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Fatality on Highway 101 when logging truck, bike collide – Updated

Posted by on August 4th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Photo from the scene.
(Photo: Oregon State Police)

Just before noon today, 81 year old Dale Beacock of Vancouver, Washington died while bicycling on Highway 101 north of Garibaldi. Beacock collided with a logging truck.

According to the Oregon State Police, the crash happened around 11:50 am. A truck pulling a loaded log trailer struck Beacock when, “for an unknown reason” Beacock’s bicycle “swerved in to the southbound lane and collided with the rear of the pole trailer as it was traveling past.” Beacock’s son was riding several yards behind him and was uninjured.

The crash happened near milepost 54, which is right near Barview Jetty Park, a popular picnic area and campsite just outside of Garibaldi.

According to The Columbian newspaper, Beacock was a well-known musician and founder of Beacock Music.

Highway 101 is one of the most popular bicycle touring routes in the world and this is the busiest time of year.

This is the second person to die due to injuries sustained while bicycling today. 23-year-old Diego Reyes died this morning from a collision last night on a rural road in Washington County.

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  • Allan August 4, 2011 at 2:26 pm


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  • Steve B August 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Lives taken way too soon. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

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  • grimm August 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm


    This scares the hell out of me. I’ve ridden most of 101 a couple times.

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    • Alan 1.0 August 4, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Two people killed while riding bikes in Seattle in the past 8 or 9 days, too. One rear-ended, one hit-and-run in the bike lane.

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  • NW Biker August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    There was an article a few days ago (last week?) about a young man who was struck by a truck and killed while riding his bike, and some moron on the news site said “see, bikes are dangerous.”

    I can only shake my head in despair.

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    • Kristen August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      I saw that– I was the one who posted that bikes aren’t dangerous, it’s the cars and trucks that are dangerous.

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      • NW Biker August 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

        I’m glad you did! I wanted to, but I couldn’t get the darn site to work.

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      • middle of the road guy August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        Everything is dangerous…it’s simply a matter of “how much”.

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  • Natalie August 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This is just so sad.

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  • Jene-Paul August 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Gee, Jonathan: What is this “Breaking: Fatality…” header about? Smells too much like traditional media’s “If it bleeds, it leads” practice. Not to diminish the loss of life in any way, but that just seems a little more sensationalist than not using that “Breaking:” preface.

    Like Grimm above, I’ve ridden the length of US-101 multiple times and this is scary and terribly sad to learn (no more so than the three bicyclists hit last night). What bothers me after the loss of life is that in all the millennia I’ve been bike-trippin’, I’ve always preferred to hear (or see in my mirror) a semi behind me rather than a “regular” car or gods forbid, a giant friggin’ RV driven by a retiree who had never operated anything bigger than a VW beetle for 50 years.

    I’ve learned to trust professional drivers as being safer to ride around than the average cat in a cage. This also applies to riding in farm country where one can tell the ag workers from the inconsiderate high-speed commuters not only by whether they’re driving a beater pick-up or a shiny Volvo but by how they treat cyclists with more respect when they pass. Nowhere safer to ride than farm country (even in the complete absence of bike infrastructure).

    Many log truckers, however, have to work load-to-load – they’re not paid to dead-head (an unfortunate term for driving without a load) and they run some long hours. I simply can’t imagine any explanation which brings satisfaction about the collision on US-101 but between wind and tired drivers (both truck and bike), I’ve seen some eye-popping stuff on the coast road.

    Peace to the families involved.

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    • Schrauf August 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I’m no journalist, but I always thought “breaking” simply was used to denote a somewhat substantial event that currently has very limited details available. Not to be sensational. It’s a way of saying, “hey, this happened and we want to update you, but we really don’t know crap yet about what happened”.

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      • Natalie August 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm

        Exactly, Schrauf. I don’t see how Jonathan was being sensationalist at all. Seems like an unnecessary criticism when the term really does mean “We just wanted to let you know, but the full story will come later”. Sensationalism would be “This just in: another cyclist dead. ARE YOU SAFE ON THE ROAD?”–that’s not what this article is at all. Give it a rest.

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        • Jene-Paul August 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

          He probably didn’t intend to be. Aw, perhaps it was the proximity of “breaking” & “fatality” – I hate when the names of dead bicyclists start to pile up. I guess I’m just not in a rush to learn who dies next.

