Portland man killed by truck driver while biking on rural road

Looking south on Wallace Rd NW (Hwy 221) between milepost 11 and 12.

A resident of Portland was killed on Saturday just before 11:30 am while biking on a rural highway in Polk County.

According to Oregon State Police, 55-year-old Adam Joy was riding southbound on Wallace Road NW (Highway 221) about 10 miles southeast of McMinville when he was struck from behind by 47-year-old Robert Weeks who was driving a 2021 Ford F-350 truck. The collision occurred near the 11.5 milepost marker, which is near the entrance to Spring Valley State Park (approximate location pinned on a map here).

Here’s an excerpt from the OSP crash statement (which is likely based solely on the recollection of the driver and a cursory investigation):

“The bicyclist fell over, into the lane of travel, just as the F-350 passed. Even though the F-350 had slowed when passing, the rider of the bicycle was run over by the F-350 and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The operator of the Ford remained on scene and was cooperative with the investigation.”

2021 Ford F-350. (Note: This is just a sample image to show what the truck might have looked like.)
Adam Joy in school staff directory.

The roadway on this section of Wallace Rd is two standard lanes. There is little to no paved shoulder space beyond the two lanes. While this highway might look unsafe for cycling, that’s only because of how fast drivers go on it. The surrounding area is very popular for cycling with the bike paths in Spring Valley and the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway nearby (the latter being just on the other side of the Willamette River). The Wheatland Ferry — a fun way for bike riders to cross the Willamette River — is about two miles away and the Wallace Rd. section of the bikeway route is less than two miles from where Joy was hit.

It was notable to me that OSP said the “bicyclist fell over in the lane of travel.” Given the width and striping of the roadway, it would be impossible for a bike rider to fall over to their left and not be “into the lane of travel.” Also, Oregon law (ORS 811.065) states that a driver of a car or truck must only pass a bicycle rider if they can do so at a safe distance. In this context, “safe distance” is defined by Oregon statute as, “a distance that is sufficient to prevent contact with the person operating the bicycle if the person were to fall into the driver’s lane of traffic.”

I’ve asked Oregon State Police if the driver was/will be issued a citation and will update this story when I hear back. UPDATE: Cpt. Kyle Kennedy says, “The investigation is ongoing and those determinations will be made by the investigations in conjunction with the local district attorney.”

It’s interesting to me that OSP says they can’t comment on possible safe passing law implications due to a pending investigation; however they were willing to report that Joy fell over before that investigation was complete.


Students and colleagues have decorated the door of Adam Joy’s classroom. (Photo sent in by a friend)

UPDATE, 2:50 pm: A commenter verifies that the victim was a school teacher in Vancouver. “The rider who was killed was a beloved middle school science teacher at VSAA in Vancouver. He left hundreds of grieving students and staff in addition to his family.”

UPDATE, 6/13 at 9:30 am: The Columbian has more on Adam Joy, based on a letter sent home by the principal of Vancouver School of Arts and Academics:

A letter sent home to families Monday morning from VSAA Principal Lori Rotherham described Joy as a warm and involved teacher.

“He was very loved by our students and loved his students in return. We will miss Mr. Joy deeply, and our thoughts are with his family and friends,” Rotherham said.

Joy, 55, had worked in Vancouver Public Schools since August 2000. Before coming to VSAA six years ago, Joy had worked as a math and science teacher at Discovery Middle School for 17 years.

UPDATE, 6/13 at 3:25 pm: Bike Clark County Executive Director Peter Van Tilburg just sent us this note:

Adam Joy is a tremendous loss to our cycling community.  He commuted daily from his home in Portland to Vancouver where he was a middle school teacher.  He spent many long days, on his own time, teaching an after school bike curriculum to students.  Over the years he ran this program, Bike Clark County often donated helmets so he could give them away to the students in his class.  He was a frequent patron of Bike Clark County’s bike shop and just recently purchased two refurbished bikes for his two children that are still in the shop.

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 maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Natasha
Natasha
10 months ago

Adam was such an amazing teacher. My child was diagnosed with a list of medical problems and after spending all summer in the hospital, she started at VSAA. Adam helped her in so many ways, more than he probably even knew. He made such a positive impact this school year on her life, and pushed her. He showed love but didnt take the bs. I will definitely miss him as a parent. Sending love to his family if they see this.

John Strieder
10 months ago
Reply to  Natasha

Hello, Natasha … I’m John Strieder with KGW. We want to devote some coverage to Adam and his legacy tonight, and we’re interviewing parents and students. If you can talk with us, we’d love that … please email newsdesk@kgw.com or call (503) 226-5111

dwk
dwk
10 months ago
Reply to  John Strieder

The first thing KGW can do is stop parroting the OSP lame response on your news show.
The next thing you can do is insist on a real investigation and put media pressure on them to do that.
He was obviously a great teacher and left his mark on everyone he knew.
Do justice to him and seek justice for him.

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Natasha

Thank you for your kind words. I’ll pass them on to the rest of our family.
I’m so glad he could help your daughter.

Megan
Megan
10 months ago

Hi Marcie–
I sent a message to you (I think) on Facebook. If you did not receive it, would you potentially connect with me through email? I am a close friend.

Chris I
Chris I
10 months ago

RIP

Dead men tell no tales. Forgive me if I question the official story here.

Bjorn
10 months ago

Could not be a clearer violation of Oregon’s safe passing law. Unfortunately all the law really does is make it very easy to prove that the person who killed someone with their truck did not follow the law.

SD
SD
10 months ago

After you kill someone, lying to the police doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

jakeco969
jakeco969
10 months ago

Just horrible! The truck that guy was in is of course huge and the front right hood can be a blind spot even to someone being considerate. I can’t imagine I’m the only one thinking that its a pretty big coincidence Adam fell over right when the behemoth was passing?? Looking forward to the update, doesn’t seem right to kill someone and not even get a ticket.

Serenity
Serenity
10 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

I know! Likely story, right?

P
P
10 months ago

The rider who was killed was a beloved middle school science teacher at VSAA in Vancouver. He left hundreds of grieving students and staff in addition to his family. The official explanation of events isn’t credible.

Dave
Dave
10 months ago

Oh, fuck***@!% –I workedcwith Adam 20+ years ago, fine guy!

Marcie
Marcie
10 months ago
Reply to  Dave

A fine guy, indeed.

Adam was my favorite nephew.
My daughter and he were very close since he moved here to the Portland area, when he was in kindergarten and she was in first grade, about 50 yrs ago.
We, his extended family, are in shock and are struggling to accept this reality.

Siobhan
Siobhan
9 months ago
Reply to  Marcie

I am so sorry for your loss. He was an amazing person and there is a ripple effect throughout the community due to his loss.

SD
SD
10 months ago

Every new vehicle should be required to have a black box that can be interrogated if there is a serious collision. Speed, lane changes, object detection, video, etc.

