One week later, man hit by distracted driver remains in ICU

Reese Wilson.

20-year old Reese Wilson remains in the ICU today, one week after a distracted driver ran into him as he pedaled home from work on SW Multnomah Blvd.

Last Friday, 63-year old Candace Parker was driving westbound on SW Multnomah Blvd when she took her eyes off the road to tend to her dog in the back seat. She veered into Wilson, then struck a parked car, and ended up driving into the side of a house.

“He’s such a nice guy, easy to get along with. We all really miss him.”

Wilson suffered a massive head injury and a broken leg. Speaking through their lawyer, Wilson’s family says he is responding to nurses, but has had a few complications that doctors are watching closely. He still cannot move the left side of his body but he is responsive to commands — holding up his thumb and saying, “yes,” “no” and “help me.”

Jody Enders works with Wilson at the Shell gas station on 45th and Multnomah. On the phone today, she couldn’t say enough positive things about him. “He’s such a nice guy, easy to get along with. We all really miss him.” Enders said Wilson’s girlfriend usually drove him home from work, but not on Friday. “We watched him leave on his bike that afternoon,” she remembered, “and shortly after we saw the fire truck, police cars… All of our hearts just sank.”

Enders said many of the station’s regular customers are asking about Wilson and some of them have left donations in a tip jar labeled, “Reese Fund.” “We’re up to $54 dollars,” Enders said, “Which is a lot for us, because we don’t usually get tips.”

The section of SW Multnomah where the crash happened is straight, has a wide bike lane, and has very good visibility. Enders said they see people riding on it all day long. “It’s a very safe road… We’re frustrated, when you’re driving, why would you take your eyes off the road. How could she not see him?”

Wilson has lived in Oregon all his life and he attended Wilson High School where he was a standout baseball player. He’s the youngest of three siblings, with two older sisters. One of them, Lindsay Wilson, commented here last week. “I am keeping a notebook of people keeping him in their 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.”

Portland Police are still working on their investigation of this crash. We’ll have more updates as information becomes available.

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