On behalf of Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC posted on Monday, October 1, 2012.
Those following bicycle news are likely to remember the fatal collision between a bicyclist and a tractor-trailer this past May in downtown Portland. After an extensive investigation, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the driver of the truck was not at fault in the accident, and will not face criminal charges. The crash occurred when the truck was making a right turn onto Southwest Third Avenue while traveling east on Southwest Madison Avenue. The young woman on the bicycle was also traveling east on Madison when she hit the right front fender of the truck, eventually becoming pinned under its rear tires. OHSU Hospital pronounced her dead an hour later. A report released by authorities indicates that information from witnesses, surveillance cameras and other sources failed to prove that the truck driver was either criminally negligent or reckless. Several witnesses at the scene told investigators that the driver was turning slowly, with his turn signal on. None of them remembered seeing the bicyclist until just before the crash. The report also indicated that it is uncertain if the driver could have even seen the cyclist before he turned. This deadly bicycle accident is a tragic reminder of how vulnerable bicyclists are on the road. Regardless of fault, the bicyclist almost always loses in the end. Portland bicyclists should keep safety as their top priority and know their rights as cyclists under state law. Even if criminal charges are not filed against the driver in a bicycle accident that causes death or injury, the victims or their family members may still seek compensation in civil court. Source: The Oregonian, “Fatal bike crash in downtown Portland: No criminal charges for truck driver,” Helen Jung, Sept. 26, 2012