Man dies in collision with SUV in West Linn

Posted by on September 12th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Street view of Pimlico Dr. as it
approaches Hwy 43/Willamette Dr.

A man riding his bike in West Linn (about 11 miles south of downtown Portland) died earlier today when he collided with an SUV.

According to the West Linn Police Department, 37 year-old James Allen Hill was riding his bicycle eastbound (downhill) on Pimlico Drive at about 1:00 pm on Sunday and the crash occurred at the T-intersection with Willamette Drive (Highway 43).

The West Linn PD say that according to witnesses and an investigation, Hill was “travelling at a high rate of speed prior to the intersection, disregarded a stop sign and was unable to negotiate the sharp right turn he was attempting.” A Ford Expedition was going southbound on Willamette Drive and Hill “lost control of his bicycle” and slid under it.

Here’s a snip from a press release sent out by the West Linn PD:

“This is a tragic event” said West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus, “Our thoughts are with both Mr. Hill’s family and the family of the driver.” The West Linn Police reminds bicyclists and all roadway users that they must obey the rules of the road, the rules are there for their safety.

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trail abuser
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trail abuser

RIP Sir.

Makes me think I shouldn’t fly down Taylors Ferry at 45+ anymore. It’s really fun though.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

eek, sounds like maybe brake failure… how long and steep is this hill?

Roma
Guest
Roma

I don’t even want to know what the Oregonian story comments are going to look like on this one. Very sad.

mcquain
Guest
mcquain

I know that street. That hill is so damn steep, I’d be scared to walk down it. A bike could easily get to over 40 mph in a very short distance. Be careful out there.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

bikeportland’s twitter notices listed a KATU story on this collision. An excerpt:

“… Witnesses say he disregarded a stop sign and was unable to negotiate the sharp right turn. …” KATU.com Staff

Bicyclist dies Sunday afternoon in West Linn crash/Submitted by KATU.com Staff/Sunday, September 12th, 2:23 pm

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Sorry…without noticing, scanned right over maus detailing of high rate of speed and not stopping for the stop sign.

West Linn Neighbor
Guest
West Linn Neighbor

The photo’s wide-angle lens does nothing for the real view of this busy intersection. It’s a very steep hill with several sustained curves. Awful thing for his family and those in the SUV that hit him.

Marcus Griffith
Guest
Marcus Griffith

One’s life is a steep payment for making a simple mistake. Safety first people.

My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragic loss.

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

how soon till someone here twists this into being the fault of the motorist?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

You have excellent instincts Red Five…

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

Like how, Red Five? By saying that the SUV shouldn’t have been in the road in the first place? (because that’s what motorists always say about bicyclists)

MIddle of the Road Guy
Guest
MIddle of the Road Guy

Skid, it is the modus operandi of people on this site to disregard their own shortcomings and place them all on drivers.

jim
Guest
jim

Skidmark-
Just how did you get your name? Was it from incidents like this?

Bob_M
Guest
Bob_M

Rolling south down Terwilliger toward the Barbur intersection several years ago I was traveling at a high rate of speed and waited late to brake hard and pulled the lead ball on the brake cable through the front brake lever. (Talk about skidmark! I produced two!)

Equipment malfunction could have contributed to the tragedy

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

I skid for fun. For stopping I want to maintain traction.

Amos
Guest

Very sad news. My sincere condolences to his friends and family.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

My Prayers go out for both families involved.

Ride Safe Folks!
God Bless

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

Caliper breaks are a joke.
*They weaken your rim.
*Cables are prone to failure.
*Cheap rubber/plastic break pads fail catastrophically. (there is almost no stopping power once the pad wears off or peels off).

With hydraulic disc breaks and metal pads I have close to the same stopping time with one break engaged as with both.

*they do not weaken your wheel rim.
*a well maintained hydraulic line is far less prone to failure (snags, rust, loosening).
*if the pad wears out the metal base will still work effectively (and provide a very noisy warning).

