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Bicycle rider dies in collision on SE Flavel – UPDATED

Posted by on June 23rd, 2019 at 7:53 am

Looking eastbound on Flavel near 78th. Local residents say this is a popular route for cycling.

A man riding a bicycle was killed this morning. Police say the man was involved in a collision with someone driving a sedan on SE Flavel near 78th.

Ghost bike at the scene.
(Photo: D. Gebhart)

Not many details are known at this point. Below is the police statement:

On Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 3:32 a.m., East Precinct officers responded to the area of Southeast Flavel Street and Southeast 79th Avenue on a report of a person injured in a crash involving a sedan. Portland Fire medics arrived and determined the injured adult male was deceased at the scene.

Preliminary information indicates the male was riding a bicycle and was struck by the sedan. The driver of the sedan remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team is responding to assume the investigation.

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Southeast Flavel Street is closed from 77-80th Avenues and is expected to remain so for several hours while the investigators conduct the investigation.

If anyone has information about this incident, please call the non-emergency dispatch at (503) 823-3333.

After the deceased is identified and next of kin are notified, his identity will be released.

This location is just a few blocks from where Lydia Johnson was killed in 2016. And another woman, Pamela Seidel, was killed in this area (SE Henderson and 82nd) while biking in October 2018.

This intersection is also part of the route of the forthcoming Seventies Neighborhood Greenway. That project was funded a year ago and is currently still in the planning stages.

In reply to our post about the crash on Twitter this morning, reader Gerik Kransky said, “This is deeply unsettling.” “I ride my bike through here on a regular basis. It’s within a mile of my home and I want to see some physical protection for people who ride bikes on SE Flavel.”

Matchu Williams, an advocate for better transportation in this neighborhood who co-wrote a BikePortland article about gaps in southeast Portland infrastructure last summer, said the lack of protected spaces for vulnerable users is, “a public safety crisis.” “Our most vulnerable community members are repeatedly being killed as a result of unsafe behaviors and missing, safer infrastructure. The street designs offer no protection to the people that need it most in an area that has little political clout to affect change with city, state, and county officials.”

This is the second fatality of a bicycle rider in 2019.

Stay tuned for updates as more information becomes available.

UPDATE, 5:13pm 6/23: Police have arrested the driver in this collision. Here’s their latest statement:

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team continues to investigate the fatal crash from earlier this morning. Investigators arrested 21 year-old Nicholas P. Martinez, the driver of the involved sedan (PHOTO).

Martinez was charged with Manslaughter II, Reckless Driving, and DUII (alcohol). He was lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center. There is no there other information for release at this time.

UPDATE, 6/25 at 1:27pm: Portland Police have identified the victim as 32-year-old Lance T. Hart.

— 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 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

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igor
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igor

I used to live in this stretch of Flavel, so the bike incidents in the area always stick with me:
• Lydia Johnson at 82nd and Flavel in July 2016 (https://bikeportland.org/2016/07/30/a-woman-has-died-while-bicycling-on-se-82nd-at-flavel-188700)
• Karla DeBaillie at 112th and Mt. Scott Boulevard (the extension of Flavel) in August 2016 (https://bikeportland.org/2016/08/05/fatal-bicycle-collision-at-se-112th-and-mt-scott-188979)
• I remember another incident at 72nd and Flavel involving pedestrians, but can’t find a link. Maybe someone can refresh my memory.

Fred
Guest
Fred

I just can’t get used to your wording, where you say that a person riding a bicycle collided with a person driving a car. In fact, the car collided with (or made contact with) the rider of the bicycle, causing his death. The person driving the car was untouched, as far as we know.

I know you’re trying to get away from emphasizing the mode of conveyance, but it creates a sense of false equivalence. The fact of the matter is that a person operating an automobile is controlling around 3000 lbs (curb weight of an average compact car) or 3500 lbs (mid-sized car) or 4500 lbs (large car or SUV). The bicycle rider is controlling around 30 lbs, plus his/her own weight, and therein lies the problem. The operator of the vehicle has to control about 100X more mass and associated momentum than the bicycle operator has to control, and however the motor vehicle contacts the bicycle and rider, the bicycle rider is horribly disadvantaged, by the laws of physics. I wish your writing could convey that disadvantage more clearly. I think you can do it without assigning blame to either party. Thanks.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

This is very sad. I wonder if the cyclist was difficult to see or lacked appropriate lighting?

