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77-year-old struck by drunk driver while riding trike needs help with recovery costs

Posted by on July 26th, 2017 at 2:30 pm

On July 1st, David Yarber was riding his three-wheeled bicycle across Southeast Foster Road at 60th when he was hit by an auto user. The person who struck him with their car didn’t stop and was later arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Endangerment.

Now friends of Yarber have turned to GoFundMe to help raise money for his recovery.

Yarber’s recovery is even more complicated because he was born with cerebral palsy. Friends of his who reached out to BikePortland to share word of his fundraising campaign said that he was still unable to walk by himself two weeks after the collision. He’ll require a live-in physical therapist in order to regain his ability to walk and the independence that comes with it.

According to his GoFundMe page Yarber’s medical bills have already exceeded the Medicaid allowance and the government won’t pay for a live-in therapist. He has no immediate family to take care of him.

A person who drove their large metal vehicle illegally and with disregard for the safety of others did this.
(Photo: Friends of David Yarber)

Here’s more about Yarber from his friend LuAnne McCracken:

“I have known David for 30 plus years and thru [sic] the years I have gotten to know him pretty good. David is by far the most kindest and selfless person I have ever met. Among his independence he put him self thru [sic] college, held a job with Bonneville Power for over 30 years and has never asked anyone for a helping hand. David belongs to several organizations to help others in need and faithfully attends church. Please find it in your hearts to help David get back his independence like he had before he was struck by someone that was stupid enough to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and cause so much physical harm to another human being.”

The campaign hopes to raise $15,000. See GoFundMe.com if you are willing and able to donate.

— 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

49 Comments
  • Donovan Caylor July 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Why no extra charges for fleeing the scene of the crash that resulted in bodily harm?

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Tom Hardy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      In all likelyhood the driver had no required insurance, therefore, will assume no liability. Where is the guillotine!? The driver has probably been released within 24 hours (so he can work) or make payments to have his armored personnel vehicle fixed.

      Recommended Thumb up 14

      • Phoenix July 27, 2017 at 8:19 am

        Better yet, sue the driver specifically & personally for their vehicle… as they clearly do not know how to safely operate the thing & have *no* business owning one…. & then add sue them for every penny they own & will ever own.

        Recommended Thumb up 11

    • Phoenix July 27, 2017 at 8:17 am

      What gets me, is that there is never an attempted murder charge. Willing getting in your vehicle knowing your drunk inherently puts other people at risk. Granted it _might_ not be a problem the first time, or the 100th, but if you do something long enough, often enough, eventually it will not end well.

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      • B. Carfree July 27, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        The only place I have ever seen such charges files is in SoCal. A couple of DA’s down there have taken to forcing convicted drunk drivers to sign a form that guarantees a second-degree murder charge if they ever kill someone while driving drunk. They have successfully gotten a few convictions since they started doing this a few years ago.

        I’d love to see such a signed form be required as a condition of obtaining a license and/or owning a motor vehicle so we can remove such people from society the first time they create a deadly alcohol and driving combination. I feel similarly about distracted driving.

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      • Kyle Banerjee July 28, 2017 at 10:44 pm

        There’s a big difference between irresponsible/reckless behavior and actually trying to kill someone.

        I know a number of people who’ve been arrested DUI. All of them were thankful they didn’t hurt someone, all of them took serious action to be better in general and prevent recurrence, and one of them went from not cycling at all to cycling every day.

        To compare those individuals and their crimes with actual miscreants who very intentionally acted to stab, shoot, beat, poison, or whatever someone to death is ludicrous.

        Our society has a schizophrenic relationship with alcohol. If a sober person goes into a bar and chooses to drink too much, the bar can be held liable. Women cannot give consent when drinking but men are somehow always in control of their judgment. Regardless of all circumstances and who is drinking, everyone intentionally goes out to maim people if they get behind the wheel.

