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Sunday morning collision at 26th and Powell severs leg of man on bike (updated)

Posted by on May 10th, 2015 at 11:24 am

Screenshot 2015-05-10 at 11.15.12 AM

The southbound view at 26th and Powell. Police said preliminary information indicated that the man was biking south when a northbound truck turned left in front of him.
(Image: Google Street View)

A collision involving a pickup truck and a bicycle critically injured a man biking southbound on 26th Avenue just before 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police said the injured man’s leg was severed after the northbound truck turned left onto Powell in front of him. Alistair Corkett, 22, was “transported to a Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries” but is expected to survive.

Kenji Sugahara, executive director of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, said in an email Sunday afternoon that Corkett was “a development rider for one of our teams in PDX.”

Brandon Bruins, a manager at the Clackamas Bike Gallery, said Corkett and a man who was riding with him were both employees there, and that Corkett had raced bicycles for years. Bruins said he’d been told Corkett was speaking to people after treatment.

Steve Remy, another friend of Corkett’s, said the man riding with Corkett was Anthony Disano.

According to the online map of traffic injuries since 2004 created for the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero campaign, this is the most dangerous intersection on Powell between SE 7th and SE Cesar Chavez, with 73 injuries from 2004 to 2013: 60 people in cars, eight people on bikes and five people on foot.

Screenshot 2015-05-10 at 10.48.30 PM

Injuries are marked in yellow, fatalities in orange.

Here’s the full news release from the Portland Police Bureau:

On Sunday May 10, 2015, at 9:52 a.m., Central Precinct officers responded to Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard on the report that a man riding a bicycle had a leg severed after being struck by a man driving a pick-up truck.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the injured man in his 20s. The victim has been transported to a Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries. Several passersby stopped to provide medical aid until paramedics arrived at the scene.

The driver of the truck remained at the scene and has been detained by police for further investigation.

Preliminary information indicates that the truck driver was northbound on 26th Avenue and the bicycle rider and a friend were riding southbound on 26th Avenue. The truck driver turned left in front of the bicycle riders, colliding with the victim.

The Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team has responded to the scene to investigate the crash.

The department added in a later update:

The driver of the pick-up, 42-year-old Barry Scott Allen, was detained and released as the investigation continues. Drugs and/or alcohol do not appear to be a factor at this time.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be given to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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This is one of the most important bike crossings of Powell, with bike lanes and bike boxes in both directions. It’s the main corner in front of Cleveland High School.

The 20s Bikeway project, which is nearing completion, is currently considering creating an alternative neighborhood greenway route on 28th Avenue, a lower-traffic street two blocks east. That would require a new signalized crossing. As of April 30 the Oregon Department of Transportation, which controls Powell Boulevard, had not yet decided whether to approve that new city-requested signal because it is so close to the existing one at 26th.

Beneath this post, several readers have had things to say about this intersection and the surrounding area. From Ezm:

Another Car v Bike happened in this intersection 2-3 weeks ago. Driver hit a high school kid, similar circumstances, although I don’t think the injury was nearly as bad.

I live a block away, cross here on feet or bike several times a day. The intersection is very straight forward, few if any vision obstructions. Yet daily I see drivers not following signage, not respecting the bike box, and just generally not yielding or driving with caution.

Car traffic has a tendency to get jammed here during the rush, especially as parents drop kids at school. A lot of what I see is frustrated drivers, on powell and 26th alike, pushing the light and driving super aggressive.

From Carter:

I have to bike through this intersection on my bike several times a day and I feel like I’m gambling with my life every time. 1) The N/S light is way too short (and the E/W too long), so everyone speeds through. 2) No one enforces the green boxes, so a lot of the cars turn right on red 3) There are no alternatives for crossing Powell within 6 blocks 4) Traffic on 26th has gotten progressively worse over the years with no change in traffic patterns to accommodate it (a left turn signal would be pretty useful).

