Driver kills man on a bicycle at southeast Portland homeless camp

“The speeds which people turn here is appalling.”

– Sarah Heckles, Hygiene 4 All

One man is dead and another man has been arrested after a collision between a driver and a bicycle rider around 3:00 am Sunday morning.

Red arrow points to collision location.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, 22-year-old Shane M. McKeever was either driving southbound on Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and then turned left onto SE Belmont, or he approached from the west and crossed MLK. As he drove eastbound on Belmont, McKeever allegedly struck 49-year-old David Bentley. The Oregonian has reported that Bentley was sitting on his bike with his back to the road prior to the collision (a report by KOIN TV said Bentley was in the bike lane when it happened). One witness told The Oregonian that, “a car came flying through.” The impact reportedly threw Bentley’s body 40-50 feet in the air.

McKeever initially fled and police say someone shot at his vehicle. He tried to run, but was captured by locals who witnessed the crash. He is now charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree and Reckless Driving. (The Oregonian reports that McKeever is currently on probation for a fourth-degree assault conviction from 2022 in Benton County.)

Given the sharp corner, the damage to the car’s hood, and the estimated location of where this happened, McKeever must have been traveling at a high rate of speed. MLK Jr Blvd is a PBOT-managed highway (99E) with a 30 mph speed limit. Belmont, where the collision occurred, has a 20 mph speed limit. Photos from the scene show that an encampment of people living on and around the sidewalk was spilling precariously into the traffic lanes.

The cross-section on SE Belmont includes one general travel lane and one bike lane eastbound. The bike lane has a buffer stripe. According to Google Maps, it was installed sometime between late 2017 and mid-2018.

View onto SE Belmont from MLK. Image is from 2018. Collision happened at the corner on the center right.

Sarah Heckles is a volunteer with Hygiene 4 All, a homeless services provider based right around the corner, told BikePortland she lives nearby and often walks to work down this exact stretch of SE Belmont. Heckles knew Bentley, who was known on the street as “Dino.”

“When I work a shift at this location, I park in the lot where the suspect’s car was found and walk the same stretch where Dino was killed,” Heckles shared. “It’s super dangerous! I really dread walking this short stretch,” Here’s more from Heckles about the conditions:

“I often need to throw my hand up in the air to catch some attention from cars turning left off MLK to Belmont. The speeds which people turn here is appalling. It’s also a blind turn. It’s so dangerous and this is during the daytime typically. The entrance for our patrons is from MLK, so there is a lot of foot traffic when we are open.”

Heckles said she and her co-workers at Hygiene 4 All are “devastated” and are eager to push for safety improvements in the area.

Two years ago, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler instituted a ban on street camping along high crash corridors. The move came after the dual crises of dangerous driving and homelessness combined to kill 19 homeless Portlanders in 2021. According to Multnomah County, people who live outside are 45 times more likely to be killed in a traffic crash than the general population.

The location where Bentley was hit and killed Sunday is a spot well-known for camping. In an older Google Streetview image you can see “No Camping” signs posted and a chain-link fence erected to prevent access under the viaducts. Campers have come anyways, and with the fence doing its job, their tents, possessions —and everyday lives — are pushed onto the sidewalk and street.

Portland State University researchers have studied this issue in recent years. A report they released in 2022 recommended a focus on safer infrastructure and more shelters to help prevent these tragedies from happening.

Bentley is the 14th fatal traffic crash victim so far this year.

Below: KOIN TV news story about the crash that aired late Sunday night:

UPDATE, 2/27: The Oregonian reports that the driver was in a stolen car and that he allegedly struck Bentley on purpose.

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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SD
SD
1 month ago

An important point that may be missed here is that the interviews with the residents of this camp show that they are aware of how dangerous it is because of speeding cars, yet they choose to be here. Relative to other dangers or difficulties they face, the risk of cars, noise and exhaust are acceptable. I hope that people who read this story take a moment to consider how hard it is to be homeless. Homeless people are in many cases trying their best to be out of the way of society, but at the same time need to be close enough to meet basic needs and have the safety of being in a place where someone might hear you if you scream for help.

