“It was chaos.”
— Rich Chatman, Portland Fire Bureau
A quiet Monday afternoon in southeast Portland was shattered when a driver rampaged through the streets in what appears to be an intentional act of vehicular violence. The Portland Police Bureau says one person who was struck by the driver near SE 19th and Stark has died from their injuries and five others were seriously injured.
Many details remain unclear but at least one of the victims was on a bicycle (see photo at right). The PPB refer to the deceased person as “one of the pedestrians” so we assume they were on foot. The Oregonian reports the victim as a 70-year old woman.
According to a PPB spokesperson who addressed media at the corner of SE 18th and Stark around 3:30 pm, the first 911 calls of a hit-and-run came in around 1:00 pm near Laurelhurst Park — 1.5 miles away from where the nightmare finally ended. In several locations the suspect appeared to drive up onto the sidewalk.
It all ended just on the other side of the fence from Buckman Elementary School where a smashed-up, grey Honda Element came to rest with its bumper lying on the sidewalk. The crime scene includes a wide swath of the Laurelhurst and Buckman neighborhoods in an area bordered by SE 37th in the west, 18th in the east, Stark to the north and Belmont to the south.
Rich Chatman with the Portland Fire Bureau said “It was chaos” as the incident unfolded.
The suspect fled the scene but was surrounded by onlookers and held until police arrived to arrest them. The standoff and arrest was caught on video.
Posts from people who claimed to have seen the incident quickly showed up on Twitter. Sarah Mirk, who lives near SE 19th and Washington, shared these thoughts with BikePortland:
“At about 1:10pm, I heard someone screaming and crying outside, so I ran downstairs. My neighbor was on the front porch, really upset. The first thing I noticed was that there was a pair of headphones laying on the sidewalk on the corner. The grass along SE 19th was torn up with tire marks, it looked like a car had swerved all along the block. On the corner of 19th and Stark were two bikes, lying on the sidewalk, one missing a seat and one with a bent wheel. Next to the bikes was a fender of a car. A person was lying in the road, not moving. It was a terrifying scene. Several neighbors were already around the person in the road, calling an ambulance and offering aid. The police and paramedics arrived moments later and transported the person laying in the street. The situation is a nightmare.”
A commenter below shared that they were almost hit at SE 26th and Stark:
“This vehicle swerved to hit me on SE 26th at SE Stark. Thankfully, I was too far onto the south side of SE 26th to make a target. I was on my bike crossing SE Stark southbound and heard the accelerator as he passed stopped cars westbound Stark at the light at SE 28th. Driver continued westbound down the eastbound lane where I was (as I was crossing Stark). I had to pedal faster to avoid him. I’m glad I never ride with headphones or I may not have heard the accelerator and I’d be injured now or worse.”
This incident has some of us recalling the intentional vehicular violence in downtown Portland in May 2018. In that case, a man intentionally drove his car onto a sidewalk on the Portland State University campus and seriously injured three people.
We hope the best for everyone impacted by this horrific incident.
This is a developing story and we’ll share updates as more information comes in.
Check more coverage from The Oregonian.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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I wanted to let folks know that a vigil is planned tonight at 5pm for the victims of the vehicle attack yesterday. It will be at the field adjacent to Buckman Elementary (SE 19th and Stark). As a Buckman Elementary parent/Kerns resident I hope to see you there.
Cars are the new guns, unfortunately.
This is just awful. I live right there; I was running through Laurelhurst just a couple hours ago.
Our transportation infrastructure is inherently violent. I want to feel safe walking and biking in Portland, but I don’t. And this is one of the better US cities for it.
Wonder if city leadership if will use this as an excuse to increase police funding.
Even if the city could somehow find more money for the Police, how is any city no matter how well policed able to prevent maniacs from engaging in such mayhem?
People will ill intent will always find a way to cause harm.
It is platitudes like this that solve nothing, work against building safe infrastructure, and exemplify the “Nothing we could have done” approach. In this specific case, perhaps MotRG is correct. But in many other cases, people with ill intent have no option due to physical separation of pedestrian zones. Such was the case on Oct 31, 2017 in Times square. People with ill intent can cause harm, but that harm can be severely mitigated with simple changes to infrastructure. When streets are designed with speed and car capacity as their primary focus, where rule breakers are the norm, it’s not a huge step from rule breaker to road rage. The manner in which we evaluate, design, and manage use of our streets is entirely broken. We know how to do it in a manner that mitigates dangerous behavior, we simply choose not to.