The section directly in front of Cleveland HS is especially dangerous with the bike lane frequently blocked by buses in the bus stop, parents dropping off/picking up their kids at school (because the kids can’t seem to walk half a block, I guess), and, during rainy season, a poorly drained lake at the corner. All factors that force cyclists into the car lane.

And reader Stevie Mare noted the number of crashes at this intersection.

KATU.com has a photo of the truck that was involved.

Nearby resident Dan Kaufman, whose children attend Cleveland High School, is organizing a “super legal slow-down of this intersection at afternoon rush hour” on Monday.

Nicholas Caleb, a candidate running for city council against incumbent Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, shared the news on his campaign Facebook page:

As soon as I arrived home from a wonderful, leisurely day at Sunday Parkways, I saw this terrible news.

The reality of cycling in Portland is that it is extremely dangerous. The infrastructure that should be in place to protect cyclists has not been installed & each passing day without it means life threatening danger for cyclists who venture out into the streets. Fragile human bodies stand no chance when they come in contact with metal machines weighing in at thousands of pounds and moving fast. Helmets and reflective clothing won’t change this reality. We need real safety infrastructure & traffic laws to be strictly enforced in order to protect human lives.

I will fight for a society much closer to what we experience at Sunday Parkways.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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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Rod Hasty
Guest

Sad to hear.

caesar
Guest
caesar

Tragic, sad, idiotic, preventable. Life will never be the same for that unfortunate cyclist. Because a driver just didn’t pay attention.

I just got back from a morning ride up to Council Crest. On the way down, on SW Vista Ave, some lady in a white Subaru pretty much tailgated me all the way back (I could hear her revving the engine behind me), even though I was doing 25-30 mph. Then she proceeded to cut me off at the intersection with SW Park Pl. WTF?!? I guess she was late for a squash game at the MAC or something. My first run in with aggressive drivers in three months; hope it’s the last.

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

This is horrific to read 🙁

Dan
Guest
Dan

Awful news.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Yikes!
I’m glad no one has yet asked whether the man on the bike was wearing a helmet or reflective clothing.

Ezm
Guest
Ezm

Another Car v Bike happened in this intersection 2-3 weeks ago. Driver hit a high school kid, similar circumstances, although I don’t think the injury was nearly as bad.

I live a block away, cross here on feet or bike several times a day. The intersection is very straight forward, few if any vision obstructions. Yet daily I see drivers not following signage, not respecting the bike box, and just generally not yielding or driving with caution.

Car traffic has a tendency to get jammed here during the rush, especially as parents drop kids at school. A lot of what I see is frustrated drivers, on powell and 26th alike, pushing the light and driving super agreasive.

Marissalorette
Guest
Marissalorette

Ugh:( this is down the street from me. The road is closed off and now the rerouted traffic is racing down our street at insane speeds. I have seen this same accident happen at that intersection with two cars. Portland needs to do something about that intersection! It’s dangerous for everyone. Powell is crazy people drive like they are on the freeway. I am so sad for the cyclists involved. Horrible.

Dan Kaufman
Guest

This is right in front of Cleveland High School where children walk and ride bikes, and get off the bus. I wonder how many have been killed and injured within 200 yards of this intersection?

Powell is unnecessarily dangerous and deadly for a neighborhood street – if they can’t make a highway safe there, then there shouldn’t be one – Period!

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Hope the driver has lots and lots of insurance.

A left hook (car turns left, hits rider traveling straight in opposite direction) is a real danger, not just to cyclists but to motorcyclists and other drivers too. Hard for the going-straight person to guard against, because the closing speed is high(er) and there is usually little or no warning of the turning person’s maneuver.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Just read the KATU story and, judging from the picture of the truck, I’m guessing there may not be a big insurance pot for the cyclist to go after

🙁

Carter
Guest
Carter

I have to bike through this intersection on my bike several times a day and I feel like I’m gambling with my life every time. 1) The N/S light is way too short (and the E/W too long), so everyone speeds through. 2) No one enforces the green boxes, so a lot of the cars turn right on red 3) There are no alternatives for crossing Powell within 6 blocks 4) Traffic on 26th has gotten progressively worse over the years with no change in traffic patterns to accommodate it (a left turn signal would be pretty useful).

