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Another cyclist hit on Interstate

Posted by on November 6th, 2007 at 10:31 am

[Updated: 11/6, 10:19am, 11:17am; 11/7, 5:57am]

The scene.
(Photo: Adina Eggen)

A cyclist was hit this morning at the same spot where Brett Jarolimek was killed two weeks ago.

According to tips I’ve received from several readers, the collision took place this morning at around 8:40 am.

Witness Kristen West says a cyclist, whom the Oregonian has identified as Siobhan Doyle, was coming down N. Interstate and just as she approached the intersection with Greeley, a car (driven by 52 year-old Lisa Wheeler) that was also traveling south on Interstate turned right and struck the cyclist.

West says the cyclist was wearing a long-sleeved, fluorescent yellow jacket.

Other witnesses say the cyclist was laying on the median island at the apex of the Interstate/Greeley intersection. From reports at the scene the cyclist was put on a stretcher and taken away by ambulance but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.

One reader, whom I’ll call Jane, called in and said she was riding directly behind the cyclist when this crash happened. She said, further up the hill on Interstate, the motorist made a very dangerous move into a parking lot, cutting off two bicyclists. Jane even considered following the car into the parking lot to tell her what she’d just done, but thought better of it.

Jane also said that, due to the driver’s dangerous maneuver, Jane slowed down as the intersection approached. She noticed the car had its blinker on and that the cyclist who was hit was “either right behind her or right next to her” when the collision occurred.

According to Jane, the collision flipped the 31 year-old cyclist over the car and the car ended up on top of the median island. Jane called 911 and said that the cyclist was “calm, although she was complaining about shoulder pain.”

Jane also spoke with the responding police officer. She told the officer about the near-miss altercation at the parking lot previous to the collision.

The police have issued no citations in this collision. I asked Police Bureau spokesman Brian Schmautz about this and here’s what he said:

“Determining fault at a collision is a function of an investigation. The Police Bureau will respond to any collision but unless there are trauma injuries our only role is to help with traffic control, confirm that there is not a crime involved in the collision (Reckless Driving, DUII, etc.) and confirm that all motorists have a valid drivers license and insurance. We will also help those involved fill out an exchange form so they can resolve their differences through their insurance companies.

Officers do not issue citations for a moving violation unless they have conducted an investigation. In cases like today’s collision there will be no citations issued because the collision did not meet the criteria for investigation.”

Many cyclists are understandably frustrated and a bit shaken to hear this news. Here are some snippets from emails I received just minutes after the collision:

“It was scary seeing her on the ground almost literally in the shadows of the ghost bike.”

“This is difficult to swallow given the massive amount of action and media attention that has sprung up in the last 2 weeks about bicycle and car awareness and education.”

Stay tuned for updates and developments on this story.

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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pushkin
Guest
pushkin

Prediction: no ticket for driver, gets off scott free. City will do nothing, Lt. Kruger will place blame on cyclist. Cyclist in turn will be blamed for collision.

Just a guess.

BikingViking
Guest
BikingViking

I\’m at a loss for words- two accidents in the same spot in less than two weeks.

Here\’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

Kruger will absolve all responsibility of the driver because \”I didn\’t see the cyclist\” or \”the cyclist was going to fast\” et al. – per his normal rhetoric.

Yoder
Guest
Yoder

here\’s to a speedy recovery and a positive mental attitude. I for one will not be faulting anybody as a knee-jerk reaction.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Not very helpful, but I rode past that intersection (southbound on Interstate) at app 8:55AM and there was nobody there.

miss
Guest
miss

I was right behind her. I called 911 and stayed with her until they took her away. I gave my info and description of the accident to the cop. Who said about the driver \”i dont think her reflexes are that good.\” after i said she seemed to speed up after hitting her and ran her over!

The biker was miraculously calm and only complaining about her shoulder. She was hit by the car, flew over the car and then ran over by the car.

