Careless Driving citation for truck operator who right-hooked teenager on SE 7th

SE 7th and Taylor
A car turns right onto SE Taylor from
SE 7th where a tow truck operator right-hooked a
bicycle rider last month.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police have cited the tow truck operator who drove his vehicle into a 16-year-old who was bicycling on SE 7th last month. 64-year-old Richard Tombleson was cited for Careless Driving Causing Serious Injury to a Vulnerable Road User. Tombleson was on duty and driving for Speed’s Towing when the collision occurred.

According to the PPB, Tombleson was driving southbound on SE 7th when he turned right onto Taylor. The teenager on a bicycle was also heading south on 7th and he was right-hooked by Tombleson. Tombleson didn’t stop after the collision but he and his truck were found by the PPB shortly after the collision. The 16-year-old sustained “traumatic but not life-threatening injuries” and was taken to the hospital and listed in serious condition.

Even though Tombleson was cited for Careless Driving/VRU, he wasn’t charged with any hit-and-run crimes. PPB spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said the collision was initially investigated as as hit-and-run but that, “After consultation with the District Attorney and family [of the victim] no hit and run charges were issued.”

The section of SE 7th where the 16-year-old was hit has a bike lane and it’s a relatively busy and chaotic thoroughfare. The cross section includes two auto parking lanes, standard-width bike lanes and vehicle lanes in both directions, and a center turn lane. SE 7th is one of the only north-south bike paths on the entire central eastside.

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