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          • Jene-Paul August 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

            Especially when it’s the guy who supplied all of our family’s musical instruments.

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  • dan August 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Agree that the pro truck drivers are much better drivers than amateurs, especially compared to the RV drivers. When I toured on the coast, every commercial truck gave me every inch they safely could — maybe even a little more than that sometimes. Touring up to Seattle one time, I biked by the Oak Harbor Freight Lines HQ and went in to thank the drivers for their professionalism every time I saw them on the coast.

    RVs on the other hand have no idea how wide they are and think everyone else needs to get out of their way: maybe there should be a CDL requirement for a big RV.

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    • OnTheRoad August 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      +1 pro truck drivers.

      One piece of safety gear I add to my bike on out-of-town trips is one of those orange safety triangles. The color makes you somewhat more visible and everyone outside of the city seems to know that it means “slow-moving vehicle” and give you a wider berth.

      Course there was the one time in Canada when a big pickup driver honked at me — I was well on the shoulder — and I turned back to see what he was honking about. He slammed on his brakes and informed me that when he honks at bikes, they are supposed to head for the ditch!

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    • Another Doug August 5, 2011 at 9:31 am

      I’m not sure what you mean by “every inch they safely could.” Oregon law is clear. An overtaking vehicle must follow the slower vehicle until it can safely pass and, when passing, must give a cyclist at least fall over distance (4 to 5 feet) on a road without bike lanes if the motor vehicle speed greater than 35 mph. The most important thing that motor vehicle operators can do is to slow down and wait until it is safe to pass a cyclist–the same thing they do when they overtake any other slower moving vehicle.

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    • 007 August 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

      “Pro” taxi drivers are the worst and “pro” local delivery truck drivers are 2nd worst.

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  • Charley August 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    This has been the week from hell.

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  • Ted Buehler August 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I’m sad to hear this news.

    Last year BikePortland published a guest post by John Beaston on safety problems he encountered while bicycling Highway 101.

    I compiled a list of responses to the issues he raised and provided contact info to submit to ODOT’s maintenance and improvement hotline.

    The info and instructions are posted at http://www.activerightofway.org/p/reporting-problems-on-oregon-state-highways/

    ODOT encourages all bicyclists, riding anywhere, to report all unsafe conditions as soon as possible. It may save someone’s life.

    I was out near Garibaldi 2 weeks ago and saw firsthand some of the safety issues John had described. I’m going to send them in as maintenance requests. I’d encourage others to do te same.

    Ted Buehler

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    • Alan 1.0 August 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Some of Hwy 101’s hazards are clearly visible on Google Streetviews, like those curves a couple miles north of Garibaldi, complete with logging truck for scale. But the picture KATU has published of this collision looks like it might be right in the town of Garibaldi.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Yep – I could have been him.

    I rode that section of the coast a few weeks ago while cycle camping.

    I was very surprised* at the very poor roadway conditions this late in the coast cycling season – especially the large gaping rips in the road where the road is slipping into the sea. This frequently affects the shoulder on the southbound side – where you have the highest volume of bike traffic. For me, this often meant I had to dart into the travel lane or bunny hop the rip at speed. I found it very difficult to pull over to photograph many of these spots due to the traffic volumes and lack of shoulder (and the rain).

    And even where ODOT crews had patched the roadway rip (back in the winter slides) there was now a large lip of patch to jump over. (Like the road heading up and south from the Cape Lookout State Park.)

    *Surprised due to how important this route is for regional bike travel and how important bike tourists are for much of the mom and pop businesses along the coast (since much of our purchases are food and lodging over multiple day vs. hour tours).

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    • ritzcrackerman August 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      I completed the Oregon Coast route 4th of July week (cycle camping). The news today made me feel sick to my stomach.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    A previous commenter mentioned that the crash site seems to be in town…I would have to agree based on the KATU photo. The photo shows a bunch of newspaper boxes in the background. And the bike gear seems more similar to a commuter/ shopper than a tourer…though I am always surprised at some of the DIY rigging I see bike tourists using in this region.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Here is an update from a Tillamook paper. It was a local Vancouver man killed.


