Special gravel coverage

Recovering from serious injuries, Marilyn Hayward needs our help

Posted by on August 20th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Marilyn and her friend Chris Achterman
at the 2008 BTA Alice Awards.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been two weeks now since southeast Portland bike shop owner and well-known local bike advocate Marilyn Hayward was seriously injured in a collision while bicycling in Cornelius (just outside of Portland). Hayward was on her recumbent at the time and the collision occurred with a woman driving a Toyota Prius. Hayward sustained serious head injuries, a broken collar bone, and many cuts and bruises. Supporters say she’s “making good progress” and has been transferred from the ICU to the Trauma Recovery Acute Care Unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

Friends and family credit her helmet for saving her life.

While she’s recovering from injuries, some attention is now turning to her medical bills. She has only partial insurance, so the expenses are already piling up. Friends released a statement yesterday, urging everyone to step up and donate for her physical therapy:

“She will soon need to go into Physical Therapy and which will cost $40,000 and she needs $23,000 of that right away to get her into the program. Marilyn has been a strong advocate for cycling and very generous with her time, money and energy. Now she is the one who needs us. We are reaching out to friends, family and all who have had the pleasure to know Marilyn, and are asking you for your help.”

Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank or online via PayPal.

To donate at Wells Fargo, you need to use her name and account number 5130461485. To donate with PayPal, use this link.

UPDATE, 3:00pm 8/21: Marilyn’s nephew, Matt Ford, just shared this update on her condition:

Marilyn has suffered a severe brain injury to what extent, only time will tell. She is making great progress though, She’s much more responsive and becoming more aware by the day. there is still a long road ahead. She’s been working with physical and speech therapists at the hospital. They plan on moving her to the Inpatient Rehabilitation by the end of the week, it is a aggressive program and known to work wonders, one of there requirements is that patients have 24hr supervision upon release. While the funds are coming together to get her into the program there will be many more expenses as well as aftercare and the current bills continue to grow, she has very limited insurance that will only cover about 1/10th of the current bills and none of the rehab. We appreciate all the Support and generosity of the Friends, family and community.

Thanks again,
Matt Ford

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Noel August 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I was wondering, shouldn’t the driver’s car insurance should be covering most of her bill plus extra?

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    • Hart Noecker August 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      No, because holding motorists accountable for the injuries and deaths they cause would be logical.

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      • ME 2 August 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        I’m sorry to hear this happen to her, but I can’t find anyone reporting that the motorist was at fault in this case. Perhaps the police are still investigating to determine the cause of this collision and whether the motorist is accountable for her injuries in this instance.

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        • Hart Noecker August 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

          Sorry, but if you choose to drive a 2 ton vehicle capable of moving at lethal speeds, you are ALWAYS responsible for the things and people you crash into.

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          • Chris I August 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

            How do you know that the Prius drove into her? Lacking for details, we can’t speculate what caused this incident, or even how it happened. For all we know, the Prius could have been stopped at the time.

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            • Hart Noecker August 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

              How do I know? Because there’s a huge dent in the front of the car in the photo where it hit her head.

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          • wsbob August 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

            Hart Noecker
            Sorry, but if you choose to drive a 2 ton vehicle capable of moving at lethal speeds, you are ALWAYS responsible for the things and people you crash into.
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            In an appeal for help in covering an injured person’s expenses, it’s disrespectful to be squabbling about questions of fault associated with the injuries of such a person in a collision about which very few details as to the cause are known.

            If it does turn out that neither one party or the other involved in a collision are found to be responsible for causing it, the question of who pays for the consequences in terms of injury and damage to property still has need of being answered. That’s where, rather than responsible, the concept of liability enters into the picture, particularly in a collision like this one, where one of the two vehicles is obviously bigger and much heavier, therefore capable of inflicting greater damage to a vulnerable road user traveling by bike.

            I’ve posted the link to the article before, but here again to help answer some questions about who should perhaps be liable in a collision like this one, is a blog article written by some guys in the Netherlands, about Strict Liability and Sustainable Safety:


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        • Randall S. August 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

          Let’s look at it logically:

          SOMEONE has to pay for the medical costs, and the options are: the driver of the motor vehicle, or the driver of the human powered vehicle. Which is it most reasonable to expect to bear the burden: the person operating a vehicle capable of causing great harm, or the one not operating the vehicle capable of causing great harm?

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          • wsbob August 23, 2012 at 1:19 am

            Read the article about ‘Strict Liability’ via the link in my post above. That may give you some insight into liability responsibilities in a collision. The article gives an example of how a vulnerable road user could be at least partly liable for consequential expenses. The operator of a vehicle inherently capable of inflicting more damage in a collision than its counterpart, may have a greater liability obligation, but would not necessarily be entirely liable.

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            • Jim F. August 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

              Interesting article, but of course not relevant to Marilyn’s situation because her crash did not happen in The Netherlands. Different situation (and laws) here.

