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Hit-and-run on SE Division leads to serious injuries – UPDATED

Posted by on June 11th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Location of crash.

At about 7:10 this morning, a person on a bike was struck and seriously injured by someone driving a car on SE Division at 110th (in front of Bike Gallery). Following the collision, the person in the car fled and was later apprehended by police.

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team responded to the collision and eyewitnesses reported 8-10 patrol cars on the scene. The westbound lanes of Division were closed while an investigation was carried out. Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman confirmed for me a few minutes ago that, after an initial search with the K-9 unit to find the person driving the car was unsuccessful, they now have a suspect in custody and are questioning them for more details.

According to PPB spokesperson Mary Wheat, the person on the bike sustained serious head injuries, was transported to OHSU, and is “expected to survive the injuries.” One person who saw the crash said the bike was “broken into two pieces.”

I’m still awaiting more details as to how the collision occurred and who was involved, and I will update this story when I know more. If anyone saw how it happened, please get in touch.

UPDATE, 2:30pm: I just got off the phone with a man who saw the collision occur. Ken Clarke was headed westbound on Division in a pickup truck behind a silver PT Cruiser whose driver he says “drifted over” into the bike lane and hit the person on the bike. “I didn’t see any brake lights go on… and then he just took off.” Clarke says “it was no fault of the bicyclist”.

Clarke estimates the car was traveling around 35 mph. Clarke added that after he was hit, the man on the bike was thrown up onto the hood and “helicoptered around a few times in the air.” “I thought it was a fatality.”

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  • Spiffy June 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    yikes, this one is a little close to home… that’s my local Bike Gallery, only 2 miles from me…

    I don’t pass it on my commute, and it was an hour after I had left the area…

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  • Adam June 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I’m assuming that since he survived that kind of collision that he was wearing a helmet. Do we know this for sure though? I’m glad he survived. Traffic can be fast and not extremely bike courteous right there.

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  • naomi June 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Looks like another driver is about to get two days of anger management classes.

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  • Todd Boulanger June 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Does it really matter about the helmet question?

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  • Bob_M June 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I’m assuming that the driver will suffer the harsh consequences of our fair and just legal system and get probation

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  • Caroline June 11, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I just rode by there on Tuesday and was more scared for my life than I’ve been on the bike in a long time. Even after having ridden south on 122nd (not my favorite) to Division, I have to say Division between 122nd and 82nd is a freakin’ nightmare on the bicycle. Even with a bike lane!!!

    Some places just give me the heebie jeebies and I can’t say why. Outer Division is one of them.

    Godspeed to the person who got hit. Hopefully all he/she forgets is the accident.

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  • JE June 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Well Bob_M, the driver blew it. Hit n Run is a crime while just running over people isn’t. If the driver would have remained at the scene and just said, “I don’t know what happened. I never saw him,” the most the driver would have recieved is a traffic cite.

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  • El Biciclero June 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    “I’m assuming that the driver will suffer the harsh consequences of our fair and just legal system and get probation”

    Fortunately, they fled the scene and miraculously were still apprehended, which means they can be prosecuted for hit ‘n’ run. What drivers often don’t seem to understand is that they can almost always get away with running over a cyclist if they follow a few simple rules:

    1. Stay on the scene and act distraught.
    2. Repeatedly utter one or both of the following key phrases: “I just didn’t see him/her!”, or “He/she came out of nowhere!”
    3. Not a rule for drivers, but it helps if the cyclist was not wearing a helmet, because then, “they were asking for it”, e.g., it is their own fault for getting hit.

    Fleeing the scene is a big mistake! Not only is an offense (hit and run) in and of itself, it is an implied admission of fault.

    All cynicism/sarcasm aside, I hope the victim fully recovers from all injuries without permanent damage.

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  • El Biciclero June 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Heh. JE and I seem to have executed simultaneous typing.

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  • Bjorn June 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    @7 don’t forget “the sun was in my eyes” regardless of if it was raining or even nighttime…

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  • tony June 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    the lawyer might have success arguing that community service is harder than jail time (a la the pedicab hit and run driver)

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  • Did I miss it? Again? June 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Unless they can prove the apprehended was actually driving the car, they may get off. This has been an issue in the past. See fatality on 82nd from 2008? when the woman fled with her friend in the car.