    We will have to wait to hear why the rider struck the truck trailer: wind draft of the truck, road debris, health issues, etc.

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    • Jene-Paul August 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks for the link, Todd.

      If I make it to 81, I’d like to still be riding too. Hope the ocean was pretty this morning.

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Very sad. Steve B.’s links above…leave me stunned that this much bad has happened recently.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Speaking in general (not to this case) – there are new truck designs that can minimize the level of injury when pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and drivers of smaller vehicles strike the underside or wheel housing of large freight/ logging trucks or lorries.

    Especially – logging trucks with their wide and high frames (and no fender guards) are among the most critical to redesign for road user safety…especially the longer multiple trailers…were very spooky when they passed me on the coast route.

    Even large SUVs are not protected…

    This is not a new idea…many countries have modified the design of large trucks for safety fro what I see in N.Europe and Middle East (UAE).


    Not much has been done on this issue by the City of Portland since the rash of right hook truck crashes a few years ago. I would have hoped that the City would have begun to retrofit its own fleet and only procure construction/ delivery services from bike and ped safe fleet operators.

    Remember Vision Zero in both the city and countryside.

    Other information:

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    • buglas August 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

      Log trucks are especially tricky. When empty the trailer is stacked on top and the danger ends with the back wheels of the truck. When loaded, there is a load that is typically above eye level to a cyclist, the narrow hitch and front of the trailer, and then the trailer wheels.
      Once as a teenager facing a narrowing lane with a high curb, I started to drop in behind the back wheels of a log truck only to glance up and see a load above me, trailer wheels behind me. I’m sure that driver was a terrified as I was when I briefly disappeared from his mirror.

      Rest In Peace, Mr. Beacock.

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  • Joe August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    RIP bike friend..

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  • Tourbiker August 5, 2011 at 5:23 am

    R I P Friend I hadn’t yet met. For whatever reason you met with such a violent end. My condolences to your family.. Especially the Son whom; had to witness.
    Most Professional truck drivers know the dangers their trucks backwash of air creates.
    the ones that don’t I consider rookies.
    a good rear view mirror & stiffing up your grip as they pass will help, but if a sudden gust of onshore wind hits simultaneously, It Can be deadly.
    101 is also showing it’s age, It made it’s bones in the last 20 years as a very popular route, however it still has it’s share of treacherous stretches. & much needed repairs & repaving in areas will eventually & unfortunately, lead to more of this sort of reporting.
    I know we all want answers. In the back of my mind I know it could have been me.
    It should give everyone pause..including motor vehicles.

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  • Spiffy August 5, 2011 at 7:56 am

    wow, not just an update, but pretty much an entire new story… btw, I liked when the updates were tagged onto the bottom of the story, like an update not a revision, and have a date/time stamp so we can reference that with the comments…

    I’m wondering what an autopsy will show… maybe he had a heart attack or stroke or something while riding… at least there was a good witness… but it’s gotta be sad to see that happen to a family member right in front of you…

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  • Terry Henderson August 5, 2011 at 9:02 am

    This is truly a sad occasion and a tragic loss. I’ve know Dale for about 3 years and it was my privelege to play music with him during that time. He was a great guy, a great musician and will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP Dale.

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  • GlowBoy August 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Very sad. Unless the victim’s son corroborates it, I’m not convinced of the official story that Mr. Beacock “swerved into” the lane. Truck trailers often swerve back and forth a lot as they’re blasting down the highway, and they don’t necessarily have full control or awareness of it.

    About 15 years ago I was nearly killed by a semi trailer as I stopped to remove tire chains from my car. Just after I finished removing the chains from the left front wheel and had stepped to the back of the car, a semi ripped off my driver’s door (which had been left open). It was a wide shoulder, and I was a good 6-8′ to the right of the fog line. If that truck had come by seconds earlier, I wouldn’t be writing this now. I was able to chase the truck down, and the driver denied having anything to do with my shredded door.

    I know that MOST pro truckers are among the best drivers on the road, but there are still a LOT of bad actors out there. And log truckers in particular are notorious. I don’t think OSP’s statement necessarily tells us what really happened.

