Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 3rd, 2007 at 2:58 pm
Just heard that 24 year-old Nick Bucher was killed around midnight last night at SE 26th and Stark.
KATU has details of how it happened,
“Police say prior to the collision, Bucher had been riding the bicycle westbound on Southeast Stark Street. Investigators concluded that the collision occurred when Bucher tried to turn on Southeast 26th Avenue and rode into the path of Stanger’s car.”
[Note: KATU bundled the story on their site with a link to their recent coverage of the Safe Passing Bill.]
And according to a story on KGW.com, they’re still awaiting toxicology results, but it sounds like they (KGW) assume the cyclist was at fault:
“A Portland bicyclist died Friday Night after, police said, he crashed into a car in SE Portland…according to investigators, Bucher rode out into the path of a car being driven by 32-year-old Cyrus Stanger.”
But then they report that,
“Investigators believe speed was a factor in the fatal crash…Stanger submitted to a toxicology test, and was cooperating with investigators…Stanger was cited for one count of Assault in the fourth degree.”
If the bike “crashed into the car” as the Police spokesman says, why would the motorist be cited for assault? Because he was speeding? Was he drunk? Was the cyclist drunk? The details are odd and scant so far but I expect more will come out in the next day or so.
Please remember that as sad as this is, we should not jump to any conclusions.
And finally, I’ve received this very sad note from a mutual friend:
“Unfortunately today I’m not going to talk about fun on bikes.
Last night we lost another one of us. Nick, who was going home from work (cooking at the Noble Rot restaurant) on his bike got killed by a car…His co-workers and friends are devastated. Nick is young, full of plans and smiles. Now, how can we teach drivers to not drink, drive and kill us?”
Stay tuned for more details.
May Nick rest in peace. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
My sources in the local media say the cops think both the motorist and the cyclist may share fault. The motorist’s breath sample was not high enough to register and has been sent off for a test that will take 30 days. The driver has a long list of infractions and was charged at the scene (but I’m not sure with what yet). I’m awaiting the official Police Bureau press release which should have more details.
—KATU is reporting that the driver was speeding, but that the cyclist “turned in front of the car”.