John Baker clings to life as friends gather for fundraiser tonight

Left photo: Family of John Baker. Right photos of N Killingsworth St: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
Flyer for tonight’s event.

Nearly one week after being hit by a speeding driver while bicycling on North Killingsworth Street, John Baker’s family and friends still don’t know what his future will hold. While many of us bask in a glow of the holidays, all they can do is hold onto hope that he’ll pull through play a role in their lives again.

Baker was riding on Killingsworth and Montana late Tuesday night when someone driving a car at a very high speed slammed into him and then failed to stop and help. It all happened in an instant.

On a “Prayers for John Baker” Facebook page updated this morning, a family member wrote, “They are still weaning John off the sedation. He did try to breath over the respirator yesterday!!! That is huge! … So right now it’s just waiting for his body to heal enough for the next step.”

Video of the collision obtained from a nearby business (which I’ve chosen to not share) shows a blur of car headlights speed by and then a loud “bang.” The force of impact sends what looks like a bicycle headlight about 50-feet into the air. Baker’s body flew twice that far. According to a GoFundMe page set up by his sister, Baker is still in critical condition while doctors wait for his body to heal to the point where they can begin surgeries.

This tragedy a horrific reminder of the epidemic of dangerous driving behaviors on our streets and their real-life consequences in a year where we’ve had far too many of them.

Baker had a wide web of friends thanks to his carpentry business and a love of surfing. Tonight (Tuesday, 12/27) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm many of those friends will gather at Up North Surf Club (1229 N Killingsworth) to console each other, create get-well cards, and raise money to help his family paddle over a wave of medical costs and other expenses. You can learn more about tonight’s event via Facebook or on the Up North Surf Club Instagram post.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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robert wallis
robert wallis
1 year ago

No where but at BP, would you read an article like this, which is why I love BP. Thank you.

1 year ago

We need traffic enforcement. PPB, please bring back the Traffic Unit and remove the dangerous drivers from our streets!