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Washington County Sheriffs seek reckless driver who hit and injured bicycle rider

Posted by on May 14th, 2019 at 9:24 am

(Video of suspect taken by a witness and released by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office needs help finding reckless driver who hit an innocent person, gave them the finger, then fled the scene. The victim was on a bicycle and had stopped on the side of the road to check his map.

The crash happened Saturday (5/11) around 2:00 pm on NW Hillside Road in unincorporated Washington County, southwest of Banks.

Here’s more from the official statement:

“According to witness reports, an unidentified man was driving a newer Mercedes convertible around 2:00 p.m. on NW Hillside Road when he hit a bicyclist stopped on the shoulder. The victim was checking his map when the unidentified driver hit him somewhere near the intersection with NW Clapshaw Hill Road. The victim was knocked to the ground, his clothing torn and was bleeding from the leg. The suspect drove off, making no attempt to stop and check on him, and gave the bicyclist ‘the finger’ as he drove off.”

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The Sheriff’s Office says the suspect was seen by other witnesses driving recklessly, swerving into oncoming lanes of traffic. “A motorcyclist told deputies he was almost run off the road and nearly hit by the same driver on NW Old Clapshaw Hill Road,” the statement reads.

The video above of the suspect vehicle was taken by one of the witnesses.

Please be on the lookout for a white man in his 60 wearing a baseball cap with a thick “Tom Selleck mustache” driving a newer, champagne-colored Mercedes convertible.

Anyone with information about this vehicle or driver is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office by calling non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.

UPDATE, 5/16: The suspect, 55-year-old William Offinga, has been arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail on one count of reckless driving and one count of felony hit and run.

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

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Jack C.Dan AHello, KittyJesseMiddle of The Road Guy Recent comment authors
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dwk
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dwk

***Comment deleted by moderator***

Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

What are you trying to say?

Toby Keith
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Toby Keith

Hey excellent stereotyping! Because we know there is no such thing as a wealthy Democrat!

dwk
Guest
dwk

Stereotypes are for a reason…
J. Maus himself says he rides with an American Flag on his bike in the country.
Why would that be?
What do wealthy democrats have to do with this?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Magnum P.I. gone Bad. Sounds like we need to send in the” A team” to catch this criminal.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Heh. And maybe MacGyver could do a little “troubleshooting” and get to the bottom of things.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

This just gives all Mercedes drivers a bad name.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Sounds like another insecure little boy suffering from entitlement syndrome. He hates cyclists to the point he tries to murder a stranger because they are going happily though their life without the need to prove there manhood by driving a more expensive car.

The finger should be enough to send him to prison for attempted murder, but since he used a car I suspect he will be allowed plead to a traffic infraction.

Someone knows who this is. Do they have the decency to do the right thing?

Q
Guest
Q

The question I have is, why are the police interested in this one case while ignoring the vast majority of drivers who act like this?

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Video evidence. Also, WA county vs Multnomah?

John Lascurettes
Subscriber

Also, multiple reports.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

This guy would be an ordinary commuter on my morning ride from the Goose Hollow Max Station to North Portland, and the cops would not be interested in him. But believe it or not out in Washington County (where I live), they actually enforce traffic laws. Recently I saw a Washington County Sheriff pull up and direct a landscaping crew to clean up the bike lane where they had blown sticks, leaves and grass.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Because it is the Washington County Sheriff’s office, not the Portland Police Bureau.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Maybe it’s also the “hit and run” crime committed, and not just reckless driving. Sounds like the dude was drunk to me.

BradWagon
Subscriber

Likely because he was also driving recklessly around other vehicles. Reckless driving around cyclists is just an accepted risk in the eyes of law enforcement… but endanger someone else in their metal box?! Now we have a problem.

Also, the hit and run.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

>>> why are the police interested in this one case while ignoring the vast majority of drivers who act like this? <<<

Because the vast majority of drivers do not act like this. From the description, this guy committed a deliberate, unprovoked assault.

Q
Guest
Q

Nice work deliberately misstating what was said just so you could force an argument. Next.

Tim
Guest
Tim

“and gave the bicyclist ‘the finger’ as he drove off.”

I am not a DA, but I think I a jury would take this to mean it was deliberate.

Editz
Guest
Editz

It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Paul’s Boutique is severely underrated.

Que
Guest
Que

Underrated? It went double platinum twenty years ago and regularly appears on various Greatest Albums lists..

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It was underrated when it first came out, but an obvious classic now.