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  • Kate August 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I live on the coast and cycle 101 near daily. The stretch I cycle regularly has good shoulder, but southbound out of Wheeler it gets pretty sketchy. The stretch northbound out of Garibaldi is particularly tricky. Lots of blind corners, and very little shoulder. I tend to stop, wait for a break in traffic, and then haul ass around the corner as fast as I can before the traffic behind me can catch up.

    The main problem I encounter with trucks and RVs on a daily basis is speed. Most are going 65+ in areas posted for 45 to 55 mph. They treat it like a freeway. Sometimes the blowback is enough to throw me off the bike, or at least make me become unsteady. In any case, sometimes these behemoths are mere inches from me as they speed by.

    I think speed reduction is one answer to the problem. I know that’s a tall order, but really….isn’t a person’s life worth a MPH reduction? How much time will those truckers/loggers really lose? 30 minutes on a run? 60?The vacationing RV-ers…what is their excuse for needing to go so fast? Wouldn’t the increase in revenue due to increased bike tourism and $$ from citations be worth the cost of enforcing a maximum 40-45mph along ALL of 101?

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    • Jene-Paul August 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Kate, I agree completely about enforcement needing to be increased as well as speed limits needing to be re-examined on many stretches of US-101, particularly through the coast towns. I know from experience, however, that there are long sections in the 300-odd miles between Astoria and Brookings which have adequate width for safe biking and walking and it would seem unnecessary to reduce the legal speed on those lengths of road. It is, after all, the only N-S thru-highway connecting the coast counties.

      But yeah, it’s no fun to experience “truck-suck” when a semi bears down on ya and there’s nowhere to go.

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  • Dave Cary August 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I’d like to see an interview between Jon and Dale’s son after the dust settles. Dale must have been some biker to be riding US-101 at the age of 81. How much biking did he do at this age and what were his goals for how long he intended to ride? Definitely a life cut too short. And lest one resort to the stupid rationalizing of “At least he was doing what he loved; this is probably the way he would want to go.” BS! For me, I’ll choose suicide at the age of 110 just before everything inside quits working – maybe on the Springwater Trail. But 81 is way too early!

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    • Terry Henderson August 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Dale was a dynamic guy, and even though I knew him, I wouldn’t have guessed his age at 81! He was an acitvie muscian and a year or two ago he showed up at band rehearsal excited to show a picture of himself skydiving for the first time.

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  • kittens August 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I can not imagine anything more horrific than watching my father being killed. This man was a pillar of the Vancouver music community.

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  • Ted Buehler August 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Here’s a link to the crash site. No shoulder to speak of, maybe 12″ of pavement max between the white stripe and the guard rail?

    The driver of the logging truck posted in the comments section of the Tillamook paper this morning.
    mjhtruck posted at 7:41 am on Sat, Aug 6, 2011.
    “… I have been driving log truck since 1972, and have probably passed bicycles that number in the thousands…”

    He sounds like a credible driver, and says the son told him the victim had “had been weaving off and on and that they had slowed their pace so as to help him maintain control.”

    It’s a good post, it’s nice to see the parties concerned being forthright in their assessments, rather than being clammed up and plotting for litigation.

    Ted Buehler

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    • OnTheRoad August 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks for the link to the Tillamook paper. That coastal community has some good ideas to better the bicycle facilities along US 101 so no-one’s family has to go thru this from either perspective.

      Interesting what the bicycler’s son told the truck driver (according to the truck driver) “Mr. Beacock’s son was riding with him and to my surprise, he came up to me, and said that he saw his father turn into the trailer, not being sucked in. “

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      • Alan 1.0 August 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

        Thanks for the link to the Tillamook paper. That coastal community has some good ideas to better the bicycle facilities along US 101 so no-one’s family has to go thru this from either perspective.

        Yes, particularly “judy4648” in those comments. She says the port could sell the old rail right-of-way for $4 million. What a great bypass that would be for that narrow, twisty section of 101! Besides removing the rails and surfacing the grade, it would need HAWK signals at both ends in order to serve both north and south bound users. Maybe it could be named in memory of Dale Beacock.

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  • jim August 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    I feal bad for the log truck driver. What a horrible day for him. I hope he gets some time off before he has to go back to work

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    • Pete August 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      Hear hear. I feel bad for both the truck driver and the son who watched his father killed.

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