Platitudes solve nothing, but neither does fantasy.
We simply will not rebuild our streets to the degree where this sort of thing becomes impossible. Sure, it’s feasible to rebuild a high-profile place like Times Square, but how far down the priority list would we have to go before we treated this section of Stark? We simply don’t have the resources or the will to do it. And even if we had the money, any rational government would spend it elsewhere.
Realistically, the only thing that could have been done is to provide treatment if this person was mentally ill, or some other intervention if they weren’t. Most likely, nothing could have been done that is compatible with living in an open society that doesn’t believe in detaining everyone someone thinks might be angry.
“We simply will not rebuild our streets to the degree where this sort of thing becomes impossible.” HK I think you’ve completely missed my point. Perhaps reread.
I reread it. What was your point? You talk about “changes to infrastructure” and “designing streets differently”. Did you mean an incremental approach of designing streets differently when we rebuild them anyway?
I am interpreting this as a discussion between Idealism and Pragmatism.
When the problems that we face concerning road violence are entirely solvable based on methods used in other countries and in this, that interpretation either rests on ignorance or supporting the status quo.
What was it you were saying about platitudes?
It’s also worth noting that this sort of attack has occurred in Germany and France, and perhaps other European states as well. That it hasn’t occurred elsewhere means nothing; before yesterday, it hadn’t occurred here.
But rather than debate generalities, maybe you could share what particular measures PBOT (or other agencies) should have taken to prevent this.
I assumed eawriste was suggesting making pedestrian- and cyclist-used spaces inaccessible to automobiles, such as with infrastructure like Jersey barriers. I assume eawriste was suggesting making a particular type of attack impossible despite the fact people can always look for new ways to attack. I don’t understand why you and MOTRG seem to oppose eawriste’s approach, even if you think it “idealistic” or “fantastic”. What is possible or impossible for collective decision making is known by no single individual, after all.
Come on. If someone wants to hurt people they can find a way to do it no matter how much separated infrastructure there is or how low speed limits are.
Not that these things aren’t worth pursuing, but you can never ENTIRELY solve the problem.
To just which “the problem” did you refer? Perhaps you referred to a “the problem” eawriste didn’t suggest was “entirely solvable”, by which I mean that despite the potential for anyone to find new ways to hurt others, we can still prevent them from hurting others in specific ways, such as by making them unable to move at certain speeds.
Well, if we’re talking about this specific event, how would you “entirely solve” the problem of a maniac driving over the curb onto the sidewalks in a residential neighborhood? Jersey barriers at the curb of every street in Portland?
I agree that does not readily appear viable, but maybe that is the sort of configuration our cities need considering our collective history of neglect leading vulnerable people dead from automobile collisions. Regardless, even if nobody has an easy answer to your question, presuming one doesn’t exist is still useless.
FYI this section of Stark has speed bumps
This person repeatedly drove over physically-separated infrastructure (curbs), drove through a park, and accelerated to ~60 mph (news reports) on a road with high-quality school zone speed bumps (designed to limit speed to ~20 mph). I’ve biked on many of Amsterdam’s bike paths and most would not have prevented this kind of violent attack.
I agree that we must re-design out road system so that it’s more difficult for careless drivers to kill people but it’s an exaggeration to suggest that this type of redesign would prevent intentional vehicular violence.
Right, I don’t think this is a question of policing. Cops weren’t even the ones who apprehended the suspect! I was being cynical but not sarcastic in that statement; increased police funding is often seen as a panacea.
It’s true that this violence appears to have been random, and given our current infrastructure, not much could have prevented it. Certainly not increased policing. But I don’t want to surrender to that, I don’t want to say this is just part of the baseline of random violence we have to accept.
I reject saying “some people will find a way to do bad things no matter what”. I don’t disagree per se, but there’s an implication in that statement that because we can’t stop people from being bad, we shouldn’t try to reduce or mitigate the harm they can do. It’s the same kind of American defeatism that has lead to school shootings (or traffic death) becoming as regular as they have.
This wasn’t an asteroid strike or an act of god. Here’s a lens we can try on: this was a person who drove the government-subsidized multi-ton weapon almost all adults in the US are expected to own, fueled by government-subsidized gasoline, and drove on government-funded roads dedicated above all else to the rapid and unfettered movement of these weapons.
I am aware this is a biased lens and you could poke certain holes in it, but that’s not my main point.
This death and violence is the status quo, but we don’t have to accept it. I don’t know that any single policy would have prevented this specific attack, but we do not have to accept this very high baseline of violence (both intentional and not).