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

I was out very near there on Kansas City Rd. own Sat. just 90 minutes or so after this incident. Nothing happened to me luckily, but it sticks in my mind that I saw something that left me with the impression “that person is driving like *hit with that nice a car” but nothing that made me note the make of car or a big ‘stache involved. The unusual thing is that the one report from the motorcyclist was on OLD Clapshaw Hill, which is narrow and gravel, if he was driving recklessly there I guess he doesn’t really care about his display of wealth.

If you’re on Strada and want to give David some much deserved kudos for a tough day and then a tough 20 mile ride home after: https://www.strava.com/activities/2360096117

And mainstream story (that is sympathetic!) with interview https://www.kgw.com/article/news/crime/hit-and-run-driver-strikes-bicyclist-flips-him-off-in-washington-county-deputies-say/283-47a510b3-f5bf-4886-a39e-4d3b43def127

Edward
Guest
Edward

The real question is whether or not they’ll go the extra step to get cell-phone tracking data from the major carriers to actually figure out who this is. It’s time consuming, but it’s completely data possible. There’s a finite number of people out there in that area at that time. Get the list from the carriers. Cross reference with who owns that type of vehicle.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Is that legal without a warrant? I sure hope not.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

As a side note, isn’t it neat how we have passing zones on roads with no shoulders?? Where are bicyclists supposed to go when a car coming directly towards them?

I was almost vaporized on Scotch Church Rd in the same general vicinity (here: https://tinyurl.com/yxg3l6o3) by a driver making a pass in the opposite direction and I only escaped by skidding off into the ditch. Can’t imagine what would have happened to me at my 20mph plus the driver’s 60mph.

I suggested to the County that passing lanes shouldn’t be allowed on roads where there is no shoulder, but they indicated that state and Federal guidelines do not even consider bicyclists when determining passing zones so there’s nothing they can do about it.

I’m curious whether the road where this happened has a wide enough shoulder that the cyclist could have been off the road more, or if they would have been squeezed up against the fog line like I was.

J_R
Guest
J_R

According to the article, the bicyclist was stopped on the shoulder. The driver targeted the cyclist.
What does the existence of a passing zone have to do with any of this? Do you think that all roads should have a double yellow stripe and be posted NO PASSING unless they have a shoulder? Do you think that would be obeyed?

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

It happened aproximately here: https://tinyurl.com/y6b7eq9w

This is a VERY rural area orders of magnitude more quiet that the WAZE-enabled cut through routes near the highways like Scotch Church is. Clapshaw Hill, even the paved newer road doesn’t even have painted center-line let alone shoulders. But it is a blind corner with a steep drop-off on Hillside. I imagine what happened was the a-hole took the left turn too wide at too much speed onto Hillside and clipped David. Luckily he was standing off on the unpaved shoulder instead of in the lane or this would have been a much sadder story.

Expecting all shoulder-less roads to be non-passing is too much to ask honestly. Most roads in the Tualatin Valley are straight, flat old farm roads. They (should) have plenty of visibility for passing carefully at the speeds they were designed for rural traffic 50-70-100 years ago. It’s the idiots treating them like secondary freeways nowadays that are the problem. Automatic speed enforcement would be a much more productive means to calming them. Also, at least our county roads department is somewhat progressive, adding shoulders to many high volume rural roads when they get repaved, like Verboort, River Rd., Golf Course Rd. etc, and the traffic slowing roundabouts at intersections they’ve been installing frequently. Route planning apps that rely on actual cycling trip data like Komoot, Strava heat maps and Garmin Connect can help you find alternate routes away from the busiest streets.

BradWagon
Subscriber

In my riding which is often on roads like this drivers do not consider on coming cyclists at all when passing other vehicles, farm equipment, or most commonly other cyclists. So the narrative of there being good sightlines is meaningless when drivers just flat out don’t care. What should be more heavily enforced is no passing of cyclists across double yellow centerlines.

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

I agree, some careless drivers do not consider cyclists as oncoming traffic to check for when passing either a car or another cyclist (though a number do pass slowly and with caution after checking it’s clear). In the Oregon Safe Passing law though they are required to do so and any act of passing that results in an injury collision is considered prima facie evidence of their recklessness. This applies whether there is a double solid, a dashed or even no centerline.

Regardless, the same law does make it clear that with that responsibility it is NOT specifically unlawful to pass a cyclist in a double-yellow striped zone, just not a motor vehicle. So what you’re asking for isn’t enforceable currently if there is no collision.