The car driver had previously cut off two other bikers at the top of the hill when whipping into a parking lot and back out.
She didn\’t appear to be sited at the scene. Hopefully she will be!

Renee
Guest
Renee

I have chills. Everyone please be careful out there.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Yes, be prepared for the very successful \”I didn\’t see them\” defense.

Once again, never an excuse!!!!

It simply means you were not looking.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

I rode by at 8:37. The Ambulance was already there and the cyclist was on a stretcher. The bike was city bike with flat bars. The it was leaning up against a sign and looked fine except for the front wheel was a bent. The car was a white Toyota Camry I think.

The city really needs to close off that right turn ASAP. It is extremely dangerous, and not necessary.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

By the way, I am not pointing fingers, or blame, as I was not there, but, a fact is a fact:

If you pass a cyclist, then proceed to pull a right turn, well…

dieselboi
Guest

I was on max and we rode by before any emergency vehicles had come. I bet I saw MISS attending to the bicyclist. It appeared the car was a white older model Ford Escort. The bicycle in the intersection was behind the car, implying the car drove over it.

Adina Eggen
Guest
Adina Eggen

This was horrible!! I saw it with my partner as we came down Interstate today!! She was in tears, as this was her first day back on bike after being hit my a motorist 2 months ago. I was riding with her to celebrate her back on 2 wheels today, and when we saw the memorial for the cyclist killed last week with the backdrop of emergency vehicles at the bottom of Interstate, it was very disturbing. Email me for a picture from my phone.

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

I\’m with Yoder:

Here\’s my wishes for a fast, full recovery!

And no knee-jerk reaction from me; although witness accounts of the driver\’s behavior prior to this crash is making me think…

Adina Eggen
Guest
Adina Eggen
eric
Guest

Is there a number for the Portland police where people can call and leave a witness statement for the crash? Is there an incident number or something?

Kronda
Guest

This is ridiculous! And enraging. And sad. From the sound of comments so far, it sounds like the driver literally had no regard for the lives put at risk.

kenichi
Guest

Seriously, what\’s the point of the southbound right turn from interstate to greeley? couldn\’t you just go to going and hit greeley or swan island from there? it seems like it\’s a right turn lane that could just be taken out.

spencer
Guest
spencer

They need to fix that intersection with a stop sign or something. I wonder if the traffic engineer assigned that intersection has a sense of moral responsibility? Does he/she agonize about this and take each fatality and injury personally?

Peter W
Guest

I agree with Kevin. There appears (from google maps) to be nothing off Greeley Ave between Interstate and Going St, so they could close the right turn to cars and if cars were traveling south and realized they needed to go somewhere on Greeley, they could turn left and go around the block at Knott St, then go North on Interstate and turn left at either Greeley or Going St.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Ditto kenichi #17

I was about to ask the same thing.

Why go all the way down Interstate, turn right on Greeley, and then go all the way up Greeley to end up where you could have been if you\’d done what kenichi just pointed out.

An unnecessary intersection (the Interstate to Greeley part) that is racking up victims.

Elly
Guest
Elly

Has any right-turn enforcement occurred at this intersection in the past two weeks? Sam Adams suggested during his press conference that such enforcement would be a priority, and this seems like a natural intersection for it (or better, as someone else suggested, to remove the option to turn right). The PPB seems to have missed a golden opportunity to quickly enact and publicize a heavy enforcement operation here. Though maybe the opportunity isn\’t lost if they step up quickly now.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

—–Original Message—–
From: Rawls, Julie
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:21 AM
To: PDC-DL All Staff
Subject: Cyclist hit

Dear staff:

I was driving directly behind a car that hit a cyclist this morning coming in to work. It was a terrible thing to see. The accident happened at the SAME intersection of N. Greeley and Interstate Ave. where a cyclist was recently killed after being hit by a garbage truck. The driver was not watching or paying attention and turned right and directly into the cyclist sending her over the hood of the car. Then the driver panicked and hit the gas and drug her another 5 feet. We all got out of our cars and rushed over to assist the cyclist who was amazingly calm and composed. I heard paramedics say they thought she had a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone. I am so glad she was not killed.