HJ
HJ
10 months ago
Reply to  SD

Amen. I’ll add horn use. Can’t count the number of times I’ve had drivers, usually in big trucks like that, buzz me while leaning on the horn and yelling obscenities to try and run me off the road.
I wouldn’t be even the slightest bit surprised if this driver was up to something similar.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
10 months ago
Reply to  HJ

There are event recorders in new vehicles, but no cabin video or audio, nor views ahead of the roadway like a dash cam or rear-view mirror cam view. If you want to see more about what is recorded, you can visit the Web page below. Meanwhile it’s up to forensics to learn more about what happened with this highway crash.

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-49/subtitle-B/chapter-V/part-563

David Hampsten
10 months ago
Reply to  SD

I wonder, did the truck have a dash cam? Or maybe a security camera on the nearby church?

Serenity
Serenity
10 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I’d be surprised if the truck even had plates.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago

Then the rider’s family has a business they can look towards for a wrongful death lawsuit should that be necessary. No consolation, of course.

Shmark Clausey
Shmark Clausey
10 months ago

Is this doxxing?

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
10 months ago
Reply to  SD

Most newer vehicles have had such things, Event Data Recorders, for years. That’s electronic data from inside the car, no cabin or outside video or audio, no local authority alert (for various reasons) or “distress signal” in a crash or the like.

(“Today, EDRs are installed on nearly all new light vehicles.” and much more)

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/08/2019-01651/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-event-data-recorders#:~:text=EDRs%20are%20regulated%20under%2049,retrieval%2C%20and%20data%20crash%20survivability.

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago
Reply to  SD

I think that this truck probably has such a box. It would at least show changes in speed and/or sudden vehicle movements (e.g. swerving, slamming on brakes).

Siobhan Doyle
Siobhan Doyle
10 months ago

This was my daughter’s teacher. He was an avid cyclist. I had the same concerns about the report about falling into traffic. He was an amazing science teacher and I really hope that the police take a closer look at the events that happened

VSAA student
VSAA student
10 months ago
Reply to  Siobhan Doyle

I go to VSAA… he is my science teacher and mr joy will forever be missed by all the students and staff, He has helped me with so many things and I will truly truly miss him. I love you Mr joy.

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  VSAA student

Thank you for posting this. I’m glad you got to know him, and he was able to help you so much. We all love him and miss him.

P
P
10 months ago

My daughter was also his student. Middle school kids sometimes speak harshly of their teachers, but I’ve never heard any student say anything that wasn’t positive about Mr Joy. Yesterday a student told me she just missed him smiling and greeting students as they changed classes. He had a big impact.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  P

Thank you for your kind words.

P
P
10 months ago
Reply to  Siobhan Doyle

How can citizens help require a thorough investigation? What can we do? Many commenters are grieving students/parents/colleagues who would benefit from a proactive response to this loss. Requiring our justice system to dive deep into cellphone records, impact location, basic laws of physics isn’t vigilante justice, it’s justice.

John Strieder
10 months ago
Reply to  Siobhan Doyle

Hello … I’m with KGW-TV. We want to devote some coverage to Adam and his legacy tonight, and we’re interviewing parents and students. If you can talk with us, we’d love that … please email newsdesk@kgw.com or call (503) 226-5111

Carol brandt
Carol brandt
10 months ago
Reply to  John Strieder

This should be its own comment, not a reply.

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Siobhan Doyle

Thank you for your kind comments about Adam.

P
P
10 months ago

Can we please hold automakers responsible for building people killers?

JW
JW
10 months ago

Adam would not have fallen over. He was a commuter biker, fit, I call BS.

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  JW

We, members of his family, are having a hard time believing that he simply fell over, too. But we know that accidents do really happen.

I think it would be more helpful if those of you who are angry — and often, logically and seemingly rightfully so — about this situation addressed it to the police or officials who could make the changes you suggest.

All I know is that we are still in shock from our grievous loss and hearing kind words about Adam would be comforting.

Christine Gibson Parks
Christine Gibson Parks
9 months ago

Hi Marcie,
My husband and I just learned about Adam’s terrible accident. They were roommates and we biked together many times. His legacy is clear – Adam was one of the kindest and most joyful people I knew. I don’t know if you are seeing this message, but I hope you know that his memory will resonate across so many people’s lives – including mine.
Christine

Addison M.
Addison M.
10 months ago

Mr joy, you will be missed. You were everyone’s favorite teacher and you were so kind to everyone around you. May you rest in peace.

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Addison M.

Thank you for your kind words.

No-bo
No-bo
10 months ago

that was one of my favorite teachers.
vsaa school will always miss him

Marcie, his aunt
Marcie, his aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  No-bo

Thank you for your kind words.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  No-bo

Thank you for your kind words.

HJ
HJ
10 months ago

More dead cyclists, more cops who clearly don’t know the law and don’t care. We have a serious problem in this state with letting people get away with manslaughter without any real consequences.
That has to change. You shouldn’t be able to kill someone and get off with even merely a negligible fine. People won’t worry about killing cyclists and try to avoid doing so until it creates a serious threat to their way of life.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  HJ

It’s too early in the investigation to make those kinds of assumptions.

HJ
HJ
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Not really. They could have ticketed for a violation of the safe passing law on the spot based upon the blatantly obvious facts.
Jonathan even called them out on that and they still haven’t done it.
Last time I saw this level of disregard was when my dad was killed riding. Nothing but a ticket for failure to yield to a bike in a bike lane. Max fine $1k. Max fine for a kid under 16 riding without a helmet, $2k. Make that make sense.
I sincerely hope I’m proven wrong and the cops are just case building. But I lost all confidence in our justice system, particularly where cycling fatalities are concerned, long ago.

Shannon Johnson (Family Biking Columnist)
Reply to  HJ

my condolences for your loss also

Christine Gibson Parks
Christine Gibson Parks
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Adam was an experienced and responsible biker (I have known this since we used to ride with him nearly 30 years ago) and would have been even more careful if riding with his son. Even if it was a near miss, the draft from a close vehicle can pull a rider over. I have no doubt the accident is due to the lack of respect of the truck driver (and so many like him) for the welfare of bicycle riders on the road. There are no words to fully express our loss of this great human being and I am devastated for his son seeing this happen. The news media should be covering the entire story and uncovering the true dangers bikers face every day!

J_R
J_R
10 months ago

BS. A skilled, avid cyclist doesn’t simply fall over just as a monster truck approaches.

More likely the driver was texting.

I don’t for a second believe the driver slowed until after he felt, not saw, the collision.

EP
EP
10 months ago
Reply to  J_R

This would be a great time to pull the drivers cell phone data and see what they’re were up to. If you’re involved in a fatality on the roadway, it should be mandatory to have your device usage checked.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
10 months ago
Reply to  J_R

It should be investigated to learn what part of the vehicle was struck and where it struck the cyclist, the damage to the bike, where the bike, rider, and any related debris were sent (notably, which direction), and so on.

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago

Yes, as a former private investigator, the damage to the bicycle would more than likely tell the story. A hit from behind does very different damage, than hitting a rider who is, or has, fallen over, or swerved in front of the vehicle.

