Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Car, bike in serious injury collision on SW Multnomah Blvd – UPDATED

Posted by on February 4th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

*See updates below

Portland Police are investigating a crash resulting in potential life-threatening injuries to a person riding a bicycle near SW Multnomah Blvd and 51st Ave.

According to the PPB statement, the crash happened at about 2:21 pm at the 6000 block of SW Multnomah Blvd. Initial reports were that the collision was a hit and run, but officers discovered later that the motor vehicle operator that hit the bicycle rider then went through a fence and hit a house.

KATU-TV has more coverage from the scene. Here’s a video they shot…

Also check the KATU site for a photo of the car slammed into the side of the house.

*UPDATES: Here’s more from Todd Wyatt, Captain of the Traffic Division:

“The Driver told Crash Team investigators she looked to the rear seat of her car to attend to her dog. She then drove into the bike lane and off the right shoulder. She struck the rider, struck a parked car, drove through a fence on the right side of the roadway and then crashed into the side of a house.

AMR transported the bicyclist to OHSU on a Trauma Entry. He sustained life threatening injuries to include a head injury. Last information from OHSU listed the bicyclist in critical condition, but stable. It appeared the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet (no helmet found at the scene) while riding.

AMR transported the driver to OHSU for minor injuries (possible hand fracture). Crash Team officers responded to OHSU and contacted her there. The driver did not show any signs of intoxication or impairment. She cooperated with the investigation and consented to a blood draw.”

And here’s the latest update from PPB:

The driver of the vehicle has been identified as 63-year-old Candice Palmer… The person riding the bike has been identified as 20-year-old Reese Wilson.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • 9watts February 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I have to say that the ads that keep showing up for heavily armored (looking) SUVs interspersed with your excellent reporting make for some cognitive dissonance.
    Every time anyone on a bike or on foot is hit by a car my youthful enthusiasm for automobility recedes a bit further.

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  • A-dub February 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    As someone who rides this stretch everyday I knew exactly where it happened. There is a horribly placed steel plate in the road right at the accident site. The plate forces people on bikes into closer contact with cars.

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    • Jeff February 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      how, by reading the above article, could you ever deduce that?
      could very well have been a medical issue with the driver as well. lets try to keep the speculation to a minimum.

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      • A-Dub February 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        First, I went by the scene and it happened there. Second, more than anything else the construction along Multnomah has created a very hazardous riding environment. I was simply commenting on the road condition.

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        • jeff February 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

          reported now, the driver was distracted by her dog in the car. nothing to do with a steel plate.
          stupid, stupid woman(driver)

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          • A-dub February 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm

            What news outlet has the update?

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  • Stig10 February 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Was the house wearing a helmet?

    On a more serious note, I hope we hear good news on the condition of the bike rider.

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  • JK12 February 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    On the subject of distractions while driving: first of all, I still regularly see people talking on their cell phones while driving.

    Second, I sometimes see people driving with dogs on their laps. I don’t know if this is illegal but it sure is stupid. One time I rolled up next to a woman driving with a dog on her lap and said, “What would happen if you had a wreck? Your dog would be SMUSHED!”

    Her answer? “I KNOW! But this is where he wants to ride, what can I do about it?”

    Unfortunately the lights are timed so that I couldn’t tell her that she should be smarter than the dog before it’s too late.

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    • Duncan February 5, 2011 at 7:15 am

      my pet peeve- people who let their children or animals be in charge…

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  • MarkDavisPDX February 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Can’t comment on the area, never been, but best wishes for the biker, and if it was negligence on the driver’s part, hopefully at least a hefty fine is coming her way.

    And yes, even with the cell phone law, i still see at least 3 out of every 5 people it seems on their cell while driving.

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  • K'Tesh February 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    My prayers go out to the cyclist, and their family.

    God Bless!

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  • h February 5, 2011 at 12:00 am

    the road is flat, mostly straight and fast. I think there is a construction going on between SW 45th and SW 31th. Hope the cyclist will be ok.

