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Ryan Egge, injured in March bike-car crash in Cully, has died

Posted by on May 14th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Scene of Ryan Egge collision-5

A memorial of spray-paint, a skateboard, flowers and candles remains at the scene of the collision.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Multnomah County District Attorney is reviewing a police investigation of a man who had been riding a bike in Northeast Portland, was involved in a collision with a car and later died of his injuries.

After the March 28 collision, police had said that Ryan Egge, 24, was expected to survive his injuries. He entered a coma after the incident, in which he and a car collided on Northeast Killingsworth Street just west of Cully Boulevard. Police said Wednesday afternoon that they’d just learned that Egge died April 28.

“Normally, the Medical Examiner’s Office will notify us when there is a death related to one of our investigations,” Sgt. Todd Davis wrote in an email to BikePortland. “Not sure why that didn’t happen in this case.”

“He’s not a cyclist, either. Just a young guy riding up from Killingsworth to the store, to his girlfriend, and got hit.”
— Dena Egge, Ryan Egge’s sister

We informed a police spokesman yesterday about a pair of comments from people who knew Egge beneath our post about the collision.

Four days after the collision, Dena Egge, the man’s sister, wrote this on our site in response to speculation by readers about what happened: “He’s not a cyclist either just a young guy riding up from Killingworth to the store do his girlfriend and got hit.”

Yesterday, responding to a fresh comment from a reader who described herself as an ex-girlfriend of Ryan Egge, Dena Egge continued.

“I need everyone on here that’s criticizing to go read the damn police reports there’s 11,” she wrote in the comment beneath the post. “I could care less honestly at this point who’s fault it is. His memorial is on the corner he died 2 wks ago today an layed in agony the last 2wks of his life as he came out of a coma an passed away. He cried and cried but couldn’t speak. I wouldn’t wish this pain upon anyone an ask people to be considerate when speaking about him. You didnt know my baby brother.”

Scene of Ryan Egge collision-10

Police say Egge cut through this convenience store parking lot on the southwest corner of Cully and Killingsworth. The collision occurred just west of that blue car on the right.

In their last official statement on the collision, police wrote that “Egge was riding his bicycle northbound on Cully Boulevard at a high rate of speed when he cut through a convenience store parking lot on the southwest corner of Cully and Killingsworth and continued riding onto westbound Killingsworth, where he struck a 2013 Dodge Dart traveling westbound, driven by 64-year-old Cheryl Sellars.”

Both Cully and Killingsworth are striped with narrow bike lanes at this intersection; it’s one block north of the north end of Cully’s elevated and parking-protected bike lane. The intersection also has four double-striped crosswalks and button-activated pedestrian signals:

We’ve asked to read the police reports about this collision and we’ll be sharing more information as we get it.

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  • Anne Hawley May 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    How terribly sad. My sincere condolences to Ryan’s family and friends.

    I know that there’s a tendency to read crash reports and go, well, police said he’s likely to survive, and therefore it’s okay to criticize. I hope everyone who reads this sad followup will bear in mind that lives and families are ruined even by crashes not initially reported as serious, regardless of perceived fault.

    And I have a question: when a long period elapses between the deadly incident and the actual death, does this kind of crash go on record as a fatality? I’d like to think so, but I don’t know.

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    • spare_wheel May 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      the oregonian-esque comments on the earlier thread are another example of how “something has gone wrong in portland”.

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  • Kristi Finney-Dunn May 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    My heart goes out to Ryan and all who love him. What a tragic loss. I can’t imagine the pain to see him suffer for so long and then lose him after all; it’s sad enough when it’s quick and supposedly painless. I’ve learned that some people judge, some say the cruelest things with no thought for the loved ones (or they just don’t care, even worse), and it just adds to our already incomprehensible hurt. RIP Ryan, RIP Dustin Finney.

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  • Trek 3900 May 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    My condolences to the family. What a tragic thing to happen, made worse by the weeks of suffering after the accident.

    Unfortunately it looks, at first glance, like he made some errors in this case that cost him his life.

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  • are May 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    not too late for someone to throw together a ride of silence for next wednesday

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  • Joe Rowe May 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Police bias. quote: “High rate of speed” I know some cops are nice, but 2 cops lied to a judge after they illegally cracked down on a critical mass ride. Even with their lies the case was thrown out. I’ve seen enough abusive and lying cops first hand to know the cops that wrote up this report were biased.

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    • Buzz May 14, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      high rate of speed for cyclists???? LOL! you don’t know how many motorists I see speeding and running lights downtown EVERY DAY.

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      • spare_wheel May 15, 2014 at 8:06 am

        on my commute i see multiple cars run the red at sw 6th and sw broadway just about every day. sometimes it’s not just 1 or 2 but half a dozen. reminds me of naples.

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  • jim May 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    This is about enough media and comments about this sad event. We should let it go now and move on. Any more will not do any good.

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    • 9watts May 15, 2014 at 6:23 am

      “We should let it go now and move on.”
      I disagree, jim.
      I think we can learn plenty from picking up stories about crashes and injuries reported here that, in effect, leave us hanging, wondering whatever happened. Others have also noted this.