Champs
Champs
10 months ago

We don’t know what happen, but I know that we’ve all been lucky and unlucky. All I know for sure is that I wasn’t there and will not jump to any conclusion other than feeling terribly for the people he left behind.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Champs

Thank you for your calm, rational comments. The kind comments here are comforting.

Tami
Tami
10 months ago

I’m so sorry for your loss. ❤️

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Tami

Thank you for your kind words.

Tami
Tami
10 months ago
Reply to  Champs

Most rational comment yet. People are so quick to condemn.

CD Cylcetracker
CD Cylcetracker
10 months ago

I’m always amazed how much baseless speculation and borderline dangerous misinformation is allowed to spread at BikePortland. Jonathan, you need to rein in your comment section before a driver or police officer is doxxed and targeted by a vigilante mob.

This is tragic, and we all need to remember that accidents happen. A medical emergency, an equipment failure, or even a distraction like a close call with wildlife can happen at the wrong place and wrong time. Being in denial of this seems like an immature and deeply flawed way of looking at the world.

It’s clear that the deceased loved cycling and was aware of the risks of sharing space with passing vehicles. Just this Saturday I did a long ride that was 40% on paved country roads and I thought about this a LOT as vehicles passed. I do everything I can to minimize my chance of injury or death but there’s only so much one can do when faced with external unknowns.

Stop pretending that you know what “really” happened. You do not.

 
 
10 months ago

Until we learn further details, speculation on whose fault the collision was should not make it through moderation in my opinion. Rather than the mentality we see here of guilty until proven innocent that commenters want to apply to drivers.

I have no love for large trucks and personally think that they should be banned due to safety issues, but without knowing the facts any speculation here is useless at best and dangerous at worst.

dwk
dwk
10 months ago
Reply to   

Yet you speculated that this was just a random “accident”.
What your agenda is here is the real question?

 
 
10 months ago
Reply to  dwk

I have not speculated anything. I was very careful to word my comment in such a way that does not imply anything. It could have been a horrible accident, it could have been an unsafe pass, or it could have been worse. I have no idea. The only thing I can say for certain is that a life was lost, and that this is terrible for the rider and his family.

Bjorn
10 months ago
Reply to   

Oregon law requires a passing vehicle to give enough space that a person riding a bicycle could fall over and still not be hit, there is no question that the driver in this case did not do that. People may be speculating about why the driver failed to follow the law, but it is clear cut that they were too close when they passed.

Serenity
Serenity
10 months ago

I don’t see anyone pretending they know what really happened.

qqq
qqq
10 months ago

Pretty much all the article does is repeat the State Patrol’s report, and point out the law that requires enough clearance when passing to avoid running over someone who falls, which is what the State Patrol said happened.

That’s hardly pretending to know what happened. And bringing up the passing law (and asking the State Patrol about it. and promising an update when the respond) is exactly what good reporting should be doing.

 
 
10 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I can’t speak for the commenter, but in my view the article itself is good. It’s the comments that are not.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to   

The ones with kind words are greatly appreciated. While we can understand the anger in other posts, they are quite unhelpful to us right now.

 
 
10 months ago

I am sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my thoughts, and I hope that a thorough investigation in the end will shed light on what actually happened.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to   

Thank you for your kind words.

cp_1969
cp_1969
10 months ago
Reply to  qqq

It also says that “the investigation is ongoing”. Which, as I read it, means that no determination of fault has been made.

John
John
10 months ago

Yeah maybe a meteor skipped off the atmosphere and bumped the cyclist into the truck. Who knows, right?

By definition if this truck hit the cyclist after he fell over, the driver is at fault. That’s the Oregon passing laws. You have to give the cyclist enough room that you won’t hit them if they fall and you pass slow enough that you can react. If you hit them, you didn’t do that. You passed unsafely by definition.

SD
SD
10 months ago

You may notice that most of the reactions in the comments are finding fault with the gross speculation in the OSP public statement.

This statement also demonstrates a clear lack of competence. People riding bikes don’t just fall over. Unless there is clear evidence, besides the killer’s statement, the OSP should not fault the person on a bike.

What is more irresponsible? People who ride bikes questioning a police report, or speculating about what was seems unlikely based on their personal experiences on a bike news site, OR a law enforcement official agency carelessly blaming the deceased in an official public statement.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  SD

“People riding bikes don’t just fall over.”

Unless, of course, they do, like the guy on my bike trip last weekend who went off the shoulder and required stitches.

It may be rare, but it does happen. Did it happen this time? I have no way of knowing.

dwk
dwk
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

The both sides expert weighs in…
Riding off the shoulder does happen occasionally. Falling in front of a Truck in the lane does not.
Is there any issue you won’t both sides?

dwk
dwk
10 months ago

Unless there is a real investigation there will not be more details coming out and I doubt there will be one.
So people will just accept the ridiculous premise the Driver *** portion of comment deleted*** gave as it’s clearly shown here by Watts and others responses.
It’s terrible for the deceased and his family that you allow those kind of responses.
See Chris I response. He clearly lays out the case that the driver was responsible no matter so why are you allowing ridiculous posts basically blaming the cyclist?

dwk
dwk
10 months ago

Ok, but you know there will not be more coming out on this. There won’t be a follow up investigation, the driver stayed at the scene which is all that matters.
His version will be the final version propped up with several comments here.
Not exactly justice or good journalism.

dwk
dwk
10 months ago

” I can see a scenario where I hear a big vehicle coming behind me, and then I try to move over a few inches — which in this area would mean you are very close to an edge full of soft gravel. You hit the soft shoulder, overcorrect to balance yourself, and then you fall down. Totally plausible…”
Your own words…
Victim blaming at its finest, what are you talking about?
If what you speculated happened the Truck driver should still have NEVER been close to the cyclist so what does your scenario have to do with anything?
This has nothing to do with my opinion of you (whatever you think of that).

9watts
9watts
10 months ago

dwk and I do not have a history of agreeing on much here in the comments, however, the long list of cases where someone on a bike was hit and too often killed from behind by someone in a car or truck does bear out the shameful lack of serious investigation by authorities. In all the cases I linked to below (up through 2014) the best we (the public who appreciates justice) ever got was a slap on the wrist for the drivers. This is a long-standing PATTERN.

9watts
9watts
10 months ago

It wasn’t and am not criticizing your reporting, I was and am agreeing with this statement:
Ok, but you know there will not be more coming out on this. There won’t be a follow up investigation, the driver stayed at the scene which is all that matters.”

SD
SD
10 months ago

Words and framing matter. The statement “The bicyclist fell over, into the lane of travel, just as the F-350 passed.” is an extreme statement that suggests something extraordinarily unusual and nearly physically impossible happened.