MIddle of the Road Guy
Guest
MIddle of the Road Guy

They’re worked pretty well for professionals. Bike within what your equipment is capable of – Pretty simple.

are
Guest

re comment 9, how soon before some troll comes on and tries to turn this into a cyclists hate motorists thread?

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Spare wheel:

I agree, disc breaks are really cool, unfortunately they seem to only be offered on a limited number of bikes.

jon
Guest
jon

I know this is not statistically significant but I have only personally seen onc brake failure in 20 years of mountain bike riding. It was a hydraulic disc front line that resulted in a crash on a downhill at the Syncline.

Brad
Guest
Brad

I have friends that live in that neighborhood. Pimlico is a sustained 10-12% grade.

Joe
Guest
Joe

RIP Bike Friend.

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

I want to give my condolences to the man’s family, this is truly a tragic accident.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I crashed like this as a kid, only it was a left turn, and I ran into the opposite curb and rolled off into a neighbor’s barkdust landscaping. Same mistake, much different results. This incident reminds us all of our vulnerability and the need to understand the limitations of our equipment and skills. Condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Hill.

RexMarx003
Guest
RexMarx003

I live about 1/2 mile from this street and ride on it often as it is one of the best routs from the 43 to the Safeway Store at the top of the hill (ironic store name, come to think of it).
– The local government closes this road during snow events as it is soo steep.
– If your brakes are not in perfect working order do not ride down pimlico (take Summit Road down) or just walk down.
– Tragic and completely too close to home…..

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

I also want to add my condolences. This is a tragedy for everyone involved.

jim
Guest
jim

perhaps they can put up some signage to warn people of the grade before they realize they are in trouble

KWW
Guest
KWW

I agree with @17, rim brakes are limited in their power. You even see guys in TdeF wiping out because their plastic pads ‘cook off’.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Spare Wheel @ 17,

All of the “problems” that you list with road calipers only become issues if they are not properly maintained to begin with. Checking rims and pads for wear, replacing cables, and mounting the proper pads for riding conditions are all common sense solutions.

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

KWW: You sure that’s why they wipe out? What’s your source? Having ridden lots of high-speed mountain passes (such as those in the Markleeville Death Ride for instance), I gotta say that doesn’t sound right. The pros likely would be braking *less* than my mortal 50-mph self, and I never even came close to cooking pads, rolling or blowing tires, etc. Now heavy ol’ *tandems* on mountain passes, that’s a different story…

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

I like disc brakes too, but they’re not without hazard. I’ve experienced the controversial skewer-loosening phenomenon on my XC mountain bike. And not every maker is clued in yet; you still see disc-brake forks with the axle slots facing down instead of forward—a wheel-ejection hazard, according to some, when combined with the skewer-loosening phenomenon.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

It was a very unfortunate accident. There is no need to speculate on the condition of the victim’s bike or debate what braking systems work best.

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

I dunno, SkidMark. I agree that no speculation or debate is necessary if the rider simply *didn’t* stop. But if the rider *couldn’t* stop, then discussing brakes and braking may help save others and thus honor his memory.

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

Also, maintaining the same standard here as others have noted with coverage of other collisions: Was this sufficiently unforeseeable and unpreventable to be called an accident?

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

@brad, i was too preachy. i think you will agree that there are a lot bikes out there with badly maintained caliper brakes.

Mike Fish
Guest
Mike Fish

RIP

Be careful on the roads everyone.

SkidMark
Guest
SkidMark

Well then I will say that I’ve never run into a situation that two Kool-Stop equipped brakes could not handle, and because I weigh 200 lbs. I pick up quite a bit of speed down hills. Braking has more to do with proper assembly and maintenance than the type of braking device. Also disc brakes are out in the rain just like calipers so there is diminished braking either way when it is wet out. This is not so with a drum brake or even a coasterbrake.

