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View Full Version : Rider Killed-West Union, Washington County


PDXGS
09-16-2006, 07:32 AM
from KGW...God I hate this kind of crap.

A bicyclist was struck and killed Friday evening while riding along NW West Union, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The male rider was hit by a Ford Expedition SUV. According to reports, the cyclist was riding eastbound on NW West Union and the SUV was westbound. The SUV driver, a mother with three young children in her vehicle, said she did not see the cyclist as she crossed the eastbound lane at a"Y" intersection on a bypass to Helvetia Rd. Investigators believe the sun may have been in the driver's eyes.

The cyclist, a white male in his 30's, was wearing a helmet. Life Flight was called but the cyclist died at the scene. His identity was not immediately available.

The cause of the crash was still under investigation and no charges had been filed.

WhiteSword
09-16-2006, 07:57 AM
Wil she go to jail ?

GelFreak
09-16-2006, 09:05 AM
nope, not if that excuse proves to hold any truth.

Simple Nature
09-16-2006, 08:41 PM
Washington County need to free up or create some funds to widen some shoulders in our not-so-rural thoroughfares. I can't get myself to ride these narrow, poor sight distance roads until something is done.

My condolences to his friends and family.

alpinejunkie
09-17-2006, 07:52 AM
A woman in an SUV with three kids in back? I'm sure her full attention was on the road, It really is sad that helmets can't save us from people like this, only our commen sense has to remain intact

HillSlug
09-17-2006, 01:09 PM
I went out to West Union/Helvetia yesterday at 6PM ish and took some photos. It appears that the "sun in the eyes" is only a convienent excuse. The sun would have been in the driver's high 11 o'clock with the rider coming from 1-2 o'clock. I also made a panorama showing clear sightlines for at least 200+ yards on the long sweeping S turn. I had no difficulty seeing oncoming traffic even with the glare from my dirty windshield and oversensitive LASIK modified eyes. This was entirely preventable in my opinion. The sun was in her eyes if she was looking at the sun not if she was looking for oncoming traffic. There is something else at play here.

I would like to know if deputies seized her cell phone as part of the investigation. As no criminal charges are likely, I hope there are some hefty civil penalties as a result of this.

I'll try to get the photos to Jonathan once he empties his mailbox.

TCR Punk
09-17-2006, 01:23 PM
The Police and Courts need to start giving out harsh penalties for hitting cyclists with their vehicles. I saw part of a story on the news the other day, the very end portion that I caught said, "...no files are going to be charged, that it was just a very tragic accident." If we're supposed to obey that laws of the road, then when someone hits a cyclist and kills them, and it was the vehicles fault. The police and courts need to step up and give them a penality. Charge them with something.

ben
09-17-2006, 02:16 PM
I went out to West Union/Helvetia yesterday at 6PM ish and took some photos. It appears that the "sun in the eyes" is only a convienent excuse. The sun would have been in the driver's high 11 o'clock with the rider coming from 1-2 o'clock. I also made a panorama showing clear sightlines for at least 200+ yards on the long sweeping S turn. I had no difficulty seeing oncoming traffic even with the glare from my dirty windshield and oversensitive LASIK modified eyes. This was entirely preventable in my opinion. The sun was in her eyes if she was looking at the sun not if she was looking for oncoming traffic. There is something else at play here.

I would like to know if deputies seized her cell phone as part of the investigation. As no criminal charges are likely, I hope there are some hefty civil penalties as a result of this.

I'll try to get the photos to Jonathan once he empties his mailbox.

thank you so much for doing this.
i love living in a community where someone even thinks of getting off their butt and doing something....nevermind actually going through with it.

again, thank you.

sunningotter
09-17-2006, 10:35 PM
Having been rolled across a hood of an inattentive driver last month, I can speak from experience. They are NOT watching, they do NOT care, and they WILL run you over if you let them. When I contacted the PPB officer who responded to the accident call as to why the driver was not cited for failure to yield, he responded that a driver following the one that launched me had informed him that she had indeed stopped at the intersection, hence she was not at fault. He was unresponsive when I mentioned that I was not claiming that she didn't stop at the sign, but that she failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Do we need to mount airhorns or sirens to get these people's attention (which, I discovered when searching OR statutes, is illegal to do on a bike...)?

donnambr
09-17-2006, 11:24 PM
So those Airzounds airhorn things are illegal? Well, then call me a scofflaw, 'cause I'm getting one as soon as the budget allows.

Hope you didn't sustain too much damage...