The section directly in front of Cleveland HS is especially dangerous with the bike lane frequently blocked by buses in the bus stop, parents dropping off/picking up their kids at school (because the kids can’t seem to walk half a block, I guess), and, during rainy season, a poorly drained lake at the corner. All factors that force cyclists into the car lane.

Nicholas Caleb
Guest
Nicholas Caleb

This is horrible news and another reminder that we need existing laws actually enforced (how many people here have near misses every single day?) & infrastructure installed to protect cyclists.

William Floyd
Guest
William Floyd

We were right there when it happened. Horrific situation.

Nicholas Skaggs
Guest
Nicholas Skaggs

Is the 20’s bikeway reroute in this article related to the bike lane expansion that people in Eastmoreland are rallying against because they don’t want to lose on-street parking?

I hope this tragedy helps put things in perspective for people. Creating safe routes for people to travel, and saving lives and limbs, is much more important than preserving on-street parking. Let’s get the 20’s bikeway done right!

I hope that the struck cyclist has the best possible recovery, given the circumstances. It’s such a tragedy.

William Floyd
Guest
William Floyd

And, from what we saw, the Bicycle clipped the rear right bumper. The bikes were blowing through the intersection on a yellow. We helped with the young man when he went down. Please be careful folks!

William Floyd
Guest
William Floyd

The Truck was in the process of turning when the bicyclist entered the intersection from what I saw. Were you there?

Lance Wright
Guest
Lance Wright

Several things, I’ve lived in the immediate neighborhood 26 years, this has always been a problematic intersection. The state would never allow a left turn signal because it would slow traffic on Powell too much!!!! I used to drive this to work every morning, car or scooter,and at rush traffic backs up and you can wait several cycles to make a left turn from 28th. I’m not justifying people’s impatience, but I’m sure every driver has somewhere they need to be. Our work a day world gets faster and faster. When the bike boxes went in, it slowed the intersection more! My son got hit here a few years ago by a parent dropping off their precious teenager at school! I quit using 28th and take alternative routes unless I’m walking. Usually the intersection works better on the weekends without the rush/business traffic. Solutions: State put in left turn signals!!! And, the rest of us, drivers, riders and walkers…cross respectively and responsibly…as if your life depended on it. Don’t expect others to watch out for you. One last thing…there will never be enough traffic officers to monitor every problematic intersection in a City with over 10,000 miles of streets. We each have to slow down, pay attention and follow the rules!!!

Lance Wright
Guest
Lance Wright

Oops, I wrote “turn left on 28th”…I meant 26th!!!

Teajay
Guest
Teajay

I just wanted to add here that I have been riding that area since Highschool in the early 80’s. This intersection has always been dangerous, trying to go straight through there on a bike is very dangerous. Turning in a car off of 26th onto Powell Blvd take several cycles of the light so N/S drivers blow right through not allowing other road users the ability to turn E/W onto Powell Blvd. Lights are jumped at above speed limit pace every cycle of the lights. I have always avoided this intersection even in a car if I plan to turn onto Powell Blvd from 26th. I always drop down below the park and take the bike friendly 21st Ave across Powell where there is a light and crosswalk! Cyclist take 21St ave it’s a safe and easy route across Powell and connects to Lad’s Edition. Use Gladstone or Clinton to get down to 21st Ave.

cwhite
Guest
cwhite

SE 26th at Powell and south of that intersection has become a nightmare with the recent increases in big truck traffic from the Brooklyn yard and speeders. I’ve been nagging the city about enforcement but haven’t gotten anywhere with them yet. I don’t even know if they can since there are missing speed limit signs they haven’t gotten around to replacing.

Josh Chernoff
Guest
Josh Chernoff

Is there anything set up for this guy. I want to help out with a little cash if I can. He will have to sue the city before he ever sees a penny from the guy who hit him.

