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Reward offered for Hawthorne Bridge hit-and-run caught on bike-cam

Posted by on February 24th, 2017 at 7:58 am

Bike-cam footage nabbed this crazy driver seconds before impact. Watch the video below.

Portland Police are looking for a tan SUV after its driver was involved with a high-speed hit-and-run crash last month.

It happened about 2:30 pm on January 27th in the eastbound lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge just east of the Willamette River near the TriMet bus stop on the viaduct. Amazingly, so far the biggest lead the police have in the case is footage from a handlebar-mounted camera taken by a person who happened to be cycling nearby.

As you can see in the video below, the driver was going very fast and was unable to control his/her vehicle. They ran into two other vehicles, causing one to roll, which, according to police, “nearly struck a person riding a bicycle.” Luckly there were no injuries. The driver didn’t stop and is still on the loose.

The vehicle is a beige Ford Expedition that likely has significant front-end damage.

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered in this case.

If you have any information about what happened, please call or text Crime Stoppers of Oregon at “823HELP + your tip” to 274637 or (503) 823-4357.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

75 Comments
  • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 8:33 am

    speeding over the bridges is common and nothing has been done about it… to me this is the expected outcome of the lack of safety measures… I’d start by suing the county for their lack of action… they encourage this type of activity by their road design and lack of enforcement… I’m constantly harassed by speeding motorists while driving across the bridges at a legal speed… it’s the worst part of my commute when I drive…

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    • paikiala February 24, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Spiffy world is a strange place.

      Since red lights could be ignored, perhaps retractable bollards are needed at every stop bar?

      Perhaps sue the elected, because, you know, that 2nd amendment still hasn’t been repealed.

      Why not a State amendment to limit all roads to one lane in each direction?

      No, sue the road authority because an excessively selfish person chose to egregiously break the law and the City doesn’t have a cop posted at every corner?

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      • soren February 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

        like spiffy i am also constantly harassed by other drivers when i respect the speed limit on portland’s bridges. i also agree that the freeway-like design of our bridges contributes to speeding and aggressive driving behavior. how many more times do we need to see vehicles crash into the sidewalk to recognize that there is a problem? imo, the country should limit speeds to 25 mph on all bridges and lobby the state to install speed cameras.

        and as nyc has shown, speed cameras are effective and pay for themselves:

        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-speed-camera-tickets-bring-16-9m-city-article-1.2166713

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      • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 9:37 am

        That’s an awful lot of hyperbole for you, paikiala. How about a cop posted at ONE corner? They could walk over and ticket drivers who stop in the crosswalk, or who are on their phones. It would be extremely effective, and I’ve yet to see this done anywhere.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. February 24, 2017 at 9:50 am

        Drivers speed everywhere because most of our streets were engineered for high speed. Cops won’t change a damn thing about this fact, we need to actually fix the street design.

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      • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 10:08 am

        There’s a street in Corvallis that ‘looks fast’ (it’s a 25mph 4-lane arterial), but everybody knows that the Police regularly enforce a strict speed limit there, so people drive the speed limit.

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      • peejay February 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

        That’s an incredibly cynical and unhelpful reply. Spiffy correctly points out that there is a problem with speeding cars on bridges that is the result of carriage way design that encourages that behavior. You use the “personal responsibility” defense, which is not really helpful when the problem is habitual and not isolated. When an illegal behavior is endemic, then we have to address the reasons why, and the most practical solutions to change behavior. In this case, maybe a long, straight, uninterrupted set of lanes is not the best idea for a road design in the middle of a city, with vulnerable users separated by mere strips of paint. If the engineering challenges are complicated, WORK HARDER to solve them.

        Somebody who works for a city agency should be open to this line of analysis, I should think.

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      • PomPilot February 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

        Why not install a series of portable speed tables? The city of Grants Pass had a problem street with 25 mph speed limit, which many took at 40. After a series of ‘accidents’ involving younger drivers, the city installed three sets of the portable (rubber) speed humps. Once they found where the humps were most effective, they installed permanent speed tables. These are designed to be a mild bother at 25, but really uncomfortable at 30 or above.

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      • Pete February 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm

        Dan A, I used to bike commute that street and one morning three teenagers were bicycling at me on both sidewalk and shoulder. We were all doing a pretty good clip and I was trying to figure out an avoidance course when a Corvallis cop drove by and lit up and directed them into a parking lot where he could lecture/write them up. When I lived there in the late 90’s there was plenty of enforcement and police were a frequent sight. I got a ticket for driving 31 in a 25 at the bottom of the steep hill near my house on NW Larkspur; I thought it was unfair at the time, but I’d love to see more of that now.

