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Updated: Cyclist dies after collision with garbage truck

Posted by on October 22nd, 2007 at 1:45 pm

[Updated: 3:58pm with photos from the scene.]

Photo taken from the
scene at 2:17pm.
More photos below
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

A bicyclist died in a collision with a garbage truck sometime around 12:30 today at the northwest corner of N. Interstate and Greeley in North Portland. I’m on the scene right now and just finished talking with Traffic Division Lieutenant Mark Kruger as well as other people on the scene.

Based on those conversations, here’s what seemed to have happen:

  • The bicyclist (who was in a marked bike lane) and the truck were traveling south (downhill) on N. Interstate Ave.
  • The truck overtook the cyclist mid-way down the hill.
  • The truck signaled a turn to go right (south) on Greeley and then it collided with the bicyclist the bike and truck collided with each other.


According to Kruger, the driver says he checked his mirrors before making the turn and he also had a passenger with him when the collision occurred.

The police have done blood work on the driver and initial statements say there appears to be no impairment involved.

The scene:
The truck came to a stop at the apex of the corner of N. Interstate and Greeley. The intersection is the first intersection at the end of a long (and fast if you’re on a bike) downhill that begins up at Overlook Park. The bike is still wedged almost entirely beneath the rear wheels of the truck. It appears to be a high-end black Orbea road bike.

A few news crews were on the scene (I just did an interview with KGW) and I expect coverage on the local TV stations tonight at 5:00.

I imagine it will be several hours before we know the identity of the victim. Lt. Kruger says it was a male in what appeared to be his mid-30s. The medical examiner is not able to release the name yet. The victim was Brett Jarolimek.


Note: This is within several yards of where that cyclist was involved with a strange run-in with a MAX train a few weeks ago.

More photos from the scene (These were all taken from 2:10 to 2:30pm):

The man in the uniform (with orange stripe) is the driver of the truck.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

*Note: If you’re trying to reach me by phone, I dropped it in water this morning and it’s still not working. Please use email if you can – jonathan[at]bikeportland[dot]org.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Tasha
Guest
Tasha

Why Why Why? This is getting scary and rediculous.

Dour
Guest
Dour

I don\’t mean to sound cinical but I don\’t think this is grounds for getting freaked out. I think another ghost bike and ride of silence would be in order, but don\’t get scared. It\’s the beginning of the rainy season, there are always a bunch of accidents during the start of the rainy season.

kevin
Guest
kevin

It was at the intersection of Greely and Interstate.

jonno
Guest
jonno

Looks like another right hook, folks, if the KGW pic is accurate. Right turning traffic onto Greeley from southbound Interstate crosses both a bike lane and a crosswalk at that intersection.

BURR
Guest
BURR

It\’s not raining today, so I don\’t think that\’s a valid excuse

Big Diesel
Guest
Big Diesel

Looks like another cyclist was not paying attention yet again….. How many will it take ?????

gus
Guest
gus

The Greeley/Interstate intersection is notably dangerous, especially when cyclists on the southbound grade are not prepared for light changes, \’right on red\’ traffic (regardless of potential driver culpability) or ignore traffic signals altogether.

In any case, my sympathies are extended to the cyclists family and to the driver as well.

Donald
Guest
Donald

O-Live is reporting a pedestrian injured as well.

Let\’s see how this works itself out.

However, I can see in the response from the TV station sites that news directors are eagerly sniffing the wind for controversy. November sweeps are coming…

Robin
Guest

Perhaps people should leave there speculations for after the details come out. Regardless I pray this is the last incident.

Lets all keep our heads up out there.

Michael R
Guest

Big Diesel (#4) what makes you write that? Judging by the photo this happened a few yards after the intersection.

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

Michael – where are you seeing a photo?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

There is a picture on the KGW-TV site. Hard to tell much from it.

Michael R
Guest

Tasha, photo at:
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_101907_news_bicyclist_killed.19726ae10.html

I\’m also refreshing the story at Oregonlive, no photos there yet.

