Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Bicycle rider killed in collision with driver on 99W in Tigard

Posted by on June 5th, 2019 at 12:31 pm

(Photo: Tigard Police)

A man riding a bicycle on SW Pacific Highway (99W) in Tigard was killed last night after a collision with a driver.

Top star shows where the man’s body came to rest (approximately). The lower star is location of car and bike in lead photo. Click for Google Map.

Tigard Police say the bicycle user was going southbound when he and the driver of a white Mazda Miata collided. It happened just before 8:30 pm. This section of 99W has seven lanes, including two bicycle only lanes and a center turn lane.

Based on a photo from the scene, the bicycle and car came to rest about 560 feet north of the SW Gaarde Street intersection. The victim’s body is about 150 feet away from where the driver finally stopped. Here’s the statement released by Tigard Police:

Based on witness statements and the investigation, the driver of a white, convertible Mazda Miata was traveling southbound on SW Pacific Hwy in the right travel lane. A bicyclist was also traveling southbound on SW Pacific Highway in the bike lane and then entered the right lane. The Miata struck the bicyclist, causing the individual to hit the pavement. By the time officers arrived, the adult-male bicyclist was deceased.

Advertisement

The driver stayed at the scene and was fully cooperative with investigators. At this time, it has been determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

A Tigard Police Traffic Safety Officer, who is a member of a multi-agency Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team, is leading the investigation to determine the causation of this crash, including whether speed or other factors contributed to this incident.

The victim’s name is being withheld while police work to contact next of kin. If anyone witnessed this crash or the driving of the white Mazda Miata, please contact Officer Rod
Morse at 503-718-2753 or Rod.Morse@tigard-or.gov.

It’s important to note that Oregon Law (ORS 814.420) allows bicycle riders to leave the bicycle lane to make a left turn or to avoid hazardous debris. I will also point out that speed is always a factor in fatal collisions like this because if the driver was going zero miles per hour, the bicycle rider would still be alive.

A woman interviewed by KATU news said the highway is dangerous and people regularly drive 50 mph. Nearby resident and BikePortland reader Ramtin Rahmani rides by this intersection frequently. He told us, “Pretty much no one rides on 99W because it’s a death trap.”

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

69
Leave a Reply

avatar
17 Comment threads
52 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
Fiona HassyJack C.Eric LeifsdadJRBJohnny Bye Carter Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
J_R
Guest
J_R

I hope there were witnesses other than the motorist who can attest to what happened.

I see more motorists driving in the bike lane than I see bicyclists leaving the bike lane to ride in a general purpose lane.

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

I regularly ride this street heading up the hill. Just about everywhere else in the same area is just as bad or worse. There has to be a security video from one or more of the businesses along the street. It is a safe bet that the car was doing at least 50+ Speed limit is no more than 35. Odds are the cyclist was not in the traffic lane but the motorist was in the bike lane trying to pass a car, truck or SUV on the right side. No one has mentioned the driver’s name. The driver is completely liable. 150+ feet before he was able to stop indicates the motorist was accelerating when he hit the cyclist.

Tom
Guest
Tom

What is the speed limit? A 150 feet stopping distance corrollates to 45mph at time of collision.

pdx2wheeler
Subscriber

Ride often? Ride with a mounted camera.

eawriste
Guest
eawriste

And here is ODOTs real responsibility: 500 million to “fix” congestion at the IRQ or putting protected bike lanes and medians on every major highway in the Portland area?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

This makes me very sad. I grew up near here and rode my bike in the area as a teenager, but back in the 70’s it seems that motorists were not as speed crazed or distracted. The other possibility ,besides the likely one that the motorist was passing in the bike lane, is that the cyclist was entering the bike lane to get over to the left hand lane to turn on to McDonald, and the Miata driver was traveling at such a high rate of speed that the victim did not perceive how quickly the motorist would be upon them. Hwy 99 is truly a wretched piece of infrastructure here and ODOT should be ashamed of themselves for creating this death trap.