        Drunk driving is a very bad thing and there need to be strong disincentives. But driving while tired is no better from a control point of view, yet it is totally socially acceptable despite the fact that the person is in a better position to judge their ability to drive.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Adam
    Adam July 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    This sucks. Right by my house, too. That stretch of Foster is wide open and often full of speeding drivers. Will PBOT ever get around to building the Foster Streetscape project?

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • Mossby Pomegranate July 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      LOL…yeah right. Clinton needs more paint and diverters before they get to your neck of the woods.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Jeff July 27, 2017 at 6:52 am

        Scathing! 🙂

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • shirtsoff July 26, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      PBOT plans on beginning the Foster Streetscape Project in spring of 2018 at the earliest barring any further holdups. The delay, as I understand it, is due to securing federal funding for the project in addition to state funds which trigger federal requirements for road runoff abatement in the form of four bioswales. I could be misinterpreting the reasons from PBOT but that’s what I last heard. Soon… but not soon enough!

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      • Adam
        Adam July 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm

        Yeah that’s what I heard too but it seems that every six months, PBOT comes up with a different excuse why the project will be further delayed. I’m currently at the “I’ll believe it when I see it” mindset about this project. It really can’t come soon enough.

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      • SE Rider July 27, 2017 at 8:40 am

        Foster streetscape was originally supposed to happen in 2015, about the same time as the Sellwood Bridge project would be done (and that project ran over too).
        It’s pretty likely that I will have moved out of Portland before seeing this thing actually happen. Sad.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Justin M July 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    That poor man. So terrible that his life should be in ruins financially from being victimized by a drunk driver. I wish I’d seen this earlier today before sending all my money to the ACLU.

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  • Toadslick July 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    The drivers on Foster are getting increasingly brazen. Almost every day I see drivers running red lights or running the rapid-flash-beacon crosswalks while pedestrians are using them.

    The Foster streetscape redesign needs to be done now and it needs to be done right, with physical protection instead of painted lines, before another person is seriously injured or killed.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • Big Knobbies July 26, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Does the driver have no insurance that can help him out? This would be a good fact to know. Maybe the cyclist should use the funds he gets to sue his insurance company if he’s insured.

    How much is the limit that has supposedly been exceeded? More info that we should know. Is this the best that government health insurance can provide – boot injured people out who NEED care? How much will Ocare health insurance pay to do unnecessary procedures such as sex changes, parts enlargement, etc?

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Chris I July 27, 2017 at 8:07 am

      No, no. Keep going. We want to hear more.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Matthew in Portsmouth July 27, 2017 at 8:43 am

      The minimum insurance requirement in Oregon is $25,000 for bodily injury. That goes practically nowhere in trauma medicine. I wish we had compulsory third party injury insurance like they do in Australia and New Zealand – you buy it when you register the car, and it provides $20 million in coverage (neither country wants their single payer medical on the hook for car crash injuries).

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Matthew in Portsmouth July 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

        OOPs, not New Zealand, they have the Accident Compensation Corporation which provides no fault coverage for all injuries sustained in an “accident” which would cover motor vehicle collisions. They voted out the personal injury lawsuit decades ago, much to the chagrin of the legal community.

        Recommended Thumb up 5

      • SE Rider July 27, 2017 at 3:33 pm

        Or get single payer and the health insurance issues involved with auto insurance go away completely.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Adam
      Adam July 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm

      What ***deleted by moderator*** does sex change operations have anything to do with this? Stop using this forum to push your transphobic ***deleted by moderator*** agenda and stick to ***deleted by moderator*** please.

      ***I can tell you’re annoyed by that comment Adam. But responding like that just makes things worse. – Jonathan***

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Adam
        Adam July 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        lol why even bother approving my comment?

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Dave July 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

          Privilege.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Kyle Banerjee July 27, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hey Big Knobbies!

      Don’t I recall that you don’t have health insurance? That would make you a freeloader. You might not have needed it yet, but that’s not how insurance works — the risk is pooled so that when people encounter a huge expense, they can actually pay it rather than leaving someone else holding the bag. If you can’t afford insurance, I guarantee you can’t afford what it protects you from.