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      • soren February 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm

        The speed limit on the Hawthorne bridge is 35 mph (in this area) and, of course, many drive much faster…

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    • rick February 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

      25 mph on the Morrison Bridge. Any enforcement ?

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      • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 9:35 am

        Yeah, it’s scary to actually drive 25 on the Morrison. Most drivers are going way over that.

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      • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:01 am

        the only enforcement I’ve seen was the 2 days after they lowered the limit… there was a motorcycle cop at the end yelling at speeders to slow down…

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    • longgone February 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Uh, Spiffy….. while I’m in agreement that speeding is an issue. By viewing the video, one can deduce that this driver was not casually speeding above traffic flow. The driver is, IMO, in total balls out giddy up. They were going to drive in that manner no matter what that day. I appreciate your careful driving.

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      • soren February 24, 2017 at 11:07 am

        engineering our roads to discourage/reduce dangerous driving is a no brainer and multnomah county is not as stressed for dough as PBOT.

        for example, asking the country to accelerate these projects seems like a good start:

        Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement
        Project – Feasibility Study Phase BUN-MU-04 2015-2019 $1,442,557

        Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement
        Project – Design and Construction Phase 1 BUN-MU-05 2020-2024 $16,319,707

        Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement
        Project – Design and Construction Phase 3 BUN-MU-06 2025-2029 $16,323,533

        https://multco.us/file/46207/download

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      • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:13 am

        no matter what? even if road design would have caused them to collide with a solid object driving at such speeds? even if we had speed cameras?

        I’m not believing you…

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  • Mike Quigley February 24, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Seems that with a bit of image enhancement they should be able to get a license plate. It happened last month? What’s taking them so long?

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    • Mike February 24, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Uh, you know that real life isn’t like CSI Miami, right?

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    • Wet Blanket February 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

      Unfortunately I don’t think that is likely here. “Image Enhancement” is effectively computerized pixel guessing. Good for an out of focus face, bad for text.

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    • John Lascurettes February 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

      You cannot create pixels where they do not exist. “Enhance” is a product of Hollywood (they same Hollywood that thinks it takes minutes to trace a normal phone call, ironically). “Sharpen” is about the best you can do to improve contrast, but you can’t just add information where it doesn’t exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxq9yj2pVWk

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      • Stephen Keller February 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

        There are super-resolution image enhancement algorithms that attempt to fill in pixels of low-resolution images to select a likely match from a know database of high-resolution images, such as a collection of celebrity faces or criminal mug shots. See the following for an example from Google : https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/02/google-brain-super-resolution-zoom-enhance. There has been quite a bit of work in this field and a search of the literature will turn up many other extrapolative approaches.

        License plates should fall into a nicely bounded set of known values, so the Google Brain approach (above) might be applicable if tweaked for text. Note the resultant “enhanced” image of a plate is not real in the sense that it depicts the actual plate on the vehicle. It could, however, be a close enough match that when added to other details such as registered vehicle make and model it would stand up well enough to get a search warrant to examine a vehicle. Lawyers and judges would have to confer, I suppose.

        Stph

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    • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:15 am

      the video is super low res 480p… not sure if the original helmet cam footage is higher… but at 480p there’s not a lot of detail to be had…

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    • Chris I February 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

      “Enhance.”
      “Enhance.”
      “Enhance.”

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  • Dave February 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    A good argument for black-boxing every motor vehicle on the road–and remember, the word “automobile” appears exactly no times in the US Constitution!

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Middle of the Road Guy February 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Neither does “bicycle”, but luckily the Rights as written were flexible enough to be extended to things things not yet in existence.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 24, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Nor does “abortion”!

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • q February 24, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      And there’s no “i” in “happyness” but achieving it starts with each individual person.

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  • bikeninja February 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    yeah, on tv crime shows it only takes a few minutes to cross reference the color make and year of the vehicle with some other random characteristic and pinpoint the felon in minutes. Come on PPD lets get with the future. Seriously, it would be great if in addition to this great bike cam footage the cycling community could track down this Psycho and help bring them to justice before they hurt someone.

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  • rick February 24, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Driver’s license needs to be removed.

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    • Alan Love February 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Suspended licenses don’t do much to stop driving. If you are fine with violating the laws by driving as this person did, I doubt a lack of a license will mean much to this person.