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    • Perry Hunter February 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      There is sewer line construction going on the entire length of Multnomah from Garden Home all the way up to the village. Very rough in many stretches, bike lane markings are worn away, steel plates, loose gravel, potholes, etc. It’s worst from the village (30th) to 45th street or so. The job is now about three months over schedule…

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  • 99th Monkey February 5, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I didn’t find out about this until riding in to work today on the bus from Tigard to Beaverton, and the man who called 911 to report the cough, cough, accident, asked me while waiting for the bus asked me, ” I hope you don’t ride your bicycle on Multnomah Blvd?” We talked the whole ride in about what he had seen and heard. Without really saying anything that may influence or prejudice any on-going investigation, he did tell me that when he asked the first PPB officer on the scene about any charges that he was going to ticket the lady, the officer’s response was “Well, one thing I can tell you is that she may loose her liscense”. Of note, however, the person who called 911, that I talked to this morning, was not given a card by the ticketing officer and neither was he advised that he may be contacted by the DA for any further fact-finding. So….. we shall see if this is just treated as ” just another bicyclist in the wrong place at the wrong time and an accident happened”…..

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  • wally February 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

    KPTV reports that the driver *turned around* to check on her dog and “veered off the road and hit the bicyclist.” I ride this route every day, but I have to say I am having second thoughts.

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  • wally February 5, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Even if she hadn’t hit the cyclist, how does a minimally competent driver “veer off” a flat, straight, dry stretch of road in broad daylight, bust through a fence and hit a HOUSE?! At a minimum, she should lose her license for a very long time.

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    • Paul Souders February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

      I know this piece of road very well. It was originally engineered as the grade for an electric railroad, thus exceedingly flat and straight. Like the straightaway on a racetrack. It feels highway-like but is as narrow & prone to side-traffic as most city streets. In fact visibility is lower with all the trees.

      Which is a roundabout way of saying this is yet another place in SW PDX where road design lulls drivers into treating streets like highways.

      I am capital NOT absolving Ms. Palmer of culpability here. I drive this road all the time and have yet to hit a house. But I wonder if she would have turned around to check her dog if she were driving on, say, NE Broadway or even SE Powell.

      p.s. Love that somehow this is now all about helmets? An inch of styrofoam vs. 2 tons of steel…SRSLY?

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  • Jram February 5, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Actual quote from last night’s news (i think kgw, but not sure):

    “because the cyclist was not wearing a helmet, he sustained life-threatening injuries”

    i’m no scientist but i think being hit by a car had more to do with it.
    I hope the cyclist is better soon.

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  • Roger Averbeck February 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I was at the scene last evening around 5:30 pm, the tow truck had not yet hauled away the vehicle. I returned to the site today to take some photos.

    I can’t speculate what caused the crash, or exactly what happened. However, it was very clear that the westbound car involved in the crash left the pavement after traveling over some patched but rutted pavement, then “outside” of the small metal plate which covers 1/2 of the westbound lane, ie through the bike lane. The tire tracks in the muddy / gravel shoulder lead directly through the fence, across the yard to the damaged house.


    The rough pavement and metal plate are due to the BES (Bureau of Environmental Sevice) sewer replacement project which has been underway since June 2010. The current phase of this project, on Mult. Blvd from SW 31st to 69th is expected to be completed in March or April 2011.

    I have expressed concern RE the condition of the pavement, bike lanes and shoulder, especially overnight and on weekends when the contractor is not working, to BES via e-mail numerous times.

    FYI the BES public information officer is:

    Stephen Sykes

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  • esther c February 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm


    Interesting comment from someone who points out that while the article mentions that the cyclist may not have been wearing a helmet, why is there no mention of whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt.

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  • JK12 February 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    esther c
    Interesting comment from someone who points out that while the article mentions that the cyclist may not have been wearing a helmet, why is there no mention of whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt.

    Maybe the whole thing could have been avoided entirely if the DOG was wearing a seatbelt. I wonder what “attend to the dog in the back seat” means.

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  • JJJ February 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    In this kind of situations, it seems that there should be a law which immediately voids the driver’s license until a) the investigation is complete and b) the driver takes a new driving test.

    Accidents obviously do happen, but drivers in an accident should be tested to make sure it really is an accident, and not someone incapable of driving.

    The whole “are they drunk” thing isn’t enough.

    I really don’t understand why sober = a-ok. That’s not the case for ANY other situation in life. If a doctor removes the wrong organ, they don’t get breathalyzed and then resume their work immediately. Their license is suspended for investigation.

    Hell, even cops have to go through that. When a cop shoots someone, they get pulled off the street until it is clear that the shooting was the correct course of action.

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  • CaptainKarma February 6, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Instead of lawmakers attempting to restrict children from being on bikes, why not a law that no animal is free to roam around an operating death machine, er, motor vehicle? Betcha the driver was *also* on her phone but wouldn’t admit it. Grr.

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    • Perry Hunter February 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      +1 to that…

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    • Did I miss it? Again? February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

      “Death machine”. Cute.

