Community rallies around man paralyzed in north Portland collision

Duncan and his family in the hospital back in March.
(Photos courtesy the Duncan family)

It’s been almost a year since Brian Duncan’s life changed forever. On March 30th the 37-year-old was on his bike, rolling across North Rosa Parks Way at Delaware when another man, 84-year-old Louis Hellbusch, failed to stop his car for a red light.

The impact left Duncan paralyzed and facing a new direction in his life and that of his wife and three-year-old daughter. That new life now includes a new home — one built to handle Duncan’s lifelong needs.

Duncan was a board member of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association and this crash reverberated throughout the community. Last September his friends and neighbors held a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of street safety in the close-knit north Portland neighborhood — which was the site of two traffic deaths in the six months following Duncan’s collision.

Today the Duncan family is supported by an A-list team that’s helping them build a new, ADA accessible home. The project is called Two Blocks North and they’ve already raised over $40,000, nearly one-third of their goal.

“Biking was a major part of our lives and that’s been taken away,” Duncan said in a statement released through the project. “I feel lucky to be alive but that doesn’t change the reality of our situation.”

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