/discussion

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

Skidmark: Agreed, good rim brakes with Kool-Stop pads will get ‘er done—with maybe a heart-pounding moment now and then in the wet.

You sound like you’ve never tried a well adjusted disc brake with broken-in pads; the difference over rim brakes can be pretty profound. Yeah, they get wet too—but they have so much reserve power, it just doesn’t matter. You’re limited only by how well your tires can hold the wet road.

But that’s all I’ve got. RIP, Mr. Hill. Here’s hoping for no copycats.

jim
Guest
jim

I saw a kid going through the red lights at interstate and going this morning only to find himself in the middle of a lot of traffic, in the middle of the intersection (lots of trucks there). if he got ran over would that be an accident or just stupid?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

jim,

what’s the purpose of your comment? Obviously it’s stupid to run a red light and put yourself and others in harm’s way.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

Condolences to the family and friends of this man. RIP

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

I almost crashed the other day.

I was pulling up to a bike rack the other day and my left handlebar broke off. Good thing it didn’t happen earlier as I was riding up Williams with traffic on the left. I’d been riding hard on this bike for 7 years, it never occurred to me that the handlebars might fail.

It’s always good to do a thorough safety check on your bike once in a while, take the whole thing apart and look for stress cracks in bolts, frames, cranks. Frayed cables. Loose stuff.

And when anything is in poor condition and in need of repair, be aware of it and adjust to a more conservative riding style until you get it repaired.

I’m actually surprised that there aren’t more fatalities by equipment failure in Portland. It’s a testament to how much Portlanders love their bikes and tend to keep them beautifully maintained — 20,000 daily bicycle commuters in the summer, and zero fatalities because of equipment failure. It only takes one mistake to get yourself killed.

Be careful, folks. Look after yourself, look after your friends.

Ted Buehler

Ted Buehler
Guest
Ted Buehler

>>and zero fatalities because of equipment failure<<

Um, zero, or possibly one…

Kt
Guest
Kt

Taking that right turn off Pimlico onto Will Falls there– it’s a decreasing radius turn and if you take it too fast, you’ll overcook it and have to go wide into the traffic lane.

That’s a freakin’ steep hill, too, so it’d be easy to come to the T-intersection too fast, especially if you didn’t plan on stopping anyway and planned on making the right turn into the bike lane right there.

My condolences to his family.

WOBG
Guest
WOBG

Kt: Sounds like planning on stopping at the stop sign would be a prudent thing to avoid hurting fellow bike riders in the Will Falls bike lane who are about to enter the intersection, but who you might not yet see. Let’s head off bike-on-bike violence!

jim
Guest
jim

Jonathon-
What is the point of your story? Is it that cyclists should not do stupid things? or maybe they should follow trafic laws? Do you have a specific message that you want to get out?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

jim,

the point of this story is to tell people about what happened.

thanks for the question.

jim
Guest
jim

Jonathan-
Isn’t it also a purpose of this blog to increase bicycle safety? To learn from the combined experience of all the riders comenting? To broaden our perceptions. I know this is the most unfortunate experiance right here. Perhaps if any good can come from it- it would be what we discused right here and possibly save someone elses skin. Following the traffic rules, better braking systems, better judgement calls… I appreciate your dedication to improving cycling in Portland. Keep up the good work

henry krinkle
Guest
henry krinkle

It’s a very steep hill. It so steep I tele skied it back during the big storm. Could have been a brake problem, maybe just a bad miscalculation, but if you look at the Oregonian comments he’s getting ripped by about half the people. However, someone who actually helped at the scene cut through the crap and tells it how it was. Made my wife cry when she read it. Apparently some people honked with irritation and several drove by as the biker just lay there.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

Another note on safety. If the hill is as steep as some have stated here, then if I owned that home in the photo, I’d put up some kind of barrier to stop a runaway truck. Maybe buy an old dump truck and park it in front of the house, or in the drive way.

Might as well take action BEFORE another tragedy occurs. What a concept.