As we like to harp here on Bike Portland, the Netherlands rejected the status quo through its Kindermoord campaign. I would like to see more of that in the states.
Well we could restore the traffic division for starters.
Sounds like this rampage may have started or ended in Laurelhurst Park… I saw police had closed streets at the west end of the park at 33rd Ave around 1:30pm. See tweets linked to: https://twitter.com/pdxalerts/status/1353818336006553600?s=20
My youngest just finished 5th at Buckman last year, and I live around the corner. They walk to school regularly now to meet up with friends outdoors during Covid. Every time I tell myself, they are fine, they are safe, what are the odds…? It is so tragic that this happened. I hope whoever is responsible is prosecuted. On design: SE Stark has speed bumps and a 20 MPH limit and is a school zone. I know many here think traffic cameras can solve our speeding/enforcement woes, but I hesitate to see how they would make a difference here. Oh, I hear the chopper overhead now.
Yeah, I live a few blocks from the beginning of the rampage, and I feel rettled even without having kids to worry about! That said, your kids are every bit as safe out there today as they were last week or last month. Fortunately, freak incidents like this are just that. Very glad none of your were out there when this was happening!
So, do you want a cop or a social worker to respond to this? It’s gets worse everyday. It’s not the car, it’s the human.
Who responds is sort of irrelevant. The damage is done. And I think I get what you mean by, “it’s not the car, it’s the human” but it would be really hard for a human to cause this much damage without a force multiplier (a car or a gun.)
I don’t know what to say, this story is just so awful.
I can easily imagine how much worse it could have been if it was a Sunday with more people outside, especially kids, dog walkers and strollers. In many ways the street design along Stark and the side streets really helped make it harder for the driver to do more damage – the frequent trees, the speed humps, the narrow street width, all the parked cars – they all slowed down the driver and made it more likely the driver would eventually crash, plus in gave victims more opportunities to dodge the driver. I know all too many cities that have much wider residential streets, far fewer trees lining the road, no traffic calming whatsoever, and widely-spaced parked cars – that this doesn’t happen more often kind of amazes me.
Can I go with cop to RESPOND to it and social worker to PREVENT it in first place?
I know, making massive leaps and assumptions here as to the situation. But, as Jonathan said, we need both sets of expertise available, deployed at the right time!
I bet the person that was driving the car will be released on their own recognizance after they are charged by the police (assuming that reports are correct and they were actually detained by bystanders). Maybe they’ll show up for their trial, maybe they’ll go on the lamb for a couple years while they rack up additional traffic offenses.
This is going to be a murder charge now, so I doubt they will be released.
Hey Nameless “mran1984” If you ask a question expect real answers. My answer is is that a social worker could show up and follow this person and detain them as much as a cop. No gun needed. Just an issue of martial arts and non escalation. A social worker can be trained to write a citation that brings people into court. The cops refuse to cite people in my neighborhood who run red lights by 6 seconds. In this video the driver had a red, then there is a 2 second delay, then I got the white walk signal and then 4 seconds later he ran the red.
I can promise a social worker would not give me fake excuses like the PDX cops who lie and say they can’t ticket because they were not a witness. Because that is what cops say to me and cyclists.
now here is the opposite when cops help a driver who who had their hood slapped by a lady cyclist in neon clothing. She got hunted down days later by an area cop and dragged into court.
So you nameless mran1984 why do you live your life as an apologist for police when we can replace them and get better results for victims and even a safer space for the source of the dangers.
come on.. tell us your real name. I’m curious.
Your videos are listed as private on YouTube so we can’t watch them. Can you change the settings? Thanks.
Looks like the setting got changed. I re-checked and was able to watch the videos now.
So now Social Workers have to know Krav Maga?
Not all heroes need to be ninjas. And not so many people who stop crime need guns.
Good luck having a social worker detaining someone who doesn’t want to be detained.
A friend of mine is a social worker for the county. She is near retirement age and has no interest in having to use martial arts to deal with a client. There is a reason that we have police and stopping violent people like this with an appropriate level of violence is what they have to do sometimes.
And of course, requiring some kind of physical feats from individuals would be “ableist” 🙂
I appreciate the smiley face, but do you really suspect anybody opposed to ableist prejudice would accept a society in which those physically unable to stop violence were expected to do so?
I suggest less categorical thought. “Police” are just people. If we think of both the social worker and the police officer as just people, we can see that we don’t necessarily need police to stop violent people, but instead that we only need people able to stop violent people to stop those violent people.
