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Hit and run on STP; driver arrested

Posted by on July 15th, 2007 at 9:25 pm

[Updated 7/16, 8:55am]

Daniel Whittlinger has been
arrested for the hit-and-run.
(Photo: Or. State Police)

The Oregon State Police have arrested the driver of a Jeep Cherokee who struck and injured a bicyclist participating in the Seattle to Portland bike ride this morning.

The incident happened just east of Columbia City on Highway 30.

40 year-old northeast Portland resident Daniel Whittlinger veered over the fog line and rear-ended Gerald Marvin, a 24 year-old from Seattle. Whittlinger allegedly stopped and then fled in his vehicle and was stopped by the St. Helens Police Department about eight miles east of the crash scene.

After Marvin was struck, two other bicyclists may have collided with him or his bicycle and were also injured. They are identified as Michael J. Ball, age 47, from Gresham, and Mark W. Tribble, age 33, from Seattle, Washington.

Marvin was treated at the scene and transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with serious injuries. He is reported in fair condition as of this morning (Monday). Ball and Tribble had minor injuries, were transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital and have been treated and released.

The driver was arrested for Felony Hit & Run, DUII and a Parole Violation.

The Oregon State Police and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, are continuing the investigation and seeking witnesses to the suspect’s activities and driving before and after the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at (800) 452-7888.


Follow coverage of this story through Google News.

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Murray
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Murray

Hmmm, let me guess what will happen–I know a nice big fine!

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

Oddly enough Hit and Run and/or DUII carries a stiffer sentence than killing someone w/ your car in Oregon.

peejay
Guest
peejay

How is the rider? OK?

be seen. be safe.
Guest
be seen. be safe.

Is that advertisement at the top of this article a joke: \”Come out and play……..Have fun out there. Jeep\”????

The hit and run driver was in a Jeep!

isamu
Guest
isamu

No kidding. Not a word about the biker\’s condition.

Murray
Guest
Murray

I saw on the news last night that the rider was in fair condition.

Matt Picio
Guest

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/323786_stp16.html

Felony DUI and a parole violation – he\’s likely going back to jail.

I hope that the rider is ok and recovers quickly.

I don\’t know what the deal is, but the drivers this year during StP were more agressive, even on the Washington side. I had a giant motor home pass within less than a foot of me, followed equally closely by a big rig about 6 vehicles behind him. A few of the giant SUVs out there were highly impatient (more so than usual for StP), and a lot of vehicles passed on blind hills and curves, some ALL the way in the opposite lane.

Oddly enough, Highway 30 was not as bad this year as last.

DK
Guest
DK

The guy looks like he\’s ready to start balling…unfortunately it\’s not because he hit a cyclist with his Jeep, but most likely because he got caught.

matevz
Guest
matevz

The Jeep ad is no joke … just the nature of Google Ads.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Drunk and driving on a Sunday morning. Wow.

And who knew that there might be a correlation between Hit & Run and DUII? Everybody, probably, except the legislature. Until the penalty for Hit & Run is at least as stiff as the penalty for DUII, Hit & Run will be the most logical choice for any DUII driver involved in an accident.

Legislature?

Darren
Guest
Darren

One of the handmade signs I saw on the back of a cyclist at the Ride of Silence this year: Our Lives: Your Hands

Contrary to insurance advertisements, we are not in good hands.

MJ
Guest

What Matt said.

The drivers on day 1 of the STP near Roy, WA were aggressive. Lots of honking, cursing, engine revving.

I\’m not sure what Cascade Cycle Club can do but it\’s not much fun biking when you have to deal with that kind of stuff.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Lots of … engine revving. Doesn\’t sound to me like gasoline is all that expensive. Maybe a $10/gallon carbon tax is in order…

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

Anyone else camp out in Chehalis, those locals were ruthless saturday night.

pushkin
Guest
pushkin

If you were harassed by locals in Chehalis contact Mayor Anthony Ketchum:
tketchum@ipcallison.com

I\’m sure he would like to know that the experience of tourists camping and spending money in his town was less than ideal.

From the Tour Lewis County website:

\”Let us show you. Whatever your pleasure, after one visit you will discover many more reasons to return.\”

Meghan
Guest
Meghan

Perhaps the organizers of STP could take a course in how to generate goodwill from towns where hundreds of bicyclists descend for one night from Cycle Oregon. From all I\’ve heard, the Cycle Oregon overnight towns are nothing but enthusiastically pleasant, and the locals really open their town to the visitors. What\’s so different about STP? It can\’t be that small WA towns are much different from small OR towns.