The other point is that car infrastructure creates dead zones in cities that most people avoid because it is harsh and repulsive. These dead zones are tolerable to homeless people because they meet other needs. If you laid out a map of Portland and gave someone that task of finding outdoor places for homeless people to sleep and camp that balanced the needs of the homeless with the desires of the housed population, I imagine that most people would choose these car infrastructure dead spaces as prime spots. I know that some people think we can sweep and starve the homeless problem out of existence, but the continued reemergence of these camps argues that this type of passive aggression leads is not a solution.

I keep thinking about Williams talking on OPB about pedestrian deaths in Portland and how she essentially said in a coded way that pedestrian deaths in Portland were due to homeless people and rhetorically minimized and shrugged off the problem.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

I know that some people think we can sweep and starve the homeless problem out of existence

I would like to shelter it and drug treat it out of existence. People have to sleep somewhere, but no one should be sleeping outdoors in the middle of our city.

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

I completely agree and would add that I don’t believe sweeping and starving results in sheltering and treating, particularly when shelter and treatment are scarce.

I also would guess that we have ten times more car-infrastructure related dead zones in the city than we should and it should be removed.

Just as a thought exercise, imagine our city being safe enough that any resident could decide that they want to sleep out under the stars one night in a public space and not have to worry about being hurt or harassed.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

imagine our city being safe enough that any resident could decide that they want to sleep out under the stars one night in a public space and not have to worry about being hurt or harassed.

It would be wonderful to have a city that safe; I would be happy even if I could leave my bike outside at night without worrying that it will get stolen.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

I keep thinking about Williams talking on OPB about pedestrian deaths in Portland and how she essentially said in a coded way that pedestrian deaths in Portland were due to homeless people and rhetorically minimized and shrugged off the problem.

This a common theme and explanation in many other cities nationwide, that it isn’t common regular (white) folks out walking their dog or out running who get hit, but desperately poor (black) homeless, which means we can ignore the problem and not bother to make our streets safer for all users. The actual data often shows otherwise, but no one cares about science any more as the pandemic amply demonstrated – those who might be drunk or distracted on the their smart phones are simply ignored. And so we do nothing.

PS
PS
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Help me understand how the data in Portland is wrong. Pedestrian deaths for homeless in 2022 were 70% and in 2023 it was 50%. When their pro rata share of the population is concerned, the risk to homeless is magnitudes greater than to the housed. Given this, it seems rational for housed people to do some individual risk assessment and realize how low the risk of being a dead pedestrian is. It also makes the rational observer realize that there is no argument that can suggest that the current free-for-all is more humane than alternatives that promote congregation of homeless people out of the elements with access to wrap around services to get better.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  PS

From a transportation policy assessment, if you can dismiss half or 70% of the cases as simply being “homeless” without breaking it down as to whether they were between jobs, temporarily homeless, long-term nomads, couch surfers, and so on, not to mention died by homicide, distracted walking, drunk, or stoned when fatally hit, then it makes it a lot easier for funding agencies to focus more funds on highways, freeways, bridges to nowhere, and other equally regressive transportation infrastructure. If however you for example want more funding for bicycle infrastructure and/or safe walking conditions, then wouldn’t be better to downplay any association of victims being (temporarily) homeless and up-play that they were innocent pedestrians killed by murderous homicidal maniacs driving in motor vehicles? Again, it’s how you frame your scientific argument – in both cases facts are used, but the same data can show different results.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  PS

You can assume anything about the rationality of the observer.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  PS

*can’t assume

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago

First of all, the person murdered by a driver was in a bike lane so they had every legal right to have their “back to the road”. Secondly, the focus of this piece on people living outside instead of on rampant driver traffic violence comes across as victim shaming.

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago

By your logic someone who stops on a sidewalk should be described as “had their back to traffic” if they are murdered by a person driving. And if they happen to live outside then we should spend time discussing their houseless status instead of the massive increase in amoral and reckless driving.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

When I read that the cyclist’s back was turned to traffic, my immediate thought was that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision.