Josh Chernoff
Guest
Josh Chernoff

I want out officials in City hall and the Police department as well ODOT to start to be accountable for the people who face the dangers of Powell. This should not be confused with taking the blame, but instead what are we finally gonna do about and who is gonna champion it for us.

Glenn
Guest
Glenn

TV news just dug up the driver’s record. Surprise, surprise: a history of violations and endangering the public. Go figure, it seems being a screwup once, correlates strongly with being a screwup again. Should’ve lost his license a while ago.

J
Guest
J

I’ve actually witnessed a bike / car accident at this intersection, though the injuries in that case weren’t significant. Be careful everyone and watch out for each other.

~n
Guest
~n

Can the DMV, city, or state of Oregon be sued, if they are in fact allowing drivers to continue owning 6000+ pound vehicles after they’ve violated safe driving laws? After reading about crosswalk stings on this site, we know it is the case that cars are becoming allowed weapons in the hands of certain unlawful drivers. Let’s get cars out of the hands of irresponsible drivers.

Charles Lynn
Guest
Charles Lynn

I think the bike riders here in Portland are among the worst, most careless and most aggressive that I’ve ever seen.

A bike is far more agile and responsive than a car, not to mention nearly impossible to see at times. It’s a rider’s responsibility to watch everything all the time and be ready for anything.

That truck turning left – you have to anticipate that as a bike, not tear into intersections like everyone sees and loves you.

I spent five years as a messenger in Manhattan. Bikers here wouldn’t last five minutes riding with Portland carelessness.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

Red light cameras. Yesterday.

Nathan Jones
Guest

Has anyone been in touch with Clackamas Bike Gallery in regards to a donation fund yet?

kenny
Guest
kenny

When do we lower speed limits on all streets not designated as a freeway? My suspicion, besides the obvious fact that reducing speed limits to 25 MPH saves Lives by 40%, but people in general might be less harried, relax a little as they drive if 25 MPH was the max.

It would be interesting to find out why so many people leave kids (older kids too boot?) off at a local high school. I road my bike from 3rd grade through 12th or walked the mere mile or 2.

However….

Part of the problem might be a boundary issue.

I discovered our child would go to Cleveland, and we live clear up at SE 52nd near SE Woodstock. Don’t get me wrong, I would encourage riding & it is only about 2.5 miles.. but that seems far for a local school, especially considering Franklin is barely a 1/4 mile from us.

Redraw some boundaries, arrange classrooms and instruction according to nearby population needs at each school? More outreach encouraging actively arriving at school via foot and bike?

Perhaps Portland could be bold enough to lower speed limits and save Lives. I recall streets adjacent to school and near neighborhoods and services in many parts of Europe, all with limits 20 mph or less.

When are we going to crack down on poor driving records, male people much more accountable? There is no excuse for allowing someone who has more than once been accountable for endangering anyone on the road the right to a driver’s license.

I sincerely feel it is not a right but privilege to be able to drive, heard that throughout my life, but the actions legally say something completely different.

Charles Lynn
Guest
Charles Lynn

News comes in from the eye witness that the truck was in the process of turning when the bike entered the intersection on a yellow light.
Could it be the biker endangered himself with the kind of recklessness I see in biker daily in Portland?

Bob K
Guest
Bob K

This intersection is a big problem. PBOT really needs to put the screws on ODOT to get a dedicated light at 28th. Too many high school kids playing Frogger just to cross the street. Not to mention a Somali population that lives just south of Powell.

Phil Brown
Guest
Phil Brown

Exactly three weeks ago, my wife and I were riding our tandem at 160th & Halsey when we were hit by a woman who was just sure that she could beat us across Barr Rd (she couldn’t). She hit us at about a 45 degree angle still driving at the 40 mph speed limit. Fortunately, we are both still alive and have all our limbs. But, it was close – very close. My left elbow had to be completely rebuilt, and the chance of ever having full use of my left arm again are slim. Oh, did I mention, I’m left-handed?

