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Hit-and-run bike rider leaves one duck dead – UPDATED

Posted by on April 6th, 2015 at 12:27 pm

duck

R.I.P. little guy.

UPDATE: The man who ran over the duck has left a comment explaining his side of the story.

On the many paved, off-street trails that wind through the subdivisions of Washington County, there are some path users who are truly vulnerable. On Saturday we learned about a disturbing incident that involved one such user, a mallard duck, that tried to cross the path adjacent to Bethany Lake (near NW 185th and West Union).

According to a tipster named Steve C., just before noon a man wearing a red and white lycra jersey came rolling down the path near the lake, struck the duck and left it dead, then failed to stop.

Steve said several people pleaded with the man to stop and report the incident to the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District; but to no avail.

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Now a report has been filed with the THPRD and they want to find the rider and ask him a few questions. According to Steve (who also supplied us with photos), the man on the bike is middle-aged, has white hair, a beard and a mustache. He was wearing a black and red jersey and shorts.

Steve last saw the man riding north on 185th toward West Union.

If you know anything about this incident or can identify the rider in the photo above please contact THPRD at (503) 645-6433.

We’ve contacted THPRD and will update this story as needed.

UPDATE, 12:53pm: THPRD Director of Communications Bob Wayt has confirmed the incident. Wayt told us via telephone a few minutes ago that the incident falls into something of a “grey area” and that the THPRD has no specific penalty for killing ducks. However, he did say that this duck is covered under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. “So,” he added, “if we had an ID of the person who killed it, and the Federal Government wanted to pursue it, they could.” Wayt added that his agency would like to hear the rider’s side of the story.

Wayt said that proper thing for the rider to do would have been to call the THPRD Park Patrol (971) 246-0169 to report the incident.

NOTE: This post was originally published with a blurry, grainy photo of the man who ran over the duck. After hearing from readers concerned that the person was being publicly shamed and the subject of a witch-hunt, I removed that photo.

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

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tedder
Guest

Supposing he hit it by accident, is that a crime? Would he be expected to call 911? I’m trying to put myself in that situation and figure out what the “right” thing to do is.

Richard Masoner (@cyclelicious)
Guest

ORS 811.710 says a driver is required to stop after a collision with an animal, determine the animal’s condition and notify the animal’s owner, but that’s only for a “domestic animal,” i.e. a pet or livestock. I find nothing in Oregon law about hitting wildlife.

jeg
Guest
jeg

I have bad memories from my childhood of parents hitting an animal and then protecting us kids by moving on and not checking. I’m so fucking glad it’s a law that one has to stop. I bet very very few people know it’s a law, either. As many might actually think it’s safer to just keep going, or be afraid they can’t render assistance or afford it, or deal with suit for killing an animal.

john
Guest
john

. . . but its not a law. . .

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

So many birds are killed by cars every day around the state. The fact that this law exists is laughable when you consider the carnage out there.

jeg
Guest
jeg

What’s laughable is the lack of empathy toward a suffering animal you exhibit.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Animal cruelty is no laughing matter.

Robert Getch
Guest
Robert Getch

I laughed at this bad article.

feerless_freek
Guest
feerless_freek

How cruel can they be? After all, they’re just animals- “cruelty” imparts to them a motivation that I’m just not sure is there.

bobo
Guest
bobo

Ok so he could have stopped and snapped it’s neck, but what else could he have done? And besides, with a herd of duck-feeding idiots surrounding the casualty if he had stopped it could have gotten uglier.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Cars kill, by one estimate, roughly 60 million birds/year in the USA. This pales in comparison to windows, which kill roughly a billion birds/year. And cats, which kill roughly 3.7 billion birds/year, in the USA.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Ban cats!

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

Vision Zermeow!

Paul Johnson
Guest

Domestic animal. Doesn’t apply to the wildlife.

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Guest
kiel johnson

if only that duck had sprayed herself with Volvo’s Lifepaint

Patrick Croasdaile
Guest
Patrick Croasdaile

Uh Kiel, I’m pretty sure that was a male duck.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Now some poor ducklings are without a father. What a travesty.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Unlikely, as its not mating season yet… this duck sadly was a loser of the Annual Waterfowl Darwin award.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

Do hit and run laws apply to squirrels and other wildlife, too?