BillD
Guest
BillD

Apparently, Whittlinger has a serious criminal history. This from THE OREGONIAN:

\”Whittlinger has a criminal history in Oregon that dates to 1989 when he was convicted of murder in Columbia County. He was sentenced before Oregon had mandatory minimum sentencing laws and was paroled after 13 years. While in prison, he was convicted three times of having a weapon, according to corrections officials.\”

We should not pass up a second opportunity to lock him up for a long, long time.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2007/07/authorities_looking_for_inform.html

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

The years I\’ve done STP, I always overnighted in Winlock. My friends and I were always treated with the utmost of courtesy and respect, and we always tried to make sure we responded in a like manner.

I rode Cycle Oregon last year and had a similar experience. The people living in these small towns recognize the economic benefit they get, in exchange for being overrun by sweaty, lycra-clad people on bikes for a day or so.

I probably won\’t do STP again, though. Four times was enough. The ride down US 30 is a truly miserable experience. Plus, many riders on STP are their own worst enemies. People stopping right in the middle of the shoulder, riding two or three abreast, passing with no warning to other cyclists – I could go on. But generally speaking, there are a bunch of freds out there that are utterly clueless about group rides. No wonder drivers get pissed off.

All that aside, that doesn\’t excuse Whittlinger\’s crime. I hope they throw the book at him. I\’m glad the cyclist wasn\’t killed!

a.g.
Guest
a.g.

While undoubtedly this is a very, very serious offense that hopefully will be dealt with accordingly by all parties involved; a couple of facts just to qualify things a little before condemnation is unanimously handed down by everyone here: Daniel Whittlinger has a serious learning disability and a history of mental illness. Also, he was not convicted on murder, but was convicted as an accomplice to a murder because he was present at the time the crime took place and was associates with the actual perpetrators.

max adders
Guest
max adders

comments from locals on the stories from the Google News links are seriously depressing– and very revealing.

from \”I had to wait five minutes to get out of my driveway\” to the ol\’ classic \”they don\’t pay taxes like we do\” BS.

I don\’t understand the hate, even though I grew up near a community full of it. Best I can come up with is that it\’s a mix of ignorance and perceived class resentment. Of course, I must point out that the country is barely if at all populated by hard-working, poor farmers anymore– I\’m sure many of those complaining about the city slicker cyclists make as much if not more than the average StP participant.

Isolation breeds ignorance and an inflated sense of ownership, power and control. In short, they\’re all-too-eager to be threatened by something they don\’t understand.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Perhaps it is time to change the route to run through Vancouver/ Clark County?

(For kinder and gentler drivers/ plus wider roads.)

ilovesprockets
Guest
ilovesprockets

I would also prefer to ride through Vancouver, but the problem is crossing the river over the i-5 or 205 bridges with 9000 riders. I felt STP support was a bit less this year, crowded stops, lack of water to rider ratio, etc. were a sign for me.

I do hope STP planners can reach out and encourage the mayors of these towns to educate its citizens on tolerance. Perhaps a \”share the road\” campaign to remind drivers before next years ride?

To the benefit of STP riders, most cyclist were respectful on the road.

I\’m going to hope the aggressive drivers were abnormal to an otherwise pleasant ride this year.

Chuck D.
Guest
Chuck D.

Pretty soon this guy will be back in the hoosegow attempting to flee fom prison\’s version of \”rear ending\” someone.

Todd B
Guest
Todd B

Yep it would take some magic to cross 9000 riders over the i-5 Bridge over 24 hours. But then again ODOT/ Multnomah do it in August for the Willamette Bridges (Fremont, etc).

Or perhaps a 1 mile single file go slow?

Matt Picio
Guest

Some additional thoughts:

Last year was my first StP. My experience that year was that the WA drivers were courteous, and the OR drivers were complete jerks. This year was the opposite. I don\’t know if being near the back of the 9,000 riders was part of that.

I also camped in Chehalis, but had no trouble with the locals. Then again, I was asleep before 10pm. Chehalis has a pool and showers, and pancake breakfast in the morning ($3 for the pool/showers, $6 for breakfast) – you can\’t beat it, and you get a 7-mile advantage the next morning over the main group.

The downside is riding the extra 7 miles after riding 100.

As for Google comments from the locals – interesting to see the \”they don\’t pay\” argument, since during StP especially, the vast majority of the riders own cars, and ride bikes recreationally – not as commuters. Then again, the locals probably don\’t realize that.

There were lots of people, as usual, who didn\’t say \”on your left\”, who rode 3-4 abreast, who did not warn riders behind of hazards, and who have no paceline skills. This made some parts of the ride challenging. Given the nature of StP, that\’s probably an unfixable problem.