Cmon man, plug it in and read the account of this very incident. The police were nowhere to be found. It was ordinary citizens, likely not trained at all, who detained the perp.
Looking at the video, it was several of them.
Fortunately, he didn’t have a gun.
Where has all the imagination gone? Clearly buildwithjoe wasn’t suggesting “social workers” as most social workers currently exist, but was instead suggesting social workers who receive training and tools different from what current social workers receive, as an alternative to specific training and tools police generally receive.
I felt compelled to share the above, because your comment would be relevant to anybody trying to detain someone who doesn’t want to be detained.
A bit harsh given the situation don’t you think? If people know there are no police out patrolling and citing people, they are unlikely to adhere to the rules when it counts. I’m not pro-cop or anything, but I think the threat of LE repercussions helps keep offenders in line wrt driving and other violent crime. I think good design/speed feedback signs can prevent many unintentional crash injuries by slowing folks down through self enforcement but with intentional violence like this, who knows?
“I’m not pro-cop or anything…” Good thing because that is considered worse than being a serial killer in Portlandia.
Yes, we need a multifaceted approach to reduce traffic injuries and deaths (enforcement, street design, public outreach, etc), That being said I don’t think any of those items would have prevented this terrible tragedy,
Wow man chill out. Do you need to be so aggressive with somebody on a message forum?
You get harassed for not using your name now?
I mean if you are going to be an apologist for police and police inaction at least use your real name. People make choices. It’s obvious they would never have the courage to make such un supportive comments in a forum for bike support.
Can you admit that sometimes the police do things well? Is that being an apologist or a realist? I’m making an assumption here, but you seem to be suggesting that the cops are not necessary at all and never do any good whatsoever.
One can acknowledge police sometimes do things well and also refuse to apologize for anything police don’t do well or accept anyone else apologizing for anything police don’t do well.
With billions on the planet, and with such extensive human history, none of us knows what persecution our opinion posted anywhere online or stated in-person can bring upon us. For that reason, I disagree with your pressure for someone else to share their real name. Further, any commenter can claim to have any name on this site, so in that sense using a name can be problematic, as well.
Generally, violent rampages would still result in a cop being dispatched, under almost any policing scheme being proposed. Weak strawman.
Pro tip: it’s both.
Covid isolation is causing a major leap in mental illness. Suicide and murder are way, way up. Solution? Open up everything. Make masks and distancing optional. Let Natural Selection deal with the result. There will be a die off, but there’s one on the way anyway, especially with climate change coming on strong. Humans have overpopulated the planet, trashed its life support systems, and exhausted its resources.
I might be missing your point here, but if you are trying to suggest the deliberate act of the driver in this case was a result of COVID isolation, you’re doing a lousy job.
Mike, your post reminds me of the classic bumper sticker:
“Save the Earth. Kill Yourself.”
It’s funny but, in a different way, not funny. I agree with Middle Guy that you’re not making a strong case to eliminate mask-wearing. Just b/c some crazy person does something, we don’t abandon our standards.
You know what else is a major leap? Your assumption that mental illness is the cause of this incident. You may want to pause for an infinite amount of minutes before you stigmatize those suffering from mental health conditions to make a spurious point regarding an incident where we know nothing about the perpetrator’s motivations, because that information is not even publicly available yet.
Also, who do you think will die in a potential die off? Or is a die off ok just because it’ll be those other people out there who will die? With climate change and pandemics, the people who will die in disproportionate numbers will be those who don’t have the means to escape the effects. Are you seriously advocating for social Darwinism here?
If you watch the “corral and arrest video,” you’ll see that the suspect is acting pretty crazy. He crosses himself, then touches his mouth, and shortly thereafter, kneels.
Chronology-wise, I’m not sure when Mike made that post as compared to when that video was uploaded. Point is, maybe we shouldn’t immediately jump on the mental health train whenever someone runs people over or engages in a mass shooting. Let the investigation happen, and go wherever the investigation takes us. If that investigation reveals that a SPECIFIC mental health condition was the precipitating factor, then treat him for that and deal with it. But whatever we do, we should not just casually throw around “mental health,” even if the guy was acting “pretty crazy.” Speculation before that investigation concludes helps no one.
If it turns out that some mental health condition was the cause, that information should be shared in a way that doesn’t stigmatize those with mental health conditions, who in general are more often the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence. There should be an investigation into everything that could potentially lead to this, including societal or environmental factors, with steps being taken to mitigate future acts like this.
