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Mysterious crash in Hillsboro leaves police looking for answers

Posted by on January 30th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Just noticed a strange story over on KPTV.com.

On January 17th, a man was knocked off his bicycle while riding on 231st Avenue near Cornell Road (in Hillsboro) at about 2:30 pm. The police investigators say there’s “no evidence of a car”. Read more (emphasis mine):

Police said they aren’t sure what knocked a man off his bicycle, breaking his collar bone and giving him a concussion a few weeks ago.

The victim said he was riding on 231st Avenue near Cornell Road (map) at about 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 and was passing a parked commercial truck when he suddenly found himself under the trailer, police said.

Story continues below


The biker told investigators that he wasn’t sure whether something hit him but it felt like something pushed him under the truck.

The victim said that he was hit in the head with a blunt object. Officers said there was no evidence of a car, but it is possible that a car hit the man as he was riding around the truck.”

Read the full story at KPTV.com. If you know anything about what happened, call the Hillsboro Police Department at (503) 629-0111‎.

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  • robert January 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    It occurs to me that if he had scanned to see if it was safe to pass the parked car he would have a better idea of what happened.

    ie a blue car was behind me when I moved over and IT must have knocked me down.


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  • Adam January 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Wow. That’s a strange one. Get well soon!

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  • Matthew Denton January 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Head injures normally make you forget what happened for a few seconds/minutes. Is it possible that he could have hit the mirrors on the truck or something?

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  • Joel January 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    “There’s ghost cars all over these roads” -Chief Wiggum

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  • carless in pdx January 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Could have been a mirror from a passing pickup? I always worry about the mirrors, for some strange reason.

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  • Peter Noone January 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    robert #1: It occurs to me that making assumptions doesn’t add much to the discussion.

    Haven’t you ever scanned (while driving or riding) and then had someone come out of nowhere, for example, because s/he was speeding?

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  • K'Tesh January 30, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Concussions are no fun… I know… lost several hours back in 1990 after being run off the road and beaten.

    Witnesses said that the car what small, white, and from California. That was all I ever heard. They were never found or brought to Earthly justice…

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  • Hart January 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Magic wormhole. That’s the only explanation.

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  • robert January 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm


    no I guess I have not.

    I’m sorry I ruined the story and your web browsing.

    This is why I *hate* anonymous comment sections and I should probably just stay away. You can be a total passive/aggressive psycho much easier than you can in regular life.

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  • Jim January 30, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    All the time cyclists are riding in the parking zone and when they come to a parked vehicle they just don’t look to see if there is a car in the lane, they just swerve out in front of a faster larger heavier object speedng towards them. I’m suprised at the nerve of these actions, and that there are not more accidents. I wasn’t there and have no ida if this is what happened or not. I feel sorry for the cyclist and hope he has a good recovery. perhaps in time he will remember more of what happened. I was first responder for a motorcycle accident yesterday, Guy went down hard and had internal injuries, I hope he recovers well

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  • John Lascurettes January 31, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Jim, if you are behind a bike who is riding in the parking zone (granted, bad form on his part as one should never ride in the parking zone even when there’s no parked cars), you need to be prepared for him to avoid obstacles such as parked cars. If you can see the parked car coming ahead of both of you, you know he’s about to swerve out and you must yield. It’s called sharing the road and it’s the law.

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  • SkidMark January 31, 2009 at 12:40 am

    A cyclist got hit by car (maybe) it must be the cyclist’s fault. Doesn’t matter who you ask, even if they’re cyclists (or maybe just car-driving trolls on a bike-centric website).

    Hit in the head with a blunt object? A rear view mirror of a vehicle passing too close? Some of them new cars have mirrors that fold back when they hit something (or someone) I bet they still hurt to get smacked with. Another possibility is that it was an assualt, every so often cyclists do get randomly assaulted just for being there.

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  • SkidMark January 31, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Anybody bother to look at the map? There’s bike lanes on 231st. So that means a truck was parked illegally in a bike lane.

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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 12:47 am

    It wasn’t me. I swear. Reading the BP blogs keeps bike safety in my head so I do give bikes plenty of space, and I do slow down and tail them until I can safely pass. It really is only taking a minute off the commute.
    But still not all drivers are thinking about how bikes may move, whether it is a swerve or jetting out into a crosswalk without givng a driver a chance to react. There should be defensive riding classes available for biker education. perhaps this could be something offered in schools every fall…. If it pays off for one child it would be worth it. I don’t know how to educate stupid motorists, perhaps harder driver license tests? Any idiot can get a license.

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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 12:52 am

    He may have got hit by a car if there are no Skidmarks

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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Or maybe there was a troll under the truck and scarred him

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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 12:59 am

    maybe some of that unsept gravel…

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  • SkidMark January 31, 2009 at 1:33 am

    There aren’t any parking zones on 231st near Cornell, just a white line about 4 feet from the shoulder.

    Yeah Jim it’s a big joke until a car or a truck smashes into you while you are riding your bike…and then leaves you lying there for dead.

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  • robert January 31, 2009 at 7:39 am


    That is asking quite a bit of the average motorist who knows nothing about bicycling.

    That is a little like saying that a motorist is passing a bicyclist but whoops the stop sign is right there. Well the bicyclist should know and react to the motorist swerving back over into their lane.

