Police say marijuana was involved in last weekend’s hit-and-run death of a Portland cyclist, according to The Oregonian. The newspaper quotes Portland police saying the 38 year old bike rider “was wearing a helmet and the back of his bike was equipped with a flashing red light” when he was struck from behind by a 26-year-old driver.
The fatal Oregon bike accident occurred early Saturday evening “in the 4200 block of Northeast Lombard Street, which is also called Portland Highway.” The Oregonian reports that the driver left the scene of the accident but was arrested shortly thereafter about three miles away. The suspect has been booked “into Multnomah County jail on accusations of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and driving under the influence of intoxicants.” The cyclist died at the scene of the Oregon bike accident.
The legalization of recreational marijuana use here in Oregon will create new and potentially challenging legal issues over the coming years, but when looking at an accident like this it is important to keep the basic facts in mind. Based on the published accounts citing local police this fatal bike accident involved an impaired and irresponsible driver.
As a Portland bike accident attorney I am always aware of the many challenges the cycling community faces here in Oregon and elsewhere around the nation. Even in a city that is famously bike-friendly it is a sad fact that riders need to remain extra-alert at all times because too many drivers refuse to share the road or have chosen to get behind the wheel when they are not in a condition to drive.
Education campaigns and stepped-up enforcement are good and necessary, but they will never solve the problem by themselves. I am proud of my record helping the cycling community obtain justice in our courts when its members are killed or injured by irresponsible drivers. With the always-dangerous driving period around New Year’s Eve fast approaching I urge everyone to take special caution this holiday season: looking out for bike riders every time they get behind the wheel, and being responsible to themselves and others by knowing when it is not appropriate to be driving in the first place.