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Bicycle rider dies in collision with auto user in Oakridge Sunday night

Posted by on August 14th, 2017 at 10:58 am

Oregon State Police are looking into a fatal collision last night in downtown Oakridge (east of Eugene) that involved a man riding a bicycle and a man driving a car. The bicycle rider has died. Statement from OSP below:

(Photo: OSP)

OSP INVESTIGATING FATAL CRASH INVOLVING VEHICLE VERSUS BICYCLIST – LANE COUNTY (PHOTO)

News Release from Oregon State Police
Posted on FlashAlert: August 14th, 2017 10:30 AM
Downloadable file: Photo
Oregon State Police (OSP) Troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a passenger car versus bicycle collision on State Route 58, at milepost 34 in Oakridge.

On August 13, 2017, at about 9:38 p.m., a black 1984 Pontiac Fiero, operated by Stephen Bradley HERRICK, age 57, of Westfir, was traveling eastbound on State Route 58 at milepost 34, when a male bicyclist crossed the roadway in a southbound direction and in the path of the Fiero. The bicyclist sustained major injuries and was transported to River Bend Hospital by Oakridge Fire and EMS. He was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.

One of the eastbound lanes of the highway was blocked for approximately four hours while the on-scene investigation was being conducted.

Preliminary information indicates that the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet and the bicycle did not have any lighting.

Efforts are still ongoing to notify next of kin of the deceased. The Oregon State Police is the lead investigating agency and is being assisted by Oakridge Fire and EMS, Oakridge Police Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation. This in an ongoing investigation and more information will be released when it becomes available.

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3 Comments
  • Spiffy August 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    middle of town between Union and Spot, fully lit street, 35 mph speed limit, 5 lanes for cars, 1 sidewalk mostly on 1 side of the street…

    even 9 years ago in the Google street view you can see people walking and biking along this road…

    I know what my first instinct is…

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  • John August 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t think you should put all the blame on the bicyclist. Certainly, the bicyclist should have had lighting, which could have saved his life. And, he is dead. So, he paid the ultimate price for his mistake. The accident report does not give the age of the bicycles. Being out at 10:00 pm, the bicyclist was probably over the age of 18. And, it is a good idea to wear a helmet –for safety. But, it is not against the law for a bicyclist to not where a helmet if over the age of 18 yrs old. So, don’t blame the victim.

    Let’s not forget about the driver of the car that hit him. I would note that the driver of the car probably had a great deal of fault in causing the accident. Otherwise, why else would a bicyclist have been knowingly crossing a road in front of a speeding car. The bicyclist had the most risk and the most to lose in an encounter with a speeding automobile. Obviously the bicyclist didn’t see and probably could not see the vehicle coming toward him.

    (1) The car was a small Pontiac Fiero, sports car, probably being driven too fast (over the speed limit) on a wide, straight 5 lane road, with a 35 mph speed limit. (2) The car was being driven at 9:38 p.m. (after dark) without any headlight. Notice in the photograph of the accident, the car has “Pop-up” head lights (that rotate up when in the “On” position), but as recorded after the crash the headlights are in the “down/Off” position. (3) The car is “Black”. Black cars can be hard to see at night when seen against the dark, night sky and the dark black asphalt pavement. To any reasonable observer, a small, fast-moving sports car when driven at night without headlights “On” would be nearly “Invisible”.

    The driver of the Pontiac Fiero was acting in a reckless and wanton manner (1) speeding, (2) No headlights on after dark, in a dark, small black car. The driver should probably be charged with “Criminal Negligence”. And, perhaps charged with “Gross Negligence” since the driver had willful blindness where the individual intentionally avoids adverting to the reality of the situation. And, where the driver’s failure to foresee the hazard he created involved a “wanton disregard for human life”.

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  • Tim September 6, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Having lived in Oakridge I have to say its really not that “well lit”. Why don’t we wait for the facts BEFORE we jump to convicting the driver.. Looks like the passenger side headlight was damaged/ destroyed while in the UP POSITION by the way, did the driver shut off the car after accident? Was the rider cutting thru the Fire Station property and across the Hiway? Did he ride out in front of the driver? I was often surprised by ninja riders after dark and saw riders cutting across the hiway in front of trucks, motorhomes, cars etc without looking….

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