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  • tonyt
    tonyt January 31, 2009 at 8:55 am


    I’m not so sure it’s illegal to park in a bike lane. I used to think the same thing but then came across something that indicated otherwise. Can’t remember what it was. Anyone have any authoritative info on that?

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  • Bjorn January 31, 2009 at 9:42 am

    It is definitely not legal to park a car in a bike lane in the State of Oregon. In fact a few years back the BTA got a bill killed that would have allowed cars to park in the bike lane at schools, presumably to give more parking to people driving their kids to school. I believe the grey area is in certain highway type places where the right hand side of the white line is narrow and not marked as a bike lane, it is considered a shoulder and is more of a no mans land.


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  • Joe January 31, 2009 at 9:50 am

    cars in bike lanes seem to happen quite a bit these days! even cops or service people

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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Trucks stop in car lanes too, not just bike lnes. They are going to stop where it works best for them to unload. I don’t think that is going to change unless we someday become a truckless society

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  • SkidMark January 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Someone knocked this dude off his bike, and then took off. I get the impression that some are blaming the cyclist, and not the hit-and-run driver. Amazing…

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  • Anonymous January 31, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    The driver does not have to yield to the bike changing lanes.

    The person making the lane change is responsible for making sure the lane is clear.

    To put it in another context, you have to put the responsibility on the cyclist who gets doored because they are supposed to be looking out for doors opening into the bike lane.

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  • SkidMark January 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Nice flame bait anonymous troll.


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  • Jim January 31, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Skidmark i’m curious- do you ever yield to a car when you enter a lane? or do you expect the car to always anticipate your movements and yield to you?

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  • a.O February 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    ORS 811.490 Improper opening or leaving open of vehicle door; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door if the person does any of the following:

    (a) Opens any door of a vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and it can be done without interference with the movement of traffic, or with pedestrians and bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders.

    (b) Leaves a door open on the side of a vehicle available to traffic, or to pedestrians or bicycles on sidewalks or shoulders for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

    (2) The offense described in this section, improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §655; 1985 c.16 §320]

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  • a.O February 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    ORS 811.550 Places where stopping, standing and parking prohibited. This section establishes places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited for purposes of the penalties under ORS 811.555. Except as provided under an exemption in ORS 811.560, a person is in violation of ORS 811.555 if a person parks, stops or leaves standing a vehicle in any of the following places:

    (23) On a bicycle lane. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 are applicable to this subsection.

    ORS 811.560 Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing and parking. This section provides exemptions from ORS 811.550 and 811.555. The following exemptions are applicable as provided under ORS 811.550:

    (1) When applicable, this subsection exempts school buses or worker transport buses stopped on a roadway to load or unload workers or children, providing that the flashing school bus safety lights on the bus are operating.

    (2) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger.

    (3) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles stopped, standing or parked momentarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers.

    (4) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles owned or operated by the state, a county or city when stopping, standing or parking is necessary to perform maintenance or repair work on the roadway.

    (5) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles from the prohibitions and penalties when the driver’s disregard of the prohibitions is necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic.

    (6) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles acting in compliance with law or at the direction of a police officer or a traffic control device.

    (7) When applicable, this subsection exempts the driver of a vehicle that is disabled in such manner and to such extent that the driver cannot avoid stopping or temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in a prohibited position.

    (8) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles owned or operated by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife when stopping, standing or parking is necessary to enable employees to release fish.

    (9) When applicable, this subsection exempts vehicles momentarily stopped to allow oncoming traffic to pass before making a right-hand or left-hand turn or momentarily stopped in preparation for or while negotiating an exit from the road. [1983 c.338 §670; 1985 c.334 §2; 1989 c.433 §3]

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  • matt picio February 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    tonyt (#20), Bjorn (#21) – it’s legal to park a vehicle in the bike lane to load or unload goods or passengers, but only if you’re actually in the process of loading / unloading. a.O provides the applicable statute in post #29.

    Anonymous (#25) – that’s only true if the bike pulls out directly in front you. (i.e. merges at an unsafe distance) Otherwise, yes, you must yield to traffic you are overtaking. In any case, you are expected to be alert for other vehicle operators making emergency lane changes, etc in response to road conditions – it’s called “exercising due care”, and it is a legal standard which supercedes other considerations.

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  • SkidMark February 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Jim, I’ve been riding bicycles and motorcycles for 25 years and I am typing this. I follow the rules of the road more often than not. I’ve had more close calls than I care to remember. I’ve been in a few accidents and better than half were considered by the Police to be the car driver’s fault. But how I ride has nothing to do with this.

    This guy was passing an 18 wheeler and he got clipped. A bike travels at about 10 mph and a car travels at 35 mph and the trailer is 40′ long. You think he could have been beside that trailer long before that car was close to him? And once again, it was a single lane, so no lane change was made.

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  • Jim February 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I’m sure you are probably right. I don’t want to make any assumtions on what happened as we don’t know who made the error. I hope it wasn’t an assault. Your experience is a valued comodity for BP blog.

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  • Kt February 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Maybe he got hit by something swinging on the trailer.

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  • paul February 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Sounds like a relatively minor incident that led to a worse wreck?

    Sometimes you get away clean from a potentially horrible wreck, and sometimes you get horribly messed up from what should have been nothing.

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