From Ray Thomas:

“…the law does not specifically prohibit passing a rider or group of riders in a no passing zone; instead it attempts to hold a driver responsible for an attempt to pass in a no-passing zone which results in an injury collision, either by the driver failing to yield to oncoming traffic or driving too close to the persons on bicycles.”

https://bikeportland.org/2014/01/06/get-legal-with-ray-thomas-oregons-safe-passing-law-explained-99506

Tim
Guest
Tim

Passing on rural 2 lane roads is normal for people who drive rural two lane roads. You don’t need to follow the horse or the tractor for miles. The problem comes up when you have people who feel entitled to drive at their desired speed and are unaccustomed to driving on two lane roads. If there is another vehicle going slower than they want to go they just use the other lane to go around. It never occurs to them that the other lane is not for their exclusive use.

I had four drivers pass us Sunday when there was oncoming traffic and another Monday morning when I was doing 25 on a residential street. This seams to be a problem in rural areas near large american cities. I have not had this problem in truly rural areas or riding in Europe.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I didn’t ask the engineer if they would make all-shoulderless roads to be non-passing; I asked whether the passing zone in that location on Scotch Church was necessary, considering that it’s only 400 yards long and sitting in between a roundabout and a signaled intersection, and it is heavily used by cyclists to go east-west. One less cyclist than before, though. I won’t ride it anymore.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

What’s the difference between that driver and a porcupine?

One’s a prick, and the other is a porcupine.

I hope he rots in jail when they catch him.

Glenn II
Guest
Glenn II

“It is unknown why the man was completely cloaked in 80s signifiers.”

MantraPDX
Guest
Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Lots of fun Trump memes on his FB page. Cheers to those who guessed correctly.

MantraPDX
Guest
MantraPDX

Yeah, his FB page is a real treat, isn’t it?

dwk
Guest
dwk

My original post was deleted after it was presumed to be “political”..
This is the problem in this era, if the media (and this is the media) just ignores this problem they normalize what is happening.
This is not political, it is real and it is a threat.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

The suspect, Bill Offinga, appears to own a fire sprinkler business.

A hypothetical motive is being chronically annoyed with cyclists on rural roads (who CAN be annoying if they ride IN the road) and potentially being drunk. Bad moves.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

To add insult to hitting the rider, he gave him the offinger.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Why is it annoying for cyclists to ride IN the road? Where are they supposed to ride?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Duh. “Somewhere else”.

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

William Offinga in court. Appears his fiancé is now his ex-fiance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAHCZkM-mmA&t=8s

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
Why is it annoying for cyclists to ride IN the road? Where are they supposed to ride?Recommended 0

I’m referring to taking up the whole lane and not letting (faster) cars get by. I see it in downtown Portland and it seems unsafe and obnoxious. I only venture far enough into the lane to avoid unexpected car doors opening.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

In downtown there are usually multiple lanes going in the same direction, cyclists are mostly moving as fast as the timed lights allow, and the door zone extends about 5 or 6 feet away from parked cars. Maybe you have a better example?

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
In downtown there are usually multiple lanes going in the same direction, cyclists are mostly moving as fast as the timed lights allow, and the door zone extends about 5 or 6 feet away from parked cars. Maybe you have a better example?Recommended 1

A good example is Fairview Blvd going downhill toward Washington Park. It’s notorious for cyclists and skateboarders blocking cars, often at night without lights on thrill-rides. Any time a cyclist is in the middle of a road and forces a car to go below the speed limit, trouble is brewing. Some weirdo on a skateboard literally wiped out 3 times in front of me on Fairview approaching Kingston, and seemed oblivious to the risk as he slalomed back and forth (this was daytime).

As a cyclist who also drives downtown, I’ve had minor road rage when these people thwart green light timing and could simply move over with enough room for cars to pass. There are painted green lanes I respect, but the rest of the street should give cars the right of way. It obviously depends on street-width and context, but it’s done too often in an arrogant way. Common sense says when you’re smaller and/or slower, don’t block something bigger and faster! The driver behind you might get tailgated or have weak brakes, so if they bowl you over it’s your own naivety.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

I’m curious to know if you think a bike rider should put themselves in any danger to get out of your way (like riding in the door zone), or if you think they should only get out of your way if it can be done safely?

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

You folks are missing the fine detail. On many streets you can be outside the door zone but not too far into the road, and you vary the distance as needed. It’s just not safe to be directly in front of cars unless you can easily match their speed, better yet exceed it. This really requires photos and videos for context.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

If there’s insufficient room for a car to pass safely, it’s far safer to be directly in front than off to the side where maaaaaybe the driver could squeeze by. If there’s not room, it doesn’t really matter where I position myself from a “slowing you down” perspective.

