Bike/truck crash at SE Stark and Grand [UPDATED]

Police and medical personnel attend
to the victim of a bike/truck collision at
SE Grand and Stark this morning.
(Photos J. Maus)

This morning at just before 9:00 am, a man driving a Ford F150 XL pickup and a woman riding a 1980s Peugeot ten-speed style bicycle collided in the intersection of SE Stark and SE Grand Ave in Portland’s Central Eastside.

According to medical personnel on the scene, the woman on the bike (who looked to be between 20-25 years of age) sustained facial and head trauma and was taken to OHSU for further evaluation. She was coherent and was able to make a statement to officers before being taken away on a stretcher.*

The impact shattered the truck’s window.

The driver of the truck told me that he was headed east on Stark and making a left turn to go north on Grand (it’s a one-way street). He said the woman on the bike was headed west on Stark, came through the intersection, and collided with the right rear of his truck.

The impact shattered the window of the rear cab window of the truck.

A police officer on the scene said none of the witnesses have a clear version of what happened. “The question of who had the light, that’s going to be the issue.”

When I asked the driver of the truck what happened, he said “the light turned red while I was in the intersection” and added that, “the cars were stopped (adjacent to the woman on the bike at Stark) and she continued through (the intersection)”.

Based on the driver’s explanation, it seems both he and the woman on the bike went through a yellow light (unless, as a commenter below pointed out, the driver entered with a green but waited so long to turn left that the light turned yellow).

In Oregon, going through an intersection on a yellow light is illegal (ORS 811.260 (3)). However, there is an exception (pointed out by a comment below) that says, “if a driver cannot stop in safety, the driver may drive cautiously through the intersection.”


[*UPDATE] A commenter below who claims to be the bike rider’s friend writes in to say,

“she was released this afternoon. No fractures or other major injuries, as I understand it, but she will need some stitches on her face”

[*UPDATE – 10/30, 10:50am] I followed up with Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman about this collision. The police have cited the driver of the truck for making a dangerous left turn. Witness statements helped confirm that the women riding the bike entered the intersection with a green light. Therefore, because a collision occurred, the truck driver was cited for the dangerous turn.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Kronda
15 years ago

Hope she heals up quickly.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
15 years ago

Ouch! Two injury crashes in two days!

I’ll 2nd Kronda…

Get well soon!

ayresjk
ayresjk
15 years ago

if he said the light turned red WHILE he was in the intersection then he obviously entered the intersection while the light was yellow. unless he was going WAY to fast, he should have had enough time to stop. that being said, the woman on the bike, and everyone for that matter, when entering an intersection should be scanning ahead on the road and trying to predict what the other drivers are going to do. she should have stopped, because if the light turned red while the truck was exiting the intersection, the delay from red to green means that she was going to blow the light anyway. I’d say both were impatient and both were at fault. Drivers need to realize that yellow means “stop if you can safely do so” not “hurry up a red light is coming” and cyclist need to realize that a red light means “stop” not “stop…if you are a 2-ton piece of metal”

JH
JH
15 years ago

People get hit and injured more than gets reported. I can’t tell you how many times some one gets hit, scrape them self off of the road, then limp their broken bike into the shop where I work to check if their bike is ok. I’m sure other shops have seen this, it is really sad.
Lets all try to be careful, and look out for each other.

Anonymous
Anonymous
15 years ago

Not quite true on the illegality of going through an intersection on a yellow.

ORS 811.260(3) provides that a driver facing a yellow signal shall stop before entering the intersection, except that, “[i]f a driver cannot stop in safety, the driver may drive cautiously through the intersection.”

Schrauf
Schrauf
15 years ago

Yikes – if you are in a wreck, be careful discussing with the media, for insurance filing purposes.

Anyway, if the driver and cyclist were oncoming in regards to each other, and the driver was turning left across the cyclist’s lane of travel, the cyclist obviously has the right of way.