Belynda wagner
Belynda wagner
1 month ago

It would have happened no matter what. That boy wasn’t out to kill David. He was after my son grumpy. The kid is a psychopath. I myself have camped in the same place. Infact it was me that moved the fence back to make a community dog space that was safe. Or safer. We try camping in the swells we are made to move no matter where we go people take our belongings, shoot at our camps, pick fights with us when their drunk or high, burn down our camps and our tents, hook our tents up to the back of pick up trucks and drag them….you name it. I mean I got hit by a car on the job as a flagger. It ruined my life. I don’t make enough money now to rent a tea cup. Let alone a house or apartment. And I’m native to portland. Born at ohsu in 1980 at 11:59pm on April the 16…. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve seen this big city turn into a big city. It used to be just a small town in the middle of no place special. It was once a place you could leave your cars unlocked your house open let your kids run free and it was so safe. I miss Portland as it used to be. Listen folks. You can all sit here and call it a homeless problem or whatever. But the truth of the matter is that it’s a mental health problem. Yes that boy was there 10 mins before he got in that stolen car and ran over David. He was there fist fighting in the street. Hand I hand combat with my son. The boy was there trying to score some fentanyl. Wrong camp everyone| there told him. We won’t help you kill yourself is what he heard. No one here does that crap nor will anyone here help you aquire it. We are 100% against it. The boy didn’t like that response. He wanted to get verbally disrespectful. He was asked to leave. He refused pulling a knife on my son. My son responded by grabbing a bigger knife and said okay if that’s how you want to play. The boy said no. And then threatened to run everyone at the camp over. At that point David wasn’t even there. The kid left. About 1-2 mins after the kids walks west bound on Belmont, David rolled up on his bike. Said both his backpacks and longboard had been stolen, so to keep eyes open. In hopes of finding his bags and board. About a minute and and a half after stopping David was struck from behind. That boy needs some serious help. It’s not a dangerous road problem, it’s not a homelessness problem, that little boy is just friggin mentally not okay. Not on by level. This is a mentally sick and drug addicted child. The kid shouldn’t even be in jail. I’ve interacted with this boy a number of times myself. That boy needs the state mental hospital and a straight jacket.. and a whole lot of mommy hugs. That boy was fucked up early on in life. An unfit parent hurt that child and now he sits alone in county jail. Where he will unfortunately not make it out of alive. Of this I’m sure. There are a lot of dangerous killers sitting in that place that loved David. They all know what happened because of the news. There’s no way he will ever even make it to state from county. Not unless they put him in solitary for the remainder of his stay. He’s marked. But irregardless…. The boy still needs mental help. H made a 180 degree turn and went back to run over the other people. Because it was meant to kill my son not my brother. Yes shots were fired… 5 at the windshield. He wasn’t hit nor did anyone else die. But he did get the picture once those shots were fired. Otherwise I don’t think he would have stopped until he had killed everyone there. Those warning shots stopped that car, and he got out and ran in fear for his life. Those shots stopped 4 more people, innocent people as well from dying. And all of this was due to that kid wanting a drug no one had or was willing to help him obtain because they do care. Let’s keep that in mind folks. Not all of us homeless people are bad. Most of us are not. Most of us are just like the rest of the community. Normal. Just normal without enough income to be normal inside. Let’s get this boy some help. Th help he needs and stop trippin off that road. We could of been sitting on an open freeway and the same thing would have happened. David just rolled up this time at the wrong time. And it all happened so fast in such a short window of time there wasn’t even anyway of knowing that he intended on making good on his threat.

Leave the camp alone, leave the road alone stop putting it on being a homelessness problem.

Face the facts that are in your faces.
Decriminalization of drugs was stupid
This the unfortunate results of idiots in an office not thinking clearly and creating a country wide disaster. Portland voters are ultimately responsible for this shit in the end. But just continue to turn a blind cheek to the harsh reality and truth.
Keep on voting without thinking.

Clearly it’s working wonders.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  EV enthusiast

Of course no one sitting on the street in the middle of the night should be killed by a speeding car. Nonetheless, doing so is very dangerous and is going to dramatically increase your chances of getting hit.

Why do you consider that statement to be “victim shaming”?

