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hit and run

Local victim advocate wants hit-and-run alerts texted to every cab and UPS driver

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Kristi Finney at summit
Victim advocate Kristi Finney.

A Portland advocate for hit-and-run victims is calling for a statewide alert system that would send a text message to thousands of professional drivers and members of the public to help nab suspects.

Kristy Finney, whose son Dustin was killed in 2011 by a man driving drunk on Southeast Division Street, is modeling her proposal on a similar system already in use in Colorado for “cases involving serious injury or death — and when a reliable description of the fleeing vehicle is available.”

(more…)

Woman pleads guilty in Barbur hit-and-run

Friday, October 25th, 2013
(Screen capture from KOIN.com.)

Miriam Clinton of Lake Oswego is likely to get more than two years in prison after a guilty plea Friday to driving while intoxicated, hitting a man (who was walking his bike) with her car and leaving him for dead on the side of Southwest Barbur Boulevard Aug. 16.

Clinton accepted one count each of third-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants and failure to perform the duties of a driver, according to KOIN-TV’s report this morning from Multnomah County Court. Upon her release, her driver’s license will be suspended for five years, the Oregonian reported.

KOIN reported that Clinton “cried throughout Friday’s proceedings, and declined to comment afterwards.”

(more…)

New website is latest effort from mother of hit-and-run victim

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Screenshot of FacesofFatalities.com.

A bereaved mother whose 28-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver two years ago while biking on SE Division, has launched a website. Faces of Fatalities: Resources for Hit and Run Victims and Their Families is the work of Kristi Finney-Dunn. Since her son Dustin died in August 2011, Finney-Dunn has dedicated herself to public service and citizen activism and this website appears to be just her latest effort to spur the public dialogue around the scourge of dangerous driving and hit-and-run collisions. (more…)

Family turns to fundraising as search for Interstate hit-and-run driver continues

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Flyer for Mike Cooley fundraiser.

Friends and family of Mike Cooley are holding a fundraiser this Friday (9/20) to support his recovery, as the search for the man who drove the white Ford pickup that hit him enters its fourth month. (more…)

Careless Driving citation for truck operator who right-hooked teenager on SE 7th

Monday, September 16th, 2013
SE 7th and Taylor
A car turns right onto SE Taylor from
SE 7th where a tow truck operator right-hooked a
bicycle rider last month.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police have cited the tow truck operator who drove his vehicle into a 16-year-old who was bicycling on SE 7th last month. 64-year-old Richard Tombleson was cited for Careless Driving Causing Serious Injury to a Vulnerable Road User. Tombleson was on duty and driving for Speed’s Towing when the collision occurred.

According to the PPB, Tombleson was driving southbound on SE 7th when he turned right onto Taylor. The teenager on a bicycle was also heading south on 7th and he was right-hooked by Tombleson. Tombleson didn’t stop after the collision but he and his truck were found by the PPB shortly after the collision. The 16-year-old sustained “traumatic but not life-threatening injuries” and was taken to the hospital and listed in serious condition. (more…)

PPB investigating hit-and-run at SE 7th and Taylor (updated)

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Streetview looking south on SE 7th at Taylor.

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division have located a tow truck and driver involved in a hit-and-run collision that injured a 16-year old boy who was riding his bicycle. The incident occurred at around 10:50 a.m. at the intersection of SE 7th and Taylor. According to the PPB, the boy was riding southbound on 7th when the driver of the tow truck turned right onto Taylor. Sounds like a classic right-hook.

No arrests have been made and “investigation into the circumstance of the crash is continuing,” according to a Wednesday afternoon news release.

PPB officers responded to the scene and found a “teen-aged male bicyclist” suffering from “traumatic but not life-threatening” injuries. The officers soon learned that the young man was hit by someone driving a tow truck and that the person fled the scene. The man has been taken to the hospital where he’s being treated for his injuries.
(more…)

How legal loopholes and lack of stigma create a hit-and-run culture

Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Scene of fatal crash on SW Barbur Blvd-2
Barbur Boulevard is dangerous even when a
driver doesn’t decide to flee a crash.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Nobody expects to kill a person with their car. This means that the moment you do, your only basis for decision is usually something you heard once from a friend.

And as Portland deals with two major recent hit-and-run cases involving people on bikes, some victim advocates are saying that Oregon needs to do more to spread the idea that it’s morally reprehensible to flee the scene of a collision.

“What’s happened is that Mothers Against Drunk Driving and all these other great organizations have done incredible work over the last 20 years,” Joshua Shulman, a Portland lawyer who works on civil injury cases and has researched the topic, said Friday. “And I’m so glad that they have, because drinking and driving is awful. But one of the side effects of harsh penalties is to make people more likely to avoid them.”

(more…)

Police (finally) issue statement on Barbur hit-and-run case – UPDATED

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Police are looking for a Subaru like this one.
(Photo: PPB)

The Portland Police Bureau just released a media statement about a serious injury hit-and-run that occurred on Friday, August 16th on SW Barbur Blvd. The collision left 20-year old Henry Schmidt with multiple injuries including shattered bones, damaged organs, and extensive road rash. Since first reported by KATU-TV, the PPB has come under fire from friends of the victim and other people in the community for their handling of the crime scene and a lack of urgency around their investigation.

Dave Cassidy, a close friend of the Schmidt family, has been sending emails to local media describing his concerns about the PPB’s lack of attention to Schmidt’s case. Here’s an excerpt from an email Cassidy sent to local media outlets yesterday: (more…)

Barbur hit-and-run renews calls for ODOT action

Monday, August 19th, 2013
Based on KATU reporting and Schmidt’s own memory, we think the collision occured at the yellow symbol. The blue arrows shows the turnoff from Barbur onto Capitol Hwy.

(more…)

As hit-and-run victim leaves coma, suspect remains on the loose

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Mike Cooley, shown here ready to head out on his
daily bike commute, may never walk again.
The man who drove his truck into him
is still on the loose.
(Photos courtesy Lisa Cooley)

Update, July 5: The Cooleys have set up a fund for those wishing to support Mike’s recovery. See below for details.

Two weeks after a white Ford pickup reportedly hit him from behind at 60 mph, postal driver Mike Cooley is still in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and the person whose actions nearly killed him is still at large.

The crash took place June 15th on North Interstate Avenue near Greeley. Police have distributed photos of the truck that may have hit Cooley, with little results so far.

“There’s only been one tip, and it was completely bogus,” said Cooley’s wife, Lori Cooley, in an interview with BikePortland yesterday.
(more…)

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