Police statement on fatal crash in Beaverton

Posted by on February 12th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Just for reference, below is the official Beaverton Police Department press release on the Saturday (2/12) crash that led to the death of Bret Lewis…

BICYCLIST STRUCK AND KILLED BY VEHICLE
On Saturday, February 12th, at 6:43 PM Beaverton Police were called to an accident involving a bicyclist and a vehicle near the intersection of SW Tualaway Ave and SW TV Hwy in Beaverton. Officers arrived and learned that a 47 year old male on a bicycle in the westbound curb lane of TV Hwy had been struck from behind by a vehicle, also traveling westbound in the curb lane. The bicyclist was treated at the scene by rescue personnel and quickly transported to Emanuel Hospital with life threatening injuries. The bicyclist was declared dead in the operating room of the hospital.

Police on scene were able to determine through numerous witness accounts that the 47 year old bicyclist was stopped in the westbound curb lane. It is unknown why the bicyclist was stopped in the traffic lane. There was no traffic backed up or any other impediments that would cause the bicyclist to be stopped in the middle of the lane. There is a bike lane to the right and along the curb of the traffic lane. The bicyclist had a functioning red light on the rear of the bike but was not wearing a helmet.

The 48 year old driver of the vehicle that struck the bicyclist stated that he was westbound on TV Hwy in the curb lane and did not see the bicyclist until it was too late. He stated that the bicyclist was stopped on his bike in the middle of the traffic lane. The driver stated he tried to swerve to the left to avoid striking the bicyclist but it was too late and he struck the bicyclist with the right side of his car. This is consistent with the damage to his vehicle, a Toyota Prius. The driver exhibited no signs of intoxication or any other impairment and voluntarily responded to the hospital for a blood draw for drugs and alcohol testing.

It was dark and windy and raining heavily at the time of the accident. The lighting and weather conditions are believed to be a factor in the inability to see the bicyclist stopped in the traffic lane. It is not anticipated that the driver of the vehicle will be cited. The name of the bicyclist is being withheld until family notifications are complete. The investigation is continuing.

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This report does not mention the color of the prius and whether the driver had his headlights on or not. From a little bit of research it seems the prius, or at least some of them, do not come with daytime running lights. So if this guy is driving a dark or silver prius at dusk he would assume his visiblity is fine but his car would be vertually invisible especially when casually glancing down the street when crossing, even moreso if other drivers have their lights on thus creating more blind and dimmer areas around them.