BikePortland.org

Bicycle rider dies in collision near Delta Park


Police say this is the driver’s view. White truck on the left is the “ramp” to Delta Park (Union Ct) referred to in their updated statement.

The Portland Police Bureau just reported a fatal collision involving a bicycle rider in north Portland.

According to the PPB statement, the collision happened around 4:45 pm this afternoon (Friday, 12/4) near the intersection of North Union Court and Martin Luther King Junior Blvd. The bureau’s Major Crash Team has started an investigation and no other details have been released at this time (see update below).

Union Court is the small road that connects to Marine Drive at its northern end and runs along the eastern edge of Delta Park. It connects to the Hayden Meadows shopping center and it’s one-way southbound where it merges with MLK (OR State Hwy 99E). Less than a month ago, 18-year-old Obduwier Romero-Moreno died when he lost control of his car while driving on MLK less than a half-mile south of this location.

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This is the 51st person to die while using Portland roads in 2020, making it the deadliest since 1996. There have been five bicycle riders killed this year, the most we’ve had since 2016. This is only the fifth time since 1996 that Portland has recorded five or more bicycle fatalities. I’ll update this post when I have more information. If anyone saw what happened, please drop me a line.

UPDATE, 12/5 at 9:31 am: PPB have released more details (emphases mine):

Based on both the driver’s and witnesses’ statements, the vehicle was travelling northbound on North Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard in the left of two lanes. The driver said they observed a bicyclist in the right shoulder bike lane ahead of them as they were traveling northbound. The driver noted the bicyclist was slightly weaving in their own bike lane. The driver said the bicyclist, without warning, abruptly maneuvered their bicycle left and into the two lanes of northbound travel. It appeared as though perhaps the bicyclist was maneuvering towards a ramp on the opposite side of the road in the southbound lanes which comes from the Delta Park area. As the bicyclist crossed into the left of two northbound lanes of travel, they were struck by the driver and came to rest in the roadway just in front of the vehicle.

Impairment and/or Distracted Driving on the part of the driver do not appear to be factors to this crash. The unanticipated lane intrusion appears to be the initiating factor for this crash.

The bicyclist who passed away in this crash has been identified as 64-year-old Gene Arthur Courtney. Mr. Courtney’s next of kin has been notified.

The posted speed limit at this location is 55 mph.

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