I’ve lost several pets to motor vehicles over the past 30 years and not one motorist stopped for any of them…

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

they apply to your pets…

ORS 811.710 Failure to perform duties of driver when animal is injured

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

This seems like a belated April Fools post.

meh
Guest
meh

And in bad taste. Hit and run is a major issue, not a joke.

Jon
Guest
Jon

The taste is only bad if you wait too long to eat it.

Tim
Guest
Tim

I have had many a close call with squirrels. Especially in the spring crazy squirrel season that will soon be here. I always slow down in the high squirrel areas and ride carefully, but it is only a matter of time before some squirrel does a dive into the spokes.

I have also had close calls with a deer and a moose.

Was this rider callous or careful?

Dan
Guest
Dan

If I hit a squirrel, who do I call? What if I eat a bug? Sometimes I run over fuzzy caterpillars on Kaiser.

was carless
Guest
was carless

If anyone has been to area parks, some of the waterfowl are awfully dumb… some of them don’t even waddle away when off-leash dogs run after them.

Seager
Guest
Seager

This has to be april fools, right? Cars hit birds all the time. Maybe he should have told the city so they can clean it up, but assuming it was an accident this was not a crime. It sucks, but wasn’t a crime.

Do you know how many dead squirrels I see along the side of the road from cars? Are all those drivers wanted too?

tedder
Guest

soooo, you’re supposed to call THPRD if you hit a bird. Is there a special number for hitting deer? squirrel? Maybe we need a big list of animals and their reporting numbers.

This is absurd. 911 would hang up on you for reporting this, and I’m not going to carry a directory of esoteric agency phone numbers.

If the animal was hurt? Yeah, I’m going to do all I can.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I keep non-emergency police dispatch phone numbers in my phone for cities I bike through…

Dave
Guest
Dave

Ten years ago……………….my wife and I are driving back from a bike ride that started and finished in Longview. I-5 near Kalama, everybody goes about 85 there. Pouring rain; shit visibility. Traffic slows down–so that a family of ducks could cross the freeway! Haven’t seen anything like it before or since!

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Another story publicly shaming someone – with a photo and description – without the necessary facts. Was this an accident? If so, while I’m sad to see a duck has been killed, I don’t see why it’s such a big deal. The only thing left to do at this point is for park employees to remove the corpse to be properly buried somewhere. If the person involved did not want to call or wasn’t able to (and we don’t know if he was able to) then it sounds like there were plenty of other people around who could have done so.

Blindly posting someone’s photo and description on a prominent blog without all the facts and advocating for a witch hunt is very poor taste.

meh
Guest
meh

And for this blog somewhat SOP.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

I’m surprised the lycra haters haven’t appeared. They are right up there with the bike theft apologists.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Something to be said for deep dish carbon… keeps feathers out of your spokes.

Suburban
Guest
Suburban

Who, but TT riders wears a Lycra jersey? IT looked like a rain jacket in the photograph.

George H.
Guest
George H.

There’s one or two smears/witch hunts a year here. Last year it was the poor sap who was baselessly accused a swerving into an in-street protest, the year before that it was Krisapon Chaisawat and Chris Uehara.

Why all the outrage over a duck, I do not know. But I got a chuckle out of the update that this was a violation of the Federal Migratory Bird Act. They have top men working on it right now…

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

Top… Men…!

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

don’t forgot when BP smeared Bart Simon Paul… although they were later caught and arrested for doing exactly what they were smeared for…

does that mean it’s ok in hindsight?

A.H.
Guest
A.H.

You’d think some of the staff — the self-proclaimed journalist-activists, particularly — would take notice of how often they post the wrong person’s photo. Basic fact-checking isn’t thaaaaaat much to ask, folks.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

Don’t call it an accident

William Henterly
Guest
William Henterly

Agreed. Jon Maus and his cronies seem to do that alot.

Cheif
Guest
Cheif

Brought to you by Portlandia and The Onion..

velo
Guest
velo

Maybe the punishment should be to make him read ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ everyday for the next year…

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I loved that book when I was a kid! Where’s Officer Mike when you need him?

Tim
Guest
Tim

Maybe he has been reading Make Way for Ducklings everyday for the last year and it wasn’t an accident. Parents of children of a certain age will understand.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Ummmm, is this article serious? I’ve accidently killed birds, squirrels, snakes and many other critters over the years. I’ve never been happy about it, but I’ve also never stopped to call the authorities (I mean, is there really someone at THPRD who has the extra time to do anything about this? And if so, what would they do?)