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  • Granpa August 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Ray Thomas, Please come to the white courtesy phone.

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  • Elly August 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    So thrilled to hear that Marilyn is recovering — and not entirely surprised, based on her extreme resilience and determination. Good on you, Marilyn!

    Two years ago, I had the honor of publishing an incredibly inspiring interview with Marilyn. To help raise funds (and also raise appreciation af this wonderful person!), I’m giving away my remaining stock of the small book/zine containing it.

    Details here: http://takingthelane.com/zine/#ecwid:category=1726507&mode=product&product=7217900

    Or bypass my site by emailing your mailing address and a receipt for a donation of over $20 to Marilyn’s recovery fund to elly at taking the lane dot com.

    I’ll keep this going until Marilyn no longer needs the assistance or I run out of stock, whichever comes first.

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  • CaptainKarma August 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’m really getting sick of accidents or illnesses effing up one’s life so completely – the injuries and disruption are bad enough, to have to go through financial catastrophe as well is so….wrong.

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    • 9watts August 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      And astonishing, really, how many other countries have handled both of these issues (holding drivers accountable, universal medical coverage) better than we do here. Gotta focus on ensuring continued cheap oil….

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    • Spiffy August 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      the government won’t supply the health coverage to pay for her recovery, but if she doesn’t recover then they’ll be paying her disability for the remainder of her life…

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  • Visitor August 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    “if you choose to drive a 2 ton vehicle capable of moving at lethal speeds, you are ALWAYS responsible for the things and people you crash into.”

    If the driver actually crashed into something rather than the other way around. Does it ever happen that the cyclist is at fault?

    I’m not saying that’s what happened in Marilyn’s case – I can’t find ANYTHING about how this one happened. In the absence of a police report, eye-witness accounts, etc… I wouldn’t make the assumption one way or the other.

    As for it being”so wrong” for people to have to cary inusrance or find some other way to pay for their medical care… If you really feel that way, reach into your own pocket and help pay Marulyn’s bills – nobody is stopping you. I’ve already made my contribution, but I’m not gonna pick someone else’s pocket and force them to do so.

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  • Sunny August 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I’m sure the parties involved are aware that Oregon’s mandatory PIP(personal injury protection) comes into play regardless of fault.

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    • Visitor August 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Yes, but only up to $15,000.

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  • Dave Thomson August 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Jonathan – thanks for publishing this. I donated via the PayPal link and I encourage your other readers to do the same and post back here so we can generate some momentum.

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  • jd August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Glad her condition is improving, and it certainly sounds like she has the strength for further recovery ahead of her.

    I gave what I could because it sounds like the driver’s insurance hasn’t stepped up yet, but this sure looks like a car taking a right on a red in front of a bicycle with a green light. Is the investigation ongoing?

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  • Allison August 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    What I’ve heard is admittably 3rd hand (maybe 4th) but apparently, Cornelius Police think the culpability is shared enough that the driver’s insurance cannot be relied upon to coverher recovery.

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    • jorge garcia August 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Because it wasn’t the drivers fault and bikers don’t have car insurance so his insurance wouldn’t cover her because she is found at fault.

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      • jd August 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm

        Where did you hear that it wasn’t the driver’s fault? To me, it looks like it was the driver’s fault. I can’t imagine any cyclist who has made it into her sixties running a red light like this. But I see cars pull out in front of me to take their “free right” when they have a red light all the time.

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    • jd August 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Hm. I wonder how there is room for doubt at a traffic light. One was red and the other green. Certainly the police might get two different stories (when a cyclist is able to tell theirs). But shared blame at a traffic light doesn’t add up.

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  • PinkPanda August 21, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I was curious about the accident liability too, and found this site: http://www.portlandpersonalinjuryaccidentlawyer.com/practice_areas/bike-accidents/legal-issues/

    It says, according to ORS 814.400 that in most cases a bicycle is seen by the law as a vehicle and therefore whoever (driver or biker) caused the accident is responsible for all bills. I hope, in this case, that Marilyn is found to be not at fault so that the driver’s insurance has to help pay.

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  • Kristen August 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

    JMaus, you should probably take the account number off your post. With the information provided, someone more tech-oriented than I could probably have quick and easy access to that account and drain it.

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  • Brian Johnson August 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Almost the larger tragedy here is that to suffer a serious injury (or illness) in this country means going broke and depending on the kindness and charity of strangers.

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  • Sarah August 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I just donated as well. It’s not much, but every bit counts. I’ve met Marilyn several times and she deserves every bit of help we can give her.

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  • Jeff Wills August 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    IMO, trying to lay blame does nothing to help Marilyn. I’m doing what I can (heck, I work at Emanuel), but she’ll need every bit she can get. Here’s the latest update (on the OHPV forum):

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