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Police investigate fatal collision at NE Broadway and Grand

Posted by on April 19th, 2019 at 3:08 pm

NE Grand northbound at Broadway.

NOTE: Please see updates at end of this story. It was originally reported as a bicycle fatality; but we have since confirmed that the woman killed was walking prior to being hit.

Portland Police say someone has been hit and killed in the area of NE Grand Avenue and Broadway.

We don’t have any details at this time other than the victim is a woman.

From a photo of the scene provided by reader Tom Cooney, the woman’s body came to rest on Broadway between Grand and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This is a very unsafe place for vulnerable road users. The road design and land-use pattern at this location strongly prioritizes driving above everything else. Broadway is one-way (westbound) and has five lanes for drivers (four through lanes, one parking lane). There’s a narrow, unprotected bike lane on the right curb. On the block prior to Grand the bike lane moves away from the curb to allow for drivers to turn right (north).

This past November, City Council passed the Central City in Motion Plan. Project #18 — which is among the high priority projects slated for construction within 1-5 years — would create a protected bike lane on this section of NE Broadway.

PBOT rendering of Central City in Motion plan that would improve biking facility at same location where this woman was killed.

By our tally, this is the 16th fatal traffic collision so far this year and the ninth involving a person on foot.

If you have any information about this collision, please get in touch. We’ll update this post as we know more.

UPDATE, 4/19 at 10:45pm: I’ve heard from a woman who was at the scene. Here’s what she saw:

“She was crossing Broadway holding her groceries, I know she had the right of way because I was also about to cross the road. A huge delivery truck was turning left, northbound from Grand onto Broadway and they didn’t even slow down. They hit her, she fell to the ground and they ran over her body with the front and back tires. I was 10 feet from her and I cannot get it out of my head.

The passenger of the truck yelled out something to her along the lines of “What the hell lady?!” before he realized what had happened and a man who was walking behind me (and ended up running to help her) yelled back to tell him.”

Based on this eyewitness account, below is a diagram showing the movements of the truck driver (red arrow) and the walker (green arrow).

(Note: This is an estimation and is not intended to show exact location of vehicle.)

KGW TV’s Mike Benner snapped this photo of the large delivery truck that was driven into the woman:

Portland Police have not issued any further information. Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 12:58 pm, 4/20: PPB have issued an update:

The investigation is continuing into yesterday’s fatal traffic crash. It appears a commercial delivery truck was on Northeast Grand Avenue turning westbound onto Northeast Broadway Street when the truck collided with a pedestrian. That pedestrian, a female in her fifties, died as a result of her injuries.

The driver of the truck remained at the scene and was cooperative. Speed and alcohol do not appear to have been a factor in this collision.

The Forensic Evidence Division and the Multnomah County Medical Examiner also responded to the scene. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office was consulted during this investigation as well.

If anyone has information relating to this crash, they are asked to contact Investigator Dave Enz at 503-823-2208.

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

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Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Member

Two hours ago I biked through this intersection.

Steve B.
Guest
Steve B.

Devastating.

Tina Penman
Guest
Tina Penman

Ugh. Sending love and good vibes to family and friends.

Kerry
Guest
Kerry

Horrible. It was just a matter of time until this awful tragedy happened. It happened 4 blocks from my workplace. My own commute is along the Weidler/Broadway couplet. I navigate through all the bad design, the constant conflicts with auto traffic, the aggression, and sometimes I’m amazed at not having been hurt (or worse) yet. It’s frankly not a safe route for vulnerable road-using humans.

Bicycling has been my main form of transportation in Portland ever since I was an 8-year-old girl riding my little green Schwinn to the corner store for candy in the 1980s. My niece is 8 now. I was just thinking the other day on my commute that I’d never dream of taking her for a ride on that route.

Condolences to the woman’s family and friends, and may she rest in peace.

mikeybikey
Guest
mikeybikey

Another place where safety improvements are planned and have been funded for years. Good thing we formed that working committee for the central city in motion projects instead of getting shovels into the ground.

Audrey
Guest
Audrey

KGW is saying she was a pedestrian and the bike belongs to a good Samaritan who tried to help her. Tragic and devastating nonetheless.

Bobcycle
Guest
Bobcycle

I can’t be any sadder than to get this news. As an experienced cyclist I’ve had scary interactions in that area and tend to avoid it. Bike lane markings could tend to lead someone to believe this is an acceptable route. Very misleading. My heartfelt sympathies and condolences to family and friends of this cyclist.

E Watts
Guest
E Watts

I happened to drive by moments after this had happened. I saw her body laying there, lifeless and uncovered. I am still shaken by the visual and can only imagine how devastated her family is. (I have to say that I’m disappointed in the first responders for leaving her body exposed for as long as they had. I realize I don’t have the whole story but it doesn’t take much to cover her up out of respect.)