Jen
Guest
Jen

I rode by minutes after it happened. I saw the bike under the back inside right set of truck wheels and thought I saw the rider under the truck as well. The truck driver was visibly upset and I assumed he hadn\’t signalled his right turn.

Kate
Guest
Kate

My thoughts and condolencesare with the friends and family of this cyclist.

Please be safe, everyone!

brd
Guest
brd

Jonathan,

I do not know the details but wanted to report that last Wednesday morning the timings of the Interstate and Greeley lights were changed. I came through the intersection and car passed behind me. I thought they ran a red light but when turning to look at their light I saw they had not and for a brief second both lights were green. I called the city\’s traffic office after I saw a close car on car wreck that evening. On Thursday the Overlook neighborhood association sent out a warning about changes with that light.
It will make me frustrated if the cause of this accident was due to the light timing changes.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

brd, that will be extremely important information if that was indeed the cause of this collision.

Wendy
Guest
Wendy

Not that there are *any* details yet (looking at you Big Diesel) but Interstate @ Greeley is really scary. Vehicles frequently make that right turn without signaling and the light change can be sudden making it difficult to come to a stop if you\’ve got enough speed going down the hill.

DK
Guest
DK

By the photo, it appears the person was riding down Greeley and then cut across to pick-up Interstate on the inside (or wrong side) lane and didn\’t see the truck as it rounded the corner. I may be speculating, but that\’s a spot I ride through every weekday. I\’ll be getting another call from mom to make sure it wasn\’t me. Sooooo sad!

DK
Guest
DK

I was wrong in my speculating. Got to ride defensively out there. Figure that a vehicle doesn\’t see you at all…100% of the time.

David Dean
Guest
David Dean

I road down Interstate today and that truck was in a position that made it appear like it was making a right turn from Interstate southbound onto Greeley. You can see it in the photo.

Qwendolyn
Guest
Qwendolyn

very sad

Ian Clemons
Guest
Ian Clemons

I ride this way to and from work every shift I have at Kaiser\’s urgent care at the top of the hill. That intersection is dangerous and I always feel it is my solemn responsibility to watch for the drivers making that right turn onto Greely. The hill is a great place to pick-up speed to the Rose Quarter, so I think a lot of us get going so fast that we don\’t want to slow down if there is a potential problem.

This makes me very sad. All my coworkers are worried about my safety as I ride home.

To the rest of you who ride this area and are thinking it\’s too dangerous: remember that there is a wide sidewalk you can take with a controlled, signaled crosswalk at the bottom of the hill. Keep riding!

-Ian

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

He \”checked his mirrors.\”

Regardless of whether he checked his mirrors or not, what exactly does he thing happens to cyclists once he passes them?? Do they magically disappear?

You pass them . . . and guess what?? They\’re still there!

There\’s a phase in childhood development when a child realizes that even though you\’ve covered something up, it\’s still there!

Apparently there are adults running around who haven\’t gotten through that phase.

Just shaking my head and waiting for him to be \”not cited.\”

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Big Diesel, Post 4:

Looks like another cyclist was not paying attention yet again….. How many will it take ?????

As opposed to the driver, who passed a cyclist, and then made a turn?

Was this one of those cyclists tonyt is talking about, who \”magically disappear\” once you pass them? Is that how it works in Big Diesel land?

Jessy
Guest

I think this IS grounds for getting freaked out. How many deaths in Portland city limits this year? If I remember right, we successfully made it through 2006 without a single one. And there have been many this year and we still have over two months left to go.

Very, very sad.

Donald
Guest
Donald

TonyT refers to object permanence.

Yeah, I think drivers are often surprised to see me keeping up with them when they \”think\” they have passed me.

I was explaining the difference in California and Oregon bike lane law to my non-biking co-workers today and they asked me which I preferred.