Yes, sometimes people on bikes crash, lose control or go off of the side of the road. And yes, very rarely this could coincidentally happen as a truck is passing. But, when we say that “bikes don’t just fall over” we mean that a vertical cyclist traveling between 10 to 15 mph doesn’t just become a horizontal cyclist in the time or distance it takes for a truck to pass. A person on a bike could turn into a truck or veer in front of a truck, but falling directly in front of a truck is exceedingly unlikely. I think we all know that when you lean to the side on a bike, i.e. falling over, the bike turns. Even if someone loses consciousness on a bike, the bike continues moving forward and most often will turn as the person falls.

In the rare case that the rider had trouble with their bike before the truck was passing, the truck driver could have avoided a collision, if they were passing appropriately. The OSP statement implies that the rider was already down before the collision, and it happened so fast that the driver could not react. If the rider was in the act of falling, then the truck was dangerously close.

This statement was clearly made to remove fault from the person driving the truck and assign blame to the person riding the bike. You could say “Well, they didn’t really mean, *fell over,* this is just mincing words. What they really meant is…”

I think it is very important how words are used and how this is framed. For one, it is deeply disrespectful to the deceased rider and their family to make this incredulous statement. It shows a fundamental cognitive laziness on the part of the police if they came up with this description. If this is what the driver said, then it shows how gullible the police are. The same police who are supposed to be investigating what really happened. The police now sound like they want to dismiss any possibility of wrongdoing because it is a hassle for them to investigate or they are highly biased in favor of the driver.

(not disagreeing, JM. Just clarifying in response to multiple comments)

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago
Reply to  SD

Bizarre things can happen. I have probably ridden more miles (600,000) than just about anybody commenting here, including twenty very successful years racing road bikes. But, I ‘fell over’ into the traffic lane just a couple of months ago. Without going into all the details, after fixing a flat tire in the gravel shoulder of a 55 mph highway, I got on my bike, caught my front wheel on a broken edge of the asphalt, and fell straight over into the travel lane. It is only by ‘luck’ that there was not a car there at that moment, or I would be dead for sure. It was just a momentary lack of awareness on my part; blaming the victim? I take full responsibility for what happened, and would feel terrible if I had been killed, and everybody just assumed a careless driver hit me.

SD
SD
9 months ago
Reply to  steve scarich

If Mr. Joy was stopped on the side of the road, then the driver should have definitely given him as much space as possible.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago

Actually, that law was mentioned in a couple of articles. But thank you for posting about the plausibility of Adam actually falling over.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Is there any issue you won’t both sides?

I’m not “both sidesing” it, just pointing out that we don’t know what happened (and probably never will to any degree of certainty).

There is a range of possibilities, some more likely than others, but unlikely things have been known to happen.

If you want to cite or prosecute someone, you need more than “it seems probable that you did something wrong.” That would, however, be enough for a civil action, as others have pointed out.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Exactly. I often wonder if the BikePortland commenters actually do any riding in rural areas, or if they limit their riding to the safety bubble of greenways, MUPs and cycletracks in town.

All paved roads are not alike. Shoulders come and go, pavement erodes, the fog line disappears and rumble strips complicate the matter. There’s all manner of debris in your path; there are animals both dead and alive, and so on.

Anyone with this experience has had at least a few “oh shit” moments where things get dicey. Hopefully you never lose control but you’re well aware of the consequences, whether it’s getting struck by a car or falling down a 300′ cliffside.

And of course we all know that if you lose control of a bike and hit the ground, you’ve never deviated more than 3′ from your original position, right? Oh, it’d would be so very funny to tear these bad-faith arguments apart if it the circumstances weren’t so tragic.

But I guess that would mean the armchair activists would miss the opportunity to promote their agendas, and we know they’d never let that happen.

Sigh.

Chris I
Chris I
10 months ago

Even if the rider did fall over, how did they get run over? Was the truck following so closely that they couldn’t stop safely? That’s illegal. If the rider fell over in the lane, was the truck passing without moving fully into the oncoming lane? That’s illegal.

There is no scenario here that doesn’t involve illegal driving on the part of the killer. Yet the OSP statement places 100% of the blame on the cyclist.

cc_rider
cc_rider
10 months ago

you need to rein in your comment section before a driver or police officer is doxxed and targeted by a vigilante mob.

You can’t “doxx” a police officer. They are public servants and their actions are public knowledge.

This is tragic, and we all need to remember that accidents happen.

Bullshit, and you know its bullshit. Even if the story that the cyclist ‘fell’ was true, which it almost certainly isn’t, the dude in the brodozer was in-lane passing the cyclist instead of following our laws and moving into the oncoming traffic lane. The dude in the monster truck is to blame regardless of what the car-brained OSP trooper determines.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
10 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

>You can’t “doxx” a police officer. They are public servants and their actions are public knowledge.

Doxxing is more than just identifying someone, it’s harassing and threatening them and their family and it’s something that extremists “on both sides” are eager to do these days.

Carol brandt
Carol brandt
10 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

You can doxx anyone. The point is to hurt and embarrass the subject by releasing private info. Doesn’t matter if they’re in a public position or not.

andrea baker
andrea baker
10 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

yep!

dwk
dwk
10 months ago

What is deeply flawed is your rampant BS about this incident and getting 13 likes for it….. you have zero idea what happened either.
The odds of this being an “Accident” where an experienced cyclist fell over right in front of the vehicle at the exact moment it was passing is just ridiculous on its face.
What exactly is the point of this comment except to further diminish this persons death?
I have no idea why this was even allowed to be posted on this website.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  dwk

What exactly is the point of this comment except to further diminish this persons death?

I’ve seen nothing here that diminishes the tragedy of this cyclist being killed one bit. Even if the rider were entirely at fault (which no one has asserted), it would still be equally tragic to lose someone who seems so beloved in such a manner.

Brad Petersen
Brad Petersen
10 months ago

Nope

cp_1969
cp_1969
10 months ago

Thank you CD Cycletracker for bringing some common sense to this thread. I was thinking the exact same things.
This story is only a few days old at this point. And there is a lot we do not know, and a lot we will never know about what happened.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
10 months ago

I’m always amazed how much baseless speculation and borderline dangerous misinformation is allowed to spread at BikePortland

Such as:

This is tragic, and we all need to remember that accidents happen.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

This incident was absolutely tragic, and, even if the driver was entirely at fault (which seems the most likely possibility), it was almost certainly an accident.

cc_rider
cc_rider
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

it was almost certainly an accident.

This wasn’t an accident regardless of how you cut it. If the driver of the big dumb truck had passed in a legal manner, there wouldn’t be a news story and there wouldn’t be a death.

This is called negligence manslaughter.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Accidents happen. Nothing to be done about it. It’s just bad luck.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

“Nothing to be done about it”

Untrue. There’s plenty that could be done to make incidents like this one rarer.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If traffic homicide can be attributed to negligence then lets call it negligent driving. The use of “accident” — a word that is commonly used for mild ooopsies — is an intentional strategy of minimization or dismissal.

There’s plenty that could be done to make incidents like this one rarer.