      I, for one, am still curious what happened to Christeen Osborn who was run over and very seriously injured by Wanda Cortese on Hwy 101 almost two years ago.

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      • jim May 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

        Let this person rest in piece. Continuing to argue about who is at fault is not doing him or the family any good. Let him be remembered for who he was. He was not a cyclist. I don’t think he wants to be remembered this way. Let the family heal from this without making it into a circus. There are plenty of other stories to write about.

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        • Spiffy May 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

          I don’t see anywhere that BP is calling him a cyclist… the articles here seem to be the only news about him that doesn’t call him a cyclist… so if he doesn’t want to be remembered as a cyclist then this is his best publicity… all the other news outlets report he’s a cyclist right in the headline…

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        • Psyfalcon May 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

          It may do some good to the next cyclist who hesitates before cutting through a parking lot like that.

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  • Joseph E May 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

    My condolences to Mr. Egge’s family and friends.

    Too many commenters in the previous post placed blame on the victim in this collision.

    Vision Zero is about changing culture and infrastructure so that no one dies on the roads. If we are going to get there, we need to learn from cases like this, and change things so that they do not happen again. All of us sometimes make suboptimal decisions; the streets should be designed so that a simple mistake is not fatal.

    I would recommend that PBOT install signals with separate green phases for bikes and pedestrians at complicated intersections like this. In the Netherlands, this is the standard treatment for busy intersections, and it makes it possible for people riding bikes to make a left turn, without having to merge left across traffic or wait through two light phases. Separate signal phases for bikes can prevent left-turn collisions and deaths.


    Lowering average speeds to 20 mph would also greatly reduce the risk of death from this kind of collision.

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    • jim May 15, 2014 at 11:07 am

      You are not going to reduce the speed limit on Portland Highway to 20 mph.
      Where are you going to get the money for bicycle signals?

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    • Spiffy May 15, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      it seems silly to have a 35 mph speed limit with a school, a store, and some kind of professional building all at the corner where you know there will be a lot of foot traffic…

      had the driver been going 25 mph they may have had enough time to see the person on the bike and slow down… even if they hadn’t slowed down their already reduced speed would have greatly improved the chances of survival…

      this seems like a perfect time to enact Vision Zero and lower the speed limit on this stretch to 25 mph…

      if they can do that then people driving might think they are more responsible for maintaining the current fast speeds by paying more attention… they won’t want to be in an accident with a vulnerable road user and cause their commute route speed limit to be lowered so they’ll pay more attention…

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      • 9watts May 15, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        “A favourite demonstration of Monderman’s was to walk backwards and with eyes closed into the intersection. Instead of honking or worse, striking him down, the car and bicycle traffic diverted its way around him.”


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        • Joseph E May 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm

          Monderman’s version of “Shared space” on busy streets has not been widely copied in the Netherlands, because it lacks subjective safety; it doesn’t encourage people to ride. It also is not designed for high-speed, multilane roads like Killingsworth. David Hembrow: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/search/label/shared%20space

          High traffic volumes require separation of bike and car traffic, in space (separate bike lanes or bikes on totally separate low-traffic streets where car traffic is low), or time (Separate signal phases, freight deliveries at night etc). There isn’t a low-traffic alternative to Cully for bikes, and Cully already has bike lanes which end at this intersection. The solution is to improve the bike lanes, and add separation (in time) at the intersection, so bikes can turn left safely, and pedestrians can cross safely.

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          • spare_wheel May 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

            “subjective safety” claims are very “subjective”.

            there hasn’t been any sign of a drop in haren’s very high cycling mode share and data clearly shows a decrease in collisions.

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    • jeff May 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      there are several streets in SE with a 20mph limit now…it doesn’t seem to matter. drivers are still doing 30mph+ some days. hell, I’m riding about 22-23mph….signs and limits do nothing.

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      • Spiffy May 16, 2014 at 7:30 am

        when I find myself doing 22 mph in a 20 zone I use my brakes… which is usually every time I’m coming down Clinton…

        on wednesday that meant I was holding up cars that wanted to go faster than 20…

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    • Pete May 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Except that signs do not work, and most intersections are already too confusing with controls. Fact of the matter is that cars are the most popular vehicle on the road and it’s very easy for just about anyone to drive one with minimal education (and none related to physics or scenario). Bicycles, on the other hand, come with pretty much no education, and riders of them are assumed to know all the associated laws, including those of physics and common sense.

      All of that goes out the window when the two of them collide, and you can’t always protect them from each other, let alone individuals from the consequences of their own decisions or even timing and circumstance. We learn from it, hopefully, but not without mourning the loss and sympathizing with the impact. Fix it entirely? Good luck with that.

      RIP young Ryan.

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  • wsbob May 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Egge’s sister admonished people having jumped to assumptions attributing fault in this collision, to read the police investigation report of the collsion. She suggests her reading of those reports does not find that he collided with the car.