Confido8
09-18-2006, 05:52 AM
Mike was my neighbor. We found out about the crash yesterday from his family and were just devistated. He had a wife, a six year old son and a 3 year old daughter. He just moved his family out from Ohio in June for a better life and picked the area due to his love of cycling.

I just hope they thoroughly investigate this, we need to have heavier consequences for people not paying attention behind the wheel.

Thanks everyone for caring.

ben
09-18-2006, 09:07 AM
yeah.
i just found out this morning that mike was my boss's husband's co-worker. she said it was hitting him (and his friends) really hard.

i really hope there is a detailed investigation. i'm sure if they let the "sun in my eyes" excuse fly, we will start hearing it on a regular basis in future "accidents."

bbstanley
09-18-2006, 10:09 AM
Mike was a cycling friend of my husbands for the past 15 years or so. We live in Chicago and were just out in Portland in July. I met Mike and his family for the first time then. He was an amazing and kind person and his death is so senseless. We are both really shaken up. He truly loved Portland and the cycling culture. As a life-long rider and basically semi-pro, this is a drastic loss to the cycling community. He will be missed by many and keep his family in your thoughts.

My husband I are avid cyclists/racers in Chicago and since coming to Portland and talking to Mike, we are considering a move for a better lifestyle. After losing Mike and reading of some other recent "accidents" we are concerned about saftey. What is Portland doing to prevent these losses of life?

Confido8
09-18-2006, 10:14 AM
yeah, completely senseless and tragic, we just couldn't beleive it was Mike. heard about it on the news on Sat but didn't put 2 & 2 together until we saw his wife yesterday. he was the nicest guy, very sad that this kind of stuff seems to happen to some of the best people...

bbstanley
09-18-2006, 10:22 AM
yeah, we just couldn't beleive it was Mike. heard about it on the news on Sat but didn't put 2 & 2 together until we saw his wife yesterday. he was the nicest guy, very sad that this kind of stuff seems to happen to the best people...

If you see his wife, please tell her all of Mike's friends in chicago are thinking about her. My husband and I want to do something, but we just don't know what. We are just in shock. One thing I was thinking of was a ghost bike in his honor. Do you have these in Portland?

ben
09-18-2006, 12:15 PM
One thing I was thinking of was a ghost bike in his honor. Do you have these in Portland?

yeah we do.
and i think thats a good idea.

Climber
09-18-2006, 09:28 PM
I'll try to get the photos to Jonathan once he empties his mailbox.

Thanks, Hill Slug

HillSlug
09-18-2006, 11:25 PM
http://web.mac.com/iprouse/iWeb/Site%202/Photos.html

Haven_kd7yct
09-19-2006, 07:47 AM
Hmmm.... well, based on your photos, and depending on how dirty the inside of the woman's windshield was, the sun glare upon approaching the intersection could have been a factor, but....

Once you get to the intersection, based on your photos, she should have been able to see him. Unless the sun was not behind clouds at the time and again, the inside of her windshield was just filthy.

Still seems like a senseless death to me.

lyleleander
09-19-2006, 10:29 AM
i really hope there is a detailed investigation. i'm sure if they let the "sun in my eyes" excuse fly, we will start hearing it on a regular basis in future "accidents."


i noticed that the driver who hit the woman at the intersection of 34th and belmont earlier this month (who all witnesses said was driving WAY past the speed limit), and who ran a stop light causing the accident, said that the sun was in his eyes and so he couldn't see that the light was red.

this stuff has to stop, somehow.

my first reaction when i hear people excusing their deeds based off the fact that you can't see the road, traffic-light, anything etc, is that it makes the negligence worse, almost, than if you just weren't paying attention with a full view of everything. what is the difference between driving while your hammered and can't see straight, and speeding excessively in a residential area (or any area for that matter) while you basically are blinded?

it really blows your mind how irrationality like this is able to fly and people continue to get away with this stuff. perhaps it has something to do with the amount of lying that has been going on unchecked at our "highest" levels for so long, and how we've turned into a 'black is white', 2+2=5, up=down society in a lot of ways because of it.

Confido8
09-19-2006, 11:57 AM
even if the sun is in your eyes, how does it become excusable to keep driving at full speed while making a left turn into oncoming traffic? wouldn't this fall under the same category as driving at full speed in low visibility fog? If you can't see, slow the hell down until you can see!!!

bbstanley
09-19-2006, 12:38 PM
even if the sun is in your eyes, how does it become excusable to keep driving at full speed while making a left turn into oncoming traffic? wouldn't this fall under the same category as driving at full speed in low visibility fog? If you can't see, slow the hell down until you can see!!!


