This evening at about 5:30 pm, 49-year old Cary Bernick of Southeast Portland was killed while riding his bike on NE Weidler near the intersection with NE 106th in East Portland (map link).
The Portland Police Bureau say Bernick was riding against traffic on Weidler (which is one-way westbound at that location) and was “in a lane of traffic and not using the bicycle lane” when he was hit. It also appears from their statement that the man was riding on the south side of the street, opposite from the side with the bike lane. The PPB has also confirmed that the man was not wearing a helmet.
Here’s more from a witness, as reported by The Oregonian:
“According to Ron Dean, who works in the area, the cyclist is someone he has seen collecting cans and bottles in the neighborhood.”
This is very sad news. Just last week we held our monthly Get Together event in Outer Southeast and several of the people who showed up live near the area of this crash. One of the topics they shared was how daunting it can be to cross these major arterial streets. As a result, many people ride the wrong-way or on the sidewalk. We will never know why this man chose to ride the wrong way, but I hope people keep that in mind as they think about this tragedy.
This is the first fatal bike crash in Portland since the fall of 2007. There were no fatalities in 2008.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.