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Man riding motorcycle dies after collision with delivery truck at Williams and Monroe (updated)

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A man died early Tuesday, Portland police said, two days after a collision between a motorcycle he was riding and a Red Cross blood delivery truck turning left off of North Williams Avenue at Monroe Street.

It happened at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on the corner just outside Urban Nest Realty, one block south of the Waypost and immediately west of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. According to a police statement on Tuesday, the man in the motorcycle had been trying to overtake the truck on the left, presumably by entering the bike lane, when the truck made a legal left turn.

This is to my knowledge the first traffic fatality on Williams since its late 2014 redesign that created a wide left-side bike lane and various crosswalk improvements, and restricted auto traffic on many blocks to a single lane.

Here’s the PPB’s initial description of the collision:

Officers learned that the delivery truck driver was heading northbound on North Williams Avenue and took a left turn onto North Monroe Street when it collided with a motorcycle. The motorcycle riders, an unknown age male and 29-year-old female, were thrown from motorcycle. The male suffered life-threatening injuries and the female was also seriously injured. The delivery truck driver, who was in the process of delivery blood to the Red Cross, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

An investigation into the crash is underway. The Major Crash Team was unable to respond and the Portland Police Bureau is being assisted by the East County Major Crash Team.


Police later identified the man as Robert Gabriel, 32. His passenger was Tasheena Kuehl, 29. She “remains in the hospital and is expected to survive,” police wrote Tuesday.

As the main conduit between North and inner Northeast Portland and most of the rest of the city, the Williams-Vancouver couplet is Portland’s single most-ridden bike route.

Update 5 p.m.: Here’s more from the PPB. I’ve updated the text above to reflect this.

The driver of the delivery truck involved in this crash has been identified as 29-year-old John Millar.

Investigators have learned that Millar was driving northbound on Williams and began to make a legal left turn onto Monroe Street when Gabriel, riding a motorcycle, attempted to pass him on the left and crashed into the truck.

Investigators believe that excessive speed and alcohol were factors in Gabriel’s driving and crash.