Having said that, a cyclist can easily be invisible to left-turning vehicles when that same cyclist is passing other vehicles on the right and then popping out into an intersection. Always slow down when entering an intersection in this manner – whether you have the right of way or not (yellow/red light is another issue).

I’ve made this mistake many times and have been lucky to not get nailed.

Hope she feels better soon.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

“Not quite true on the illegality of going through an intersection on a yellow.”

thanks for that anonymous. i was not aware of that exception.

Schrauf
Schrauf
15 years ago

Oh, I should also add the driver could have easily entered the intersection with a green light, and then it turned red while waiting for oncoming traffic(obviously he did not wait quite long enough to complete the turn).

And no, none of us were there, but it is valuable to discuss each incident so we can learn from it (I can sense the coming attacks from people – “don’t judge, you don’t have a clue what really happened”… No, but it is a good hypothetical discussion.

davidio
davidio
15 years ago

Was the driver of the truck waiting to make a left stopped in the middle of the intersection? It is obviously UNclear from this report exactly what happened (no fault of the report), but it sounds like one possibility would be that the truck advanced into the middle of the intersection to wait for a lapse in trafic to make a left onto Grand. Seeing the light change from green (perhaps) to yellow, and then to red, the driver proceeded to turn left, assuming that all approaching traffic would have stopped for the red light.

I’m not trying to say this IS what happened, but perhaps a possibility . . .

Joe
Joe
15 years ago

hmm.. yellow can be tricky, yesterday i
was forced to keep going threw it.

lights and timing? we need to get a standard on traffic lights.

anyway hope everyone heals quickly.

Moo
Moo
15 years ago

Not the safest intersection to fly through on a bike.

toddistic
toddistic
15 years ago

If you look at the intersection on Google maps street view, you can see there is no dedicated left turn signal.

Based on the location, sounds like the truck driver didnt yield to oncoming traffic. he was going east (turning north), she was travelling west. regardless of a yellow light or not, the driver was impatient. if she (the cyclist) had a decent clip and was coming down the hill she would have satisfied the legal requirement to proceed through a yellow. Since she collided with the rear of his truck he turned in front of her, regardless of yellow or green. The onus is on him and I hope he pays!

Broadside Johnnie
Broadside Johnnie
15 years ago

Jonathan,

I didn’t see a bicycle helmet on the scene, but an EMT may have removed it from the cyclist. Any word on that?

Did either the driver or the cyclist state making eye contact with the other?

KWW
KWW
15 years ago

I agree, the driver didn’t yield to oncoming traffic. It is hard to prove or disprove a red yellow or green signal.

Another salient point, is that if you are making a left turn, I believe that you are NOT allowed to enter the intersection if you can’t make the turn right away.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

“I didn’t see a bicycle helmet on the scene, but an EMT may have removed it from the cyclist. Any word on that?”

hey Broadside Johnnie… i knew you looked familiar! should have said hi.

about her helmet (or lack thereof). I unfortunately never got a definitive answer from anyone on the scene… but my very strong hunch is that she was not wearing one. I think I heard the investigator mention this, but I left without confirming it.

i also didn’t see one anywhere on the scene and/or near the woman’s body or bike.

djasonpenney
15 years ago

Ditto on #3. Sounds a lot like both of them were in a hurry. I feel really sorry for both of them; it sounds perhaps as though neither of them should be cited. He got a broken window and she got bodily injury.

To which I should note that cyclists generally have a lot more to lose when they break traffic laws, and this should be a cautionary tale for red light runners of all types.

Icarus falling
Icarus falling
15 years ago

It sounds like they both had a yellow, which certainly would give the right of way to the person going straight over the car turning left.

I know this intersection very well, and cars heading east rush through yellows and reds there all the time.
If the truck was in the intersection long enough for it to turn red, it means he was there too long, and certainly did not have the right of way, especially since there was obviously west bound traffic on Stark.

The right of way goes to the traffic heading straight, not to the traffic turning. Traffic turning must wait for the intersection to be clear before turning.

