mitch york

42 month sentence for man who killed Mitch York on the St. Johns Bridge

Avatar by on May 18th, 2017 at 11:05 am

Images from the sentencing hearing for Joel Schrantz. Top: Jenni York and her daughter Carly York hug after the hearing; Judge Eric Bloch. Bottom: defendant Joel Schrantz.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Joel Schrantz was sentenced to 42 months in jail yesterday for his role in the death of Mitch York.

Schrantz, 43, is the man who failed to control his Toyota 4-Runner and hit York while driving onto the St. Johns Bridge on October 29th, 2016. York was waiting for a green light in the left-turn lane prior to the collision. The 55-year old resident of northeast Portland, who was on his way to one of his regular rides in the west hills, died at the scene.
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Man charged with death of Mitch York is back in custody facing new manslaughter charge

Avatar by on November 18th, 2016 at 10:14 am

Schrantz booking photo.

Schrantz booking photo.

Joel Schrantz, the man with a long driving record who was driving on a suspended license when he failed to control his car and allowed it to slam into and kill Mitch York on the St. Johns Bridge last month, is back in custody.

After being initially arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, Schrantz posted $2,000 bail (10 percent of total bail amount) and was set free pending trial. We confirmed with residents in his St. Johns neighborhood that he was indeed back at home. We also confirmed with the District Attorney’s office that Schrantz was under court mandate to check-in with law enforcement everyday and was not allowed to drive a car.

This past Tuesday, Schrantz was back in court to face formal charges in the case. According to Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth Waner, the Grand Jury returned an indictment for the enhanced charge of manslaughter in the second degree (ORS 163.125). This is significant because manslaughter is a much more serious crime than criminally negligent homicide.
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At protest ride, St. Johns Bridge carries weight of hundreds, and of recent tragedy

Avatar by on November 3rd, 2016 at 9:17 pm

St Johns Bridge protest ride-28.jpg

Hundreds of people came together in St. Johns tonight to remember Mitch York, the 55-year-old northeast Portland man who was killed while bicycling on the St. Johns Bridge six days ago.
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Repeat offender who drove his car into Mitch York, is out on $2,000 bail

Avatar by on November 3rd, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Joel Schrantz booking photo.

Joel Schrantz booking photo.

As we debate infrastructure and policy solutions that could make places like the St. Johns Bridge safer to use, we should not lose sight of the fact that what we’re dealing with here is a systemic problem.

Our system fails us because it lets dangerous people operate dangerous vehicles on dangerous roads. Joel Schrantz, the man who was unable to control his vehicle before he struck and killed Mitch York on Saturday, is just the latest in a long line of criminals who were allowed to drive when they had no business being anywhere near a steering wheel.

At least not in a civilized society.

Schrantz is a man who, according to The Oregonian, has around 30-40 previous traffic violations going back over 20 years. He was driving a vehicle that was in a bad state of repair and his license was suspended. It has been reported that “chuckled” about his poor driving record to the police officer who responded to the scene.

This man is a clear and present danger to other road users and he’s making a mockery of our obviously inadequate driving regulations.
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Media coverage of St. Johns Bridge fatality makes ODOT answer for lack of safe bike access

Avatar by on November 1st, 2016 at 12:02 pm

KGW's Q & A with ODOT is a must-read.

KGW’s Q & A with ODOT is a must-read.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is being forced to answer questions about unsafe biking conditions on the St. Johns Bridge after 55-year-old Mitch York was killed while biking on it Saturday.

All four of the major network news outlets led with follow-ups on the story during last night’s newscast.

As we continue to do our own reporting about the fateful decisions ODOT made during a multi-million dollar renovation project on the bridge in 2003 (to prioritize motorized vehicle capacity at the expense of everything else, summarized by this commenter who was around at the time), let’s take a look at how the issue has been covered so far by KOIN (CBS), KATU (ABC), KPTV (Fox), and KGW (NBC).

(Note that three of these four newscasts included my comments shared via on-camera interviews. Those videos are embedded below.)
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Protest ride will ‘Take the Lane’ on St. Johns Bridge this Thursday

Avatar by on October 31st, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-43.jpg

Bicycle riders are allowed to use the full lane on the St. Johns Bridge — a ride on Thursday will remind people of that fact.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Let’s show ODOT that we deserve to be protected and we are sick of this shit.
— From the Facebook event page

With the community reeling with sadness and anger about the death of Mitch York, a protest ride will happen on the St. Johns Bridge this Thursday.

York loved riding in the west hills and was en route to one of his many monthly rides when he was hit. The ride is being organized by Portlanders Jake Tong and Hazel Gross. Here’s the description via Facebook:
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Remembering Mitch York, Portland’s latest victim of traffic violence

Avatar by on October 31st, 2016 at 10:52 am

Mitch York, self-portrait. May 2016.

Mitch York, self-portrait. May 2016.

55-year-old northeast Portland resident Mitch York died on Saturday while he was riding his bike across the St. Johns Bridge.

He was likely on his way to another ride on some of his favorite roads in the west hills. Mitch was only a few tenths of a mile from the quiet backroads, steep climbs, and gravel roads he often set out to explore.

Our picture of who Mitch was is still coming into focus, but it’s clear from his photography that cycling played a large role in his life.

From what we know so far based on his website at MitchYork.com, Mitch grew up in Boise, Idaho. His first serious athletic pursuit was baseball, which he played in high school. Then in 1976, during his sophomore year, he discovered skateboarding and it completely took over his life. Based on his own account, riding skateboards — and photographing his friends doing it — became his all-consuming passion.
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Collision on St Johns Bridge kills bicycle rider – Updated

Avatar by on October 29th, 2016 at 2:56 pm

View of the west end of the St. Johns Bridge. Despite being a very popular and important bikeway, it's quite inhospitable for users not inside a motor vehicle.

View of the west end of the St. Johns Bridge. Despite being a very popular and important bikeway, it’s quite inhospitable for users not inside a motor vehicle.

A man died while riding his bike on the St Johns Bridge today. He became the 37th person to die as a result of a traffic collision in Portland thiss year.

Not many details have been released. I’ve pasted the most recent police statement below:[Read more…]