A Portland driver accused of intentionally running over a cyclist last year was found guilty of assault by a Multnomah County judge Monday, according to media reports. Sentencing is scheduled for June 8, according to The Oregonian.
The Multnomah County judge cleared Wayne Thompson of first and second degree assault charges but found him guilty of the lesser crime of Third Degree Assault. The Portland auto and bike collision took place last August. According to The Oregonian Thompson and cyclist Michael Luther argued in a parking lot near the intersection of Northeast 122nd Avenue and Glisan Street before “Thompson put his car into reverse and backed into Luther at an estimated 40 mph, police said.” Witnesses said that at the time of the accident Thompson “was looking over his left shoulder, in the direction of travel, and appeared agitated when he struck Luther.”
Though he was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, Luther suffered an Oregon traumatic brain injury and has been unable to return to work.
Incidents such as this one serve as an important reminder of the difference between criminal and civil penalties. Though Thompson has now been convicted of a crime, that is separate from the question of civil liability for his actions. Victims of incidents such as this, as well as their loved-ones, should consult a Portland bike injury lawyer as soon as possible following an Oregon car and bike accident to obtain a professional assessment of their situation.
As this incident demonstrates, an Oregon wrongful death, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury are all serious possibilities when cars or SUVs and bikes come into contact. After such an incident, an experienced Portland personal injury lawyer can offer valuable advice on the best way to obtain justice.
The Oregonian: Portland driver found guilty of assault on cyclist