If there is room to safely pass, and there’s no hazards preventing me moving over, then of course I’d do it.

This is hardly ever an issue downtown. I can’t speak to your other example.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

It sounds to me like you are a bit newer to cycling. You may find this video helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPA-ZcYGT94

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

A driver having to go BELOW the speed LIMIT for a few blocks? Oh the humanity.

When I take the lane, I’m doing it for my family, not my ego. May you never hit a door on a steep downhill.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

It depends how far below the limit (5 MPH pushes many people’s patience) and I’m putting it more in the context of bike-rider safety. You may have more faith in drivers than I do. Too many are distracted and impatient, though Portland is politer than other towns.

I also noted earlier that the vehicle directly behind you isn’t the only issue. They may have someone pushing them, including a heavy truck that could shove them right into you. If cars are too thick, I ride on sidewalks where it’s legal (yes, I know about driveway hazards). Another reason for being on sidewalks is to not be in their blind spot when a tall vehicle is turning.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
It sounds to me like you are a bit newer to cycling. You may find this video helpful.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPA-ZcYGT94Recommended 0

That’s a good video and I get it. I mainly just stay away from cars as much as possible, feeling far more fragile than them on a bike. The Springwater trail is my idea of what riding should be, minus the sketchy homeless camps and trail-blockers.

Again, I just think it’s unsafe in the realm of Murphy’s Law to FORCE cars to slow down, even if it’s technically legal. Just being within their reach is risky and the news story that prompted this discussion adds evidence.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

The Springwater doesn’t go where I need to go, and is plenty dangerous when filled with walkers and dogs on leashes (not to mention the random attacks that have been occurring lately). If you’re going to ride for transportation, you’ll want to learn more about why experienced cyclists ride the way they do.

I strongly suggest reading “the Art of Cycling” by Robert Hurst. It has saved my bacon many times. I’d give you my copy, but I already gave it to another cyclist I care about.

And this is a really good article on taking the lane:

https://cyclingsavvy.org/road-cycling/

Personally, here are the main reasons where and why I take the lane:

* Descending at high speed, where I need room to maneuver around potential obstacles and I am going at or near the speed limit

* At 4-way stops, to lessen confusion among drivers at the other stop signs

* When preparing for a left or right turn

* When stopping at a signaled intersection where I need to be there to trigger the light

* When riding on a neighborhood greenway, through the center of the sharrows

* When avoiding door zones on residential streets

* When riding at the speed of traffic, e.g. downtown

*When approaching an intersection where the visibility is poor, and I want to be seen by drivers who have approached from the side

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

RE https://cyclingsavvy.org/road-cycling/#impeding

While that site makes good points, it relies on some logical fallacies, like comparing delays without bikes to delays caused by bikes. All those delays add up and cyclists are gambling with their lives more than drivers.

Quote: “It’s rare for a bicyclist to cause more than 30 seconds of delay to passing motorists. On the other hand, traffic lights are often as long as 120 seconds. And delay from rush hour traffic jams like the one on the right can be measured in minutes or hours. There are no bicyclists on that road!”

The root problem is overpopulation and economic growth targets. Urban planners just reshuffle growth to maintain a pyramidal economy. I also wonder how many “green” bike commuters work for companies like Vestas, despoiling vast tracts of scenery for dubious CO2 reductions? Hypocrisy abounds and people get tribal, but I’m all for bikes in general.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
The Springwater doesn’t go where I need to go, and is plenty dangerous when filled with walkers and dogs on leashes (not to mention the random attacks that have been occurring lately). If you’re going to ride for transportation, you’ll want to learn more about why experienced cyclists ride the way they do.I strongly suggest reading “the Art of Cycling” by Robert Hurst. It has saved my bacon many times. I’d give you my copy, but I already gave it to another cyclist I care about.And this is a really good article on taking the lane:https://cyclingsavvy.org/road-cycling/Personally, here are the main reasons where and why I take the lane:* Descending at high speed, where I need room to maneuver around potential obstacles and I am going at or near the speed limit* At 4-way stops, to lessen confusion among drivers at the other stop signs* When preparing for a left or right turn* When stopping at a signaled intersection where I need to be there to trigger the light* When riding on a neighborhood greenway, through the center of the sharrows* When avoiding door zones on residential streets* When riding at the speed of traffic, e.g. downtown*When approaching an intersection where the visibility is poor, and I want to be seen by drivers who have approached from the sideRecommended 1

Very true, but as stated several times, if you’re going FAST enough I don’t disagree, especially if you have a commute that makes city streets mandatory. My point is that I see cars as a stampede without mercy, full of distracted, impatient drivers. Insisting that they behave otherwise can be fatal, so I defer to their weight and momentum. Human nature is more expedient than virtuous.