Edward
Guest
Edward

This is horrific. Meanwhile, you can track how the car hit the person by damage to the car (from the pic) pretty clearly shows damage to the right front corner of the car, which also has a busted headlight and a human shaped damage imprint in the windshield. There are no skid marks so the driver did not slam on the brakes. A busted headlight can be helpful in investigations because a filament that’s lit is soft and pliable, but when there’s a collision the circuit is cut and the filament freezes in that shape at the moment of impact. Hope they get that asap and hold onto it. Meanwhile, it’s time to amend ORS 811.065 about passing a bicyclist (have to do it safely and give enough space if bicycle rider veers, but not if car is going over 35 mph, or if there’s a bike lane).

Jon
Guest
Jon

I ride this area regularly when I ride my bike to work. Drivers are not regularly doing 50 mph in this area. Another 1/4 – 1/2 mile farther toward Sherwood people are going faster but at that point the speed limit increases from the 35 mph in this crash area to 40 mph at Bull Mountain rd. Generally I find this southbound route to be very safe. It is up hill so you are not riding super fast so you have more time to anticipate the cars making left and right turns in front of you. The northbound route through this area is much more dangerous because you can ride very fast down the hill and there are a lot of people turning in and out of businesses. When I am going northbound I usually skip 99W in this area. Sadly there is not a whole lot you can do to stay safe from being hit from behind.
The worst parts of 99W for bikes is the viaduct over Fanno creek between Greenburg and Johnson where there is no bike lane and the northbound area where it crosses I5.

X
Guest
X

People,
I made a bunch of assumptions of my own when I read this. Awful, but can we hang the driver of the Miata based on the article above? Nobody can guess how any driver will react in such an event. Two seconds of shocked disbelief? Completely possible.

Driving a car is a problem behavior even when it’s me but about a million people in this town do it. Doesn’t make it right. We have no way to know, right now, if this driver did anything more culpable than the next one ahead or behind.

Don’t get me wrong. When I read these articles, all too often, I do mourn the victims. There goes me next time?

Transportation shouldn’t come with such a regular body count. 150 plane loads of people each year in the US? Travesty.

Adam
Guest
Adam

A white convertible with the top down.

Hmmmmm. I’m *sure* they were obeying the speed limit and fully aware of their surroundings!!!! *insert world’s most enormous eyeroll*

AL Lester
Guest
AL Lester

I witnessed the unfortunate and tragic event. The driver was in excess of the 35 mph speed limit for this area, but the cyclist definitely left the bike lane looking as if they were going to try to cross to the other side of the road when they seen a break in traffic. From my perspective of at about 150 feet behind the car, the cyclist made a sudden turn into the traffic lane about 15 to 20 feet in front of the car leaving little to no reaction time for the driver. So driver was wrong for speeding, and cyclist was wrong for suddenly leaving bike lane with no warning. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

AL Lester
Guest
AL Lester

Okay, what is done is done. Unchangeable, let’s all pray for the family and loved ones.

Timo
Guest
Timo

I think what people really want is thorough analysis, followed by action to make things safer. Many times even if a incident such as this is analyzed, no or little action occurs to prevent future deaths. Lynching is not what people want here, just change for the better of all.

rick
Guest
rick

All of Washington County and the cities inside of it should stop allowing construction of drive-thrus and construction of car dealerships.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

I’m very disappointed in all of this blame for the driver or the person on a bike. The traffic engineers need to be called out to answer for allowing and maintaining the situation where cars are going fast enough to kill when someone makes a mistake.

Jack C.
Guest
Jack C.

Eric Leifsdad
I’m very disappointed in all of this blame for the driver or the person on a bike. The traffic engineers need to be called out to answer for allowing and maintaining the situation where cars are going fast enough to kill when someone makes a mistake.Recommended 0

In the real world, that requires an endless amount of blame. Nothing involving mass and speed can be totally safe. Bikes near cars with no physical barrier are gambling with their lives in any situation. A line of paint only means as much as the carefulness of rider or driver, and this rider was documented swerving into the road (most of the blame).

Fiona Hassy
Guest
Fiona Hassy

I saw this I was driving back from my school talent show and we saw it the dead body