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

I’m curious how ‘very unsafe for vulnerable road users’ is defined? Something objective, or subjective?

Michael Ingrassia
Guest
Michael Ingrassia

Fatal collision with a bike, since Outlaw believes that pedestrians and bikes are part of the problem, I assume that the driver could be the victim here and that is just as likely as the cyclist having lost their life. Or else why would she both-side the issue?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I cross Broadway and Weidler ( a few blocks down) often, both by foot and by bike. As I wait for the crosswalk light to change I often carefully observe the drivers. I am not sure if it is the rush to get to the freeway before traffic gets worse, or the lane changes, or the hill, but the folks driving here seem to be overtaken with a special type of motoring madness. They seem like they are mice in a maze racing for the last pellet of food, or movie extras trying to get home before the “purge”. I never trust them the tiniest bit and never attempt to cross until all the lanes have come to a stop, as I have seen way too many run the light. This was a tragedy waiting to happen and I am not sure what will stop the madness short of powered steel crossing gates. Yes it is that bad.

Sean Benesh
Guest

If we can’t get separated cycle tracks on Broadway / Weidler then it’d simply be best to have no bike lane at all there. It is already too narrow and doesn’t remotely come close to the 8-80 principle or rule. Now as far as design and connection that’s a different conversation in regards to connecting routes to the Broadway bridge, etc. I teach a class every fall for college freshman called Bicycles, Equity, and Race: Urban Mobility in PDX. After 4 years I might have had 1-2 students (out of 60) who said they’d even be interested in biking on Portland’s streets. And we wonder why our bike mode split has been plateaued for so long as other cities put in safe and separated bike routes.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

What a telling statement on the safety of our streets that ghost bikes are in-stock awaiting deployment. 🙁

X
Guest
X

Bike rider or person on foot, it’s the same to me. . .for whom the bell tolls. . .I saw the covered form on the street. It’s as much a sacrifice as if we had picked one of ourselves to die because deaths on our streets are an expected cost of the business of moving ourselves around.

As somebody who rides a bike on the street a lot, NE Broadway makes me uneasy in all weathers. paikiala stand down. Your defensiveness is not wearing well in this case. Go count the number of potential conflicts between the bike lane (or sidewalk) and car-borne traffic on the adjacent 8 blocks and when you are done give us another comment.

Jennifer J-B
Guest
Jennifer J-B

KGW is reporting that it was a pedestrian, not a cyclist killed. Is the headline for this blog post going to be updated? Is the ghost bike for another fatality or was it installed by assumption?

Kat
Guest
Kat

Completely sucked single lady laying out there today I still can’t sleep.I am not a bicyclist but I do write a motorcycle and what people need to understand no matter how mad you get at us we have no shield I’m sure she probably had kids that thought she was coming home I cannot sleep.☹️

Kat
Guest
Kat

I was talking into my phone hopefully everyone could understand my message, sometimes my phone says things that I didn’t say

Esther
Guest
Esther

My heart breaks for this womans family and the people who saw this happen. Beyond horrific.
Beyond the standard “wow I bike here all the time and I feel vulnerable” reaction – I also drive through the area frequently. (Daycare is at Flint and Broadway, my and my kids dentists are at Grand Clackamas, etc.) They (the city?) “improved” a lot of the car traffic lanes a few years back – this turn, the turn fr Broadway onto Williams or i-5 north, et al. – but when I’m driving, those improvements make me feel like I’m on a freeway and need to (and can) drive faster, not slower and more carefully. This left turn in particular, you are to the left side of Grand and the two left lanes are designated turn lanes – making you feel you should be able to safely barrel through the turn. I’m not sure how that holds against current traffic engineering theory but from behind the wheel,. It sure feels like I can and should press harder on the gas pedal rather than look for pedestrians. Also, there are so few pedestrians in this area, and I think it’s partially because of these street designs. I could pretty easily take my kids to daycare on the bus. But, to get from daycare to the bus stop north bound on Williams 2 blocks away, we can’t stay on the same side of the street (no sidewalk) so have to cross freeway offramp, cross 3 (4?) Lanes on Broadway, cross 3 or 4 lanes on Vancouver, cross Williams, and cross Broadway again – right where cars are barreling through to turn north onto i-5 at rush hour. No thanks. To this day after almost 2 years I have yet to use the bus to go to daycare. We drive if we can’t bike for whatever reason.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

It appears she was crossing with the Walk signal while the truck was turning on Green. She had the right of way, but who cares. Sad, sad, sad!
Reminds me always to J-Walk…never trust a signal and mid block there are no turns to kill you. I know many folks who have been struck in a crosswalk with the Walk signal. Couplets are urban “freeways” and should be eliminated. Grand, MLK, Broadway, Weidler should all be de-coupled and put on diets…with wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes and more parking.
And image how much worse B-W at I-5 will be with 70′ turning radius to facilitate vehicles on and off I-5.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

Left- and right-turns on green are dangerous, and double lane L and R on green may be twice as dangerous to pedestrians. These moves should be banned at all signalized intersections. Separate phases for the pedestrian movements.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

And the truck occupant was surprise. Perhaps they didn’t believe that traffic engineers would actually give pedestrians a green to cross there at the same time that two lanes of traffic were turning there.

q
Guest
q

A person crossing in the crosswalk getting hit by someone turning left is the problem mentioned in the recent article here about New York City’s bumps and striping being installed to force drivers to take slower, sharper turns, so they will be more likely to see people crossing.