The truck driver should at least be sited for not yielding the right of way, especially since it sounds like there was auto traffic right next to the cyclist.

This is one intersection that could benefit from a timing change, and a left turn signal for sure.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
15 years ago

My Grandfather has been known to say:

“A green light only means it’s legal for you to pull out and get hit”.

Even when the light’s yours, please try to be aware of whats coming.

I’m still sorry to hear about the cyclist, and hope she heals fast.

encephalopath
encephalopath
15 years ago

And this one too…

811.350 Dangerous left turn; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of making a dangerous left turn if the person:

(a) Is operating a vehicle;

(b) Intends to turn the vehicle to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, driveway or place from a highway; and

(c) Does not yield the right of way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction that is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Milton
Milton
15 years ago

The color of the light is a red herring. Even if the light was green the left turning car/truck/bike always must yeild to on comming traffic.

If the driver does not get a ticket, Portland is not very bike friendly and it will be noted in the next set of LAB ratings.

Sancho
Sancho
15 years ago

“Did either the driver or the cyclist state making eye contact with the other?”

We don’t know, but from the looks of the picture, the cyclist’s eye made contact with the back of the truck.

Jeff
15 years ago

Common sense- people (cars and trucks) run red lights ALL THE TIME here. I NEVER enter an instersection that just turned green without waiting for the inevitable car or truck going way too fast to blow through the red and our green. Everyone on a bike is at a disadvantage, if you get hit or hit something, you’re going to be on the short end of the stick. That said, you have to ride defensivly all the time, or risk the outcome. I hope she and the cyclist yesterday recover quickly and that others learn from their injurys. The media should take these and use them to remind everyone of the risks of not paying attention to the surroundings. Not trying to sound harsh, but the world is harsh and so is being hit by a car…

Icarus falling
Icarus falling
15 years ago

There was a car/bike wreck in Battleground on 503 the other day, but I am having problems finding more info about it. The news said it was being investigated, but that was it.

Anyone know?

ultragrrl
ultragrrl
15 years ago

I drove my car thru that intersection right after the ambulance got there, and it made me queasy seeing her on the ground. (I myself survived a car-bike interaction two years ago.) Perhaps we in cars should not be so anxious to make a left turn that we go out into the middle of an intersection and then have to quickly turn when our light is red. Impatience seems to be the issue in many of these incidents.

And WHY must we always bring up the helmet issue? Let’s focus on first, the cyclist fully recovering, and second, how this situation can be stopped in the first place, and render the “helmet or not” question moot.

Whyat
Whyat
15 years ago

I bike through this intersection everyday going west like the injured biker. It is a really tricky and narrow high traffic area for everyone involved. Cars making a left onto SE Grand are at a distinct disadvantage due to the stop line being a good car length and a half back from the actual intersection. This is so large semis can clear the corner without hitting and cars waiting to make the left. This makes visibility difficult. The lane is also very narrow, and SE Stark is almost always over packed with vehicles from SE MLK to SE Grand at 9AM (not justifying bad behavior, just trying to set the scene).

With that being said, I have had several close calls with vehicles turning left when I have the right of way. I have made it a habit to ‘take the lane’ when I ride through that intersection to make sure I’m seen, as many cars are in a BIG hurry to clear the intersection and are more likely to see you if you are biking straight at them.

Crossing SE Grand and MLK can be a huge headache. It would be a great place to have a car-free crosswalk light period for safer crossing.

Hope everyone is OK.

Broadside Johnnie
Broadside Johnnie
15 years ago

I have made it a habit to ‘take the lane’ when I ride through that intersection to make sure I’m seen

word

zilfondel
zilfondel
15 years ago

The bicyclist probably went through a yellow light, since the cars next to her were stopped – and when she collided with the truck, the light was red.

