View Full Version : Two dead on 5/29 riding Highway 47
05-30-2006, 08:22 AM
The report on the local news last night was that the driver who swerved onto the shoulder of the road and killed this couple will not face any charges and was not taken into custody.
I almost hope these kind of killings are a hit and run or DUI anymore since you can kill bicyclists with impunity if you stay at the wreck site and you are sober.
Crash kills 2 bicyclists from Forest Grove
07:56 AM PDT on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
A driver struck and killed two bicyclists Monday on Highway 47 south of Forest Grove, the authorities said.
The victims were Darrel McDaniel, 65, and Sheryl McDaniel, 61, both of Forest Grove, said Sgt. David Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
The motorist, whose name has also not been released, was not injured.
Thompson said the cyclists were riding on the shoulder of the road when the car hit them. He said investigators do not think alcohol was a factor.
The deaths brought to eight the number of people in the state who lost their lives in traffic crashes over the Memorial Day weekend, the Oregon State Police said.
05-30-2006, 10:00 AM
You know, as sad as it is, Accidents do happen.
05-30-2006, 12:36 PM
I don’t think of someone swerving off the road and running down two people as an “accident” in the vernacular meaning anyway. If obviously is in the legal sense. I believe people who make choices that lead to avoidable accidents ought to be held personally accountable. There are laws on the books (some of which are probably hard to prosecute - I’m obviously no lawyer) where negligence plays a key role in criminal prosecution. Part of the reason driving is such a dangerous activity is that negligent drivers aren’t held personally responsible for their actions. It’s not a popular view I guess, but when I see someone gunning their sports car from intersection to intersection, I don’t see much of a difference between that and waving a gun around. Both are deadly devices, and for both the state claims the right to regulate the use of.
I’d like to see the law beefed up in general around negligent behavior (especially when driving) that contributes to maiming or death. It bothers me that someone can park their car on top of one of my family members due to the tragic “fact” that they were changing a radio station and got distracted, and that’s it: the state tells me “shit happens buddy, it was a tragic accident. He’s gonna be driving home to sleep in his bed tonight as soon as we can pry his car off your wife.” It sounds like a recipe for encouraging vigilantism to me.
05-31-2006, 11:10 AM
It looks like the original report that the driver wouldn't face charges might be wrong. They are investigating further but say proving negligence is difficult. If they can't prove criminal negligence, she'll receive a $242 ticket for "failure to maintain a lane".
05-31-2006, 01:51 PM
Russel, I completely agree. If someone screwed up and caused injury, they should be responsible for the injury or death that was caused by there actions. From everything I can tell, the cyclists did nothing wrong (other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time) and the driver should be held accountable. Killing two people and getting a ticket is very disturbing to me. This person killed two people. Maybe not intentionally, but through their action of not maintaining their lane, which is negligent in my mind.
06-01-2006, 02:05 PM
It is so easy to post to a forum with speculation, much easier than taking five minutes to follow up and get the real info.
I called the number for Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon just now (503-846-2506). Didn't get the Sheriff, but did get an officer who was very sympathetic and helpful. I explained that the KATU news article said the driver had driven onto the shoulder, but "it has to be proved that the driver was doing something negligent in order to press criminal charges like manslaughter." I complained that driving on the shoulder to me IS "something negligent." The officer explained that the evidence gathered will go to a grand jury which will decide whether a criminal charge should be brought against the driver. The reason this procedure often doesn't result in a criminal chage, is that the grand jury will invariably be made up mostly of motorists, most of or all of whom will realize that they have made similar mistakes like veering onto the shoulder. It is due to the system, which I think is broken, and not due to the decision of any officer that this woman will likely not be charged if it is not shown that she was for example busy dialing a cell phone or reaching into the back seat for something. Would Oregonians ever pass a law making it a criminal act to cause a death while committing ANY traffic infraction? I doubt it, because most Oregonians are motorists and know that they are not perfect drivers, but it is something we could strive for rather than complaining among ourselves on a blog.
06-01-2006, 03:12 PM
The first post was made the morning after the deaths and was a quote from channel 8 the night before: not speculation. The report said the driver was allowed to leave the scene and would not face any charges. After more news was reported saying the police were still investigating I reposted with links. As for calling the sheriff directly, to be honest I'd have thought of it as being presumptuous as I am not a family member or a member of the press. I'll consider it in the future though; it's a good idea.
Did you just represent yourself as a concerned citizen or media? When you called them did you ask if the driver was given a blood alcohol test at the scene? Ask why not if she wasn't? Did you ask why the media claimed that they were told by the police the driver would not face charges, and then told that she'd been allowed to leave the scene after giving officers no account of what she was doing when she swerved off the road? The next call should be to channel KGW to ask to talk to the reporter who made the report on the 5/29 11pm nwscast.
How can anyone not agree with Russel? Sure, accidents do happen, and sometimes it may be understandable. But almost surely in most cases it is considerable neglect or many times sheer reckless and irresponsible driving. The fact that there is little accountability is not helping things. If all cars were required to have black box recorders that would be used to reconstruct accidents, the rate of accidents would go down sharply, just by a simple change in attitude.
I've been cycling Portland since the early nineties and have had to deal with my share of hateful pickups and the usual, and this hadn't kept me from bike commuting very frequently. But observing motorists, as a cyclist, motorist, pedestrian, and reader of the close calls forum board, I've never seen anything like this for the past several years. There are trends developing here that have lead to a steady increase in the frequency of close calls for me (and other cyclists); these things are not boding well for cyclists:
1. ADD drivers.
2. Extreme impatience and intolerance, commonplace roadrage.
3. Cell phones.
4. Hate targeted specifically at cyclists.
These trends have changed my attitude towards bike commuting in portland in the present and near future. You should in no way feel guilty for not conserving resources, and not reducing traffic and pollution. Your life is worth much much more than any amount of fuel.
I'd like to say to other commuters out there to consider giving it a break for a few years and reduce the time on the road until things get better.
Part of the reason driving is such a dangerous activity is that negligent drivers aren’t held personally responsible for their actions. It’s not a popular view I guess, but when I see someone gunning their sports car from intersection to intersection, I don’t see much of a difference between that and waving a gun around. Both are deadly devices, and for both the state claims the right to regulate the use of.
I’d like to see the law beefed up in general around negligent behavior (especially when driving) that contributes to maiming or death. It bothers me that someone can park their car on top of one of my family members due to the tragic “fact” that they were changing a radio station and got distracted, and that’s it: the state tells me “shit happens buddy, it was a tragic accident. He’s gonna be driving home to sleep in his bed tonight as soon as we can pry his car off your wife.” It sounds like a recipe for encouraging vigilantism to me.[/quote]
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