It’s really telling that you avoided use of “accident” despite your defense of the use of this dismissive word.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  pierre_delecto

“Accident” is used to describe major disasters such as an airline crash or industrial mishaps that kill and maim. It is not just an “oopsie”, and it is not dismissive. Serious people use the word in serious contexts, and are somehow able to assign fault, determine cause, and develop prevention strategies, despite what all the misinformed language sheriffs out there claim.

PS Though I think it is unlikely, it may turn out that this incident was not an accident, and was instead a deliberate act.

HJ
HJ
10 months ago

First of all, crash, not accident. Accident implies an unavoidable situation. This crash was 100% avoidable had the driver made different choices that included obeying the safe passing law that very specifically covers circumstances such as someone just falling over, whatever the cause.
Even if you have no clue of any of the details crash is the appropriate choice of word as it is truly neutral and covers the single unarguable fact that a collision occurred without any assignment of blame in any direction.
Also there is absolutely nobody on here calling for doxxing of any police officers. There is justifiable frustration being expressed over a decades long trend of poor response to fatalities such as this by our justice system, but nobody is suggesting going after a cop. That would be ridiculous and grossly counterproductive.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  HJ

“Accident implies an unavoidable situation.”

That’s defeat talking. Most accidents are entirely avoidable and preventable, and it is common to assign fault for them.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago

https://bikeportland.org/2023/06/20/witness-version-of-fatal-polk-county-crash-differs-from-police-376374

Accidents happen, especially when choose to not slow down and you clip a cyclist with your F350.

Albert England Jr.
Albert England Jr.
10 months ago

Unfortunately law enforcement fails to recognize the animosity motor vehicle operators of both sexes have toward bicyclists and their willingness to let their hostility translate into vehicular assault. The common thread is lack of citations for traffic law violation for motorists responsible for these accidents. Until motorists are held accountable for their actions the carnage will continue.

CS
CS
10 months ago

How could a skilled biker who bikes everyday fall over just like that? Joy was a brilliant, kind, capable, funny, and compassionate guy to many, including myself. It broke my heart to see all the grieving people he had to leave behind. He will be missed dearly. May you rest in peace.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  CS

Thank you for your kind words. I hope they’ll bring the comments back to humane, considerate ones.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  CS

Thank you for your kind words.

JJ Reyce
JJ Reyce
10 months ago

Wow, the confirmation bias in here…. Yikes.

Todd/Boulanger
Todd/Boulanger
10 months ago

Sad to hear this news (Adam’s death) and how OSP’s report “overshares” at this point in their case, so 2010.

The VSAA graduation is in two days. (My kids had a great education at VSAA.)

Kirsten S
Kirsten S
10 months ago

A man who rode his bike all the way to Vancouver every single day for work does not suddenly fall over as a truck is passing by on the road. This story is too much of a coincidence and I believe the driver should not have gotten away with this. As someone who knew him, he was a very bright man whos last name fit him perfectly. He was so kind to everyone around him and that’s why he made such a lovely teacher. We all miss you.

cp_1969
cp_1969
10 months ago
Reply to  Kirsten S

Nobody has gotten away with anything yet. The investigation is ongoing.

cc_rider
cc_rider
10 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969

The OSP statement literally parrots the negligent motorists account of what happened. They even add in details to make him see less guilty such as ‘he slowed down’. The police don’t know if he slowed down, why are they including it?

There’s no chance any real investigation is going to happen here. The OSP officer (who probably drives a big truck) is gonna file this in the ‘accidents happen’ category and shake his head that bikes are allowed on the road.

Chris I
Chris I
10 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969

We’re never going to hear about this one again.

Chris I
Chris I
9 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969
Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Kirsten S

Thank you for posting your kind comments about Adam.

Person
Person
10 months ago

We miss him greatly, he was such a kind and funny person and brought a lot of joy and memories to his students here at VSAA. Rest in peace Mr. Joy, you are amazing.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Person

Your kind words are greatly appreciated. I’ll pass them on in our family.

DB
DB
10 months ago

I was a pupil of Mr. Joy for 3 years at VSAA, I sincerely hope this investigation continues and the truth is brought forth.

John Strieder
10 months ago
Reply to  DB

Hello, DB… I’m with KGW-TV. We want to devote some coverage to Adam and his legacy tonight, and we’re interviewing parents and students. If you can talk with us, we’d love that … please email newsdesk@kgw.com or call (503) 226-5111

SCOTT DIAMOND
SCOTT DIAMOND
10 months ago
Reply to  John Strieder

Glad you will do a story. “It’s interesting to me that OSP says they can’t comment on possible safe passing law implications due to a pending investigation; however they were willing to report that Joy fell over before that investigation was complete.” Would love if you discussed this in your coverage. It does seem there could be a story about police bias in reporting these crashes (not accidents).

dwk
dwk
10 months ago

I will jump to conclusions and do rampant speculation in this one. The driver *** portion of comment deleted*** is lying.
Pure and simple.
If any real investigation is done, it would be easy to see where the bike landed, where the victim was and figure this out that the driver is lying.
A medical emergency or whatever happening at the exact moment of a random high speed pass is just bullshit.
Thats my fair and balanced opinion.

Ame
Ame
10 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Absolutely agree. Calling the driver *** portion of comment deleted*** is spot on. Mr Joy didn’t just ‘fall over’. He rode his bike from Portland to Vancouver every day for work- he was a skill cyclist- he didn’t just fall. The driver is lying, hands fucking down. Mr Joy was my 8th graders science teacher this year- she’s supposed to have his class tomorrow but instead she’s bringing him flowers for his classroom because some asshole in a big truck ran him down.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
10 months ago
Reply to  Ame

Calling the driver a *** portion of comment deleted*** is at best hyperbole, at worst a call to vigilante action.

cp_1969
cp_1969
10 months ago
Reply to  Ame

Ame and dwk, it’s nice to see that you don’t hold any preconceived bias against people who drive pick up trucks. I guess the driver is guilty by that fact alone.

jakeco969
jakeco969
10 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969

The pick up driver is guilty of killing someone. Whether it was an actual accident, malice, premeditated malice or who knows what remains to be determined.

AL
AL
10 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969

or maybe the commenters on a bike-focused blog have good reason to be biased against pickup trucks

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
10 months ago
Reply to  cp_1969

I’m biased against people who drive motorvehicles because they kill tens of thousands of people each year in the USA and millions each year globally. Driving is like pointing a loaded gun into a crowd and jiggling the trigger.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Ame

I’m very sorry for your daughter’s loss. And for his other students’, too.

John Doh
John Doh
10 months ago

Uh…no it’s exactly how it looks and is unsafe for cycling. I don’t ride on roads unless there is a shoulder.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  John Doh

The ONLY reason this road would be unsafe for cycling is the CHOICES drivers make. Take responsibility for who you are behind the wheel, treat everyone on the road with respect, take the little bit of time you need to slow the f*** down and this road is totally safe for cycling.
And stop giving bad drivers a pass. Geez.