I, too, really dislike Hwy 30, and after I can do StP in 1 day, that will likely be my last StP. This year will also be my first (and probably last) Cycle Oregon. For $700, I could buy a LOT of bike stuff, so it\’ll have to really impress me to be worth doing again. (Or I\’ll need a REALLY big raise)

What would be great for StP is if there were a trail along the Columbia River paralleling Hwy 30 (similar to the Tenino trail on day one), so bikes could stay completely separated from the highway.

M8Adam
Guest
M8Adam

Anyone wanna start a pool on how much it costs to hit and injure a cyclist while drunk and on parole and then flee the scene? Probably not the $1000 it costs to kill one of us.

M Anderton
Guest
M Anderton

Unfortunately no one has a monopoly on people acting from ignorance. Two years ago there was the angry driver at the top of \”the hill\” in Puallup riding his horn with his fist and arm clenched with anger. He gave his anger quite free rein over his actions. This year there was another driver near Yelm. This drive kept the horn engaged for miles as riders were passed.

We all have blind spots, in different areas of our lives. Some larger than others. (Note: Bikers do dumb stuff, too, like stopping on the bike path (was that near Tenino?) without thinking of the consequences to the many riders streaming along behind. Perhaps we need turn-out lanes? Also, the STP volunteer (I\’m assuming) who leaves the hand truck in the bike lane. So, lets all remember the rule that the first stone is thrown, not by the person who thinks he is perfect, but indeed by the person who actually is perfect.

R
Guest
R

Does anyone know who to directly contact with feedback about STP?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Todd;
I actually DID stay in Washington and rode through Prescott and Kalama. Unfortunately I also had to climb about 1000 vert feet in one area where there was only I-5 and the mountains. Was this better than 30? It\’s hard to say. The distance is the same, but the trip was mostly two-lane roads. I suggested this route to Group Health
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6744
but they apparently didn\’t jump on it. I found no shortage of raging yahoos, and I had no little bubbles to guide me. So I\’d say it\’s equal.

pdxcommuter
Guest
pdxcommuter

KATU has a video story which features an
interview with Gerald Marvin
. The KATU
reporters referred to the ride as a \”race\” and talked about how Gerald Marvin was wearing a helmet.

KATU also had a few seconds of Daniel Whittlinger saying, twice, from what I could hear, \”I want to drive.\”

There is also a
story
about this in today\’s Oregonian.

a.g. in #19 writes that Whittlinger is learning disabled (LD):

…a couple of facts just to qualify things a little before condemnation is unanimously handed down by everyone here: Daniel Whittlinger has a serious learning disability and a history of mental illness.

a.g., are you suggested that the Columbia County DA reduce charges for Whittlinger because
he is LD?
If Whittlinger is LD
but he can drive a car, then he assumes the responsibility for
driving, the same as any other driver.
If he injures someone, then he should face the same penalties as any other
driver.

Before you accuse me of being prejudiced against people with
learning disabilities, know this: my son has autism.
I was also riding STP on
Sunday. Sometimes my son rides stoker on my tandem.
I have talked about having my son ride STP with me.
On Sunday, though, I was riding STP by myself on my single. I did not see
the collision, or the aftermath.

But, if things were a bit different, it could have been my son
and me getting hit by Whittlinger. So, no, I don\’t think that
condemnation for Whittlinger should be lessened because he is LD.
He was driving; he should be held responsible for his actions.

pdxcommuter
Guest
pdxcommuter

Sorry about the formatting. I don\’t have a preview button.

pdxcommuter
Guest
pdxcommuter

One other thing: Steve Atchison is the DA for Columbia County. The Columbia County web page lists his email as

atchiss@co.columbia.or.us

R.S.
Guest
R.S.

R. Dobbs,
What can you tell me about sentencing for such crimes in Oregon? I am a new resident & was the victim of a hit & run near head-on on the highway last week. The driver has a suspended license for DUII. I was injured & my car was totalled. Thankfully, there were witnesses. He let his wife go to jail for obstruction of justice for not giving him up when the cops went to their house. Apparently turned himself in a couple of days later… received a citation.

jai
Guest
jai

he has aspbergers and his gf just broke up with him. He was in a state of shock. Get the facts before u judge him. In 3 years he gets out so…

Donna
Guest
Donna

Then maybe he should not have been driving, jai – ever think of that??

a.O
Guest
a.O

I agree with Donna. The inability to drive safely, for reasons of extreme emotion, disability, or whatever, are reasons to *not drive.* They are not reasons to excuse taking risks that harm others.