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

Fixed it for you:

No one sitting on their bike on the street in the middle of the night in a bike lane should be killed by a speeding car

The person murdered by a reckless driver was lawfully in a bike lane while seated on their bike.

You must not ride much if you have no empathy for someone on a bike stopped in the bike lane. I could not begin to remember the number of times I’ve stopped in a bike lane to check on something or to talk to someone I know.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  EV enthusiast

Two things can be true at the same time, EV: yes, no one in a bike lane should be killed, and yes, visibility etc increase the risk.

The Cat Lady
The Cat Lady
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

Ive heard enough. The focus of this story is out of whack. I knew Dave. His girl is my best friend. The dude who ran Dave down did so deliberately, he just wasnt aiming for him. He came down there looking for a fight. This is what happened. No “reckless driving” no dangerously situated homeless camp, No Auto Dead Zone in the city. That jerk used a car as a weapon. Full Stop.
He violated his probation for assault last November and Ive heard he’s out on bail for this. Theres your story. Little snot deliberately killed someone – what does it take to lose your hall pass these days?

Dave was getting his shit together. He had just gotten a job, his girl is indoors in her own place, they had plans but Multnomah County didnt see fit to take a violent criminal off the streets.
All the nonsense about his tragic past on Mr. McKeever’s facebook page is a load of self indulgent poor me tripe. Dino busted his ass to survive on the Block without harming anybody and this is his reward.

Oh, and we arent all Black either. I never heard such a ridiculous idea. What homeless people are is a group of regular folks who fallen and they can’t get up. Any one of you could be us at pretty much any moment . We look like whatever you look like…

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  EV enthusiast

I’m a let you finish, but the victim shaming award should go to Maxine Bernstein at the Oregonian for tracking down this important victim blaming quote. “Another man living on the street said Bentley had been hit by a car previously while riding late at night on a skateboard dressed all in black.”

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

That’s one way of saying “make yourself more visible at night”.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  EV enthusiast

the person murdered by a driver

Turns out you’re right — it looks like it was intentional.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago

Here’s the conditions of the area on Friday February 23, 2024 at 10:20AM as taken by City of Portland, OMF-IRP vendor Rapid Response Bio-Clean during an encampment post.

Even before that, the city was probably sent photos by reporting parties. In other words, the impact reduction program failed. This location has been the site of repeated encampments and OMF-HUCIRP neglected its duty to prevent the repeated formation of these precarious conditions.

feb-23b
Steve C
Steve C
1 month ago

https://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/c68d1d2e29e444a7b70f20aaafcbfbeb

Posted and cleaned up locations are listed with images and dates. Do you not know about this site Jonathan?

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve C

OMF-IRP intentionally make a lot of it NOT readily retrievable. Contents submitted by reporting party, or any information used by city crew to make the decision to post, such as images taken by assessment crew (if any) would require a formal public records request. Those things are technically “public” but it’s essentially inaccessible, the way the city intended it to be, which is to make things less transparent as possible.

Daniel Fogg
Daniel Fogg
1 month ago

That is such a tiny access point–more of an alley than a street. It would be a bad idea for a vehicle to make that turn at anything over 10 miles an hour (and that’s probably pushing it). My condolences to David Bentley’s friends and loved ones.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel Fogg

I agree! The merge just east of there across Grand is consistently problematic, too. The City should close this AND the ramps to the Morrison Bridge. If this cut-through and the ramps remain, they need to have much better crosswalk markings and sidewalks. I worked near this location for years and I can attest to what a stressful and dangerous environment this is for pedestrians and cyclists. No one should be living on these sidewalks- of course- but PBOT, Multnomah County, and ODOT have badly neglected this for years. The agencies responsible should have cooperated and applied safe streets best practices here a decade ago when the streetcar was put in.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

The agencies responsible should have cooperated and applied safe streets best practices here a decade ago when the streetcar was put in.