Period 4 Science
Period 4 Science
10 months ago

Rest in Peace, Mr. Joy
You answered my many random questions and gave me some background to this world I yet to understand. You were the light that guided me through the dense fog that is Earth, You helped me when all other Math teachers failed, and you provided me with knowledge and math skills that I will actually use in life.
Thank you and farewell,
-Anonymous

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago

Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sure he was happy to be able to help you. And I’m sure he was delighted to share his light with you.

Also science 4th period
Also science 4th period
10 months ago

Mr. Joy is an amazing teacher, he committed so much to his career and students I will truly miss him… when my math teachers failed teaching me last year, Mr joy wouldn’t let that pass so he spent almost 6 weeks every Tuesday and Thursday teaching me how to find areas of triangles. Yesterday I was in shock, I couldn’t even cry because I didn’t believe it.. Mr. Joy is an amazing, kind, caring, heartwarming person who didn’t deserve this. He truly lived up to his last name and will forever be missed by everyone at VSAA including Mr. Joys 4th period science class. I love you so much, Mr. Joy

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago

Thank you for your very kind words. I’ll pass them along to the rest of the family. I’m sure that he was delighted to help you.

9watts
9watts
10 months ago

Anyone remember Frank Bohannon killing Kerry Kunsman while driving an F350 out on the coast?
https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/26/driver-hit-kerry-kunsman-issued-citation-careless-driving-111488
Awfully similar conclusion by law enforcement. Totally unacceptable.

SD
SD
10 months ago

Disgusting and irresponsible that headlines from KOIN KATU and KPTV are all parroting the OSP “falls into the road” statement.

Fred
Fred
10 months ago

“The cyclist fell over into the lane of travel”??

Why don’t police just say, “We have no idea how it happened – we just parrot whatever the driver says”??

No
No
10 months ago

I’m really gonna miss Mr.Joy as a student who didn’t even have him I really wanted to be in his class. He was super kind, greatful, and helpful to and for his students he had.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  No

Thank you for your very kind words.

Bread
Bread
10 months ago

Adam Joy was my teacher at VSAA, he was my core teacher. If your not from VSAA its pretty much just an art project class, but even in that class he taught me so many valuable things and would always believe in others. He was a such a ball of energy and could make people happier just by being around him…miss you Mr Joy…

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Bread

Thank you for the very kind words. That’ the Adam we knew and will miss.

Andy Palmquist
Andy Palmquist
10 months ago

I grew up in West Salem a few houses up from Wallace Road (221), and drove 221 almost weekly as my grandparents lived in Dayton.

I would never, ever ride my bike on 221 for more than a cursory mile or two if connecting to less busy roads. It’s the main north-south route west of the Willamette until you get to 99w, though it is curvier than 99w with many blind spots. Little to no shoulder. Just a really reckless road.

It sounds like Adam was a beloved person. Here’s hoping we can start reining in the height of these ridiculously out of control huge pickups.

Chris I
Chris I
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

Unfortunately, Federal inaction ensures that nothing is going to change with these vehicles. The body count will continue.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

Roads aren’t reckless. Drivers can be. But they don’t have to be. Cyclists should be able to ride on this road without having to fear for their lives.

P
P
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Roads can be designed to encourage or discourage reckless driving. In this country, traffic engineers often design roads that encourage reckless driving rather than traffic calming.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  P

Of course.
I’m all for engineering that forces drivers to slow down.
But roads don’t make people drive recklessly. That is completely and entirely on the driver, regardless of the road design.
Unfortunately, in this country that fact is lost on many drivers. It seems like we’re constantly looking for “reasons” other that treating being behind the wheel as the deadly serious responsibility it is.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

“But roads don’t make people drive recklessly. That is completely and entirely on the driver, regardless of the road design.”

I wish more people would remember this when they decry the unfairness of traffic fines.

Andy Palmquist
Andy Palmquist
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Sorry Michael but this is a 55mph road with no shoulder. A driver going the speed limit coming around even a slight bend in the road could find themselves right upon a cyclist. If another cyclist wants to ride this that’s their chance to take but it is not a chance I would take.

9watts
9watts
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

“A driver going the speed limit coming around even a slight bend in the road could find themselves right upon a cyclist”
Andy, I’ve lived, ridden, driven along Wallace Rd for much of the last thirty-five years myself. I attended Western Mennonite School, which is within shouting distance of this crash site, in 1988.
While what you say is ‘true’ in a certain tautological sense, where we are all habituated to put the inattention, speed, convenience, privileges of drivers above everything else, it is not true in a larger how-do-others-in-other-places-view-this sense, never mind the what-do-our-laws-say sense. It is a learned blindness that can (and I would submit must) be unlearned.

Enforcing the basic speed rule, and safe passing distance rules, or the VRU law, just for starters, rather than reflexively shrugging—which is what the long-standing response by law enforcement amounts to—would begin that process of unlearning.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

Are you excusing the driver or not? Just come out and say it if you are. I have the same reaction to this that I have when people talk about “blind” corners. There’s no such thing – it’s language drivers use to excuse themselves from having to consider others and slow down when they might be putting others lives at risk.
Of course we all have to decide the level of risk we’re willing to take when we choose where to ride, and I won’t criticize your choice not to ride Wallace Road. But it’s reckless drivers that are the danger, not the road.

cc_rider
cc_rider
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

. A driver going the speed limit coming around even a slight bend in the road could find themselves right upon a cyclist.

Going the SPEED MAXIMUM around a bend in the road sounds like a really dumb and dangerous thing to do. Maybe the MAXIMUM should only be the speed a motorist goes in clear conditions with great sightlines.

There could be all sorts of things around a bend. A deer, a disabled car, a dog. You probably shouldn’t propel yourself at the fastest legal speed when you can’t see what’s in front of you.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
10 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

sounds like a really dumb and dangerous thing to do

It’s a homicidal thing to do.

Maybe the MAXIMUM should only be the speed a motorist goes in clear conditions with great sightlines.

Most drivers have zero knowledge of Oregon’s basic speed rule. Despite the fact that they continuously violate this rule they sure love to point their law breaking fingers at vulnerable traffic for “jumping out of nowhere” or “wearing black”.

https://www.oregon.gov/odot/engineering/pages/speed-101.aspx#:~:text=The%20basic%20speed%20rule%20states,Road%20and%20weather%20conditions.

In addition to speed limits, all travel on public streets and highways is subject to the “basic speed rule” as described under ORS 811.100.

The basic speed rule states that a motorist must drive at a speed that is reasonable and prudent at all times by considering:

Other traffic

Road and weather conditions.

Dangers at intersections.

Any other conditions that affect safety and speed.

In other words, drivers are expected to use good judgment in selecting their speed. What this means is a person can also drive below the posted speed and violate the basic speed rule. For instance, if there is ice or snow on the roadway, a driver can be traveling less than the speed limit posted and still be traveling faster than is reasonable and prudent for the conditions.

OGB
OGB
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

Bend in the road? Look at the map. The collision occurred in the middle of a long straight stretch. Regardless, driving too fast for conditions is illegal.