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

Toby Keith
This is very sad. I wonder if the cyclist was difficult to see or lacked appropriate lighting?Recommended 0

Blaming the victim didn’t take long…

Tom Hardy
Guest
Tom Hardy

For sure, since the motorist stayed on the scene, the motorist’s insurance will pay for his/her damage to his/her vehicle, and will assuredly not receive a ticket.
If it would have been a police bicycle or motorcycle the motorist hit, the motorist would have been in jail charged with attempted murder or premeditated murder.
As it is, there will likely not be any mark on the motorists record, except possibly an endorsement.
If the motorist was coming home from a pub. There will be only an attaboy.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

Very sad in any case. 78th and Flavel is the crossing of the 70s Bikeway and where it slides west to Flavel Park to a new MUP south. Having worked on this project for years, I hope that PBOT takes this opportunity to remove a row of Parking and modernize and potect the bike Lanes from 80th to 72nd.

This Bikeway will provide two crossings between 82nd and 72nd where currently there are none, a speedway design. When we get more details we can assess wherever these coming improvements 2020-2021 would have prevented this death.

PDXCyclist
Guest
PDXCyclist

Reminder to everyone commenting that the family and friends of the deceased may be reading this news article including the comments section and we should all strive to be respectful in our comments.

matchupancakes
Guest
matchupancakes

This area has a history of fatal outcomes. There is a pattern of unsafe driving here with cars driving at excessive speeds upon exiting 82nd Ave and accelerating on the approach to I-205 and 82nd Ave highways on the collector streets (i.e. Johnson Creek, Flavel, Duke, Woodstock, Holgate). Flavel St, where the most recent vulnerable road user died, is a streamlined route to the Happy Valley communities including Rock Creek and the actual Mt. Scott peak. It is also two blocks away from Whitman Elementary and next to a Department of Human Services location adjacent to frequent service bus lines on 82nd Ave.

Lydia Johnson was killed here by a right turning truck on Flavel St eastbound at the intersection with 82nd Ave. Pamela Seidel was one block north of Flavel St at the intersection of Henderson-Knapp at 82nd Ave. The intersection of Seidel’s death will be upgraded with Safe Routes to Schools funds in 2020 with the completion of the Knapp-Odgen neighborhood greenway.

This is a public safety crisis. Our most vulnerable community members are repeatedly being killed as a result of unsafe behaviors and missing, safer infrastructure. The street designs offer no protection to the people that need it most in an area that has little political clout to affect change with city, state, and county officials.

matchupancakes
Guest
matchupancakes

78th & Flavel St is where the 70s Greenway will be constructed. Unfortunately, a number of the crossings at collectors are “paint only” in many locations with high Average Daily Traffic counts (e.g. SE 77th Ave & Woodstock). The Duke crossing leverages an existing signalized pedestrian SRTS crossing at 78th & Duke. If the person on the bike was attempting to turn left from Flavel St, the other person driving must not overcome a turning vehicle, but until more details emerge we have just a brief police description for now. 🙁

B. Carfree
Subscriber
B. Carfree

It seems like the police actually arresting and charging a deadly motorist with felonies should ease some of the pain. Unfortunately, it does very little in this regard. The fact is we have created and continue to support a transportation paradigm that says, “Get in a car and drive with utter disregard for others if you wish to move about.” It’s deadly, destroys communities and, in a much shorter time-frame than we thought just a few years ago, is likely to kill hundreds of millions (billions?) more innocent people.

When we stop calling transit, walking, wheel-chairing, scootering and cycling “alternative transportation” then maybe we’re on the road to a reasonable transportation system.

Sheilagh Griffin
Guest
Sheilagh Griffin

Two lives “lost” in this collision. So sad for the deceased and family. This will be very difficult for the driver, 21 is a young age to face this much – not an excuse, just an observation. This collision is heartbreaking in so many ways!

matchupancakes
Guest
matchupancakes

“[…] it appeared the crash started at 78th and the bike was dragged about 150 feet.”

I’m so saddened by all of this.

https://www.koin.com/news/crashes/bicyclist-dies-in-crash-with-sedan-in-se-portland/2094051786

Tom
Guest
Tom

The “Safe Ride Home” program should be expanded to include at least every weekend, not just a few holidays, with funding coming from existing liqueur license and TNC fees. Bartenders should be given the ability to give out the voucher codes as they feel warranted, and the codes should time-out if not used to prevent abuse. Currently the Vision Zero program seems very week on drunk driving.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

I suspect that most terrible drunk drivers start out as terrible sober drivers.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Reading this stuff is tough. I ride to work every night in outer east Portland. I do as much as I can to remain visible, I take the lane when needed for safety, light myself up like a Christmas tree, behave predictably, but it’s always in my mind that it may not even matter and a ghost bike might be placed along my commute one of these days. Riding my bicycle to my $14/hr night watch job is a life threatening activity. This death happened on flavel, could have easily been Prescott, or Glisan. Riding home at 6am is the worst. It seems like everyone is just a little more pissed off in the morning, and it really shows. All I want to do is make it home in one piece so I can continue to do the things I enjoy. And I’m sure drivers want to get where their going without killing anyone, or being killed by another driver. I get it, living is inherently dangerous. But death by car seems to be an acceptable inevitability.