I totally agree. The more I replay the scene in my head, the more pissed off I become. So the sun is in your eyes, you are traveling God knows how fast and you turn thinking "oh well, hopefully its clear"...???? Yeah, it just doesn't add up. Oh and with children in the car??? HELLO? Has anyone seen anymore news coverage on this?

drosen
09-19-2006, 08:02 PM
is horrible. I live in the Helvetia area. The intersection that is pictured is a mess and should be re-designed. People wanting to go east on West Union from Shute Road have two ways to get on the road, same with accessing Shute Road from West Union. I bet the county is going to have to look at simplify that intersection. What a pity.

dhormann
09-20-2006, 09:14 AM
Having been rolled across a hood of an inattentive driver last month, I can speak from experience. They are NOT watching, they do NOT care, and they WILL run you over if you let them. When I contacted the PPB officer who responded to the accident call as to why the driver was not cited for failure to yield, he responded that a driver following the one that launched me had informed him that she had indeed stopped at the intersection, hence she was not at fault. He was unresponsive when I mentioned that I was not claiming that she didn't stop at the sign, but that she failed to yield to oncoming traffic. Do we need to mount airhorns or sirens to get these people's attention (which, I discovered when searching OR statutes, is illegal to do on a bike...)?

The officer was wrong. Failure to yield is still failure to yield if you don't yield to traffic that the sign tells you to wait for.

Doug
Cop in Washington Co.

sunningotter
09-22-2006, 08:48 PM
Is there any way to "force" a citation for traffic infractions if the police don't charge her? I think I saw something about a citizen-initiated complaint somewhere... My only concern is when it comes time to settle up the insurance claims, their's may claim no liability due to no citation being issued. As my auto insurance Personal Injury Protection is covering my medical, I'm leaving it to them to figure out, but I would like the other driver to get some points taken and maybe, just maybe pay more attention to oncoming traffic, even if it doesn't have monster headlights and a diesel engine. In the fatalities, and especially in cases where drivers are turning when their vision is impaired (driving while impaired? sounds like another sort of violation...), I believe that they may be depending on the ruggedness of their vehicles to sustain them, or believing that anything large enough to hurt them is large enough to see through their impaired vision/dirty window. We don't really grab the attention since we are smaller than a car...

djasonpenney
09-23-2006, 05:13 PM
Gee, Mr. Bush, sorry--the sun was in my eyes. Shame about your daughter and all...

Hearing this "excuse" twice in two months really irks me. Some alternatives:

1. Ban motorized traffic at sunrise aand sunset.
2. Snuff one of this housewife's little kids with a large motor vehicle.
3. ...?

Sorry, I just needed to vent.

spduffens
09-24-2006, 09:30 AM
is horrible. I live in the Helvetia area. The intersection that is pictured is a mess and should be re-designed. People wanting to go east on West Union from Shute Road have two ways to get on the road, same with accessing Shute Road from West Union. I bet the county is going to have to look at simplify that intersection. What a pity.

I've personally almost been hit four times at this intersection. Twice I was traveling westbound and drivers either pulled out or ran the stop sign going northbound. On two other occasions I was traveling eastbound and drivers did the same from either the northbound or southbound stop signs. Because West Union curves through this area it is extremely hard for drivers to see bicyclist at the stop sign. I'm always supper careful at the Y on the east side of this intersection as it is very dangerous. It is one of the most unfriendly bike intersections in Washington County.

donnambr
09-24-2006, 12:05 PM
Do you think there are changes that could be made to make bikes more visible or is it a matter of motorists needing to actually slow down and obey traffic laws?

drosen
09-24-2006, 04:06 PM
I've personally almost been hit four times at this intersection. Twice I was traveling westbound and drivers either pulled out or ran the stop sign going northbound. On two other occasions I was traveling eastbound and drivers did the same from either the northbound or southbound stop signs. Because West Union curves through this area it is extremely hard for drivers to see bicyclist at the stop sign. I'm always supper careful at the Y on the east side of this intersection as it is very dangerous. It is one of the most unfriendly bike intersections in Washington County.

I usually try to use either Phillips Road and Helvetia Roads to the north or go Evergreen. That said, sometimes using WU at that spot is unavoidable. It's almost as though people don't believe that bikers exist. It's probably why I'm so surly when I ride in traffic. My evil twin appears out of nowhere.

WhiteSword
09-25-2006, 11:50 PM
http://web.mac.com/iprouse/iWeb/Site%202/Photos.html

thanks for post the pics