The truck driver could have been stopped in the intersection waiting for west-bound traffic to clear; that may take a minute or more at that light. He could have been in the intersection from the beginning of the green light – there are no turn lanes here folks.

zilfondel
zilfondel
15 years ago

Also, while passing on the right as a cyclist, unless you are in a bike lane, you do not have the right of way: you may only pass on the right “when it is safe” to do so.

Passing cars should be done in a deliberate and careful manner so as to not get pancaked in an intersection, or right-hooked.

Unfortunately, I see on average about 10 cyclists a day riding erratically in these manners.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

thanks for the continued follow-up zilfondel.

i agree with you and I see many people on bikes pass cars on the right in a rude and erratic way that is just not cool.

when traffic is thick and the road is tight, i will ride directly in the lane as if I was a car, instead of moving up on the right… even if i have the legal right to do so.

zilfondel
zilfondel
15 years ago

“Another salient point, is that if you are making a left turn, I believe that you are NOT allowed to enter the intersection if you can’t make the turn right away.”

This is correct – it is illegal to enter an intersection to ‘wait in line’ to make a left turn:

811.340 Improperly executed left turn;
penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of
making an improperly executed left turn if
the person operates a vehicle and is intending
to turn the vehicle to the left and the
person does not:
(a) Approach the turn in the extreme
left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic
moving in the direction of travel of the
turning vehicle;
(b) Make the left turn to the left of the
center of the intersection whenever practicable;
and
(c) Except as otherwise allowed by ORS
811.346, leave the intersection or other location
in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully
available to traffic moving in the same direction
as such vehicle on the roadway being
entered.

Mike Bratty
Mike Bratty
15 years ago

I was hit by a car crossing Grand Ave last year. I was going straight across Grand Ave and the SUV was making a left turn onto Grand. The only reason I won against the insurance company is because I was farther away from my intersecting curb than he was away from his. It had nothing to do with him slowly rolling through his stop sign. I hope everyone is okay in this accident. I think if you bike enough in this town, your bound to be hit by a car at some point at time, regardless of how cautious you may think you are. You just have to keep on keeping on, our ride public transportation.

Icarus falling
Icarus falling
15 years ago

By the way, passing cars on the right is very legal here.

And, no matter how long he may have sat in the intersection while it was green, it does not put the driver in the right of way, for there was still oncoming traffic (car and bike) westbound, according to the reports.

Had he been where he should have been, (waiting behind the crosswalk), he would not have had to rush through the red, and the cyclist certainly would not have been hit.

Icarus falling
Icarus falling
15 years ago

Should have read “Passing cars on the right while riding a “bicycle” is very legal here.”

secretmuffin
15 years ago

This is similar to how I almost got hit yesterday. I was headed westbound on SE Taylor and the first “vehicle” at the intersection. Once the light turned green, the first car heading east bound started to turn left on SE Grand and did not see me. I screamed as loud as possible and the driver woke up in time to swerve out of the way.

I wish the biker a speedy recovery. Grand and MLK is usually safe but something about SE Grand yesterday that was really sucking.

A-dub
A-dub
15 years ago

A quick note on the “was she wearing a helmet issue.” I like to know this information not because I want to pass judgment but because it makes me feel safer as a helmet wearer to see the difference in the severity of injuries between accidents where cyclists wear helmets and when they do not.

Also, it sounds to me like both the motorist and cyclist were proceeding through the intersection on either a red or yellow light. not sure either entered on green, but my guess is the motorist entered on green and the cyclist entered on yellow or red.

matt borel
matt borel
15 years ago

Regarding the style of this piece, if it’s not too late, why is it that an F150 truck collided with a woman on a bike? Both people involved were operators of vehicles on the public roadway. Physical advantage and right-of-way are legitimate issues, but a truck and bike collided, here. Someone drove their vehicle into someone else’s, right?

A nit-picky point, perhaps, but let’s not make like it’s the vehicles creating the casualties. It’s the operators.

Paul Tay
15 years ago

Thanks for all the crash reports, J-man! PDX: Bicycling’s test dummy.