    No question though that he crashed. In comments to past bikeportland stories on this collision, someone did question whether he may have had a mechanical problem that led to falling and crashing, chain or derailleur getting bound in the spokes, etc. At the least, that’s a reminder to take care of whatever maintenance your bike may need.

    Just the other day, a bike I don’t ride often, through its chain off the big sprocket into the spokes, seriously interfering with forward movement of the bike. Didn’t fall or mess up the bike, but there was a moment or two of uncertainty about that.

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    • Spiffy May 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

      my old bike threw the derailleur into the rear spokes and I was speeding up through an intersection to take on a big hill…

      wheel locked up and I was standing in the middle of the intersection… I quickly walked to the edge of the road…

      a police investigation should find whether Egge was laying in the road when he was hit or whether he was upright on his bike… it should be obvious if there’s any damage to the car’s hood…

      if he was already laying in the road then it’s the driver’s fault…

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      • wsbob May 18, 2014 at 12:47 am

        I’ve yet to come across anything in bikeportland stories, comments to them, or other stories, confirming by discovery of some kind of impact proof from the motor vehicle, that he was in a collision with the car.

        People have assumed there was a collision with the car, but whether there was or not, doesn’t seem to have been established for certain. That’s why it occurred to me, he may have had a mechanical problem, causing him to crash right near the car as it was passing him. From the commotion so close to her vehicle, the person driving may just have logically concluded he ran into her car. Other people have concluded the reverse.

        Maybe the police reports or investigation reports have some definite word on this.

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  • Pat May 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I ride through that intersection almost daily. It is a busy intersection with a small market and many apartment buildings and residences – adults and children freely walk and bike back and forth across the street between the homes and the market. People of all ages pretty much use that section as their ‘back yard’ and ‘front yard’, but there are no postings warning drivers of this. It is not constructed with this in mind because the streets came before the homes. It is not surprising that accidents happen here. I think there is a plan in the future for better engineering – a continuation of cycletracks North, across Killingsworth and then to Cully and Columbia to Alderwood and traffic calming tactics – to improve the connection, but I fear more accidents will occur before the improvements occur. There are enough residents there to suggest that action should be sooner rather than later. the push probably needs to come from their community organizers.

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  • are May 15, 2014 at 11:42 am

    i am interested in this “he was not a cyclist” meme. apparently some kind of sociological comment is intended. clearly he was on a bicycle at the moment. many thumbs up to joseph e.’s comment re vision zero. all sociological categories aside, we need to be creating a world in which automobiles do not kill people.

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    • meh May 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I live in a world where automobiles don’t kill people. I live in a world where guns and knives and baseball bats don’t kill people. Inanimate objects have no ability to kill.

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      • are May 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

        i hear that, meh, and i would like to suggest to you that there are some technologies that are not only grossly inappropriate to the task, but that cannot be safely managed by the average person, especially if most of the apparent risks to the operator have been removed.

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  • Joe May 15, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I sure hope the police look into this more they can’t keep blaming the
    users of the road n streets.

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  • CaptainKarma May 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Kids, seniors, otherly-enabled and dogs should be able to use the streets as much as they need to. There is a dearth of parks in that neighborhood , and not much open space….well it’s all been said before

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    • John Liu
      John Liu May 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Everyone should be able to walk, run, ride, dart, roll and lope anywhere and anytime they want to on these roads because there are not enough parks in the area? NE Killingsworth is not a park, pedestrian mall, “open space” or MUP. It is a heavily used road.

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      • Spiffy May 16, 2014 at 7:35 am

        it’s a public space for all that’s primarily used by motor vehicles… CaptainKarma says we should all be able to enjoy the public spaces…

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      • 9watts May 16, 2014 at 7:56 am

        I thought Todd Boulanger’s comment from back in November was pertinent here:

        Todd Boulanger
        An open note to the ODoT Social Media/ Twitter texter,
        Most of the communal reaction to your initial Tweet would be that many in the community would expect ODoT to have a more nuanced approach to roadway safety…vs. its all up to you and throw one’s institutional hands up. (Then why have as many traffic engineer’s at ODoT?)
        Most Oregonian’s in urban areas would expect ODoT to at least have a policy similar or better than the Dutch DoT’s “Sustainable Safety””:
        “In the Netherlands, the sustainable safety approach differs from Vision Zero in that it acknowledges that in the majority of accidents humans are to blame, and that roads should be designed to be “self-explaining” thus reducing the likelihood of crashes. Self-explaining roads are easy to use and navigate, it being self-evident to road users where they should be and how they should behave.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero
        Barbur Blvd is “self explaining”, as ‘go ahead and speed …its all about you, Mr. and Ms. Driver’…and that is the problem with it.
        “More recently the Dutch have introduced the idea that roads should also be “forgiving”, i.e. designed to lessen the outcome of a traffic collision when the inevitable does occur, principles which are at the core of both the Dutch and Swedish policies.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero
        Barbur Blvd can be designed as “more forgiving” of driver error and driver behaviour if ODoT were to embrace the “road diet” and other now well established design tools.
        Recommended 13

        from this discussion:

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      • are May 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

        but is it a shooting gallery?

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