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PBOT Commissioner: “Portland witnessed a terrible tragedy”

Posted by on January 26th, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Jo Ann Hardesty and Chris Warner.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland transportation leaders have responded to Monday’s vehicular violence. Below are statements from Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and PBOT Director Chris Warner.

Commissioner Hardesty:

“Yesterday Southeast Portland witnessed a terrible tragedy as a driver struck and killed a fellow Portlander while causing injuries to at least 5 others. I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends who lost a loved one today. I’m holding them in my thoughts along with hope for the health of those injured. I want to thank the first responders from Portland Fire & Rescue, AMR, and PPB for their quick response in clearing the area and immediately beginning an investigation into what occurred. I’ve been waiting for more information before speaking on this incident and we now believe this to have been an intentional criminal act. I’ll continue to closely monitor this situation as more information becomes available.”

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Director Warner:

“What happened yesterday in Southeast Portland was horrific. The death of one of our fellow Portlanders was a tragic loss. We wish those who were injured a speedy and full recovery. Early information suggests this was an intentional, criminal act. But it is nevertheless a reminder that people walking and biking are vulnerable, and of how important it is for us to look out for one another when driving.”

A vigil for victims is scheduled for today (Tuesday 1/26) at 5:00 pm. Mourners will gather at the field of Buckman Elementary School on Southeast Stark between 17th and 18th.

UPDATE: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler just made a statement via Twitter:

“ Many in our city were affected by the hit-and-run incident in Southeast Portland yesterday that injured nine people and killed one person. I want to express my condolences to the loved ones of the victim who lost her life. I also want to wish the other victims a safe recovery.

Thank you to the many people who went above and beyond in responding to this incident: the witnesses who intervened to apprehend the subject; the firefighters, police officers and EMTs who responded on the scene; and the hospital workers who cared for the victims.

This was a disturbing incident that has affected how many people think about community safety.“

— 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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donel a courtneyhamiramaniDavid HampstenStephanMatt Recent comment authors
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hamiramani
Subscriber

Weak statements. No sense of urgency. No display of how things may change. I only hope that these are just the first paragraphs of their statements.

dwk
Guest
dwk

I appreciate Hardesty commenting on how tragic the 55 murders last year were or 100 or so homeless people who died on the streets she is in charge of… This was a terrible crime but one of a lot in this city she oversees…..

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

Yeah, thoughts and prayers. The government is a joke, and many Americans are brainwashed violent lunatics. Had enough yet?

Stephan
Guest
Stephan

I want to make a suggestion that we do not refer to people walking / biking / rolling as being “vulnerable.” It shifts attention to them, the victims, and away from cars and the people them. They are made vulnerable *because* of how dangerous cars are: if there were no cars, they would not be vulnerable. This focus on so-called vulnerable road users also puts a blind spot on people getting killed while driving a car [by someone driving a car].

Instead, we should emphasize that cars are inherently dangerous. Like this: “But it is nevertheless a reminder that cars are inherently dangerous. People driving them can easily put all of us in danger, whether we drive a vehicle, use a bike or wheelchair, or, sadly, just walk, stand or sit on a sidewalk.”

Daniel Amoni
Subscriber

Amplifying Stephan’s comment that using “vulnerable” to describe people not driving a car that are on, or near, the road shifts the focus away from the problem, which is that cars are inherently dangerous for everyone, including their drivers and passengers.

PBOT Director Warner:
“But it is nevertheless a reminder that people walking and biking are vulnerable, and of how important it is for us to look out for one another when driving.”

Stephan’s suggestion:
“But it is nevertheless a reminder that cars are inherently dangerous. People driving them can easily put all of us in danger, whether we drive a vehicle, use a bike or wheelchair, or, sadly, just walk, stand or sit on a sidewalk.”

bob
Guest
bob

There is no protection from crazy. Unless you want to lock them all in a confined space.

RIP

donel a courtney
Guest
donel a courtney

I just find it interesting that this grumpy, well crazy actually, late-middle aged guy from Oregon City comes up to the exact neighborhood which voted the most for Sara Iannarone (look it up!–Oregonian did a map) to do this.