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      • Stephen Keller February 24, 2017 at 10:12 am

        From an engineering perspective, I think it would be fairly simply to prevent any modern motor vehicle from starting without the presence of a valid driver’s license (say enabled with a smart chip or such) and a time-stamped record of who accepted responsibility for a given run recorded in its black box. If someone unwisely loaned out a license or failed to report one stolen in a timely manner, they would take responsibility for the actions of any person driving under the aegis of that license. Nearly all (if not all) of the technology exists today to make this work. Political will to require it, various privacy and social concerns and, perhaps, the desire to allow aged vehicles on the road stand in the way. I know it would really irritate me to have to update my 18-year-old Subaru were something like this made a requirement.

        Of course, there would be an immediate flood of defeat devices on the market…, so maybe it’s a dumb idea. As long as people want to ignore laws, there will always be situations like this hit-and-run.

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      • John Lascurettes February 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        I’m willing to lay down money this guy was already driving without a valid license.

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    • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 10:10 am

      along with their vehicle.

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      • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:17 am

        those are cheaply replaced… especially Ford Explorers…

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      • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        So it won’t be much of an inconvenience. We could start doing this right away.

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  • Gary B February 24, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Wow, that is truly horrifying to watch. So glad no one was seriously injured or killed. That driver looks like they’re in a getaway vehicle from a bank robbery, but I suspect they’re reason for potential vehicular homicide is far more mundane.

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    • Gary B February 24, 2017 at 9:17 am

      *their. (understand if I need auto moderation now.)

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      • q February 24, 2017 at 11:51 am

        I was just about ready to turn you in! Seriously though, I could care less. Its not like their aren’t worse crimes.

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      • Justin M February 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        JM should take away your commenting license or maybe even impound your keyboard.

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  • J_R February 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Time for stop sign enforcement at Ladd’s Addition. After all, a bicyclist was a witness to the crash.

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  • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Also, it doesn’t look like the driver in front used their turn signal.

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    • John Lascurettes February 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      True, but it’s very irrelevant here. Note the Ford also is coming from across the point-of-no-return in the fork in the road (also not using a signal), fully crossing over the solid white lines forming the triangle — technically an island (of paint) in the eyes of highway standards and the law. This means, he probably was already swerving around another driver in the right lane before cutting back over to take the right split, all at a very unsafe rate of speed.

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      • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 1:37 pm

        I’m just pointing out that it’s not the only illegal activity in the video.

        The driver who killed Mark Angeles was let off the hook because the police believed Mark might have gone a mile or two over the speed limit, while also temporarily gaining the power of invisibility. Does the driver of the car in this video, by failing to signal prior to cutting off the reckless driver in the Explorer, give up some of his rights as well?

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  • Steve Scarich February 24, 2017 at 9:49 am

    This is not a ‘Portland’ issue. I live in Bend, and it is the same here. 25 mph = 35-40 mph…..there is one ONE traffic enforcement officer on the road at any given time, for a city of 85,000. I believe it is similar, or worse, in PDX……severe shortage of officers, too many hours spent holding the hands of nihilists stopping traffic, and what do you get, traffic enforcement as the lowest priority. I suspect many, if not most cops, would gladly enforce traffic laws, if they were not so busy racing from one street person crime to the next.

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    • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

      also, if it’s not a Traffic Division officer they likely won’t care unless your driving is overtly dangerous… and they don’t consider speeding to be overtly dangerous…

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    • B. Carfree February 24, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Wow! You’ve got a traffic enforcement officer on the streets in Bend? In Eugene, with twice your population, we haven’t had any of those since Officer Kilcullen was murdered a decade ago while doing a traffic stop on his way home from work. (That traffic stop was made out of town, of course.)

      The broken window theory would link this lack of enforcement as contributing to our recent six-fold increase in homicides. Our homicide rate is now almost as high as our road death rate. It kind of makes one wonder why traffic law enforcement is always the lowest priority when roadway crashes are the highest source of unlawful killing.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. February 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        The broken windows theory has been thouroughly disproven to be effective at stopping larger crimes and has been shown to increase racial profiling.

