bike can be seen in the upper right.
65-year old Camas, Washington resident Steven Dayley was bicycling along the same route as the Reach the Beach ride on Saturday when he was struck from behind by a man driving a pickup. Dayley died from his injuries later that night at Salem Memorial Hospital.
The collision occurred on Highway 18, a few miles east of Grande Ronde, just outside the Fort Hill Restaurant (Google Map link).
While there were hundreds of people on the road in that area due to the Reach the Beach ride, both ride organizers and the Oregon State Police report that Dayley was not an official registrant.
The collision occurred at around 2:30 pm on Saturday. The OSP say that Dayley was riding westbound on the shoulder of the highway, “in a congested area” when the pickup, driven by 24-year-old Fred Moore from Battleground, Washington, “veered right to avoid traffic ahead and struck the bicycle.”
Reach the Beach is a large annual fundraising ride with an estimated 3,000 participants. There are four different starting points: Portland, Amity, Newberg, and Grande Ronde.
Commenters on a local news website are speaking out about the riding conditions on Highway 18; which in this location is one standard vehicle lane and one wide shoulder. “Hwy 18 is not a very good place for a cycle event… They need to rethink these things,” one person said. Another commenter pointed out that, “In no way was this the cyclist at fault.The car driver went on the the shoulder and hit the cyclist… Remember he is a real person, not just a statistic. And look out for me (and everyone else) because I am out there on my bike.”
Dayley had been diagnosed with brain cancer and, according to reports, loved cycling as therapy. A friend of Dayley’s WillB left a comment below:
“Steve was a good man and a dear friend. It broke my heart to hear of his passing. I think it would be worthwhile to note here that he did not die of brain cancer like everyone who knew him thought he would. Rather, he was able to prepare for his end of life well in advance and enjoy what precious time he had left out on his bike. Not everyone can be so lucky. He knew his time was limited. His family knew it too. He loved riding. Rest in peace Steve.”
Dayley is the 99th person to die on Oregon roads so far this year.