 10:15 am

      “Speed and carelessness begets speed and carelessness, and when they go unchecked, drivers have the power to maim and kill neighbors, and neighborhoods.”

      Amen. Like a classroom full of kids who are supposed to stay working quietly at their desks—if one kid starts whispering and doesn’t get “in trouble” for it, others will start. Then it escalates to louder and louder talking, and if nothing is done, pretty soon there are paper wads flying and kids running around the room.

      I view speeding through a neighborhood as a sign of serious disrespect. It is comparable to going to someone’s house and starting a game of football in the living room. If you wouldn’t do that in someone’s house, don’t speed and drive carelessly or aggressively through their neighborhood

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Dan October 2, 2015 at 3:09 pm

        Speeding is not a victimless crime.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Dead Salmon October 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

          It is if you don’t get into an accident, which is the case in 99.9% of speeding incidents. In fact probably 90% of cars are speeding at any given time if the road ahead is clear.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Dead Salmon October 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

            BUT I don’t recommend speeding in congested or residential areas. I usually go slower than the speed limit there because I don’t want to kill a child or a pet, or a cyclist, etc.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Bill Walters October 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm

            “In fact,” 90% of your posts seem to specify shares of 90%. That seems about 99.9% non-credible. Sadly, you’re probably half right in this case.

            But no, it’s not victimless. Even if you don’t collide with anyone, you’re one of the lemmings driving group lawlessness that _does_ result in collisions. Including bizarre, high-energy rollover collisions on city streets. Collisions with buildings, even.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • rachel b October 2, 2015 at 11:40 pm

              That spot where SE Woodward (the latest, greatest cut-through for those avoiding Division and Clinton) meets SE 26th is becoming an esp. dangerous spot. Saw a crash there myself a few weeks ago and have seen evidence since of other crashes (glass, debris). Have also witnessed a lot of close calls. SE 26th is becoming more dangerous by the day. I’m really worried someone crossing the street on foot or bike is going to get mowed down.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Dan October 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

            Speeding on the roads in and around my neighborhood causes people to be afraid to use those roads in any conveyance other than a car. It causes pedestrians to be afraid to cross the street even when it is their right to do so. It causes kids to stay inside and play minecraft instead of playing soccer in the street or riding a bike to their friend’s house. It causes noise pollution, and requires everyone to spend more money on ‘street widening for safety’. It wastes gasoline. It stresses out other drivers who are not comfortable driving over the speed limit, and submits them to road rage and intimidation from those drivers unwilling to stay under the limit.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Mark October 3, 2015 at 6:36 am

    The solution to intersections like this is simple. The Europeans have been at it for decades. This intersection needs a roundabout. With a bike/ ped flyway.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • wsbob October 3, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Mark…for this particular intersection, a roundabout and a flyway is an interesting idea…but could such a treatment really be a simple solution? Next time you’re out that way, take a look at the intersection: high volume of traffic, all corners of the intersection already have established uses.

      Roundabouts as I understand them being, generally require a greater area of land than do intersections with streets at right angles to each other. And flyways…if that’s something like an overpass, it sounds like lots of money, not to mention the climb involved in getting to them over the main road below.

      The left turn light, where there had been none, which had been on the installation schedule but was moved forward following the collision, should help quite a bit to reduce hazards of this type traffic situation. Left turns though, across traffic approaching from the opposite direction, are inherently of greater hazard to vulnerable road users than they are to people within the protective bodies of motor vehicles having them. Something to always keep in mind when passing through intersections.

      Recommended Thumb up 0