      Speaking for myself, I’ve paid in well over $200K in premiums over the years and have barely used anything. But that money pays for someone else’s cancer treatment and I may need something like that myself someday.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Big Knobbies July 27, 2017 at 10:03 pm

        KB,

        That’s right. I have no insurance because I can’t afford it. The reason I can’t afford it is because Ocare does not allow insurer’s to offer catastrophic no-frills coverage to people of any age. I could get an Ocare policy and receive a subsidy to pay the premium – the subsidy is welfare – THEN I’d be a freeloader. Many people do exactly that, and that’s OK with me if that’s what they want to do, but I don’t want to be a welfare case – I don’t want you and others paying for my health insurance premiums.

        Before Ocare came along, I could buy health insurance any day of the year – and the catastrophic policies were affordable. Today, I could not buy any policy at all because the “sign-up” deadline was back in January.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • dwk July 28, 2017 at 8:54 am

          ***comment deleted. Hi dwk, just because someone mentions Trump or shares a perspective about politics that you disagree with, doesn’t mean they deserve to be insulted. And it certainly doesn’t mean I won’t let them comment here. — Jonathan***

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Dave July 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

          BK- I certainly get not wanting to be a freeloader, I share that philosophy with you. I’m curious though, you can’t afford insurance because of O’Care or because of choices you make and/or priorities you have? What if (knock on wood) you end up requiring extensive ER services? How will you afford that?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Big Knobbies July 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

            Dave,

            Can’t afford insurance because of Ocare. Cheapest Oregon exchange policy for a 60 year old without subsidies is ballpark $500/month. Don’t have the income for that. And that is a policy with a high deductible.

            Before Ocare, I was able to buy cheap catastrophic care coverage that only paid for major medical expenses in the event of some kind of disease, or accident, etc. That is no longer allowed, so, thanks to Ocare, if I need expensive care it will come down to deciding whether to get the care and spend big chunks of retirement savings, or use the final exit solution; decision will depend on the cost.

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        • Kyle Banerjee July 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

          I don’t mean to cast stones since I’d probably make the same decision that you did if I were in your shoes, but you’re really relying on others whether or not you accept the subsidy.

          If you don’t have insurance and you actually need care, those who do pay wind up covering you. You might get lucky and not get seriously injured or sick, but it doesn’t change the basic dynamic that if a group of people in your situation make the same choice, some will incur expenses they can’t handle.

          If your premiums went up because of OCare, I’m guessing it’s because you’re healthy. That’s good. But the problem in our country is that sick people can’t get insurance — no company is going to cover someone they’re guaranteed to lose money on. And if you start needing services, your premiums could skyrocket — if you can get coverage at all.

          The practical result of our system is that healthy people not expected to need care can get insurance, but those expected to need care can’t — or if they can, the cost of coverage will exceed that. Medical expenses cause more bankruptcies in the US than all other causes combined.

          Everyone needs health care which can only happen if healthy people help pay the costs for sick ones — that’s the point of OCare. It’s very messy legislation involving a lot of compromises that make everyone unhappy, but it seems a step in the right direction even if much needs to be improved. If it were really that bad, you’d think that the party in control of all three branches of government would have gotten rid of it having promised to do so repeatedly for many years.

          The US is the only industrialized country that doesn’t provide health care. We spend twice as much as western democracies and it certainly doesn’t show in health outcomes. Part of the reason our costs are so high is that we have an incredibly inefficient system of transferring costs from those who can’t pay for their treatment

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Big Knobbies July 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm

            KB,
            I’m mostly healthy, but could not buy any policy today with any amount of money – sign-up period has expired for the year. Thanks Ocare – not.

            Others would only pay for my ER care if I actually went in for services – there are alternatives – dying for example. Depending on cost, dying may be a better option. I have alerts indicating I have a living will so I have that option.