PBOT staff mentioned to me that PBOT has identified this as a main safety problem for pedestrians. It happens regularly to me–drivers making left turns directly at me in the crosswalk in perfect visibility–almost always it’s the first car turning when the light turns green for both of us.

Robert
Guest
Robert

This sounds similar to the case reported back in December – a pedestrian carrying groceries across the road with the white walk signal, but still hit by a left-turning truck.

https://bikeportland.org/2018/12/06/a-tragic-realization-about-a-bikeportland-reader-and-supporter-292892

Did anything ever happen with that case? Seems like these drivers don’t even get a ticket, and it’s left up to the victim’s family to file a lawsuit seeking damages.

esther clark
Guest
esther clark

A huge problem is the semi trucks driving on city streets. What was this truck carrying that couldn’t have been offloaded to a more reasonable vehicle for delivery? Perhaps a driver not trying to maneuver a semi-truck around city streets would have been paying more attention to what was in front of him, vs looking in the mirrors to see if the trailer was clearing traffic and the curb.

This is not in any way meant to decrease the drivers culpability for killing this woman. Its to state that we need to get semi-trucks off our city streets.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

No surprise that it’s Columbia Distributing. They break the law all the time with their vehicles. Only a matter of time before they were responsible for a death due to their negligence.

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Dan A
Can the city mandate that all commercial vehicles be fitted with dashcams? In my view this should have been done years ago.Recommended 8

Why in the world trucking companies don’t have dashcams is beyond weird. Yes, I have talked to some of them. They are like netscape navigator in the world of google chrome.

X
Guest
X

That crosswalk at that corner, with two left turning lanes on a left turning arrow, is in fact a deadly design. My opinion, sadly confirmed by the violent end of a life. I sometimes visit a business on that corner and would never accept the invitation of the pedestrian walk signal there. I’m against closing crosswalks in principal but I believe the only way to safely serve pedestrians at that corner would be a walk-only phase (or walk-and-bike).

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

I am glad there was a witness to verify that the victim was crossing with the right of way. I hope her family is able to sue Columbia Distributing in to the stone age and thus force the insurance carriers for all types of trucking operations, such as this ,to crack down on their negligent customers. I would prefer to see us achieve safety through proper enforcement of laws, good road design, and stricter training and licensing of operators but if draconian civil punishment is the only thing that gets the job done then so be it.

bendite
Guest
bendite

Doug Hecker

bendite I’m not sure what this has to do with cops. The problem is on the back end of the legal system after the investigation. “I didn’t see him/her” is accepted as a defense and there are no consequences, even when the driver was breaking the law. This happens over and over again.Recommended 10

You must live in a different America. Yeah, Portland is definitely different.. Where police are unable to proactively enforce rules. In most other parts of our country this happens, DUI checks, distracted driver stings, and speed enforcement. Sorry if this is new to you but I think the readers of this blog might actually like something like the proactive model. I mean, since they are directed at those evil People driving those climate change devices.Recommended 0

I was reading the original post as what happens after the fact. I agree that enforcement needs to be made a greater priority. Having commuted in Eugene, Corvallis, Portland and now Bend, it’s clearly worse up here with general ignorance around how to drive around cyclists and open hostility. Enforcement would help that.

N N
Guest
N N

I live 2 blocks away from this intersection and I’ll always remember my reaction the first time I proceeded through this crosswalk heading northbound. When I walked forward I realized that TWO left turn arrows were on in the traffic lane and I had both of those lanes full of cars bearing down on me as I tried to cross. Awful design… I wouldn’t put even one turn lane against an active crosswalk. Add another turn lane and you’ve just got auto users flying through the motion. Most cars in my neighborhood do what I call ‘the creep’; if you are a ped crossing an intersection they will continuously move through their turns until you are clear of their trajectory (even if it means your ankles are at their bumpers!). Anyway, the setup at this intersection scared me to the core and Ive avoided it ever since. As others have noted auto users here drive FAST and like I said YOU ARE IN THEIR WAY.

F R
Guest
F R

I would like to know the results of the Police’s investigation of this fatal collision. I have made note of the Police Investigator’s name and phone number, from above. Other than calling that Investigator (which I have so far been too timid to do), how can I learn the results of the investigation? ( I assume there is at least some portion of the results that is a part of the public record?) Any advice appreciated.