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      • Pete February 24, 2017 at 9:59 pm

        Adam H: invariably. Bill Bratton applied it (or a variation based on broken windows theory) quite successfully in Boston, New York, and L.A. Growing up in Boston during those times, it was a welcome evolution from having rocks and bottles thrown at me for being white, to better lighting, cleaned up graffiti, and parks where kids could shoot hoops instead of each other.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bratton

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  • SE February 24, 2017 at 10:26 am

    a little OT. but fast reckless drivers in same general area….

    what ever happened with Abdulrahman Noorhah ?? who faces 2nd-degree manslaughter, hit-and-run and reckless driving charges in the death of 15-year-old Fallon Smart.

    http://koin.com/2016/08/22/driver-sobs-held-on-1m-bail-in-se-hawthorne-fatal/

    cannot find any info..

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    • longgone February 24, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Good question.

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    • longgone February 24, 2017 at 11:14 am

      All I could find is a reddit feed with the same question. Links to the state shows nothing. The thread discussion shared that the original court date I 10/16 got pushed to 01/17. After that it seems people quit looking.

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    • Gary B February 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Out on bail, proceeding through the process. Most recently had a second settlement conference yesterday. Of course we don’t know what the positions of the DA versus Defense are (a second conference a month after the first suggests they may be far apart, which is good). There was a discovery request, but no evidentiary/procedural motions yet, so hopefully nothing getting tossed on technicalities.

      Found through Oregon Court Records search. Can’t link directly, but you can get there with his last name here (it’s the first listing, not the 15 other viuolations he has in his upstanding record):
      https://webportal.courts.oregon.gov/portal/Home/Dashboard/29=

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      • SE February 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        Thanx Gary. Before you posted, I asked the premiere investigative reporter , Nigel Jaquiss of WW.

        got a quick answer, doubt it’s proprietary so will quote here.

        “It looks like he was released on bond in Sept and there have been two settlement conferences, including one this week. His next court date is 4/28.”

        tho none of this provides much info. Still has license ? Still driving ? Still in US ?
        etc..etc..

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      • Gary B February 24, 2017 at 4:21 pm

        @SE he was already without license when it occurred, from prior incident. As he’s on bail he isn’t allowed to leave US, and presumably a condition of bail was also not to drive. Considering the settlement conferences, he’s presumably abiding by the former; as to the latter who can say (but bail is revoked if he violates the driving restriction, so it’d take an extra kind of stupid, which he may well possess).

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  • oliver February 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

    There’s speeding and then there’s speeding. That Expedition looked to be going > 60 mph.

    Also, that silver car didn’t use his turn indicator.

    Making an unlawful or unsignaled turn, is a Class D traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §623; 1995 c.383 §59]

    I guess it’s time for a stop sign enforcement at Ladds.

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    • John Lascurettes February 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Regarding the indicator of the VW or whatever the silver car is, I said this to another comment to the same effect above:

      True, but it’s very irrelevant here. Note the Ford also is coming from across the point-of-no-return in the fork in the road (also not using a signal), fully crossing over the solid white lines forming the triangle — technically an island (of paint) in the eyes of highway standards and the law. This means, he probably was already swerving around another driver in the right lane before cutting back over to take the right split, all at a very unsafe rate of speed.

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  • Spiffy February 24, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I checked my cam footage and I don’t have any remaining footage of going over that bridge before that incident…

    hopefully everybody that has a cam is checking to see if they still have footage that old… if you ride every day and don’t archive it then it’s likely overwritten by now…

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  • Chris I February 24, 2017 at 11:41 am

    A similar reckless SUV driver hit a Link train up in Seattle recently:
    https://www.seattletransitblog.com/2017/02/21/suv-driver-t-bones-link-train-service-disrupted-in-sodo/

    Going that fast in a vehicle that size, that handles so poorly is like firing a gun towards a crowd. These people are dangerous sociopaths.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 24, 2017 at 11:44 am

      There is clearly more to the story; this wasn’t somebody running late for work.

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      • BB February 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        Source? Or are you just making things up?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        I have observed that no one drives like that in the regular course of events; something extraordinary must have been happening (medical emergency, prison escape, PCP overdose, zombie attack, Boss Hogg about to foreclose on the Duke farm, etc.). In short, I am making things up.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy February 26, 2017 at 1:14 pm

        He almost got those Duke boys that time…but luckily Uncle Jesse had a trick up his sleeve.

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  • Dan A February 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Let me go back to that document posted by Washington County:

    WILL LOWERING THE POSTED SPEED REDUCE CRASH FREQUENCY?
    NO. Although lowering the speed is often seen as a cure-all in preventing crashes, this is not the case. Especially if it causes more variance in the speeds drivers are traveling, it can result in higher severity and higher frequency of crashes, especially at driveways and intersections. Crashes are more frequently the result of driver inattention and driver error rather than speed, although higher speeds can contribute to the severity of crashes.

