bret lewis

Friends remember crash victim Bret Lewis

Avatar by on February 18th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

An “unconventional” family unit.
Lisa Padur, Arlen Witter, and Bret Lewis.
(Photo: Friends of Bret Lewis)

Bret Lewis, the man who was hit and killed while attempting to cross Tualatin Valley Highway one week ago today, left behind a community of friends in Beaverton.

Bret was an Oregon native, who spent most of his life in Beaverton. He has worked several jobs over the years, including one five-year stint for the Sub Station on SW Broadway where he delivered sandwiches by bike, pedaling the same streets that ended up claiming his life. [Read more…]

What if Bret Lewis was crossing Tualatin-Valley Highway?

Avatar by on February 17th, 2011 at 9:11 am

New analysis of the crash that claimed the life of 47-year old Beaverton resident Bret Lewis last Saturday reveals that — contrary to what was reported initially by the Beaverton Police Department and subsequently covered by several local media outlets (including this one) — it’s very possible that Lewis was crossing Tualatin Valley (TV) Highway prior to being hit.

The police reported that Lewis was bicycling westbound on TV Hwy and that he was hit from behind by James Nguyen. Much of the discussion around this tragedy has revolved around why Lewis was not riding in the bike lane or the lane nearest to the curb (witnesses have helped police determine that Lewis was in the lane to the south of the bike lane).

But, what if Lewis was crossing the street? Would/should that change how we make sense of this tragedy?[Read more…]

Beaverton fatality follow-up: A conversation with police spokesman

Avatar by on February 15th, 2011 at 11:33 am

“Given the circumstances, it seems like issuing a citation would probably not stand up in court. Any person could go in and say, ‘It’s dark, rainy, there’s this little red light in the road’. I think any judge would toss that citation out’.”
— Det. Sgt. Jim Shumway, Beaverton Police Department

The community is trying to understand what happened in Saturday’s fatal traffic crash that resulted in the death of 47-year old Bret Lewis. In the meantime, Police investigators work on their investigation, advocates have swung into action, and family and friends grieve at the senseless loss of life.

As I mentioned in my initial report, the police statement about the crash seemed (to me at least) to go out of its way to absolve the motor vehicle operator (now identified as 48-year old James Nguyen of Beaverton) of any wrongdoing. Mr. Nguyen didn’t intend to kill anyone Saturday night; but as a vehicle operator, he has an important legal (and moral) responsibility to use enough care and caution so as to not hit another person who is operating their vehicle legally (which it seems like Lewis was doing) on the same road.

To learn more about the crash and about concerns with how it was framed by police, I had a conversation yesterday with Beaverton Police Department Detective Sergeant Jim Shumway. Sgt. Shumway is the Public Information Officer who wrote the press statement about this crash. [Read more…]

Vigil for Bret Lewis to be held Friday in Beaverton

Avatar by on February 14th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Intersection of TV Hwy and SW Tualaway Ave.
(Photo: Jim Parsons)

Community members plan to hold a vigil for Bret Lewis*, the man who was hit and killed while bicycling on Tualatin-Valley Highway in Beaverton on Saturday.

The event is being planned by local citizen advocate (and 2011 BTA Alice Award nominee) Jim Parsons along with Hal Ballard, the executive director of the Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition.[Read more…]

Man killed while bicycling on TV Hwy in Beaverton

Avatar by on February 12th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

47-year old Michael Bret Lewis died in the hospital this evening at after he was struck from behind by a motor vehicle while riding his bicycle on SW Tualatin Valley Highway in Beaverton at around 6:30pm.

Police say Lewis was hit by a 48-year old man driving a Toyota Prius who was also headed westbound. The collision happened near the intersection of SW Tualaway Ave (in front an auto dealership – Google Map here).[Read more…]

Police statement on fatal crash in Beaverton

Avatar by on February 12th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Just for reference, below is the official Beaverton Police Department press release on the Saturday (2/12) crash that led to the death of Bret Lewis…

BICYCLIST STRUCK AND KILLED BY VEHICLE
On Saturday, February 12th, at 6:43 PM Beaverton Police were called to an accident involving a bicyclist and a vehicle near the intersection of SW Tualaway Ave and SW TV Hwy in Beaverton. Officers arrived and learned that a 47 year old male on a bicycle in the westbound curb lane of TV Hwy had been struck from behind by a vehicle, also traveling westbound in the curb lane. The bicyclist was treated at the scene by rescue personnel and quickly transported to Emanuel Hospital with life threatening injuries. The bicyclist was declared dead in the operating room of the hospital.

Police on scene were able to determine through numerous witness accounts that the 47 year old bicyclist was stopped in the westbound curb lane. It is unknown why the bicyclist was stopped in the traffic lane. There was no traffic backed up or any other impediments that would cause the bicyclist to be stopped in the middle of the lane. There is a bike lane to the right and along the curb of the traffic lane. The bicyclist had a functioning red light on the rear of the bike but was not wearing a helmet.

The 48 year old driver of the vehicle that struck the bicyclist stated that he was westbound on TV Hwy in the curb lane and did not see the bicyclist until it was too late. He stated that the bicyclist was stopped on his bike in the middle of the traffic lane. The driver stated he tried to swerve to the left to avoid striking the bicyclist but it was too late and he struck the bicyclist with the right side of his car. This is consistent with the damage to his vehicle, a Toyota Prius. The driver exhibited no signs of intoxication or any other impairment and voluntarily responded to the hospital for a blood draw for drugs and alcohol testing.

It was dark and windy and raining heavily at the time of the accident. The lighting and weather conditions are believed to be a factor in the inability to see the bicyclist stopped in the traffic lane. It is not anticipated that the driver of the vehicle will be cited. The name of the bicyclist is being withheld until family notifications are complete. The investigation is continuing.