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I killed a crow on Burnside once. Some idiot was riding the wrong way in the bike lane, and we happened to pass it at about the same time. He spooked the crow, and it flew right into my front wheel as I passed by. Should I have stopped to initiate CPR?

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

perhaps we need a helmet law for birds now too.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Ban ducks from the trails.

feerless_freek
Guest
feerless_freek

I first read that as “I killed a cow on Burnside once…” I thought “this guy is either funny or gangsta…”

J_R
Guest
J_R

Several years ago, a bird hit me head on smack on the front of my helmet. Instantaneously dead. I picked up the bird and took it to work where I gave it to a coworker who helped at the animal rehab facility where he fed it to the hawks. At least that way, I figured something good happened from the bird’s demise.

Based on what’s reported in this story, I guess I should have called the accident reconstruction team. They could have closed off the street for a few hours to get all the measurements and try to reconstruct exactly what happened.

tedder
Guest

Next, on CSI: Migratory Bird Team..

jonno
Guest
jonno

Paging the Bike Snob, Mr. Snob your blog fodder is now ready at the front desk…

RH
Guest
RH

Oh man, I wonder if CNN/Yahoo/FOX News will pick up this story…..too funny.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thank goodness no beavers were harmed.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Accidents happen, but I am certain the big deal is that the rider showed no sympathy to the folks who were clearly distressed – that alone was a reason to stop. Also hitting a duck and not stopping may have indicated excessive speed, which is another reason for bystanders to be distressed. Perhaps the unidentified rider and others who read this blog have learned something about being courteous.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

“I am certain the big deal is that the rider showed no sympathy to the folks who were clearly distressed”

Source? Were you a witness?

feerless_freek
Guest
feerless_freek

If I had to stop for every distressed nitwit in this city I’d never get anywhere. Sure, it’s a bummer, but life goes on.

Jon
Guest
Jon

I’m sure he was using Strava.
On a more serious note, this smells a lot like a complaint by an anti-bike person who is looking for a reason to get bikes removed from a MUP. “I have friends who are bicyclists but….”

feerless_freek
Guest
feerless_freek

And this smells a lot like paranoia

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

dead ducks start conversations…

Chris
Guest
Chris

When I saw this on the front page I thought I was on Buzzfeed and laughed, then I got sad because I was realized I was on a site that is suppose to be about cycling news…

Steve
Guest
Steve

George H.
Why all the outrage over a duck, I do not know. But I got a chuckle out of the update that this was a violation of the Federal Migratory Bird Act. They have top men working on it right now…
Recommended 10

Top Men …. meanwhile this duck’s corpse will be shipped off to some government warehouse in a crate.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Benghazi! Who knew what, when?

Dave McCabe
Guest
Dave McCabe

John, big fan of your work here, but I think you owe your readers an apology for this post.

The way that you chose to word and frame this story really does make it read like an farcical takedown of the killing of humans in traffic. This reads as mockery, even taunting, to those who have been in hit-and-runs or have lost people to collisions. Over three thousand people were killed by vehicles today, and no death of wildlife should be compared to that.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

Huh, that concept did not at all cross my mind until reading your comment. Perhaps those who see this story as callous satire read it with prejudice?

Jim Labbe
Guest
Jim Labbe

And yet there is a relationship between the reckless disregard some people have for wildlife and the reckless disregard for human life. These are not entirely different problems. They are in many ways the same problem. In many cases preventing behavior that intentionally and needlessly kills or injures wildlife is a step toward preventing behavior that needlessly injures or kills human beings.

Jayson
Guest
Jayson

That’s poor form. Only a regular jack*ss would do this.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

Remove the cyclist photo, keep up the dead duck photo. Makes sense to me!

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Okay, it is unfortunate that a bike accidentally killed a duck – actually bikes don’t kill, people do, so let’s say it is unfortunate that a person accidentally killed a duck.

I don’t see any evidence that it was anything more than an accident. Even if he was wearing lycra. If the perpetrator were wearing camo and carrying a 12 gauge, then we might conclude differently.

Should the cyclist have reported the accident? It seems ridiculous to call 911 to report roadkill, and how could any average person know to call THPRD, what THPRD’s number is, or even what THPRD stands for? If the bystanders or the tipster knew the number, they could have called?