PLEASE, if you are driving a car, slow down and look all around you for cyclists. This accident was totally preventable. It was rush hour with cyclists all around. A person on a bike is no match for several tons of steel. I would also go as far as to say I do not feel riding a bike down Interstate through this intersection is safe for any cyclist at any time of day or night. Something must be done to fix this problem intersection.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

\”They need to fix that intersection with a stop sign or something\”

There is a traffic light there by the way.

The way to \”try\” to fix a problem like this is to cancel right turn on red, or right turn without stopping, even when green, in the whole state.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

Indeed, Elly. I really hope that those reports of a sting at Ladd\’s Circle this morning are inaccurate…it\’d be a real pisser to see an enforcement action going on down there and nothing having done at this point on Interstate which one would think would be a hell of a lot more relevant to safety concerns, what with something deadly actually having transpired there and all…

brd
Guest
brd

I have commuted down Interstate for the past 4 years 3-4 days per week and never seen an accident at Greeley.

I agree with the post about removing that right. There is no reason for it.

brian
Guest
brian

Definately a time for another meeting of big wigs to blabber on and on…

Or how bout some good old fashioned enforcement? The law enforcement around here is pathetic.

Lower speed limits. Signficant enforcement with penelties that stick. The education portion will just happen because people don\’t like paying fines. It is time to reduce traffic stress and fuel consumption for everyone.

The unfortunate fact is 90% of the people out there like it it the way it is. Drive like you own the world.

WHY CANT THIS BE FIXED.

spencer
Guest
spencer

Dabby,

The signal there is to control the traffic from Greely, Interstate and the light rail crossing. By making everybody, in all directions, stop at that intersection you drastically reduce the speeds involved and increase the amount of time for people to react and to see each other.

People turn right infront of me all the time, but running a space barrier and the grace of the Avid BB7s has kept me upright so far. The intersate down hill is about speed, and the number of bike skid marks there, attest to the number of near misses.

Banning turns, be it right or left, is not a universal solution. Routing of bike boulevards minimizing right turn opportunities and/or speed is a lot better approach. For example, copare interstate to greely from Adidas south. Interstate is full of vehicles turning right. The only two objective hazards on Greely are the merge from Swan Island and crossing the lane just before you get to Interstate.

mary
Guest
mary

As a commuter up in clark county, and have had many \”near misses\” my heart goes out to the cyclist.

Please be careful out there everyone.

mac
Guest
mac

I ride this stretch every morning, and it always freaks me out a bit. And I wrote to Sam Adams last week stating the same things others have pointed out, that there is on reason for that right turn onto Greeley from southbound Interstate. Just out of curiosity, I rode up Greeley last week, and there is not even a driveway between Greeley and Going. (Although cars turning right onto Going from Southbound Interstate is also a problem, at least bikes there aren\’t going to fast. The once a week or so that I am cut off, I have time to stop–so far.)

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

They would never put just stop signs there, as the liability of allowing people to make their own decisions as to when to cross the Max tracks is huge.

You may recall recently a cyclist, when pacing someone during the marathon, went under the Max train there also, when heading north.

A stop sign there is unrealistic, sorry.

One reality is:

Even though we do not have a police force capable of enforcing it, no right turn on red is a very good idea.

What might you imagine is one (and the main) reason that some states allow right turn on red? To keep traffic flowing smoothly.

What might be one reason that most states do not allow it?

Safety. This is exactly why the privilege should be revoked.

K
Guest
K

Just like I always say at work, policy is nothing without enforcement. No one cares about rules unless there are consequences.

I feel bad for her broken bones but am happy she is alive.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

Lower speed limits.

Or, you know, actually ENFORCE the existing ones instead of playing that \”10-15mph buffer\” card. Too many folks behave as though speed limits are a vague recommendation extracted from someone\’s ass rather than a rule.