The actions you mention are religious practices.
Can you share a link to the article where you learned that suicide is way up here?
The concern is definitely there, and the increase in mental health issues has and continues to be very concerning. https://www.opb.org/article/2020/12/16/pandemic-2020-suicide-data-oregon-washington/
I’ve been having bouts of depression myself, and I’m even an introvert so most of the isolation stuff hasn’t bugged me that much. But a couple weekends ago my wife told me I should make an appointment with out doctor to try some antidepressants. Why drugs? Because she has also been battling (got post-partum really bad after our youngest was born), and counseling is quite expensive and not covered well by our insurance. On the other hand, she was able to get on some meds that help her that are only $5 out of pocket. The fact that just talking to a professional is often too expensive so drugs feels like the only option is a big problem.
I also believe mental health and suicide have been growing problems since COVID-19, but similar to Brian’s asking for a supporting source, I’d like others to consider these, and I’d emphasize loneliness, were growing global problems many years before 2020. I’m tired and have been drinking and have no sources, but I believe anyone curious can likely find sources.
My point: too many have overlooked too much for too long, leading us to many of our current struggles. I know that’s vague.
You really are the crazy uncle on the internet and should stop advocating nonsense that kills people.
I’m really glad you aren’t in a position of power in our society.
The irony here is you are advocating for murder and suicide by suggesting people put themselves and others at higher risk for Covid. I guess it’s more acceptable to you when people die from a deadly disease?
OMG WTF is wrong with people!? Care and condolences to everyone affected, including the witnesses and traumatized neighbors!
If you know any victims get them a lawyer asap. I suggest Bob or Mark or Ray
All three have done pro bono work helping me, and they both ride bikes and help people without a concern for their own income. They hold workshops and Mark volunteers for the ACLU on civil rights and BLM suits.
My guess is this deadly driver had been reported previously to 911 or non emergency and the cops issued no citation. That’s my experience. I have handlebar cameras that have captured so much driver harassment of me and others. I do not share those publicly for fear the drivers will harass me further.
And buy a handlebar camera. I’m thinking of getting one for a headband while I go on long walks. Here is one video that tells a thousand words: I was on foot.
see video above.
Looks like your video is private.
What thousand words would that be? Looks like you were at the crosswalk at Drummond and Lombard, the light switches, and a driver blows the light at about 30mph (roughly the speed limit) either because they weren’t paying attention or because they just decided to blow the light.
Based on your movement, it appears you were aware of the car the entire time and chose to proceed even though you knew it wasn’t going to stop. But it was in the other lane, so you altered your pace by maybe a second without even stopping and it goes by. A real nail biter, that.
That you indicated this video twice suggests you think this is noteworthy — you really need to get out and see more of the city. This isn’t even worth remembering a few minutes later, let alone recording.
If you feel constantly harassed, you might ask yourself why you struggle with simple things that normal people do every day. Or if people are mean to you, why you have been selected of all the possibilities? White males aren’t a targeted group in our society, particularly in one of the whitest cities in the country.
If you live in a major metropolitan area, you will encounter a lot of people. It doesn’t take long at all to encounter 10,000 people so you’re guaranteed encountering the 0.01% on the nut job scale often. Given what we know about the percentage of criminals, drug addicts, and people with severe mental disorders, it’s a miracle there are as few problems as they are.
One thing we don’t need more of is citizen yahoos, and your suggestion that social workers should follow violent people around and issue citations is counterproductive and dangerous.
As for all the constant anticop droning, it’s counterproductive. A bunch of white kids hijacked the BLM movement, made it about themselves, and converted a lot of real public sympathy for mistreatment of Blacks into hostility to the BLM movement.
And why exactly do you keep haranguing people to give them your real name? If you don’t already know them, what’s it to you?
Regarding the “real name” thing, we’ve seen how the local progressives often dox individuals and vandalize the homes of people they don’t like…it’s kind of creepy.
Can we stop calling them “progressives”? Maybe “Regressives”, or “Aggressives”, or “Counterproductives”?
Yeah, good call on that. There are a lot of progressives who do legitimate good. Some just go way too far in their orthodoxy and I have not come up with a better name for them yet. I like “aggressive” though!
This hasn’t happened for awhile, but a few individuals have gone out of their way to harass me outside this forum in retaliation for things I’ve posted here.
To those of you who have sympathy for those who intimidate others, it terrifies anyone close to your target (much more so than your actual target) — even though they did nothing and might not even agree with the person you’ve taken exception to.