    Begin sarcastic explanation –> Maybe this incident is a just a result of speed differential, caused by setting too low of a speed limit. The driver of the Explorer is trying to travel at a reasonable speed, but the low posted speed limit caused a variance in speed, because there will always be some kooks who drive under the speed limit (despite lax enforcement that encourages drivers to go 10mph over). In this case the kook got in the way of the reasonable driver. End sarcasm.

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    • q February 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Somebody needs to get that document into the hands of the traffic people who put up those school-zone signs that require drivers to slow down during the school day, even though the road on a weekday when “children are present” is EXACTLY THE SAME as the road on Saturday when they’re not there.

      The document also proves why reducing highway speed limits has always had no impact on numbers of crashes–except that it has, as I understand.

      Seriously, the document is correct that lowering speeds isn’t a “cure-all”, and I wouldn’t doubt that “crashes are more frequently the result of driver inattention and driver error rather than speed”. But those don’t mean the answer to whether lowering the posted speed will reduce crash frequency is the flat-out “NO” that the County claims.

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  • Tom February 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    People drive like this in part because they know there is a reasonable chance they will not get caught. A matrix of signed 4k cameras running on 4 hours loops, placed at key intersections and high crash corridors might reduce this type of driving. If a collision occurs, then the video can be pulled, but otherwise it would be auto overwritten by the camera. Many streets are mostly covered by various kinds of video already, but the quality, position, and angles or not optimized, and there is no directed signage to act as a deterrent.

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  • KRhea February 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Depending on how badly they really want to catch the person they could check the myriad of street facing security cameras on buildings along SW Madison St and yes, there are some very high res cameras in that area. They have the date and the approximate time of the incident which means that “if” the driver approached the bridge using Madison his vehicle would certainly be on caught on at least one if not several cams along that route.

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  • SE February 24, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Gary B
    @SE he was already without license when it occurred, from prior incident. As he’s on bail he isn’t allowed to leave US, and presumably a condition of bail was also not to drive. ….
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    was doing a little more research and found this …

    According to court records, a Multnomah County grand jury decided to increase the severity of Noorah’s charges from second-degree manslaughter to first-degree manslaughter.
    As part of his release agreement, Noorah is not allowed to drive, use any kind of intoxicant, contact any witness, or the victim’s family. He must turnover his passport to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He will remain under house arrest and has signed an extradition waiver.

    http://koin.com/2016/09/20/driver-accused-of-killing-fallon-smart-receives-threats/

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  • Mark smith February 25, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Why vehicles need to be recognized for the death machines they are and regulated as such.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 26, 2017 at 10:58 am

      With well reasoned and nuanced arguments such as this, I think people would be hard pressed to disagree.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy February 26, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Strange, when I bought my ‘death machine’ they made no mention that that was the intended purpose for which is was designed. I would have gotten a better accessory package had I know.

      Now, how about we get back to regulating pot for the killer narcotic that it is?

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    • Kyle Banerjee February 27, 2017 at 10:50 am

      You mean like guns? No license or registration needed to own or operate in many states including OR. If memory serves me right, there’s no minimum age for using one in OR subject to a few restrictions.

      Not sure that would be a great idea for motor vehicles.

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      • Dan A February 28, 2017 at 7:13 am

        Maybe he means like zombies. Or nuclear weapons. When you take a guess at what regulations he’s talking about and then base your entire argument on that guess, it’s not very convincing.

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  • Eric Leifsdad February 26, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    With more jersey barriers and/or sand-filled barrels closer together, between lanes, etc, there wouldn’t be so much open roadway to get up to these destructive speeds and the reckless drivers would have a greater chance of single-vehicle incidents with little or no risks to bystanders. Had the triangle been made of more than paint, this wouldn’t have happened. A row of barrels, bollards, or barriers between the roadway and the bike lane and/or sidewalk would give drivers similar cues about the importance of avoiding that space.

    Meat-delineated lanes are not very “vision zero”, but that’s what we have.

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  • David Lewis February 28, 2017 at 12:46 am

    This is a joke, right?

    On a bridge that crosses a river in the state’s biggest city, there are no traffic cameras that could record this?

    When you guys declare Portland a cycling paradise, this should be evidence #1 that it is only a façade.

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