            Let the government take care of “sick people” if that’s what you want to do. I do not want to be forced to be a welfare case because 1/2 the population wants to be welfare cases. If you want to pay for welfare cases, fine, I don’t care, just don’t force me to be one. Sick people who have employer insurance will be cared for like they always have been – employer insurance does not turn away sick people and never has done that.

            Quote: “Everyone needs health care which can only happen if healthy people help pay the costs for sick ones — that’s the point of OCare.” False. Ocare was made the law for only 2 reasons: 1) to fail so single payer can be put in place and 2) to get votes from low income people. Mr. Gruber, the architect of Ocare, explicitly stated this.

            Some reasons we have out of control costs are:
            1)people with insurance do not care how much procedures cost so they don’t shop around because they are not paying much of the cost
            2)Ocare covers frivolous, unnecessary stuff which is not health care
            3) because prices of procedures are not posted on the internet we can’t shop around even if we wanted to
            4) we can’t buy across state lines so there is no competition
            5) Ocare is not insurance – it’s total care (after the deductible) paying for routine office visits, physicals, etc. Does your car insurance pay for oil changes, new tires? Does your home insurance pay for a new water heater, or a new toilet? No.
            6) Government mandated that we have to have insurance or else they would sick the IRS on us. Thus, insurers know that they can make you pay any price and you are forced to pay it.
            7) Ocare has caused many companies to pull out of the market because the mandates to pay for frivolous non-essential services encourages people to abuse the system

            People from all nations, who want a serious state of the art procedure, come here – we do not go to them.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Kyle Banerjee July 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm

              There are certainly some bad compromises in OCare. We have laws in place to keep the system broken. For example, the government can’t get bulk deals on drugs so we pay way more for the same drugs as everyone else.

              “Some reasons we have out of control costs are:
              1)people with insurance do not care how much procedures cost so they don’t shop around because they are not paying much of the cost”

              Cost insensitivity is a major part of problem and people need some skin in the game. I personally don’t like invisible benefits because it makes people not care about cost. Nor do I like zero deductible for the same reason.

              At the same time, care needs to be accessible. With regards to you not being able to afford a trip to the ER, nobody here would want you to not be treated because you couldn’t afford it. I hope that if you ever find yourself truly needing care, you won’t worry about who ultimately picks up the tab and get treated. Your life is worth more than that, and the fact that our system is broken shouldn’t make you feel guilty about doing what you need to do.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

            • dwk July 29, 2017 at 8:40 am

              This is just a page full of lies and distortions.
              Knobbie had no clue about what the ACA even is.
              Just Limbaugh distortions.
              Give us one fact… How much did you pay for you last premium 6 years or so age.
              Exactly how much?
              Tell us exactly what “frivolous” thing the ACA pays for?
              BP prints this crap and bans others and claims it is not a right wing rag.

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              • Big Knobbies July 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

                dwk,

                Anything insurance covers that I will never need is “frivolous”. For example, maternity care, mental health care, addiction treatment, sex changes, unnecessary plastic surgery, etc. Ocare includes a very high or even unlimited maximum coverage amount – that is frivolous and drives the price higher – a limit of $250K would be sufficient. In a free market catastrophic plan, like I had before Ocare, I could pay a higher premium to have some of those things covered if I wanted. Last premium I paid before it was discontinued because of the ACA was $151/month for a catastrophic coverage plan which did not cover pre-existing for 3 months after signup, did not pay a single dollar until you’d spent $5K out of pocket, and only paid for major medical after that; I was 57 then. I could afford the $151 premium so I was insured. Now: no insurance at all thanks to Ocare. Hope this helps.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • dwk July 31, 2017 at 7:24 am

                So you were paying $150 a month for a policy that covered nothing 5 years ago….
                You are one accident or illness from becoming indigent and having the rest of us take care of you.
                250K maximum would cover about 6 months of a cancer treatment should you need one.
                Oh, and only women of child bearing age should pay for maternity care right?
                That would only cost them a fortune….
                Again, you have no clue how or what insurance even is.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) July 31, 2017 at 9:22 am

                ok guys and gals i’m closing these comments. I’ve had enough of the relatively off-topic back and forth. obviously it could go on forever. you two should connect offline and have a chat.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

  • resopmok July 26, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    This makes me so sad, I used to see this man riding his trike when I lived in that neighborhood. It warms me to know he did (and hopefully will do again) it in part out of his determination for self-sufficiency which I believe belies a great strength of heart – stronger than many of us who are more privileged. My best wishes.