Otherwise, 100% agreed, brian! 🙂

miss
Guest
miss

Thanks Julie for taking the time to alert your staff!

a.O
Guest
a.O

How can you expect the PPB to enforce laws that, when broken, cause severe injuries and death when they\’re busy stinging cyclists in Ladd\’s Addition, where rolling bike stops have never hurt anyone?

My thoughts are with the victim. It\’s time we do something to make this stop.

Andy
Guest
Andy

There was another crash on west burnside last night (5-11) around 20th. Anyone know anything about that one?

K
Guest
K
tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Amen N.I.K.

Speed LIMIT. As in the LIMIT for how fast you can drive.

Want a ticket buffer?! Try driving below the limit.

But then again, before we expect cops to enforce the rules, perhaps they could OBEY them. Imagine COPS yielding to pedestrians at all intersections as required by law. Boy that\’ll be the day.

Steve Brown
Guest

Do not travel through any intersection with a motor vehicle on your left or right, be ahead or behind. I was hooked in July and have adopted this new behavior since. Yesterday I made sure I was behind a car and just missed getting hooked in the same intersection. We all have to ride assuming a car will make the turn!

Joe
Guest
Joe

TOTAL NUTS!! loss for words again.

Get Well Soon Please!

Joe

Zaphod
Guest

This does put the Ladd\’s sting into stark relief. It seems we have the organization here to emulate the volume of complaints that the homeowners did @Ladds to get some enforcement out where it is needed. What number do we call? Who do we write? Lets all get on the same page and send a clear message that cannot be ignored.

Very glad that Siobhan will be OK. I hope for a speedy recovery.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I didn not witness the accident. I work at the Kaiser up the hill. I commute there everyday. If any officals are looking for input from cyclists who ride that route every day. I\’d be interested.

I\’m no longer taking this route to/from work anymore. This is crazy.

Andy
Guest

According to The Oregonian, \”the cyclist escaped serious injury.\” According to a comment above, \”I heard paramedics say they thought she had a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone.\”

Am I the only one who thinks a broken arm, shoulder and collar bone are serious injuries? Granted, they are as bad as, say, death. But they\’re no fun. But maybe the report in the comment wasn\’t acccurate….

What\’s more alarming is the conclusion of the report by The Oregonian: \”Police do not routinely investigate accidents in which no one was seriously injured. No citations have been issued.\”

So, in addition to it being OK to hit cyclists you didn\’t see, it\’s also OK to hit cyclists as long as you don\’t injure them very badly?

Donald
Guest
Donald

And here\’s a nice little tidbit to foment about:

\”Doyle was taken to an area hospital but she was not seriously hurt. Police do not routinely investigate accidents in which no one was seriously injured. No citations have been issued.\”

If there\’s a backboard and an ambulance involved, I\’d say somebody was injured. Who gets to define \’seriously\’?

Since Brett\’s death, I\’ve really been reconsidering my support of bike lanes that put riders to the right of cars at intersections. Having been a PDX bike commuter since the halcyon days the early 90s, I guess I\’ve developed some street savvy that has somehow let me escape being \’hooked\’ so far. But my close calls are getting closer and more frequent and I\’m finding myself in guerilla traffic mode more and more often.

_DA

a.O
Guest
a.O

Andy, I agree. I have broken my collar bone and, take it from me, it fu**ing hurts. For months and months.

And for what? Because you couldn\’t be bothered to follow the law?

\”So, in addition to it being OK to hit cyclists you didn\’t see, it\’s also OK to hit cyclists as long as you don\’t injure them very badly?\”

Yes. Lt Kruger has told the public this over and over. The (irrelevant) Mayor has nothing to say, and Chief Ditz just lets the Nazi run his mouth. None of these people give a damn about the health and safety of Portland cyclists.

Brian Johnson
Guest
Brian Johnson

Yep. It\’s all a matter of \”perception\”. The driver must have \”perceived\” that it was safe to make the turn.