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago
Reply to  Andy Palmquist

Not victim blaming, but just looking at that road, I would avoid it like the plague. I only ride such roads when I have to connect two ‘safe’ roads. The odds against the rider on a road with no shoulder and fast traffic are just overwhelming. There is maybe a 3-foot margin of error on those roads. I did get caught on such a road earlier this week, and I was fine, except for an RV that came within 6″ of my left shoulder. Average Joes driving vehicles above their skill level on narrow roads terrify me.

9watts
9watts
9 months ago
Reply to  steve scarich

“I would avoid it like the plague”

Steve, we’ve had this conversation before.
Some of us live or work or go to school here. Wallace Road, or Barbur, or Sandy, or SE 82nd aren’t elective, something we all choose (or choose not) to visit on the weekend while wearing lycra. Biking-as-transportation really is different in that way.

David LaPorte
David LaPorte
10 months ago

This is so heartbreaking. I teach Adam’s youngest son, and I know his older son. His youngest son was just telling me last week about how excited he was that he and his dad had been training together for STP this year.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  David LaPorte

Thank you for your very kind words. I hope it’s helpful for Nao that you
know that he was riding with Adam, training, when this happened.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  David LaPorte

Hi, David —

I know that this is pretty nervy of me, but I was trying to think of some way to help Adam’s son. Because he confided his excitement about getting ready for the STP, I know tht he felt safe and comfortable with you.

Certainly you know his teen-aged mind and heart better than this old woman, so I’ll put forth this idea.

Are you doing the STP ride?

Do you think he would like to do the STP to honor his father and the time they shared talking about it and training for it? Would he mind being approached with this idea? Would you consider helping him with it?

Just a (hopeful) thought.

Thank you for your consideration. Marcie

David LaPorte
David LaPorte
9 months ago

Hi, Marcie. I sent you an email today. Feel free to reach out.

9watts
9watts
10 months ago

Falling into the road is certainly conceivable. We can’t rule it out. But to me that isn’t the crucial question. As others have noted, when deciding to pass (it is a choice after all) it is the responsibility of the person piloting the vehicle to give the person on the bicycle a wide berth so that if he/she were to fall over they wouldn’t kill them. Germany has had this law on the books forever: keyword: Fallbreite. Ostensibly we now do too. But if it isn’t enforced, if no one in authority can be bothered to approach these situations with that law front and center then what is the point of having laws?

Maria
Maria
10 months ago

What a horrible tragedy. I’m so sorry to all of Adam’s students, friends and family for the huge loss.

There is one thing we know for sure – that road, like many country roads, where many members of our community have been killed or maimed – is simply not wide enough for a cyclist to have safe passage to the right of the fog line.

Instead of expecting motor vehicle manufacturers to create smaller vehicles or fancy recording devices, or educating drivers on how to safely pass a slow moving vehicle, can we just make the roads wide enough to accommodate all users?

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Maria

The roads can already accommodate all users. It’s totally up to drivers to make that happen. We don’t need wider roads, we need safer drivers who respect the rights of others to share the road.

Maria
Maria
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

I respectfully disagree. If there were a giant truck in each lane on that road headed in different directions, and a cyclist on each side – all four would have trouble fitting safely across a road like this. The fatalities and injuries we’ve witnessed in our community illustrate that if even one single driver makes a mistake, the cyclist pays dearly.

I would not bet my life on every single driver making the best decision for my safety. The only time I feel anywhere close to safe on roads is when I have my own lane.

I’d like to see legislation that requires all roads in Oregon be widened to offer a safe lane for cyclists to the right of the fog lane that would require the drivers to do nothing to accommodate us.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Maria

Oh my.
So many “what ifs.”
What if money grew on trees, and all our legislators actually thought widening every roadway to accommodate bikes was a good idea?
And realize that if our legislature, by some miracle, discovered this pot of gold and a mine of bicycle magnanimity, your proposal creates infrastructure that tacitly approves speeding past cyclists because we created more room on the road.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Maria

And the drivers aren’t “making a mistake.” They’re killing people through reckless driving that is entirely preventable by the driver.
The deaths of cyclists on our roads is not inevitable and does not require massive infrastructure projects to prevent. It requires a change in driver behavior.

Watts
Watts
10 months ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Why are “making a mistake” and “behaving recklessly” mutually exclusive? The second sounds like a category of the first.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
10 months ago
Reply to  Watts

For me personally, “manslaughter” and “mistake” belong in two very different columns. “Mistake” intentionally minimizes the gravity of a decision that gets someone killed. “Mistake” is one tiny step removed from “accident.” “Mistake” is the word the lawyers for the defense use. Forgetting to take out the garbage is a mistake. Killing someone with your car because you didn’t slow down to a safe speed or give the cyclist enough room is not a “mistake,” it’s carnage.
Language matters.

P
P
9 months ago
Reply to  Maria

Because the wider the road, the faster cars drive regardless of the speed limit. Road diets intentionally shrink roads so that drivers feel less safe driving so fast. If we have money to pour into a solution, let’s build completely separate infrastructure for bikes like many developed countries have. There is a demonstrated reduction in cyclist and pedestrian deaths when infrastructure and enforcement prioritize safety. https://usa.streetsblog.org/2020/10/10/exactly-how-far-u-s-street-safety-has-fallen-behind-europe-in-four-bombshell-charts

9watts
9watts
10 months ago

Thanks to years of Jonathan’s reporting we have a heartbreaking record of these hit-from-behind crashes:
https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/26/driver-hit-kerry-kunsman-issued-citation-careless-driving-111488#comment-5554707

I remember arguing with folks here about all of them.
Hank Bersani – speed, passing too close
Christeen Osborn – failure to maintain lane, but why? distraction? speed?
David Apperson – sun in eyes (really speed, passing too close)
Brett Lewis – speed
Reese Wilson – distraction, also speed
Steven Dayley – distraction, speed
Nick Bucher – speed

and this is all prior to 2015. I haven’t kept as good track since then.

Boyrd
Boyrd
10 months ago
Reply to  9watts

Don’t forget Mitchell York, killed on the St Johns bridge by a serial convicted violator of traffic laws in a pickup truck with a suspended license and bald tires.

Student
Student
10 months ago

I go to VSAA he was such a great teacher and he will be remembered. We love you Mr. Joy.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Student

Thank you for your kind words. I’ll share them with our family.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Student

Thank you for your kind words.

Robert Wallis
Robert Wallis
10 months ago

Sad fact is that we lost another fine human being simply because we have a transportation system that was designed and built without regard to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. The 100-year old engineering tradition of designing roadways, rural and urban, that are not safe has to change. My condolences to those who were fortunate enough to have known Adam Joy.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  Robert Wallis

Thank you for your kind words.

Franci
Franci
10 months ago

My sister-in-law was also a beloved teacher who was killed by the driver of a similar, if not identical, pickup on a rural road while biking.

It will be seven years this August and the hole left by her absence in her small town is still felt. There is a run each year put on by the National Honor Society kids in her honor. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund. It’s wonderful that they are keeping her memory alive. I hope Adam’s community can find a way to keep his memory for many years. My condolences to all who were touched by him.

