In case you missed it, there were two very serious crashes involving someone on a bicycle that happened over the weekend. As our minds turn to tonight’s Transportation Safety Summit, I thought some follow-ups were in order.
The first crash happened on Friday afternoon on the 6000 block of SW Multnomah Blvd. The motor vehicle operator, 63 year old Candace Palmer, was driving westbound on SW Multnomah when she struck 20-year old Reese Wilson, who was riding his bicycle in the bike lane in the same direction.
According to Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Captain Todd Wyatt, Palmer told investigators that she looked to the rear seat of her car to “attend to her dog” prior to the collision. That distraction caused her to drive into the bike lane and off the right shoulder. She struck Wilson, then a parked car, and then careened through a fence before coming to a stop on the side of a house.
Wilson sustained life threatening injuries including head trauma and was brought to OHSU in critical but stable condition (Wyatt noted that no helmet was found at the scene). Palmer showed no signs of intoxication or impairment and she is cooperating with authorities.
Wilson’s lawyer, Elizabeth Welch, says Wilson lives near the scene of the collision and that he was returning from his job at the gas station at SW Multnomah and 45th when he was hit. Welch reports that he has undergone surgeries and his injuries remain “very serious.” According to doctors, Wilson is doing “as well as could be hoped, but he is not out of danger.”
Wilson’s older sister also left a comment to report that Wilson was in a drug-induced coma, which he was being slowly being weened off. “I am keeping a notebook of people keeping him in there thoughts and prayers,” she wrote, “any comments you can email my way I would love to include for him when he has fully recovered. Thank you so much.”
Also on Friday, a man was hit while bicycling in the shoulder of Highway 30 north of the Sauvie Island Bridge and just south of NW Quarry Road. 24-year old Joseph Anderson was riding northbound and was struck by a motor vehicle. The driver of the motor vehicle did not stop and Anderson was left for dead on the highway until another person found him at around 5:30 am. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is still searching for the suspect vehicle.
Anderson, who a friend referred to as an “avid cyclist,” sustained very serious injuries, but subsequent reporting by KATU reveals that he has improved considerably and is now in fair condition. If you have any information about this incident, please call the MCSO at (503) 261-2810.
I will share more information about these crashes as I learn more (I am still away from my desk in Portland and won’t return until this afternoon).