I started riding avidly in the Portland area in 1980. In the past 35 years the cycling scene has changed dramatically, and for the better. I am one of the few who can remember when the SE 26th Ave bike lanes were added. You think it’s a dangerous street now – think about how bad it was then. But we still have a long way to go. Greater insurance liability limits are not the answer. That only helps after someone is hurt. We need to continue to be more visible and require bicycle awareness education in order to get a driver license. The greater the expectation that drivers will encounter a cyclist on any street and at any intersection, the safer we will be.

The really upsetting part of this story is the driver hasn’t been cited. Why not? That he made an illegal left turn is glaringly obvious. If drivers know that they will be held accountable for their actions that hurt other people, they will be more careful. If they think they can get away with it, we create a war zone mentality.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

This is just terrible… I can’t stand that intersection, and for my daily commute just about always use the one down at 21st, which isn’t a whole lot better. Blerghghg.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Nathan Jones
Has anyone been in touch with Clackamas Bike Gallery in regards to a donation fund yet?Recommended 0

Like to see Bike Gallery institute a company policy that all company trucks must be driven at 10MPH below posted speed limits. Company management should brag about this and use it as a major advertising hook–i.e. “We’re Bike Gallery. Yes, we need motor vehicles but we try to be civilized about it.” That might put their advertising up at the awesome level of River City’s.

tnash
Guest
tnash

I might start crossing @ 21st, seems slower/safer. Or maybe cut through Powell park and cross at the crosswalk, where cars are only coming at you in 2 directions

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Downhill bike rider. The big thing I’ve been trying to tell non riders is that bikes go faster than you think. Driver may have seen them and still not yielded because bikes are “slow”.

The mechanics of actually severing a leg in the street. Can we at least get this guy an equipment violation for sharp edges or something?

George H.
Guest
George H.

How tactless of Nick Caleb to use a tragedy as an opportunity for campaign messaging.

Dave
Guest
Dave

How about all Portland-area bike wholesalers and manufacturers who have company motor vehicles driving below posted speeds? Advertise as a group? King, Cyclone, others? Any comments? Here’s a free slogan “Yes, we have to drive sometimes but we try to be civilized about it.”

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

This is awful. We need protected bike lanes!

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

I’m disappointed in the language used in this article. This was not a collision between a bicycle and a truck. There were people operating them. Bike Portland should know better and use “person riding a bike” and “the person turned his truck”; not “the bike” and “the truck turned”.

J_R
Guest
J_R

One of the postings on the Oregonian website on Sunday morning had the following quote:

“When Weiss asked Portland police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz for clarification, here’s what Schmautz said “..yielding the right of way, and determining whether a traffic violation has occurred, comes down to a matter of perception. Basically, the driver has to perceive he has to yield the right of way.”

I’ve looked for this on the Portland police website, the Oregonian, and those of KGW, KOIN, and KPTV. Does anyone know if this is accurate or where it came from?

If anyone can track it down, I’d like to get explanations from the mayor and the police chief about why their spokesman is offering up a new excuse for motorists based on “a matter of perception.”

Can anyone help?

Bryant Howard
Guest
Bryant Howard

Please share.

Cycling Community,

I’m Alistair’s cycling coach and I’ve setup a GoFundMe campaign to help
defray some of the costs that Alistair will face in the wake of his
accident yesterday. In addition to more surgeries and physical therapy he
faces the expense of prosthetic devices to regain his mobility that will
exceed $50,000.

This fundraising campaign is setup so that all of the money is directed to
Alistair. I am only involved to the extent that I set it up and will be
working to get the word out to the community. Alistair is an incredible
kid, please help if you can.

http://www.gofundme.com/u977qs

thanks,
Bryant Howard

wkw
Guest
wkw

This is the cost of not building highways to Gresham. The higher traffic volumes forces bad decisions all the way down Powell. The pedestrian and bicycle accidents don’t lie.

