BikePortland.org

Left-hook collision on Williams Avenue sends woman to the hospital

williams-lead
The scene of the crash. George was taken to hospital with what police describe as “non-life-threatening” injuries.
(Photos: Josh Berezin)

Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news, but there’s been another traffic collision that sent a person to the hospital.

It happened at 4:45 pm on Thursday at the intersection of North Williams and Emerson, just one block south of Killingsworth (map). This incident has not been reported by the Portland Police Bureau but after receiving several tips from people who saw the aftermath we confirmed it with police this morning.

According to the police, 52-year-old Lisa George was riding northbound on Williams Avenue. As she approached Emerson (one block south of Killingsworth) 50-year-old Hassan Somow made a sudden left-turn into the bike lane. Somow was driving a Mazda mini-van.

First responders and police arrived on scene and tended to George’s injuries at the northwest corner of the intersection. As you can see from the photos taken at the scene by BikePortland subscriber Josh Berezin, George’s body and bike hit the front left quarter-panel of the mini-van. The impact dented the car and broke out the headlight. Somow was given a citation for Careless driving (ORS 811.135) and Failure to yield to rider on bicycle lane (ORS 811.050).

Because this crash involves a legally defined “vulnerable user of a public way” Somow will be ordered to appear in court, do 100-200 hours of community service or pay a fine of $12,500.

Somow is in green on the left. George is on the ground.

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George was taken to a hospital with what police say were “non-life-threatening” injuries. We’ve heard from a source that she was taken to the Intensive Care Unit and we’re waiting for a call-back from hospital staff about her current condition. George is well-known in the community through her participation in Oregon Bicycle Racing Association events and membership on the Sweetpea Ladies Auxiliary cycling team.

Northbound on Williams just before Emerson. The bike lane is on the left.

Williams in this location is one-way and has four lanes: two auto-parking lanes, one standard lane, and one bike-only lane.

Given the time of the collision and based on what witnesses have told us, the standard lane was backed-up with bumper-to-bumper traffic. It’s unknown why Somow made a careless left-turn; but as someone who rides this road weekly I often see people abruptly turn left to get out of traffic and find a quicker way to their destination by using sidestreets.

This warm and dry weather seems to have made the roads much more crowded and there are many more people riding bikes than just a few weeks ago. Please be extra careful out there.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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