This and the downtown cement truck incident have me re-evaluating my thoughts. I\’m sure the folks who are going to comment are typing as I do…

Fritz
Guest
Fritz

Re; post #19
I believe that it\’s called object permanence or something to that effect. I\’m getting tired of this \”I cant see it so it must not be there\” mentality with PDX drivers…
Godspeed rider…

DK
Guest
DK

Cyclists can get their speed going and keep up with most big trucks and some cars on the hill. I wonder what the driver saw when he \”checked\” his mirror, probably nothing if the rider was in the ever famous blind spot. What was everybody thinking here? And it was the most beautiful day on top of it all.

anne.o
Guest
anne.o

What I don\’t understand in these cases* is this: the truck MUST HAVE PASSED THE CYCLIST at some point prior to the crash. Therefore, the driver knew that there was a cyclist nearby on the road and should have taken extra care.

Shouldn\’t drivers be held accountable for keeping track of the \”big picture\” around their vehicles instead of being allowed to say, \”Oh well, I checked my mirror and I didn\’t see anything…\”?

*Circumstances surrounding the cement truck incident make this scenario possible, but unclear. In the case of the garbage struck, it does sound quite probable that the driver did pass the cyclist in advance of the crash, and therefore should have known the cyclist was there.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Here\’s what I\’m thinking. If you\’re in an accident, and you kill somebody, and you\’re found at fault in any judicial proceeding, you lose your license for life. Period.

Fritz
Guest
Fritz

Sorry- the comment in post #28 was in reference to post #24 not #19

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

It ain\’t an \”accident\” rixtir.

It\’s a collision caused by failure to follow the law and common freakin\’ sense.

Call it carelessness, inattention, disregard for safety, whatever you want, but not an accident.

That word needs to be abolished relative to road collisions. It absolves people of their responsibility, as if nothing could have been done to prevent it. Oops.

007
Guest
007

Another one of ours killed AGAIN! Trucks, buses, etc. with high front ends need better mirrors such as those big round ones mounted at the FRONT of the vehicle.

The mirrors they are using today obviously are not adequate and this needs to be addressed YESTERDAY!

BURR
Guest
BURR

@ #6, looks like another truck driver not paying attention again. How many of these will it take????

A truck driver who can\’t judge the speed of a cyclist/vehicle he is overtaking and then makes a fatal right turn across their path should not have a CDL.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

In the law, there are accidental injuries, and there are intentional injuries. If the driver didn\’t intend to kill the other person, it\’s an \”accident.\” if the driver did intend to kill the other person, it\’s \”intentional.\”

The legal meanings shouldn\’t be confused with the road safety meanings.

mj
Guest
mj

Terrible to see another collision & death.

Keep safe everyone!

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

I paid extra for the convex mirrors that are on my van, because they eliminate my blind spots. I couldn\’t imagine driving a large vehicle without them now. If you have never seen these before find some and check them out to get an idea of how they work. If he really looked in a properly adjusted convex mirror before turning the cyclist would have been visible.

Bjorn

lyle
Guest
lyle

i really fail to see how this can be anything other than the truck driver\’s fault.

with the bike lane bisecting and crossing the turn lane, it\’s exactly the same thing as a car merging into the next lane and hitting a car in the lane it\’s driving in.

flat out, if you turn/merge into a lane and are hit by a car that\’s doing anything short of speeding excessively or driving impaired, it\’s YOUR FAULT.

i\’d like to see LT. Kruger state otherwise.

Mmann
Guest
Mmann

I am so so sorry for all involved. And this is starting to kind of freak me out. Just last week I (once again) had a driver pass me then immediately turn right into a gas station driveway. I shouted, clamped the brakes, and swerved into the driveway myself missing being hit by inches. All of us who ride regularly have these stories. I can\’t help thinking that in the majority of these situations it\’s a simple case of someone in a vehicle in a hurry. What a waste.