Of course, after reading this story, now I am better informed. I now know if I accidentally run over a duck, I will look up and call the THPRD “general number” to turn myself in for violation of the Federal Migratory Waterfowl Act and, potentially, some sort of adverse proceeding by the Federal Government.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Here’s some facts:

Accidents with wildlife have a complex set of regulations governing them – what applies for birds may not apply for squirrels, coyotes, deer, etc. Regulations differ depending on management plans for that species, whether the species is native or not, etc.

Birds specifically are covered by the Migratory Bird Laws referenced above. In this case by the letter of the law the “killing” of the mallard is illegal, but it is not viewed that way by enforcement agencies. In such a case as this the only requirement is that the person report the accident/interaction, either to US Fish and Wildlife Service or Oregon State Police. It would only become illegal and enforceable if a person took the injured or dead wildlife into their possession for any reason, other than transporting the animal to a licensed rehab facility.

There is no requirement to stop, though it might be a good idea to see if the animal is injured and could be rehabbed.

If there is any doubt please call the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center, which among other services provides advice and guidance to the public on wildlife interactions: 503-292-6855

Kurt Griffith
Guest
Kurt Griffith

Meanwhile out on Sauvies Island…

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

Did the rider know he was supposed to call the Dead Duck hotline or is he ducking his responsibilities?

Charles Ross
Guest
Charles Ross

I just returned from a one month bicycle tour in Thailand. There, hundreds of thousands of animals are kicked to the curb ignored and left to survive on their own. Returning here and reading a newspaper article about a hit-n-run by a bicyclist on a duck strikes me as humorous. I’m sorry if that offends but it is just so incongruent that this accident could possibly be an issue that would rise to the level of being a topic of concern/interest not only on BikePortland but also the Oregonian.
If this had happened in S.E. Asia some lucky diners would be enjoying duck pad Thai for their evening meal and . . . . that would be that!

tedder
Guest

Charles- do you have a blog/etc on your bike tour? That sounds like a fun trip. I was just there doing a motorbike tour in the northern hills. And I totally agree with you, this is a first world problem.

Charles Ross
Guest
Charles Ross

No blog or journal, but if you are at all interested in some ideas for touring in Thailand I would be more than happy to share them with you. It was a first time tour for me. I only covered 750 miles in the entire month and slowed it all down considerably in the last couple of weeks: Bangkok down southeast to Kho Samet; bus back to Bangkok and then a ride from Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Chumphon – Koh Tao – Koh Samui – flight back to Bangkok and then home after a few days. I would love to go again and perhaps start in the north, Chiang Mai and work my way southwest to Phuket/Krabi. I made many mistakes but I had a low bar for success: Hang on to my documents, my wallet, my bicycle (Trek 520) and don’t fall down! I achieved all those and am happy!
Cost for everything, door to door? $2,500. I was thinking I might enjoy a backpacking trip but all the backpackers looked kind of miserable; some carrying both back and front packs. When I transported the bike it was always 60 Baht for me and 100 for the bike that just went into someone’s pocket. It was nice, tho, to enter a new place and be more mobile in finding a place to stay. I could cruise around and really size things up and that is a great advantage over a backpacking trip. Also, I’m 63 and can’t really see the whole backpacking thing happening for me again.
Thailand is beautiful and I would visit again. Regards

Jeff M
Guest
Jeff M

The Willamette Week picked up this story? Must be a slow day. I saw a dead squirrel on the road today. Maybe I should take some pictures and call the O.

http://www.wweek.com/portland/mobile/blogs/blogView/id:33041

reader
Guest
reader

The key question, which should always be answered before the snark commences, is was this intentional?

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

the rider had something to fear that made them flee… the crowd? the fines? the lashing from his boss for being late?

I don’t see any reason to remain anonymous…

JP
Guest
JP

Assuming the staff and readers of Bike Portland are anywhere near the norm, 85% of you would happily eat this “little guy” at a restaurant, yet an accident resulting in his death is a Story?

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

At a restaurant? Heck, if I was the rider I would’ve put it in my panniers and had it roasting over coals in no time.

bellyfill better than landfill.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Just think how many comments *that* version would have garnered if it were turned into a bikeportland story!

But I suppose if you eat it then it wouldn’t be a hit and run, but a … hit and eat?

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

And they say bikes can’t good food at a drive thru….

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

This is just stupid.

One duck gets run over by a bike and now BP and WW pick it up trying to figure out how its worse than when someone runs over a deer or squirrel. The Feds getting involved over a single dead duck of the most common species?

Rob Chapman
Guest
Rob Chapman

The real tragedy here is wasting good food and fly tying material. It’s enough to give me the vapors.