I think we all need to be patient and let the City of Portland implement its 2,000-year “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” city rehab project, including the latest phase, the Fix Our Street Bread and Butter Program, since this area was only recently annexed into the city, in July of 1891, only 133 years ago, hardly a blip when you think about PBOT’s geological pace.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Probably comment of the week, but I’ve only just started noticing how many curved ramps and slip lanes and other speed-em-up designs are all over the city – a legacy of the 1950s when it was all about speeding up traffic. All of those features need to be taken out and replaced by 90-degree turns with bump-outs.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

Yet another reason why “Trenton’s Law” is so infuriating with it’s focus on bicycle use rather than the vehicle that killed him or the infrastructure that assisted with his death. If HB 4103 really wanted to save lives rather than grandstand it would have addressed the problems you mention at the state level and PBOT and ODOT would be mandated to begin replacement. I still don’t understand how anyone can support HB4103 in it’s current form.
Also, I’m guessing there isn’t going to be a “Dino’s Law” introduced anytime soon.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  jakeco969

HB 4103

There is nothing whatsoever in that bill, now or earlier, that would “save lives”.

It started out by allowing kids to ride low-powered e-bikes and holding parents responsible for violations, and has morphed into something completely administrative.

Expecting that a bill with such limited ambitions would also appropriate money to redesign and rebuild a huge number of streets across Oregon just because it had “Trenton” in the title was never realistic.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

There is nothing whatsoever in that bill, now or earlier, that would “save lives”

Completely agree with you and thats why it was/is/will always be a waste of time to spend legislative energy on it.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  jakeco969

A lot happens in Salem that I think is a waste of time. This is hardly the best example.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

Lol!!! Comment of the past several years!!!

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

Whenever I am out walking or riding around bump-outs (as infrequently as possible) I notice that most of those bump-outs have tire marks on them.

surly ogre
surly ogre
1 month ago

Why is this street open to driving at all?
It should be closed to driving and only walking/bicycling allowed.
Left turns could be made a couple blocks away at Taylor or Main

A few more blocks away at Hawthorne.
There is no street at all for left turns, only sidewalk and landscaping.
Left turns are made at Market or Mill

Daniel Fogg
Daniel Fogg
1 month ago
Reply to  surly ogre

Also, Stark St, which is much wider and has a light, has been closed to eastbound traffic from MLK for more than a year because of construction. I don’t think the city should have allowed that.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  surly ogre

Let’s just close it and use the space for a much larger camp.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

Let’s do that for all the streets!

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago

With our ever increasing tax burden we all might be forced out of our homes and need to live somewhere!
Thank goodness I already have tents and sleeping bags.

mperham
mperham
1 month ago

RIP Dino.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago

Correction: According to PBOT, MLK is owned and maintained by PBOT, as is Grand. They do have a state designation (and even Federal ones) but they are in fact city stroads.

surly ogre
surly ogre
1 month ago

who owns Belmont between MLK and Grand ?
how did a bike lane get installed between Sep 2017 and 2018 ?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  surly ogre

Belmont: The surface streets and sidewalks are all owned and maintained by PBOT, but the ramps and upper road decks, plus their sidewalks, to the Morrison Bridge are more likely owned and maintained by Multnomah County. No idea about the bike lanes.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Even agencies get confused about those. Did you know signs for I-84 and such mounted on city roads are city’s responsibility?
I contacted PBOT about damaged interstate signage on city road, they passed the buck to ODOT who then sent it right back to PBOT with comment that since its on city road, it’s the city’s responsibility. Each agency trying hard to avoid having to do maintenance on their dime.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Chopwatch

On the back of most signs is a small sticker indicating who owns which sign, but you’d have to up to the sign to see it. Once upon a time in the early oughts, I had a cool job with PBOT walking around downtown measuring signs and signposts, and we’d note who owned which sign – PBOT, ODOT, Multnomah County, Trimet, the feds, private, and so on – plus materials, height, order of signs, and so on – it was amazing how many signs there were in the public right of way. Then we’d enter it all into a GIS and various databases, which wasn’t as much fun.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  Chopwatch

Just business as usual.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago

The city and county do prevent camping where it’s somewhere they really do not want it.

This is why you never see any tents in the luxurious overhang of the Multnomah County headquarters on Hawthorne and Grand just two blocks away from this accident scene.

