Coverage of Austin Miller

Austin Miller was killed when he and a bus collided while he was riding his bike home from school in Beaverton on February 11, 2008.

Below are the stories I have written about this tragedy.

Oregonian: TriMet settles Austin Miller death for $200,000

Posted on April 8th, 2009 at 11:47 am.

“TriMet’s agreement to pay the maximum amount of damages that TriMet believes it owes proves that Austin’s death was the result of a bus driver’s carelessness.”
— Stephanie Miller, Austin Miller’s mother

The Oregonian’s Aimee Green is reporting that Austin Miller’s parents have reached a settlement with TriMet for $200,000.

Austin Miller died on February 11, 2008 (at the age of 15) when he and a TriMet bus collided near the intersection of SW Murray and SW Farmington Road in Beaverton.


TriMet sued for $2 million in Beaverton fatality

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 3:12 pm.

The ghost bike for Austin Miller.
(Photos: Jim “K’Tesh” Parsons)

The Oregonian is reporting that Austin Miller’s mother, Stephanie Miller, has filed a $2 million lawsuit against TriMet in the death of her 15 year-old son.

According to the Oregonian, the lawsuit claims that the TriMet driver was, “negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout for bicycle traffic.”

On February 11, Miller was riding his bike home from school and had just re-entered the roadway of SW Farmington Road (after riding on the sidewalk of SW Murray Blvd.) when he collided with a TriMet bus and was killed.


TriMet bus driver cleared of wrongdoing in fatal bike collision

Posted on April 28th, 2008 at 9:43 am.

bikes and buses

The Oregonian reported this morning that the driver of a TriMet bus that collided with 15 year-old Beaverton high school student Austin Miller back in February has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

According to the Oregonian, the Beaverton Police Department deemed the collision was “unavoidable”.

The crash happened on February 11th. Miller, an experienced rider who was coming home from school, was traveling south on the sidewalk adjacent to SW Murray Road. Miller and the bus collided as he re-entered the roadway and attempted to go west (right) onto SW Farmington. The bus was traveling west on SW Farmington and was pulling into a stop at the corner where the collision occurred.


Movie premiere will benefit Austin Miller Scholarship Fund

Posted on April 14th, 2008 at 10:38 am.

A scholarship fund has been
set up by Film Action Oregon
in honor of Austin Miller

Two years before his tragic death, Beaverton high school student Austin Miller attended a summer program to learn how to produce documentary films.

That program, Project Youth Doc, is run by Film Action Oregon. Now, in honor of Austin’s “inimitable spirit,” the organization has set up the Austin Miller Scholarship Fund.

On April 18th and 19th, Film Action Oregon will host a special showing of a rare, youth-created, shot-by-shot remake of the blockbuster Steven Spielberg pic Raiders of the Lost Ark. The remake, titled Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, was produced by three 12 year-olds from Mississippi (learn more about the film here).


BTA, TriMet announce bus/bike safety initiatives

Posted on February 26th, 2008 at 1:40 pm.

TriMet GM Fred Hansen
TriMet GM Fred Hansen
is working with the BTA
on bus/bike safety.
(Photos © J. Maus)

In the wake of the tragic death of 15 year-old Austin Miller, who was killed when he and a TriMet bus collided in Beaverton earlier this month, TriMet has issued a press release (full text below) that outlines immediate, near-term, and long-term actions they will take “to make it safer for bicyclists and buses.”

Working in partnership with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), TriMet says in the statement that after the Miller fatality, “it became clear to the leadership at TriMet and the BTA that preventing future crashes like this one would take more than simply admonishing bicyclists and drivers.”


A year before the tragedy, Austin Miller wrote “Please Do Not Run Me Over”

Posted on February 25th, 2008 at 3:46 pm.

In the article, Austin Miller wrote,
“How would we solve this biking
problem? Well for starters, why
don’t all major roads have
bike paths?”.

A year before a tragic fate befell Austin Miller, the 15 year-old Beaverton student wrote an opinion article on bike safety for his school newspaper titled, “Please Do Not Run Me Over.”

Writing under the pseudonym “Charlie Elsewhere”, the article (full text below) was published in The Savant, the school newspaper at the Art and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, where Miller was a sophomore.

Reading through it, I had mixed emotions. As a father, I found it chilling and immensely sad. As a bike advocate, I found it frustrating. I also had no idea that Austin was so well-versed in bike advocacy.


Bikes on sidewalks: Could Washington County be held liable in tragedy?

Posted on February 13th, 2008 at 10:45 pm.

“Signing any sidewalk as a bicycle path increases the likelihood of tort settlements even years later.”
–FHWA Course on Bicycle and Transportation Planning

The recent tragedy in Beaverton leaves many unanswered questions.

Among them is whether or not Washington County contributed to a dangerous situation by designating a sidewalk as the bike route — a practice that state and federal transportation agencies strongly discourage.


A ghost bike and a rally for Austin Miller

Posted on February 12th, 2008 at 11:32 pm.

Bike safety advocates at a memorial gathering
earlier this evening for Austin Miller.
(Photos: Jim Parsons)

About 15-20 bike safety advocates held a brief rally tonight at the site of yesterday’s fatal bike/bus collision on SW Farmington Road just west of Murray Blvd.

Participants held signs and placed tea lights and flowers at a ghost bike that has been erected for 15 year-old Austin Miller.


Tonight: Memorial planned for Austin Miller

Posted on February 12th, 2008 at 3:57 pm.

Austin Miller

Hal Ballard, acting executive director of the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition has organized a brief memorial service tonight for Austin Miller, the 15 year-old who was killed after colliding with a bus in Beaverton yesterday.

The service will begin at 5:00pm tonight at the intersection of SW Murray and Farmington Road.

Ballard says he and a group of supporters will hold signs with the ‘And we Bike‘ slogan, “to remind motorists of our relationship to them”.

The City of Beaverton has also granted permission for a ghost bike to be installed in memory of Austin.

Beaverton commuters weigh in on deadly intersection

Posted on February 12th, 2008 at 1:35 pm.

Yesterday’s tragic bus/bike collision in Beaverton that claimed the life of 15 year-old Austin Miller occurred at an intersection that is known to be tricky and dangerous.

The precise mechanics of what happened are still unclear, but we do know that Miller was struck by the #52 TriMet bus as he entered SW Farmington Road from SW Murray Blvd.