(Image from 2011: Google Street View)
A man who had been walking his bike in the bike lane down 82nd Avenue at SE Causey Wednesday night was killed beneath the back wheel of a TriMet bus, Oregon State Police said.
The man, a 60-year-old whose name has not yet been released, had apparently been passed by the bus while walking in the lane, caught up with it, and was beating on the back of the bus before his death.
Here’s the approximate location of the incident, just outside Clackamas Town Center inside the Clackamas County line:
The southbound No. 72 bus, one of TriMet’s new 2012 models, was being driven by Jason Wilhelm, 46.
Oregon State Police, which is investigating the incident because it happened on a state highway, asked for “anyone with information or who witnessed this crash is asked to contact Trooper Bailey at 503-731-3020.”
A recording describing the incident was first shared by Al Margulies on his website Rantings of a Former TriMet Bus Driver. Margulies often monitors TriMet’s dispatch channels for reports of incidents.
In that audio description of the event a man communicating from the scene via radio was initially confused about the cause of death. Based apparently on his interview with Wilhelm and possibly others, he first said it was a fall or heart attack.
The man on the radio later said he was incorrect and that other witnesses informed him that the bus’s dual wheels had run the man over.
Here’s a transcript of audio that was shared by Margulies at 6:22 p.m. Wednesday. Apparently it’s from a man who was dispatched to the scene Wednesday night and interviewed the driver and other witnesses.
When Vehicle 1 was north of the stop, a stop prior, he loaded/unloaded. He noticed there was a gentleman walking his bike in the bike lane, which is in the street. And this gentleman had no reflective, no lights, no nothing. He was basically walking in the bike lane in his bike.
So Vehicle 1 proceeds to the next stop, he loads/unloads. And according to the operator of Vehicle 1, he tells me he starts to edge out into the street — now mind you, he’s only about six inches from the curb. So he starts to edge out because he wants to get into the travel lane to get going. And anyway, when he starts to go he heard a noise on the bus in the rear and so what he did was he pulled over on the far side of Causey and got out and saw the gentleman laying in the street with his bike. Now, he does not recall the dual passing over him. And according to some witnesses, the guy with the bike was on the sidewalk pounding on the bus. And as the bus drove away, he fell into the street and they believe either had a heart attack or hit his head, and he is deceased.
Okay, the only part I need to amend is according to witnesses, and it would be more than one witness they said that the right rear dual did make contact with the individual and ran him over, basically. So I told you that did not happen, but according to the witnesses, it did happen.
It’s not clear exactly where the man was standing, whether he was riding his bike at any time, or how he fell beneath the back wheels of the bus. KGW reported that “witnesses said the victim was walking the bike and looked unstable before appearing to run into the bus.”
Oregon State Police is working to notify the man’s family before releasing his name.