This area was known to get persistently and repeatedly camped upon. Here are more photos. 2/10/2023, 5/10/2023 and like with many spots, this was just a repetition of post and clean with no real effort to prevent an encampment. 

As usual,driver gets vilified when things go wrong. We don’t really know what actually happened. Could it be that the bicyclist was hanging out and thoughtlessly rolled back into the travel lane? Driver may not have been 0% fault, but maybe the bicyclist was a significant contributing factor too. It’s too early to put everything on the driver.

(reposting, because I accidentally posted this comment on a wrong article)

irp-imgs2
Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Chopwatch

There was literally enough evidence to charge the driver with manslaughter and you are saying “Driver may not have been 0% fault…”. I mean, that seems a little extreme knowing what we know, even though we don’t know the full story. There were a lot of things at play, but I think we can all safely say that it was not 0% at fault here. One story I read said this – “Witnesses reported that the suspect, identified as Shane McKeever, initiated an altercation with individuals at the camp. Subsequently, McKeever got behind the wheel of a silver Chevrolet Malibu and deliberately drove into a man at a speed of 40 to 50 miles per hour, dragging him along the sidewalk, as detailed in court documents.

In a disturbing turn of events, McKeever allegedly struck multiple tents and attempted to hit another person before abandoning the stolen vehicle, which had been reported missing the day before.”

Let’s not minimize vehicular violence. This car seems to have been intentionally used as a weapon where he was trying to kill/hurt multiple people after he instigated a fight earlier based on the evidence we have so far. Even if that isn’t correct, we know he was speeding and hit someone who was basically not moving (even if he moved slightly backwards, which there is no evidence of).

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Many of us aren’t justice involved and the last they learned the “innocent until proven guilty” was the civics class in HS.

The driver’s vehicle doesn’t look that damaged from media images. If one is involved in an accident, then people started stooting at them, driving off is a reasonable measure to minimize harm to yourself.

Charges are filed and arrests made on probable cause. Convictions occurs if the defendant enters a plea bargain or the charges are proven “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Arrest and charges does not mean “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Who are the witnesses? What is their credibility? What do the witnesses’ criminal records of relevance to honesty look like? Someone that just got upset at the heat of the moment and punched someone and owed up to it has less of a credibility issue than someone whose done identity theft fraud.

We can’t just immediately conclude driver is mostly at fault based on what some street residents said

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Chopwatch

Thank you for mansplaining basic civics to me. It has really helped me gain fresh new insights into my judgments.

I didn’t “immediately” conclude. I read the accounts of what happened and the fact that the cyclist (honestly, the pedestrian) was standing (not walking) in the bike lane and he ended up getting hit and flying many feet and dying. So basically a driver hit a static (or nearly static) object (a person). I am going to put the person moving at fault regardless of the vehicle type – regardless of what the witnesses said. There was no way the vehicle was going a reasonable speed to do the damage he did and be considered anywhere near “0%”.

Your whole point seems to be that the “driver gets vilified when things go wrong”. And I honestly think they should most of the time more than they currently do and that this is one of the only forums in which they get treated more fairly than other places where they don’t bear enough responsibility. I feel that we, as Americans, treat vehicles as toys, and all other road users as nuisances. I don’t really think that Americans appreciate the violence and damage drivers do and that drivers should bear a greater responsibility when operating them. How many times have drivers killed someone and simply got off with a “failure to yield” ticket? That, to me, doesn’t seem like justice. Why not involuntary manslaughter? While I don’t want to unnecessarily vilify drivers (I am in fact a driver), I also do think they are mostly not held fully responsible for their actions while driving considering how dangerous they are.

I am just kind of waiting for you to bring up the fact that he maybe wasn’t wearing a helmet…

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Why not involuntary manslaughter?

The only relevant part of manslaughter that could apply here is killing someone while acting recklessly.

Reckless in this context means “that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

How do you prove to a jury that a driver was creating an “unjustifiable” risk, and grossly deviated from the actions of a “reasonable person”?

It’s a lot easier if a driver has been drinking, or is driving crazy fast. It’s a lot harder if a driver hits someone randomly on the street while driving more-or-less “normally”.