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  • velo February 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

    “she looked to the rear seat of her car to attend to her dog.”

    And there is a problem right there. She was more then looking if she managed to hit a cyclist, a car and a house. Also annoyed that helmet status was reported in the piece. Getting nailed by a several thousand pound vehicle is the main problem in this case.

    I hope the cyclist fully recovers, and sues this person for everything they have for their stupidity. I also hope the drive lands in jail for a while to consider if it’s right to pay attention to her dog instead of the road ahead.

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  • Steve B February 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I hope this real life horror story has a happy ending. I appreciate everyone who has sounded in with solid information about the scene, the conditions and contact persons.

    I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with carrying your dog in your car, but I do think the windshield perspective makes you lose sense of the world around you. I admit in my years of driving, I have done some stupid stuff like this and veered into adjacent lanes while distracted by something inside of the car. My mistakes didn’t cause damage, but clearly if I was in a different place at a different time, my story would be much worse.

    More time spent outside of the windshield perspective, and better road designs, could go a long way in preventing these events.

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  • lindsay wilson February 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I am reese’s older sister. He is doing well today good color and warm skin. He sometimes responds to you in small movements, however he is still in a drug induced coma slowly being weened off it. I am keeping a notebook of people keeping him in there thoughts and prayers, any comments you can email my way I would love to include for him when he has fully recovered. Thank you so much

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  • lindsay wilson February 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm
  • Kt February 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    What a terrible thing to happen.

    Unless her dog was throwing up or eating the seat cushions there was no reason for her to be turned around and looking in the back seat for such an extended period of time. If you have to attend your animal or child, PULL OVER AND STOP.

    I carry a dog in my car sometimes– he’s a big brute, and he’s always tethered in the car. I made the mistake when he was younger of letting him roam free– that stopped the first time he jumped on me while I was driving. I went straight to the nearest pet supply store and bought a harness and short lead and strapped him in.

    I also do not understand why people think it’s okay for a pet to ride on your lap while you’re driving. Who is in charge here, the pet or the human?? If you can’t make the right choices with your pet in your car, you shouldn’t be driving.

    Re: Helmet: maybe she hit him hard enough to make his helmet fly off, and it’s hidden in the bushes.

    I hope he gets better soon, and that the driver does indeed lose her license. Or at least has to pay for all his medical bills and lost wages and any continuing medical issues that crop up because of her actions.

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  • El Biciclero February 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

    RE: Helmet use– I find it interesting that no Oregonian story has been updated with the fact that the driver was turned around tending to a dog at the time of the incident; the debate over there is all about helmets and insurance:

    “This also points out the need to explore requiring Oregon bicyclists to carry some kind of STATE MANDATED liability and/or personal injury insurance in the same way that automobiles do.” –Fenwick500, Oregonlive commenter

    “The faddish predilection of Portland’s hipsters to eschew bicycle helmets produces an excellent opportunity and reliable supply of paid study participants for an entrepreneurial OSHU numerological intern to obtain grant money to investigate the outcome and recovery from bike-car-ped closed head injuries. And one way for insurance-less bike riders to pay their astronomical hospital bills. Its a win-win-win.” –60isthenew40, Oregonlive commenter

    Once again, excellent and thorough reporting by Oregonian staff… %(

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    • Jeff February 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      what the hell is a numerological intern? its like a 4 year old using an adult vocabulary. they just shouldn’t try it.

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  • Elizabeth Welch February 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I represent Reese and his family for this injury. If anyone has any witness information, or any information specific to this collision, please contact me. My number is 503.286.7178; bizwelch@yahoo.com. Thank you, Elizabeth Welch

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  • davemess February 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    OH he totally should have had insurance, for all the damage he caused to her car, while minding his own business riding in the bike lane!?!??!! (sarcasm)
    Seriously, how can people try to fault the rider in this scenario.

    Hope he can recover well, and soon.

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  • craig February 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Jonathan, you might want to pull that KATU video…it’ seems to have no sound.

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  • excat2 February 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I have great sympathy for this rider and don’t condone distracted driving if that is the cause. I don’t understand the outrage by the bike community about mentioning the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. That doesn’t make it his fault, but it is clear that riding without a helmet isn’t smart. It does increase injuries, whether a result of an at fault or no fault accident. I’ve seen all kinds of comments where people say something like “there was no comment if the driver was buckled in.” That is because of the nature of the crash. It is commonplace in car accidents with serious injury to passengers in the car to mention if they were wearing seat belts. That happens all the time. It isn’t discrimination against bikers to mention if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.

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