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  • Phoenix July 27, 2017 at 8:21 am

    If he belongs to several organizations that help people, shouldn’t they already be helping him? Certainly they can see fit to repay his kindness.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • BB July 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

    The state is partly liable for continuing to foster an environment that encourages situations like this. It’s well known and long documented that our current arrangement around motor vehicles injures, maims and kills an enormous number of people and the organizations that build and maintain this environment should be held responsible for this man and every other person made victim to it. The motor vehicle operator, Peter Machac, ***deleted by moderator***. State and federal government should be held responsible for any of Mr. Yarber’s medical needs for their role in allowing Peter Machac to be able to do what he did in the first place.

    ***BB, We don’t allow any threats or suggestions of bodily harm. –Jonathan***

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    • Kyle Banerjee July 27, 2017 at 11:55 am

      This type of logic can only damage cycling.

      There is no world in which there is not inherent danger in riding a bike on roads with cars. If the state is held liable, the logical thing to do would be to ban bikes from the roads entirely.

      A lot of things can be done to make things safer, but you can’t legislate away reality and change the entire infrastructure overnight.

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      • John Lascurettes July 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        The logical thing is to make it such that:
        – It’s actually difficult to qualify to drive a car; it is a dangerous machine
        – It’s a qualification that is routinely vetted (with a skills test AND written test)
        – That the punishment and social shame of driving without qualification is a disincentive to even trying
        – That society acknowledges we have an Auto Über Alles blindness in transpo planning

        The pragmatic thing is that we can’t get the first three until we satisfy the last. And that could take generations — good thing Millennials are showing progress there. Thanks, guys!

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • Kyle Banerjee July 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm

          That makes sense the same way that Esperanto makes sense — the logic is there, but you know it’s not going to happen for a very long time even in a very best case scenario.

          If the roads are judged too dangerous for bikes, cycling will simply be prohibited there. They most definitely won’t stop the rest of the world from functioning until it can be made sufficiently safe.

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          • John Lascurettes July 27, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            ” but you know it’s not going to happen for a very long time even in a very best case scenario”

            That’s kind of exactly meant when I said “generations”

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    • BB July 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      You’re wrong, the death penalty isn’t “making a threat”, it’s a tool used to remove people who shouldn’t be in society.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Spiffy July 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    so very sad… I think this is the guy that I always see pedaling on Holgate… I always admired his drive to keep pedaling even though he couldn’t sit up straight…

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  • dan July 27, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Donated! I will also be happy to donate to help fund a future civil suit against his assailant.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Kyle Banerjee July 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      That can be funded on a contingency basis. The problem is that if the assailant has no assets to seize or garnish, the suit will have no practical effect.

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      • Big Knobbies July 27, 2017 at 10:06 pm

        Can they garnish future earnings or inheritance, lottery winnings, etc?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Kyle Banerjee July 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

          The short answer is yes, but unless there is good reason to believe such earnings will exist and that they can be seized (some funds are protected), no one will take the case and even if they did, the impact becomes only symbolic.

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  • Big Knobbies July 29, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Back to the original article.

    What is the man’s condition now?
    Approximately what are the total cost of medical bills due to being hit by the car to date?
    What do they expect the grandpoohbah total to be after all procedures?
    What is the amount of the Medicaid allowance?
    How much did the car driver’s insurance pay for the cyclists medical bills?

    AND did we ever learn what the suspected mechanical failure was on the bike in the incident where the Seattle rider was found deceased by the side of the road?

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