Bikes aren’t allowed to use sidewalks in a large section of downtown, but you probably know it’s legal in many places if you’re reasonable about it. I use sidewalks if there are few pedestrians in sight and I’d rather not be next to cars with no barrier. I prefer them when I’m crawling up a hill and my steering is wobblier, e.g. riding from downtown to Washington Park. But riding downhill on a sidewalk isn’t fair to pedestrians because you’re too reliant on brakes.

“You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd…” (Roger Miller)

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

How do you get from downtown to Washington Park via sidewalk? I just ride up the middle of Johnson to NW 24th, or up Jefferson through Goose Hollow.

FYI, a study in the 90s found that riders were 2x as likely to be involved in an intersection crash riding on the sidewalk than in the road. There’s a reason why it should only be done selectively.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
How do you get from downtown to Washington Park via sidewalk? I just ride up the middle of Johnson to NW 24th, or up Jefferson through Goose Hollow.FYI, a study in the 90s found that riders were 2x as likely to be involved in an intersection crash riding on the sidewalk than in the road. There’s a reason why it should only be done selectively.Recommended 0

I mean Goose Hollow via Salmon and Park. Surely you don’t ride in the middle of streets uphill? This shows how easy it is to get hit by a car or crunched between them: https://goo.gl/maps/aB9a2eV4JGL9niBs6 Burnside to the north end of Washington Park is no better, with higher speeds: https://goo.gl/maps/7YaNo6pGZ7yKGiJ87

You can’t outrace cars and I don’t want to force them to a crawl and make manual drivers shift from neutral to 1st repeatedly. No smart pedestrian would be in the street either (same speed-differential issue). Watching for blind driveways, I’m far more relaxed on the sidewalk at slower speeds. But when I hit residential streets w/25 MPH limits I’m rarely on the sidewalk. It’s all context.

https://youtu.be/55Wb8exPj3o (stupid and rude, solo or in groups)

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Those are both very poor routes uphill, IMO. I take Park/Salmon down from the zoo, but going back up it’s far more practical to take Jefferson’s bike lane up to the Murray St/Park Pl bike path, or go up Johnson to 24th, and cross Burnside on the bike path in the NE corner of the park.

It’s curious that you’ve picked out a video of a pack of 20+ riders using the lane in an illegal manner (not 2 abreast, and riding well away from the side of the road for no reason) and compared it to cyclists’ legal right to be in the road, even on rural roads, as necessary. The fog line designates the edge of the road, not ‘where bikes should be’, and I’d wager that when there’s very little shoulder it’s safer to ride on the left of that line than on the right of it, because you have more wiggle room for obstacles and are more likely to get passed at a safe distance than 3 inches from your elbows.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Dan A
Those are both very poor routes uphill, IMO. I take Park/Salmon down from the zoo, but going back up it’s far more practical to take Jefferson’s bike lane up to the Murray St/Park Pl bike path, or go up Johnson to 24th, and cross Burnside on the bike path in the NE corner of the park.It’s curious that you’ve picked out a video of a pack of 20+ riders using the lane in an illegal manner (not 2 abreast, and riding well away from the side of the road for no reason) and compared it to cyclists’ legal right to be in the road, even on rural roads, as necessary. The fog line designates the edge of the road, not ‘where bikes should be’, and I’d wager that when there’s very little shoulder it’s safer to ride on the left of that line than on the right of it, because you have more wiggle room for obstacles and are more likely to get passed at a safe distance than 3 inches from your elbows.Recommended 0

It depends where you start from on a given day. I live in Raleigh Hills and usually do this when coming back from the east side through the middle of downtown. I’ve done the Jefferson-Murray route a few times but it’s usually too much of a detour. I also like Salmon-Park for the exercise factor and it’s a nice area. It works fine, I just don’t want to be in the road uphill next to cars.

Yes, that country lane mob is extreme but the arrogance displayed isn’t worlds apart from a lone rider or small group slowing traffic downtown and expecting people to have endless patience/awareness. Slower, lighter vehicles should rarely block heavier, faster ones for the safety and liability of everyone. Same deal when trail walkers block cyclists, who become analogous to cars.

This has been over-debated but thanks for the tips. I did pick up some good info.