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Update on SE Powell collision: Driver has 2 careless driving convictions and Mayor mentions protest


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On the mayor’s radar.

A few updates to our top story:

The man who was driving the truck that collided with Alistair Corkett on Sunday has two prior convictions for Careless Driving. According to our legal sources, 42-year-old Barry Allen was charged with Careless Driving in November 2013 and Careless Driving and Unsafe Operation of a Vehicle in May 2009. Allen was convicted on both charges after failing to appear. He has two other prior run-ins with the law, including convictions in 1998 for driving without insurance and failure to renew his automobile registration.

Allen has not been cited for a traffic violation. As per standard procedure, the Portland Police Bureau will complete their investigation than hand the case over to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. After the DA makes a decision about criminal charges, the police would then decide whether or not to issue a citation.

Oregon law says that the threshold for a careless driving charge is reached if someone drives in a, “manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.” If Allen is found to have violated that law, his actions could also trigger Oregon’s Vulnerable Roadway User law. That law would require Allen to complete a traffic safety course and do community service or pay a fine of $12,500 and have his license suspended for one year.

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has wasted no time in using the collision on Powell to lobby for more transportation funding. Hales joined 44 other Oregon mayors in writing a letter (PDF) to lawmakers in Salem today urging them to pass transportation funding legislation.

In a statement announcing the letter, Hales mentioned Sunday’s collision and a protest that slated to take place today at 4:00 pm:

“This weekend, a bicyclist was hit by a pickup truck and critically injured at Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard. Powell is a state-owned highway. A rally to encourage ODOT to improve safety conditions is set for 4 to 6 p.m. today, at the intersection.”

Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick are also reportedly lobbying ODOT to take over management of some state highways like Powell.

We’ll keep you posted.

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