Mike Perrault
Guest
Mike Perrault

What can we do to make this stop? There are already laws about yielding to cyclists for a right turn, but obviously that isn\’t working. I think we should file a suit against the companies who aren\’t using convex mirrors and who don\’t require frequent driving skills test.
Wildfire fighters(I\’m one thank you) are required to go through an 8 hour course every year before they can go out and fight. Why not drivers? Obviously they are not capable of driving their rigs without causing harm.

Mike

Tbird
Guest
Tbird

This has to stop!
We need laws to punish motorists (commercial & private), and protect cyclists on the road.
We need to separate bike lanes on high traffic streets!
This has to stop!

chris
Guest
chris

Hi
I rode down Interstate this morning down the hill, the light pattern was strange at this very intersection, it was red, and I was slowing down well ahead uphill, then it changed to green for only, like 2 seconds…then turned turned yellow/red instantly i slowed down instantly as there was a rider in front of me as well and he turned to me and said, \”that was strange\” I said the same thing, then we went on the green…I think the same thing happened to this rider, but he didn\’t have a chance to stop instantly. this sends chills up my spine cause if i was down that hill at a fast speed seeing the green light, I\’d assume it would stay for more than 2 seconds.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

A bit of clarification:

tonyt posted:

It ain\’t an \”accident\” rixtir.

It\’s a collision caused by failure to follow the law and common freakin\’ sense.

Call it carelessness, inattention, disregard for safety, whatever you want, but not an accident.

That word needs to be abolished relative to road collisions. It absolves people of their responsibility, as if nothing could have been done to prevent it. Oops.

To which I replied:

In the law, there are accidental injuries, and there are intentional injuries. If the driver didn\’t intend to kill the other person, it\’s an \”accident.\” if the driver did intend to kill the other person, it\’s \”intentional.\”

The legal meanings shouldn\’t be confused with the road safety meanings.

Actually, what you described tonyt is \”negligent injury,\” which is \”accidental\”– as distinguished from \”intentional injury.\” However, calling an injury \”accidental\” does not absolve the person at fault of their responsibility– they\’re still liable for their negligence.

Elliot
Guest
Elliot

This needs to stop, now. The police must start enforcing the laws, and penalize people for taking illegal actions that result in a person\’s death.

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

I don’t look at these things as “whose fault is it”, I look it as “how can everyone be safer on the roads?. When there are two “accidents” within less than two weeks of each other, something’s got to give. Bikers need to be more aware, even over cautious for awhile and cars (especially trucks) need to slow WAY down and be super diligent about checking their mirrors and using their turn signals.

I know ever since Tracey was killed, I have been almost annoyingly obedient of traffic signals, and a little slower when I approach intersections where cars might be turning right, especially as the wet weather sets in and days gets darker and shorter. I don’t want to live in mortal fear of getting killed by a car, but with close calls almost every single day, I feel we must be proactive for our own safety.

And something needs to be done about these blind spots and better safety training for drivers of large vehicles.

jonno
Guest
jonno

Can we start a right-hook awareness campaign? I\’ve nearly been done in by several careless drivers over the years when on my bike. When I drive, I always, always check over my right shoulder before making the turn. I realize that big, high trucks may be harder to see out of, but that\’s no excuse. Get bigger mirrors, install cameras, something. Anything.

In lieu of that, maybe we should just ride smack in the middle of the road, all the time. No bikes on the right == no chance for a right hook.

Any catchy slogan ideas?

\”Be all right –> look right, go right.\”

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Elliot, the police don\’t penalize anybody, the courts do. And in Oregon, we simply don\’t have adequate laws with which to penalize somebody who negligently takes a life. If you want that to change, you\’re going to have to work for it.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Bikers need to be more aware, even over cautious for awhile

For awhile?

Bikers ALWAYS need to be over cautious.

BURR
Guest
BURR

@ # 41

1. File a lawsuit against the city regarding the flawed bike lane designs they are using.

2. Reassign all the officers on the traffic division with glaring pro-motorist/anti-cyclist attitudes and agendas, and start throwing the book at these truck drivers.