G
Guest
G

How is this a serious article? Roadkill happens, even to bikes. Who has actually pulled over after hitting a bird, squirrel, possum with a car and called the officials? Why waste enforcement dollar investigating an accidental collision with a duck? It’s a duck, for duck’s sake. Are we to put up a ghost duck in the park, or salvage the carcass for some artisan duck confit?

JNE
Guest
JNE

Suggest the guilty rider (and other concerned lovers of waterfowl) join Ducks Unlimited, an organization that has conserved over 10 million acres of waterfowl habitat, since its inception in 1937. Alternatively, buy a federal duck stamp from the United Postal Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has used duck stamp revenues to purchase and preserve over 5 million acres of waterfowl habitat, since the passage of the federal Duck Stamp Act of 1934.

Paul in the 'Couve
Guest
Paul in the 'Couve

We are SO lucky that BikesnobNYC is on vacation this week…..

Middle of the Road guy
Guest
Middle of the Road guy

And in the avian world, this duck just got a posthumous Darwin award.

All of his friends were probably like “Donnie got drunk again and wandered into traffic.”

Peter W
Guest

If the report is true, a man hit a living creature yet cared so little about it that he didn’t stop for even a moment to see if anything could be done to prevent its death. Just left it for dead, and off he went.

The rider in this case sounds no different than a driver who hits a human and can’t be bothered to stop.

“Oh but it’s a Duck!” say the compassionless commenters on this BikePortland post; “Surely, every species must accept their sacrifice in exchange for the great honor of sharing this planet with the high and mighty Humans.” #speciesismisathing

I have seen plenty of people who accidentally hit a bird, dog, cat, or squirrel and have had the decency–the human decency–to stop to see if they could have helped. These were people driving on anything from neighborhood streets to arterials.

This man? This man was on a trafficless bike path. He could have stopped at least to see if aid could be rendered. Shame on him and shame on all the above commenters who belittled the situation; it’s pretty damn sick that people would laugh about the idea of a helpless creature suffering and left to die.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

Perhaps this will open a honest dialog in the duck community about the importance of being visible and using marked, well-lit crossings?

JNE
Guest
JNE

Ducks lives matter.

Eric
Guest
Eric

“the human decency–to stop to see if they could have helped”

What can you do to help a dead/dying duck? (besides wringing its neck to put it out of its misery). Feed it pain killers through an IV and give it a blanket? Offer some pieces of water soaked bread? Notify it’s relatives?
I think I need to know these things because I frequently encounter water foul on the eastbank MUP and I believe I am a descent human.

Paul Johnson
Guest

It’s official, ODFW has confirmed: Feeding the waterfowl is considered harmful

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

the first on the list of bad things that will happen if you give your fries to a duck: they’ll starve…

Mike
Guest
Mike

It’s Turkey season here in NE. I just read your comment and now I’m headed out the door to kill a turkey…for my family’s table. Your comment is the biggest wussie comment I’ve ever seen.

Drew
Guest
Drew

During bike tours, I have picked up lots of animals injured by motor vehicles and put them in shaded spots off the road. Most would die I suppose, but perhaps a few could recover by being in a safe spot in the shade. Once I found an injured salamander, put him in my bike bag in a wet cloth. Down the road, I let him off at the edge of a pond. I hope he lived

Wes
Guest
Wes

I think the duck has to share at least some of the responsibility here.

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

That green mallard head is attractive to the females and all, but there is no substitute for neon safety green! Learn it. Know it. Live it.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Maybe if the duck had a license….

J_R
Guest
J_R

Was the THPRD complicit in this incident/mishap/disaster/murder because of the lack of warning signs?

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) has several possible livestock/wildlife warning signs specified in the “W11” series. They include deer, cows, bear, sheep, big horn sheep, etc. I believe the City of Eugene even installed duck crossing signs near the ponds frequented by ducks and geese.

See Section 2.C of the MUTCD for details on specifications and placement.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Road kill is not a crime. It’s a meal.

Paul Johnson
Guest

Nice to see that all crime in Metro has been solved and we have police time to burn on this. Would have been nice of them to let me know they found my truck or any of the other stuff stolen from me that I reported over the years.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dan
Thank goodness no beavers were harmed.
Recommended 2

Maybe in Eugene this would have been, like, a felony?;)

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Eugene = ducks. Corvallis = beavers.

SW
Guest
SW

take a peek out of your cocoon some times.