A Sad October

A Sad October

October 2007 will always be remembered as a tragic time for our community. Fatal collisions took the lives of Brett Jarolimek and Tracey Sparling, and Bob Verrinder was critically injured from a collision with a car on Marine Drive.

The articles below chronicle those crashes and the resulting aftermath.


PBOT makes Greeley right-turn closure permanent

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 8th, 2009 at 9:58 am

Looking south on Interstate with Greeley to the right. City crews have extended the median and joined it with the sidewalk to make the right-turn closure permanent. In October of 2007, a man was killed at this intersection after a collision with a right-turning truck.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Sparling family files lawsuit against trucking company

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on March 18th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

According to The Oregonian, the family of Tracey Sparling — the 19-year who was killed when a cement truck turned right into her in October 2007 — has filed a lawsuit against the trucking company.

Here’s more from The Oregonian:

“The suit was filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the driver and his company. The suit accuses the driver of negligence for not yielding the right of way under Oregon law and failing to use his mirrors and control the vehicle owned by Rinker Materials.”

[Read more…]

PNCA staffer who rallied after tragedies receives award

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 16th, 2008 at 2:04 am

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Michael Hall oversaw memorials
for two PNCA students last fall.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Michael Hall, Dean of Student Services at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, has received a community award from the NW Examiner for his role in creating awareness and promoting bike safety in the wake of two tragic deaths last year.

The death of 19 year-old PNCA art student Tracey Sparling, followed by the death of PNCA alum Brett Jarolimek in a span of less than two weeks last October sent shockwaves through the close-knit school.

According to the NW Examiner, Hall reacted by going above and beyond his duties to not only support the student community, but to help them cope and become more aware of bike safety.[Read more…]

One Year Later: Plans for a permanent memorial to Brett are confirmed

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 24th, 2008 at 10:47 am

This is a draft design concept created by Matt Cardinal for a permanent memorial to honor Brett Jarolimek at N. Interstate and Greeley Ave. The image is taken from a photograph by Bob Libby of Creative Dog Photography.

[Read more…]

One year later: Remembering Tracey and Brett

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 22nd, 2008 at 9:46 am

The ghost bike for Tracey Sparling (at the corner of W. Burnside and 14th in downtown Portland) with fresh flowers placed by family members on the one-year anniversary of her death.
(Photos J. Maus)

A memorial sculpture and stencil (since removed) for Brett Jarolimek at the intersection of N. Interstate and Greeley.

[Read more…]

A bittersweet bike box

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 3rd, 2008 at 10:16 am

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The new bike box at W. Burnside and 14th.
Video below
(Photos © J. Maus)

On Monday, the city of Portland installed a bike box in the SE corner of W. Burnside and 14th streets in downtown Portland — the same intersection where Tracey Sparling was killed nine months ago.

This is the eighth bike box the City has installed in the past four months since the first one went in at SE Hawthorne and 7th. [Read more…]

Two lives changed forever by Marine Drive collision

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 26th, 2008 at 11:41 am

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Jan Verrinder at the bike safety press conference
in City Hall a week after her husband Bob
was nearly killed in a collision with a
car on Marine Drive.
(Photo © J. Maus)

During last year’s Sad October, our community endured several tragedies.

The two young lives we lost grabbed most of the headlines, but sandwiched between both of them was another tragedy that almost had a similar storyline.

Luckily, the collision between Bob Verrinder and a car on Marine Drive on October 18th did not claim his life. But even today, he struggles on the road to recovery.[Read more…]

Jarolimek’s family files lawsuit against garbage truck driver

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 5th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

(Photo © J. Maus)

The Oregonian is reporting that the family of Brett Jarolimek has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the driver of the garbage truck in the fatal collision back in October.

According to reporter Joseph Rose, the family is, “claiming 40-year-old Bryan Lowes of Oregon City was negligent and should have never been behind the wheel.”

Rose also reports that the suit claims Lowes failed to yield the bike lane to Jarolimek and that his truck had a broken mirror that was attached with only a bungee cord (a fact that came out of the DA’s investigation).
[Read more…]

Community comes together for Brett Jarolimek Fund benefit

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 2nd, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Brett Jarolimek Benefit Fund event-5.jpg

Daniel McGinnis, BTA Board member
and president of Bike Gallery.
(Photos © J. Maus)

At the Brett Jarolimek Memorial Fund benefit last night, Bike Gallery President Daniel McGinnis implored the hundreds of people who showed up to “roll up your sleeves”, and reminded us that our recent Platinum accolade is, “a platform and nothing else.”

McGinnis issued an invitation, and a challenge to all of us to help build something positive out of tragedy. He stressed that the fund was not only in need of financial contributions, but another important type of contribution — our ideas.[Read more…]

Ghost bike returned, thief ‘truly sorry’

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 15th, 2008 at 10:42 am

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The bike is back, with a letter from the thief.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Yesterday’s case of the mysterious disappearance of Brett Jarolimek’s ghost bike at N. Interstate and Greeley has come to an unexpected close.
Just a few hours after my story, I got an email and a phone call from local TV news crews who had sent reporters out to investigate. They were surprised to find the ghost bike back in its place. But the interesting thing is that, wedged into the rear wheel of the bike is a note from the thief that reads:[Read more…]