No citation! No fine! No failure to yield!

Good grief… this is just nuts.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Get well soon!

If police don\’t press charges, Siobahn should. \”Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 133.045 and 133.060 create the procedures which allow you to initiate a prosecution. The statutes provide that once you draft and file a complaint or a citation the police must personally serve the defendant with a summons to appear in court. This means even if law enforcement was indifferent to your initial report, once you properly begin the procedure, they are required by law to go to the residence or business of the defendant driver and serve the papers. A court date will be set for the defendant\’s appearance, or trial if it is a traffic court matter, and you will be given the opportunity to present your side of the story. Of course, the defendant will also be entitled to defend the charge.\” – From stc-law.com/harass_by_motorist.htm

There\’s even a reference to Mark Ginsberg from when he was a law student. 🙂

I was run over intentionally a number of years back and had one of these successfully prosecuted. Perpetrator: 10 days in jail, loss of his CDL (thus job) and probation. You have to be persistent.

Anonymouse
Guest

Get well soon!

If police don\’t press charges, Siobahn should. \”Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 133.045 and 133.060 create the procedures which allow you to initiate a prosecution. The statutes provide that once you draft and file a complaint or a citation the police must personally serve the defendant with a summons to appear in court. This means even if law enforcement was indifferent to your initial report, once you properly begin the procedure, they are required by law to go to the residence or business of the defendant driver and serve the papers. A court date will be set for the defendant\’s appearance, or trial if it is a traffic court matter, and you will be given the opportunity to present your side of the story. Of course, the defendant will also be entitled to defend the charge.\” – From stc-law.com/harass_by_motorist.htm

There\’s even a reference to Mark Ginsberg from when he was a law student. 🙂

I was run over intentionally a number of years back and had one of these successfully prosecuted. Perpetrator: 10 days in jail, loss of his CDL (thus job) and probation. You have to be persistent.

CN
Guest
CN

Here\’s my idea, again:

Double or triple fines for moving violations wherever bike lanes, sharrows, etc. are on the pavement. Hit drivers in the pocketbook. This type of \”zone enforcement\” is done on freeways where construction is being done. Why not on city streets?

Matt Picio
Guest

Dabby (#30) said: \”What might be one reason that most states do not allow it?\” (right turn on red)

I\’m presuming you mean in specific instances, and not statewide – all 50 states have allowed right turn on red since 1980. You very correctly identify why specific intersections frequently prohibit it, but that\’s usually due to oncoming traffic from the side or the front – not from behind.

I\’m not sure prohibiting on red would do anything in this case anyway. If the light is red, the cyclist should be slowing to a stop. It\’s when the car overtakes a cyclist and turns across the bike lane on a green light without checking their blind spot that is the problem. (presuming that\’s what happened here)

I agree with previous commentors that the turn seems redundant, though it does serve to allow people who miss the turn at Going to then get to where they want to go without having to turn around near the railyard. That area has a lot of non-through streets that are confusing for those who don\’t travel it often.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Steve #38

\”Do not travel through any intersection with a motor vehicle on your left or right, be ahead or behind.\”

I understand what you\’re getting at, but are you suggesting that you come to a halt everytime you approach an intersection to insure that a car won\’t be next to you at that moment? What does that force the bikes behind you to do? Or the responsible driver who was timing their turn behind you? What happens if there is a lot of traffic, insuring that at almost every point you are next to someone? Sometimes the sad fact is that there is no \”safe\” only safer, and we really do rely on others doing what they should.

I ride defensively, and pretty much assume that I am NOT seen, but there is a point where \”defensive\” riding becomes so unpredictable and reactive, that it makes things more dangerous.

We don\’t like to admit that there are times when there is nothing we can do, because we like to emphasize our sense of control. But imagine, you\’re riding, approaching this intersection and a car passes you and immediately turns right. By witnessess\’ accounts, this is what occurred.

It sounds to me like you\’re just trying to convince yourself that it wouldn\’t have happened to you.