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  • Stig June 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    That area of Division is like No Man’s Land on a bike. I hope the victim makes a speedy recovery.

    Good work by the police for getting the driver.

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  • chelsea June 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I hope the victim recovers. This is beyond infuriating. I am glad the driver was caught and I hope that he/she receives a punishment in proportion to the crime.

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  • Amos June 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    My thoughts are with the victim. I wish nothing but a speedy and complete recovery. Be safe, everyone.

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  • Caroline June 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    “Helicoptered.” That’s a new one. One I hope to never hear again!

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  • Hart June 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Why even bother arresting the driver? He’ll walk.

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  • peejay June 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm


    Actually, one of the more favorable outcomes is “he’ll walk,” if by that it means he never ever gets behind the wheel of a car again.

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  • Paulie June 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I used to take that part of Division as part of my commuting route. After too many close calls I changed my route to use Market St. instead, until the I-205 path re-opened. I now use SE Bush.

    Division near 122nd is terrible. You’re squeezed into a narrow bike lane between 40+ MPH traffic and curbside parking. All the lanes are narrower than normal. PBOT needs to remove the curbside parking on the North side of Division and increase the width of the traffic and bike lanes.

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  • Paul Tay June 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Hey, bike lanes are supposed to protect cyclists and are “safer,” right? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

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  • peejay June 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Take the lane, and fit an exploding rear light on the back of your heavily armored fender!

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  • David June 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Yes, it matters if he was wearing a helmet. It isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it at least seems somewhat relevant in an accident with reported “serious head injuries”.

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  • peejay June 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm


    Not when assigning fault.

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  • El Biciclero June 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    “Failure to yield to a rider upon a bicycle lane” is a Class B Traffic Violation.

    I think the max fine for that is
    $360.00. Unless the paint for the bike lane was worn away at that spot.

    “Failure to perform duties of driver to injured persons” is a Class B Felony if a person suffers serious physical injury.

    Max fine for that is $250,000.00. Max prison sentence is 10 years.

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  • 151 June 11, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Just the other day we saw how quickly a felony can become a misdemeanor, and prison time can become probation and two days of anger management.

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  • EmGee June 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I hope the fellow who saw the accident has spoken with the police. “Hit and run”, which is more accurately something like “failure to perform the duties of a driver at the scene of an accident” is a crime, but it is a victimless crime. Since there is a witness to this event, the perp could be charged with assault or criminal negligence, which are both victim crimes.

    In practical terms, if there is a victim he may be able to get some help with medical bills through the State Victim Compensation program, but this won’t happen with a mere hit and run charge since there is no legal victim. The crime occurred after the crash, the crash is not the crime. Also of course assault or criminal negligence means that the perp is more likely to face stiffer penalties, and possibly be required to pay restitution directly to the injured person.

    I learned all this the hard way, after becoming the injured party in a hit and run in January. No witnesses came forward (it is likely that there were some who saw the actual strike) and I was concussed and have no memory of the accident at all. So the perp is probably still driving around after paying a smallish fine, despite having no Oregon license, a revoked California license, no insurance, and a clear disregard for decent behavior. (Someone who heard the impact did see the perp stop, get out and look at my body, then get back in and drive away; that person got the license number and the perp was apprehended 2 hours later).

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  • joe adamski June 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    This is another reason not to ride in East Portland. The whole area was built to be car friendly,but not bike or ped friendly. A line of paint next to five lanes of high volume, high speed traffic means nothing. Separated facilities need to be part of the equation.
    Yes, I know of the many challenges of East Portland (EP). huge sections of land surrounded by high volume streets, lots of unpaved roads and limited connectivity.
    PBOT and community groups are working towards making EP a more accessible part of the city. At the same time, the bones of this recent addition to the City are not like those of the rest of Portland. However,it will take years and millions to even make a dent in the current design.

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  • Tourbiker June 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Use a Gun Go to Jail…use a car go to traffic school.

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  • Red Five June 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    The driver was probably an illegal alien and didn’t want to be deported.