There aren’t a whole lotta crashes in Tulsa to glean any consistent insights into crashes.

The bicyclist hit that truck pretty hard. She’s probably gonna need observation for brain damage.

maren
maren
15 years ago

The cyclist is my coworker. Next time I see her I will let her know about this article, in case she wants to comment personally.

The latest I heard today was that she spent most of the day in the hospital, and was released this afternoon. No fractures or other major injuries, as I understand it, but she will need some stitches on her face. None of us have talked to her personally yet about the specific circumstances of the incident.

Anyway, I thought folks here would want to know that although she was hurt, she seems to be OK overall, physically.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

“Regarding the style of this piece, if it’s not too late, why is it that an F150 truck collided with a woman on a bike?”

thanks for pointing that out Matt. That was an oversight on my point. I’ve changed that first sentence to include “a man driving…”

Donna
Donna
15 years ago

I wouldn’t presume to make any judgement about this specific collision, but I will agree with those above who feel more comfortable “taking the lane” when crossing intersections like Stark and Grand, as well as the other intersections that involve traveling east or west while crossing Grand and/or MLK. I love being able to legally pass on the right in this state, but there are times and places when it’s not a good idea. I have always felt uneasy passing on the right in that kind of traffic situation. It’s too dynamic – there’s too much unpredictable movement.

Some people seem to be too timid to take the lane in these situations, however, and that is why I continue to hope for an LAB Road I class that is held in the inner core of the city. I’m no VC jihadist by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe one can never have too many traffic maneuvering skills. Taking a class like LAB Road I would be a most useful tool, IMO.

I’m glad to hear the woman who was hit is out of the hospital and I hope she heals quickly and without complications.

SkidMark
SkidMark
15 years ago

A left hook is a left hook is a left hook.

Preston Crawford
Preston Crawford
15 years ago

People do indeed get hit more often than is reported. I was struck by a car in August. I’m dealing with severe back and shoulder pain, probable surgery due to how my nose broke and healed and I’ve already piled up around 8 days of missed work and over $15,000 in medical bills. All that and I didn’t even make it into Bike Portland.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
15 years ago

i’ve just updated the story with the following information:

[*UPDATE – 10/30, 10:50am] I followed up with Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman about this collision. The police have cited the driver of the truck for making a dangerous left turn. Witness statements helped confirm that the women riding the bike entered the intersection with a green light. Therefore, because a collision occurred, the truck driver was cited for the dangerous turn.

wsbob
wsbob
15 years ago

“Witness statements helped confirm that the women riding the bike entered the intersection with a green light.” maus

I’m certainly glad that witnesses were able to help eliminate any doubts some people may have had about who was responsible in this collision. Sounds as though the driver of the truck might have been a little confused about what color the light was when he finally decided to make his turn left.

a.O
a.O
15 years ago

“The police have cited the driver of the truck for making a dangerous left turn.”

I’m speechless. Never thought I’d see the day…

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
15 years ago

Wow!

I hope she’s feeling better! I’m glad to hear that she wasn’t found to be at fault!

Now, pick up a copy of Pedal Power from:

Swanson, Thomas, and Coon,

Or download it their website:

http://www.stc-law.com

Or pick up a copy from the BTA.

The insurance people are not going to be looking out for her, she has to look out for herself on this. I know, I got nailed last October.

Erin
Erin
15 years ago

Hi. I am the injured bike rider. I just want to say thank you for all of your concern and constructive criticism (maybe accept for the eye on truck comment). I am healing and will pursue this matter further in court. Unfortunately the driver was uninsured, so if anyone was any advice on the next step i need to take it would be appreciated. Thank you all again

chelsea
chelsea
15 years ago

I would reccomend getting legal help. I was hit earlier this year and had a lawyer and the driver was insured and it was still a huge pain. At least talk to a lawyer about any questions you have the next steps to take. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get well soon.

Paul Tay
15 years ago

Was the driver cited for no insurance too?