James E
James E
10 months ago

I met Adam 25 years ago when I
started working at Bike Gallery. He was, among other things, a ride leader and I remember going on his Rocky Butte ride one day and we ended up down in what is now Gateway Green and there was a jump there. We were a group of 15 or so, fooling around on a jump along this gravel lane and I took a hard crash. I drove my elbow into the gravel like a plow and cut the hell out of myself. Adam and another man, Dean had first-aid supplies and they both went straight to work cleaning and bandaging my arm and knee. It was hard to get back on and ride but Adam stuck with me and escorted me as we climbed out, South on the 205. I remember as we rode together thinking to myself, this guy is great. I never got to know Adam but he made a distinct impression on me and I’m grateful to have this story to share. My condolences to his family, students, colleagues.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
10 months ago
Reply to  James E

Thank so much you for sharing this story that shines qon Adam’s kindness. I’ll share it with other family members.

Parto Gomez
Parto Gomez
10 months ago

Tragic. Sounds like a wonderful human being. What a loss.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Parto Gomez

Thank you for your kind words.

Former Student
Former Student
10 months ago

Mr. Joy will always be remembered for bringing a positive attitude and a joy for learning to the classroom. I had him for middle school science and I remember his incredible passion for teaching us about checking the weather every day and triangulating earthquakes. I remember him always saying that collectively we are geniuses. I also remember his funny phrases like “awesome possum” or “shoot bucket.” When I was in model UN, he drove us up to Seattle for a conference, and he was so cool. During PE, when most teachers would just give the kids a ball and tell them to play kickball or something, Mr. Joy ran a bicycling program and taught aikido. One time he even juggled fire. I can remember any school showcase he took part in was always full of enthusiasm. Regardless of the politics of the crash, I’d like to thank the author for finding as many details as possible and showing that his door has been decorated by his current students.

Corey Staytonn
Corey Staytonn
10 months ago

I worked with Adam for several years in a Portland area bike shop – what a great, giving and kind soul. He is the kind of person you do not forget for their kindness, smarts and constant forward motion. My heart goes out to the students and most of all to Adams family – so very sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Corey Staytonn

Thank you for your kind words.

Bob
Bob
10 months ago

There is a lot of speculation on what exactly happened to Adam on that country road with little shoulder in Polk County. We should await the results of the investigation.

But, as an avid reader of Bike Portland, I very much appreciate Jonathan’s continued and relentless advocacy for cyclists who have lost their lives to motorized vehicles and his insistent pleas with law enforcement to refrain from immediately calling these fatalities “accidents.” Furthermore, despite saying there was an ongoing investigation, the police, as Jonathan rightly pointed out, were quick to say that Adam “fell” into the vehicle. This apparently, as many have pointed out, was what the driver probably told the police. The police reach a conclusion before the investigation is complete and such a conclusion removes all responsibility from the driver.

This is what Jonathan has been trying to draw attention to. As most of us avid cyclist already know, there are far too many drivers on the road who only think that bicycles are just another traffic headache that should be abolished. This is where the anger to Adam’s death is coming from and all the blame that people on this thread are putting on the driver who ran over Adam. We need a real investigation into this and a clear ruling based on the letter of the law.

Megan
Megan
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Thank you for this comment.

andrea baker
andrea baker
10 months ago

Sorry I am not buying the official story. WIthout a witness and cyclist dead there is no one to tell the truth of what really happened. He magically fell into oncoming traffic just as the driver was passing him? Come on give me a break. Its more likely he got away with involuntary manslaughter.

Karen, Adam's cousin
Karen, Adam's cousin
9 months ago
Reply to  andrea baker

Unfortunately the main witness was Adam’s son. I don’t know the law around witnesses who are minors, but I hate to think of him being there at the scene with no one but the driver, then cops, then EMTs. So much chaos and confusion, and I worry he might have been vulnerable to others’ interpretations of events.

jakeco969
jakeco969
9 months ago

Oh my. I didn’t realize Adam’s son was with him when he was struck. My heart goes out to him and I wish him the best now and the times to come.

Ross
Ross
10 months ago

So they just automatically take the truck driver’s word that he “fell” into the lane right as the truck was passing? There’s no chance the truck deviated from its lane of travel and struck the cyclist? How was this determined? If that is what a thorough investigation concluded, then sure. But keep in mind, this is an ongoing investigation and making a statement to immediately blame the victim and take the killer’s word for what happened is disgusting.

steve scarich
steve scarich
9 months ago

The writer is guilty of the same error as the cops. By basing his entire reaction on what the cops ‘likely’ knew, he is simply conjecturing. They might have had other witness statements, or evidence. He doesn’t know. By making this kind of ‘guess’ about what actually happened, he ends up compromising his whole point, and looking no better than OSP. Better for everybody, the cops, reporters, commenters, etc., wait about expressing an opinion about what actually happened, until all the knowable facts are in.

Kristin
Kristin
9 months ago

Adam was a true Joy. I worked with him at The Bike Gallery in the late 1990’s and early 2000, and co-led the Bike Club with him – he was a patient, enthusiastic, skilled and funny leader, who had room for everyone, no matter their bike-experience. We led rides on long country roads, mountain bike trails, and to bakeries. He was always laughing. My heart goes out to his family, students and colleagues, and to the whole bike community.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Kristin

Thank you for your very kind words.

SD
SD
9 months ago

Regardless of the exact details of collision, Mr. Weeks chose to operate a vehicle that is well known to result in higher rates of fatalities to other road users. He made the roads less safe for everyone around him. He took unecessary risks that could have contributed to this tragic outcome.
https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/higher-point-of-impact-makes-suv-crashes-more-dangerous-for-cyclists

Daniel
Daniel
9 months ago

I knew Adam 35 years ago in college. He introduced me to handball, and we’d spend hours on Friday afternoons at the gym having a delightful time. He was the only person who understood my need to do cartwheels. We lost track of each other after he graduated. I’m so sad this is how I hear about him.

Marcie, Adam's aunt
Marcie, Adam's aunt
9 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

Thank you for sharing your sweet memories.

Christine Gibson Parks
Christine Gibson Parks
9 months ago
Reply to  Daniel

We were at college with Adam, too! My (future) husband, David, and he were good friends and housemates for a time. He was our support person when we rode the STP on our tandem a couple of years after graduation (dropping us off in Seattle, and cheering us on), so it is especially poignant that he was training for this ride on the day he died. We also rode with him from Seattle to Canada sometime later, and our last ride together was when he visited us in North Carolina before heading to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (as a volunteer).

We also lost touch, meeting him once or twice since then – and met his sons once when they were still young enough to play with our own bundle of energy who has since grown up, mostly. It is a shock to realize how many years have passed without our reaching out. As if there is always time someday…one of these years, we thought – we should look him up the next time we were in Oregon, but now never again. So sad.

Adam was such a great spirit. I am glad he was able to share himself as a teacher and community figure, touching so many lives. He will be missed.