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  • fro June 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    PT Cruiser? Total douchemobile.

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  • Donna June 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Awesome. I’m going to start running a clinic at SE 172nd and Division in the fall. Sounds like I have a lot of fun to look forward to…

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  • mike June 11, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I have ridden this bike lane numerous times. It is plenty safe as long as someone doesn’t drift into your backside. I guess it’s the chance we take. Kill them with kindness people and remember, we are all ambassadors of the cycling world.

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  • Bryan June 12, 2010 at 12:54 am

    The man who was hit is my best friends cousin. It’s not my business to say his name but if you are reading this please pray for him. His family is devasted and we are all praying for a full recovery. God Bless.

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  • Vance Longwell June 12, 2010 at 3:11 am

    #13 #27 – Uh, that’s one year old asphalt of an almost perfect-for-bikes smoothness, enormous, like over 10ft, bike-lanes on both sides of the street, superfluous at that because the shoulders are like 20, and 30 ft. wide out there. There’s big-fat-wide sidewalks all through there. And anti-car policies coming straight off this blog has car traffic backed up on it most of the day going like 1 m.p.h. (Granted not the case here, but c’mon, have you ever ridden that? ‘Cause I do about once a day.) Add to this it’s one of two very heavily used bike-routes out to the gorge and I see hundreds of cyclists a day on that stretch. Add to this that the proximity to 205 makes for daytime lighting conditions 24/7.

    Nah, that’s almost perfect bike-ridin’ territory, and it speaks volumes that you’all think otherwise. Most of that was built up post-energy anyway. Peds and bikes, though to what degree is arguable, were actually planned for. Which was a massive improvement at them time.

    This was a hit and run, folks. It’s an unusual circumstance. No need to pounce on the infrastructure.

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  • Bent Bloke June 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Vance, you are wrong about the width of the lanes at the location of the accident. I frequently travel this section of Division, both by bike and by auto, and the lanes are narrower than normal, not wide. It has not been recently paved. And that’s curb-side parking, not a shoulder, although there are usually not many vehicles using it during the time of day of the accident.

    You may be thinking of the stretch between the I-205 path and 82nd, which is smooth, but the bike lanes are standard sized.

    I agree with you that biking riding in East Portland isn’t as bad as people make out. Just shun the arterials when you can – there are plenty of parallel bike routes that are far more pleasant and safe to ride on. You’ll need a map to find them, though. Most are unsigned.

    I hope the victim makes a full and speedy recovery.

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  • kitten June 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    wow, stories like these make me question the humanity of living among strangers in a city. like Kitty Genovese for our times, Who would ever commit such a heinous act and drive off?

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  • Stig10 June 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    This was a DUI and he’s already been released. No bail.

    Anyone know if his license has even been suspended? Be careful out there (not that there’s anything you can do to prevent being hit from behind while in a bike lane). This is really messed up.

    Jail booking:

    Media coverage:

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  • Lenny Anderson June 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Its not just in E. Portland that a line of paint separates bicycles from high speed motor vehicle traffic…try N. Greeley, NW St. Helens Road, SW Barbur or SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. I think all these “bike routes” should be classified as higher risk, higher speed routes for only the brave and/or late with some kind of special designation. When Portlanders tout our many miles of bike facilities, I always want to subtract these out. It would cut the number in about half.

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  • Mark Eggan June 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    The fact that the driver hit and ran may imply that they had lapsed their car insurance..or more likely, they had some suspension or the car was perhaps stolen.

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  • rigormrtis June 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

    “Does it really matter about the helmet question?”

    In the case of a hit and run like this, no. However, in a circumstance where a cyclist is acting recklessly, then yes.

    Not wearing a helmet *suggests* a lack of concern or one’s safety and a history of not taking steps to enhance one’s own safety.

    Does a driver’s past driving history matter? Most cyclists would think so.

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  • Eric on Blue Island June 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Yes, I would say there is a very high correlation between drivers not wearing helmets and drivers’ lack of concern.

    As for the second part, as long as drivers can pay a fine to avoid points against their licenses, then the driving record of bad drivers will be useless.

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