Nate Young
Guest
Nate Young

The city and state know all too well this is a major problem area. Whether they do anything soon is debatable. ODOT has a good chunk of money slated for unnamed changes in the next 5ish years though, and if they can come to terms with the city on the bikeway, that will also help.
I bike across Powell 2x a day to get to 29th and Powell for work. I first tried using this signal to turn left onto the sidewalk but found it terrifying with all the red/yellow light runners on 26th. Now I go up around Cleveland and cross in the crosswalk. Among concerns I’ve seen:
– there are NO GOOD OPTIONS to get across Powell
– police are no help wrt enforcement; rather than ticket non-compliant motorists, a motorcycle cop once yelled at me to get off my bike at the crosswalk to “get more people to stop.” Maybe more people would stop if he ticketed them for failing to stop?
– others have noted the lack of a green arrow for N/S bound traffic. This encourages red light runners that have waited to turn left
– Others have noted the terrible situation and behavior around Cleveland High. Parents and students do the stupidest things ranging from stopping mid-block and mid-lane to drop off to dashing across Powell and/or 26th mid-block with no warning.

This is admittedly a rough spot with lots of things working against it. Unfortunately ODOT and PBOT seem to have just thrown their hands up in frustration and given up. How many more people will be maimed or killed before something changes?
And finally, how was there no Failure to Yield ROW? With that decision, the city remains culpable for the next similar crash.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I was so sad for the cyclist when I heard about this accident on the radio this morning. I hope the driver of the truck is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I will be walking my bike in the crosswalks at this intersection from now on. It sounds so dangerous – I just don’t want to get hit.

Matt Kaiel
Guest
Matt Kaiel

I was the cyclist that was nearly hit one week ago, where the driver ran over the kid walking into Cleveland. The light was red on Powell for a second or two, I started riding northbound (first out of the bike box) and as I approached the first lane, someone honked. I looked up, saw a white ford explorer heading eastbound blow through the intersection at 25-30 mph. I turned my bars, he swerved slightly and I felt the wind from the car literally inches from me. He would have killed me at that speed. The kid, unfortunately, was just ahead of me in the walk and got kicked up over the front fender landing on his back. I held c spine until the ambulance showed up and it appeared it was okay. Whoever was out there honking, thank you.

And seriously, this is a dangerous intersection. That kid or I could have easily been dead. It was an older gentleman driver that possibly mistook the gas from the brake. He was accelerating as he passed me into the cross walk. The lady behind me on a bike, helped me with the kid and told me she gives it a two count before she enters the intersection typically. I no longer ride through this intersection.

Ashley
Guest
Ashley

There was a fund raising site set up for him if anyone is interested in contributing.

http://www.gofundme.com/alistaircorkett

wrenchforce
Guest
wrenchforce

I too must say something in support of neither cyclists nor motorists, but common sense.

I would have to say that nearly 80% of the cyclists (not just in pdx or (Manhattan–whatever), do not obey the rules of the road. That number exaggerates the more elite the cyclist i.e. Pinnarelo = speed)

It seems tighter lycra = arrogance. Some of the worst people I have ever ridden with have been racers.

Cyclists need to slow down and anticipate what the motorist is going to do. Motorists need to understand and accept cyclists just like pot, gay marriage and the fact that Blockbuster video no longer exists and we can all just live in harmony

We all just need to get along. An investigation into what really happened is underway and there are two victims here, folks: Alistaire AND the driver. I am sure he never wanted this to happen no matter what his previous driving record.

Best wishes to both of these men as they recover.

cyclequeen
Guest
cyclequeen

Hello? Did you READ what the WITNESS who WATCHED THE ACCIDENT said? You know, the one who saw the leg get severed?

The witness stated that he cyclist HIT THE REAR BUMPER OF THE TRUCK…the CYCLIST HIT THE TRUCK…..and one more time for good measure THE CYCLIST WENT BARRELING THROUGH THE INTERSECTION and CLIPPED THE REAR BUMPER OF THE TRUCK.

Soooo, who was at fault here REALLY? Seems pretty clear from the witness’ statement, no?