I’d add that this is a very male dominated forum, and Joe’s words suggest he believes anyone using a handle is some guy not willing to stand behind his words.
There are very few women here, and I wouldn’t blame any who don’t want to be easily findable by a bunch of guys far more disposed than normal to take matters into their own hands. Even when it’s totally harmless, demands for people to make themselves easily identifiable so they can be pilloried isn’t going to make more want to join or the few that are here to speak their minds.
From what I can see from this incident and the general driving behavior around town these days about 50% of drivers need to have their licenses revoked. We are reaching some type of peak insanity in the asylum of happy motoring. The original Mad Max movie took place in the year future year 2021. I am sad that it turned out too be so accurate.
This vehicle swerved to hit me on SE 26th at SE Stark. Thankfully, I was too far onto the south side of SE 26th to make a target. I was on my bike crossing SE Stark southbound and heard the accelerator as he passed stopped cars westbound Stark at the light at SE 28th. Driver continued westbound down the eastbound lane where I was (as I was crossing Stark). I had to pedal faster to avoid him. I’m glad I never ride with headphones or I may not have heard the accelerator and I’d be injured now or worse.
I hope for a speedy recovery for all the victims.
I’m so sorry this happened to you. How terrifying.
Wow, I’m glad you’re physically ok. I’m sorry this happened to you.
I’ve been tempted to start riding with headphones (to listen to podcasts), so thank you for your comment. It’s really important to have all of our senses when riding.
I only use headphone if I am on gravel or trails. Urban settings require all of our senses and I just don’t trust my safety to others.
Wow, this is horrible. And he was just driving a “small” Honda Element. The current flood of monster pickups and SUVs is going to raise the damage on things like this. Time for some reform on licensing and vehicle size.
Unfortunately unless the driver is rich all these folks are probably screwed financially. Oregon’s tiny insurance requirements are often too low for a collision that hurts one person, seems very unlikely that this person will have enough assets/insurance to make the victims whole again. The minimum insurance requirements for drivers need to be raised significantly.
The driver is probably not rich, and probably not insured. Hopefully all of the victims have health insurance.
As someone who has lifelong health consequences due to being hit by a driver I can assure you that no one’s health insurance will come close to making them whole from serious injuries.
Agreed. The negative externalities of car culture cost our society billions every year.
I’m almost 20 years out from someone trying to kill me on my bike because I was riding on the opposite side of the nearly empty road. Some drivers are psychos about bicycles on “their” roads. The one that almost took me out had to go down until there was a break in the median and turn around through the median to get on my side of the road, then floored it to reach roughly 60 MPH by the time he hit me. The reason I know the driver’s gender was his swearing at me to get off the road as he passed going the other direction and repeating it as he ran into me.
Yeah, recovery. I’m using a cane to walk outside the house further than the mailbox at the curb. I was cleared to use the cane instead of the walker 4 months after I was hit, in December of 2001. I used to be able to walk about a half mile without the cane but the wreck also caused more rapid deterioration from age, so that I’m back to all my walking outside being cane-assisted. My TBI was slower to come back from and some things have never come back, like foreign languages I was fluent in, and programming languages. I used to enjoy watching Spanish-language TV, before the wreck. Now they are mostly gibberish that an occasional word or two floats by that I understand. I also lost what little Japanese I had learned, and all my Arabic swears.
Since it was only a misdemeanor, and on the last day before hit-and-run was upgraded to a felony in TX, there was no real investigation beyond the accident reconstruction that told me I was hit at 60 MPH.
If the city/county caught and released the guy, then the case might get interesting. Just because the good people of Portland vote to implement lenient traffic enforcement doesn’t mean a jury will similarly let the authorities off if it gets to the jury with a confident lawyer telling them the story.
I mean honestly now you can drive around with no license plate at all, theres almost no police presence. One can install all the red light cameras one wants but that doesn’t affect what people don’t stop for on purpose away from the cameras.
It’s always appeared to me as an inherent contradiction to call every intersection a crosswalk requiring cars to yield when there is zero enforcement of it. How confusing. Every crossing isn’t a crosswalk, its a life threatening negotiation!
Hey Bjorn, I agree completely that our insurance minimums are way too low. Note that in Oregon, if the people walking or riding happen to have auto insurance, they can make an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim against their own coverage. UM/UIM claims allow the victim to obtain from their own auto insurance damages that would be payable by the at-fault driver if the driver has no/not enough coverage (as is too common). This is also a good reminder for folks to check, and consider increasing, UM/UIM coverage on their own auto policy.