“Reasonable people” sometimes get momentarily distracted or their vision system fails to perceive what’s right in front of them. I’m even willing to bet it’s happened to you.

https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_163.125
https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_161.085

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

I am speaking in general – also “Driving while distracted” counts. If we really are playing dumb, that could also be used.

There are also federal laws around involuntary manslaughter and around negligence, not just recklessness.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

I am speaking in general — driving while distracted counts. 

I’m sorry to be so specific, but that’s the way laws work. You have to find a particular one that applies, then provide sufficient evidence that it was violated.

I could find no law called “driving while distracted”; the closest I found was “Operating motor vehicle while using mobile electronic device”. A person is guilty of that if they are driving while holding a handheld device in their hand, or are using it “in any way”.

For first (and second) time offenders this is classified as a traffic violation, just like the “failure to yield” violation you scoffed at as being too minor.

You mentioned your understanding of civics, so you also probably know that the federal government is not in the business of prosecuting dangerous driving on Oregon streets (even if they have laws that apply, a claim I’m highly skeptical of).

https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_811.507

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

Gee, we haven’t even gotten to the portion of the usual inane defense yet of “the victim came out of nowhere and I couldn’t stop in time…”

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Exactly; we all know it’s (usually) BS*, but proving that statement is false in a particular case can be challenging, which is why so many of these cases aren’t prosecuted.

But even if you could somehow prove the driver did or should have seen the victim, without some egregious behavior it’s hard to prove manslaughter or reckless driving.

*Though with human cognition and perception what it is, maybe it’s true from the driver’s perspective.

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago
Reply to  Chopwatch

We can’t just immediately conclude driver is mostly at fault based on what some street residents said

This comment is an example of how in this society being encapsulated in a metal cage makes someone a superior class of human being whose violence against vulnerable people is endlessly justified.

paxtonlifewell
paxtonlifewell
1 month ago

Another preventable road death… You will be missed David.
Unfortunately, because of the way our reactionary society functions, this is the best time to leverage PBOT to make safety improvements to this dangerous intersection. Even though it is a state highway, it could be simple because PBOT manages it.

Try this on for size and let me know what you think:
The leftmost lane ends maybe a hundred feet past the turn onto Belmont. PBOT could make the left lane a “left turn only” at Belmont, install a huge concrete planter to physically enforce the “left turn only” and add a speed bump approaching the turn. See crude graphic:

file:///C:/Users/pmhro/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.Windows.Photos_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/ShareServiceTempFolder/MLK%20Belmont%20Left%20Turn%20Only.jpeg

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago
Reply to  paxtonlifewell

Preventable death that City of Portland’s OMF-IRP failed to prevent.

dw
dw
1 month ago

The driver deserves to rot in prison for a very, very long time.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Two years ago, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler instituted a ban on street camping along high crash corridors.

Is the ban being enforced? Nope.

Champs
Champs
1 month ago

If, as it’s been said, that the site is repeatedly posted, then do we know if the victim refused shelter?

This isn’t to blame the victim, l just happen to see a natural, if tragic, experiment to test the PSU study’s theory. Wanting something to be true doesn’t make it so.

Ray
Ray
1 month ago

Saw this just now reporting it was intentional. Update coming?

Court docs: Driver intentionally ran into man, homeless camp in SE Portland (kptv.com)

Joseph E
Joseph E
1 month ago

Update: this wasn’t an accident, it was intentional, according to court documents and this KPTV story:

“Court documents state witnesses reported the suspect, identified as Shane McKeever, started an argument with people at the camp. McKeever then got into a silver Chevrolet Malibu and intentionally drove into a man at the camp at 40 to 50 miles per hour and dragged him on the sidewalk, according to court documents.”
“McKeever also reportedly hit several tents and tried to hit another person before ditching the car, which court documents state was reported stolen a day prior.”

https://www.kptv.com/2024/02/27/court-docs-driver-intentionally-ran-into-man-homeless-camp-se-portland/

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph E

If I have the right corner, there’s a bike shop right there, too. Sad.
I don’t know how you can even get to 40-50 mph after making that left turn; you’d have to floor it to get to that kind of speed. If he was targeting the camp, that would explain why he was going so fast.

