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Bicycle rider collides with woman walking on Broadway Bridge (8/24/16)

Posted by on August 26th, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Note: This is part of our Collision Chronicles project. Learn more here.

Received 8/24/16:

So my colleague’s wife was walking on the Broadway bridge last Tuesday (2nd) and was hit by a bicyclist. She was hit so hard that she suffered a fractured skull, subdural hematoma, dislocated shoulder and 6 fractured vertebra. She has since become paralyzed in her arm. The bicyclist fled the scene after briefly stopping and telling someone else to call 911.

I was wondering if you have any connections or know of a way to find out through the bicycling community to try and identify the guy? He was male and they are trying to put together a better description from the guy who stopped (not involved in the crash) and saw him but they haven’t made any real headway. His bike probably suffered heavy damage.

The police seem to have little interest in the case because he was not driving a motor vehicle but obviously she will have some pretty astronomical hospital costs. I’m not sure if there is some underground bicycle crew you could relay this to or if something like that exists. Do you know what the law is in this case? It seems like it would be at the very least assault.

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

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13 Comments
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    Paula F August 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Ugh, step number one to better streets, be flipping accountable, own your stuff!

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    Spiffy August 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    the Broadway Bridge path is too narrow to go fast on a bike with pedestrians present… even when riding slow I’m nervous about the close proximity, but at least any crash would essentially just be people falling over at low speed…

    with the amount of traffic (and incidents) the path has I’m surprised they haven’t designated ped/bike sides like on the Hawthorne…

    why don’t all the bridges have cameras on them?

    as far as the law, besides the hit-and-run the only offense would be failure to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian (ORS 814.410 – Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk) and maybe careless driving (ORS 811.135) driving… we’d all like to see something more serious in these cases… the best you can hope for is to find out who it was so you can pursue them to recover the costs…

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      click shifter September 3, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      No, in this case there could be charges. Just as cyclists have pleaded for in thousands of BP posts (in the case of motor vehicle drivers), this cyclist is guilty of criminal negligence, assault with a deadly weapon, and failure to yield to a vulnerable road user. He should immediately have his cycle taken away, be thrown in jail, convicted, and given not less than 20 years in prison. Same as BP commenters would want for any car driver.

      Book him, Dano!

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        Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        If the cyclist uses the same excuse as drivers, “sorry, I didn’t see them” will excuse everything.

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        El Biciclero September 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

        Careless operation of a vehicle, failure to yield, failure to fulfill the duties of a…driver? (I think the same law applies when the “driver” is operating a vehicle that is a bicycle), yes—this bicyclist should be considered guilty. Vehicular assault could also apply.

        However, just as I point out when the perpetrator is in a car, a vehicle cannot be a “deadly” weapon, legally speaking. A “dangerous” weapon, yes, but a “deadly” weapon is an instrument that was designed and created with the express purpose of being a weapon capable of killing.

        And as we’ve seen in more than one case where a bicyclist was killed or maimed unintentionally by a driver, criminal negligence is apparently super hard to charge.

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    Spiffy August 26, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    reports like this make me wonder if a lot of cyclists don’t walk very much and rely mostly on a vehicle (bike) to get around…

    when I stopped driving and started walking AND biking that’s the point I started learning how these types of things negatively affect vulnerable road users…

    but did I only realize this because I mostly walk and transit? if I mostly biked places would I still have that road mentality? would I still see everything in front of me as an annoying obstacle?

    I just can’t imagine knocking somebody over and not spending the time with them to ensure they’re ok… I would never want that to happen to me…

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. August 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Some people are just sociopaths. I’d imagine if this person was driving a car, they’d have done the exact same thing.

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    soren August 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    The fact that the police were not interested in this speaks volumes. #ZeroVision from the Portland police.

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    Robert Burchett August 27, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I give the police this credit: Given (what they see as) good information on _any_ hit and run, especially one as damaging as this, they’re going to bust somebody. Face it, when cops go after enough dead-end leads they learn a calculus of what’s going to lead to an arrest. No doubt they also arrest/ticket people knowing those people, guilty or not, will walk. Do no time, pay no penalty. Sometimes cop shrug = you’re right but there’s nothing I can do.

    Having said that, if the community, city government, the DA’s office AND the police are all in alignment on something there can be some change. We made some progress on drunken driving but it still happens too often.

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    Kyle Banerjee August 31, 2016 at 11:20 am

    People tend to show up in about the same places at the same times. Someone who’s seen the cyclist might be able to recognize him if he doesn’t change the path he takes.

    For people who weren’t there to assist, we need more info about the guy, bike, time of day to help narrow things down. There are a lot of big guys on damaged bikes. A few really specific details would be helpful.

    I hope the woman recovers soon and has good insurance coverage. Even if they catch the guy, there is an excellent chance that he doesn’t have insurance or assets to cover the bills he’s liable for.

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    Andy K September 2, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Wow, how did this story not make the major news outlets?!?? Hoping for a full recovery.

    Does anyone have access to the Oregonian archives, dating back to 1861? I’m very curious to know if there’s ever been a bike vs ped fatality or just how searchable these archives are. http://www.oregonlive.com/editors/index.ssf/2013/12/how_to_access_the_oregonians_a.html

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