Yep Chris this is something that is very important for people to know. Personally I carry 500000 dollars in uninsured motorist coverage and a 1 million dollar umbrella policy on top of that. It is very frustrating to have to pay hundreds of dollars per year to insure myself against the bad actions of others but if I am injured by a uninsured or under insured driver I will be glad that I have the coverage. Do you know if there has been any effort to increase the minimum insurance requirements? Current requirements are only 25k/person 50k/crash. I don’t know if they would consider this entire incident one crash but if they did you can see that even if the guy had been legally insured that 50k is going to be gone in a hurry. I was hit by a motorist in 1990 and my initial 7 day hospital stay was 40-50k.
I also agree that minimum insurance requirements should be a fair bit higher than they are. When I’ve heard this discussed before, the conversation has foundered on what are essentially equity claims, that it would be too expensive for some people to afford more insurance and requiring it would be unfair. Additionally, the argument goes, more people will be driving uninsured if they can’t afford their insurance, making the problem worse.
The only fix I see is creating a statewide pool for people injured by uninsured drivers to draw upon, so everyone has some baseline level of protection. This could be funded in part, perhaps, by the portion of premiums we already pay for uninsured motorist protection. It might require more money than that, but I’d be happy funding that with an additional surcharge on insurance policies.
Perhaps additionally, we should have some sort of central insurance registry so cops (or PBOT officials if that’s your dream) can see at a glance who is driving without insurance and take appropriate action.
This particular externality of (some) driving should be straightforward to fix.
I’m disappointed to see comments about this travesty being a lesson in one sense or another. Holding the police accountable doesn’t mean guys like this aren’t arrested and laws aren’t enforced. I don’t think any form of traffic slowing would’ve helped here. This was intentional murder. This was a psychopath who decided he wanted to kill people. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a gun or a car, this guy is a murderer and will face his day in court. It saddens me that someone lost their life due to this psychopath. I hope those injured heal fully and soon.
What exactly is it we are holding police accountable for in Portland specifically? I mean before this year. And specifically–what is it bad they did to you personally or someone you know well? In my experience they used to apprehend me when I was driving unsafely. Perhaps that phrase “holding police accountable” has been repeated so many times I just tune it out–anyway I could use a refresher on it at least.
Personally I liked it back when they patrolled my neighborhood for aggressive driving. Expressing your outrage at this particular person’s behavior doesn’t move the needle on the behavior that we are trying to work out on this comment board–which is to say, why is there so much aggressive driving right now and what can be done about it?
Nameless JR, do you work for PBOT? I say that because that is the exact same excuse that PBOT director gave twice when my student was mowed down on Hawthorne. It’s dishonest to say that cement calming would have not helped in any form. Leah Treat said the same thing, that the only factor was the driver, and nothing else could prevent the injury/death.
I can promise you that Rosa Parks Way between Interstate and Greely is far more likely to stop or reduce damage from a rampage driver or careless driver. I say that in context of Rosa Parks way before the “traffic slowing” was put in.
Hawthorne East of Cesar Chavez needs a lot more cement to calm the people who go over the speed limit. Division is a death trap all the way out to Gresham, as is Halsey, and most outer SE arterials. Lot’s more cement would save lives in cases like this and many other situations.
“Buildwithjoe”, you asked me the exact same thing a few months ago after another innocuous comment, flying in aggressively and assuming the worst faith possible. You really really need to stop demanding that people out themselves; it’s not a good look for you.
Agreed. It’s creepy.
Agreed, to the point that I am of the opinion that “buildwithjoe” should no longer be welcome on this blog. Jonathan, please step up to the plate and do something about this inexcusable and creepy behavior.
I don’t think it rises to that level.
One thing I always keep in mind is that presuming sanity is not a good idea. For example, I have calculated that roughly 1 out of 100,000 motorists I encounter acts with hostility towards me.
By definition, this puts the one motorist in an elite category — something must be very different about them. Likewise, his obsession with getting people to out themselves is incredibly rare. I’ve been goofing off in online forums since we were logging into to DOS based systems on 300 baud modems and I’ve never encountered this before — also putting him in an elite category.
If the dude is mental, he deserves our compassion 🙂 Even if I don’t think much of his tactics, I ultimately think he means well.