Joseph E
Joseph E
1 month ago

OregonLive also reported on the new court filing. The man accused plead not guilty to manslaughter. I would expect the charge to be upgraded to murder, if it can be proved that he intentionally used a stolen car to hit the victim at a high rate of speed.

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2024/02/driver-crashed-into-portland-homeless-camp-on-purpose-killed-man-court-filing-alleges.html

Josh C
Josh C
1 month ago

I just want to feel like a human again,
this is just another reminder how far from that I really am.

what’s the feeling you get after being numb and jaded for years?

At what point do you just give up ever thinking it will improve given nothing really changes

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh C

At what point do you just give up ever thinking it will improve given nothing really changes

For me it was around age 30 or so and a dead-end GIS job at PBOT as a nameless faceless bureaucrat at taxpayer expense, plus a useless MURP degree from PSU. Around age 35-40 I fell into the wrong crowd, a bunch of old coots who hang out monthly at community centers and have what they call “neighborhood association meetings.” I got majorly addicted, then got unemployed during the Great Recession and had to move to the poor part of town and wound up attending various city and neighborhood meetings and was soon drafted into various committees (up to 15 at one point, my addiction was so bad). Soon I was getting sidewalk and bike projects funded left and right, it was so easy and effortless – I remember literally crying in joy when my first infill sidewalk was actually built between 122nd and 130th on SE Stark – and then lots more sidewalks got built too, on Glisan, on 162nd, all over East Portland. I even convinced some ODOT officials to put in barrier-protected bike lanes on Powell instead of the expected painted lanes. It was fun, a joy!

And then I got priced out and had to move away to mediocre Greensboro NC. Now I’m in my mid-50s and started a nonprofit bike coop 2 years ago next April and am now very quickly getting “numb and jaded” dealing with never-ending personnel issues, couples breaking up, grants, and employee theft. Joy.

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh C

When I was homeless for a brief period of time, but long enough to feel hopelessness, one of the things I read that stuck with me: “I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Camus

Nick
Nick
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh C

I’d suggest getting involved with some neighborhood groups or bikeloud or something if you feel hopeless. Don’t overcommit but it’s nice to see the nice things even if you’re not doing very much.

Showing up to neighborhood meetings and being a voice for safer streets etc is helpful in the long term.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago

Let’s see, there is currently a vagrant tent camp right along the emergency shoulder of I-405 NB just south of SW 4th Ave overpass. Almost up to the curb edge.

Then on the east side of SW 14th Ave 10-15 ft south of SW Jefferson Street, there are three or four vagrant tent camps with one large tent with parts actually sticking into the road that coul easily get snagged on the side of a garbage truck’s arm or prevent large vehicles from being able to drive on the without encroaching into oncoming lane.

City of Portland, Office of Management and Finance, Impact Reduction Program, known as OMF-IRP and OMF-HUCIRP is at fault here for failing to immediate remove camps like this to reduce impact. They’re not impact reduction. They’re just a lubricant for the homeless industrial complex.

Don Courtney
Don Courtney
1 month ago

Drugs, this whole thing is about drugs, the driver fought with the camp about drugs, was high on drugs as was the victim. IMO. I’ve walked around that area and this whole city since I was 14 and I’m 47. These people come down to buy or sell drugs and everyone has a short temper and drive fast.

This blog seems to be about ignoring the proximate cause of many accidents it reports on.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Don Courtney

Measure 110 working great.

Matt S.
Matt S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

It’s been repealed, just has to be signed.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
1 month ago

Major update to the story. If you’ve been watching the news, the update is that this was an intentional act done with a stolen vehicle. The guy apparently drove over other tents prior to the fatal incident.

The exact motive isn’t known yet. So this could have been pre-existing personal feuds between the people involved or stranger-on-stranger. The news outlets say campers said the driver stopped by and threatened them.

So this isn’t a car control issue like stabbing or arson shouldn’t be lighter, scissors, knife or gun control issue.