Kyle, agreed on no need to ban anyone here but I’d be interested to know how you came up with that figure 1 in 100,000. I’m about to digress in a number of ways but statistics are funny, for example 1 in 4000 people in the world have died of covid, Spanish flu was 1 in 36 according to prevailing estimates of the death toll. Yet the distress is still there.
Thus with the road situation, whatever figure it is is still causing much distress to non-drivers as evidenced by these comments. I walk or bike exclusively now and I don’t know the number of road users that I encounter but if I don’t pick my route carefully I’m pretty much guaranteed to have someone enter a walk signaled crosswalk while I’m in the roadway looking straight at me. I have, with much effort, trained myself not to start shaking my fist or punch the car, which I have done and gotten into a fist fight as a result once that injured me. I also was hit once but not injured.
Also, at the risk of being too personal your name intrigues me, is there another unicorn (half Indian-half white) out there in Portland along with me?
Well everybody’s got an opinion, *. Good luck with cancelling Joe. Joe is a real person who evidently cares too much for this crowd. I’ll bet you 20 he’s already on moderation which means Jonathan has seen his posts. Jonathan has seen his posts.
Joe has put in his time in the Portland bike community while you were doing other stuff. Looks like he gets to talk. Maybe he’ll decide to self-filter, or maybe he’ll just hit send.
* is a stand-in for (space bar)
Joe, if you give me your date of birth and social security number as well as a valid credit card number I would be happy to validate your identification to see if you are using your real name! 🙂
What’s the deal with insisting on posting names on here? Its getting kind of weird and creepy. You are the exact reason I don’t post my name. Is your intent to confront someone in person that you don’t agree with? Do you want to stalk them? IMO its a bit over the top and scary for a blog about bike stuff.
IMO part of the weirdness is the direct result of people fronting names that signify nothing to 99% of readers. I read twice anything posted under the full name of a person that I know (or perhaps could find or meet in life). The abundance of other stuff crowds out comments from actual people we might like to hear from.
No, X is not my actual name.
Such a tragedy. Condolences to the family of the deceased and those injured.
Jonathan, Buckman is 1 mile, not 1.5 mile from Laurelhurst Park.
This is completely insane. To read the description, that he ran over the 70yo lady, then ran her over again.
A witness in the updated article on Oregon Live said that the car had Washington Plates. Can we just take down the bridge already?
How do you know that car belonged to the person driving it?
The other day, I was walking on NE 30th at NE Glisan. There’s a Zebra Crossing there. A Dodge Ram with Washington plates exerted an unnecessary effort to come to a stop to let my partner and I cross. It was silver, not white. Also, I was wearing all black.
The take away, colors and badges are not the final determinant of character.
The car was probably stolen.
It was surprising to me seeing the vehicle was a Honda Element in good condition versus, say, a pickup or beater. I’m certainly stereotyping to a degree, but it makes me think it was stolen also.
I used to know a guy who had a van with New Mexico plates and registration, even though he lived in El Paso.
I was minding my business in a bike lane one day and admittedly probably a little far left in the bike lane. I was honked at by some young woman in a Prius with a “COEXIST” sticker on the rear bumper. What really was the icing on the cake was her putting her hands up and clearly mouthing “WTF?” as she drove by me. Remember people, COEXIST. Whatever. Peace.
Yes to all that.
A dude with a fish on his bumper offered to fight me.
Did you turn the other cheek?
Notice, there’s no bicycle wheel on that bumper sticker. I guess, it doesn’t apply to us? 😉
The suspect’s info has been released, he was a WA resident.
Where are you getting your information?
Thank you for the link. It was very informative.
I commented above without mentioning the people who were killed or injured. I’m sorry. It feels ineffectual to wish people well but I hope those who can heal will recover as rapidly as may be. I’m also thinking of the family of the person who can’t recover.
Our mundane transportion has the immediate potential to end lives. That is shocking in itself without someone using that power to commit multiple violent attacks. It’s deeply disturbing that a person can pick up a tool and feel a weapon, can look at another human and see vulnerable flesh.
It’s too common and too easy for people to ‘joke’ about hitting others with motor vehicles. Our backs to them. It’s routine for law enforcement to disregard, excuse, or fail to investigate drivers who crash their cars into unprotected people.
I call on Oregon legislators to put some teeth into the Vulnerable Road User law. The vulnerable should be the care of the state and the burden of proof should be on those who wield the greater danger.
Perhaps outlawing providing medical treatment to car thieves themselves injued in their theft incidents would slowly help reduce these incidents.
NO ENFORCEMENT = deaths on our streets.
Hardesty is all talk and zero action.