Yet, my observations riding around the Portland metro area is that we just don’t see as much in the way of highly visible – “in your face” – awareness programs this year. Maybe I’ve missed the billboards while concentrating on and trying to navigate the highway ruts/grooves from all the road construction?
I’ll tell you what I have noticed… Several motorcycle crash reports from Oregon State Police and articles in the Oregonian. It’s sad to say, but when I see a motorcycle accident in the paper, that’s increasing awareness! Some might even debate that reading about motorcycle accidents provides a better deterrent than a motorcycle awareness campaign could accomplish.
What do you think?
When there is an accident, the motorcycle community wants to know what happened. Why and who caused it? But, more often than not we’re left speculating about what led up to the accident, or second guessing the police report. Follow up seldom occurs and accurate conclusions are challenging to get. I truly dislike blogging about these disheartening events, but over the last 4-weeks we’ve seen a spike in accidents. All motorcyclists were wearing helmets and below is a brief summary:
- June 17 – John Edward Tomer was eastbound on Highway 26 near milepost 46. For an unknown reason, the motorcycle traveled across the westbound lane where a witness in another vehicle slowed to avoid it. The motorcycle continued off the highway into a ditch and hit a tree bordering the north side. Mr. Tomer was pronounced deceased at the scene.
- June 21 – Terry Brateng stopped his motorcycle with two other motorcycles on the right southbound shoulder of I-5 near milepost 194 underneath an overpass next to a concrete shoulder barrier to shelter from a passing heavy rain shower. After getting off his motorcycle, Brateng was walking around the front of the motorcycle when he was struck by an automobile driven by Kaitlyn Inman which failed to drive within a lane. Brateng was seriously injured and remains in Sacred Heart Medical Center.
- June 23 – Stephen Anthony Williams was on Highway 37 about 8-miles southeast of Highway 97 and collided into the passenger side of a dodge van turning into a private driveway. He was air lifted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend where he died of injuries. The van’s driver, Glen Harvey Jr was arrested for criminally negligent homicide and DUII.
- June 24 – On Highway 19 west of Spray, Randall Upshaw was found by a passing motorist in the highway along with a dead deer. Upshaw was deceased and the preliminary investigation indicated a collision between the motorcycle and the deer.
- July 3 – Robert Irving Floding died from injuries suffered during a crash on June 10th. This was the 19th traffic fatality in Portland in 2013
- July 5 – An adult male crashed his motorcycle in the 1400 block of SE 10th Avenue in Portland and was pronounced deceased at the scene. A medical condition was being reviewed. No names were released.
- July 9 – A Roseburg couple, Kenneth and Linda Minshew were critically injured on Highway 138E two miles west of Tokette when the motorcycle traveled off the highway and struck a tree.
- July 11 – A fatal motorcycle crash on SE Milwaukee Avenue just south of McLoughlin Blvd. Damian Gerold Waytt was traveling at high rate of speed on a Kawasaki ZX6 and failed to negotiate a partial right turn and went off the road. Video HERE. This was the 23rd traffic fatality in Portland in 2013.
- July 11 – Jacob J. Godfrey was found lying in berry bushes several hours after an overnight motorcycle crash off Highway 194 (Monmouth Highway) and 3-miles east of Highway 223. The Yamaha motorcycle traveled off the highway and when Mr. Godfrey didn’t come to work the next morning friends went looking and spotted the mark on a road side tree, stopped and heard him call out for help. He was reported in fair condition.
- July 16 – A motorcycle and dump truck were involved in an accident on Highway 229 at milepost 21 near Siletz. For an unconfirmed reason the motorcycle operated by John Hausmann and with passenger/wife Angela Hausmann crossed the center line and collided with the truck. Their injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.
- UPDATED: July 19 — A reckless motorcycle was traveling eastbound on Highway 30 in excess of 100 mph and tried to eluded OSP. The trooper tried to stop the motorcycle rider, but he failed to yield to the trooper’s emergency lights and siren, then continued on eastbound. Iosif Savitskiy eventually crashed into a yard in North Portland and was arrested. Video HERE. Another idiot giving motorcycle riders a bad name…
My condolences and sympathies go out to the families and friends of these riders.
There are many reasons for the spike in motorcycle accidents and clearly we can’t shove all the blame onto distracted automobile drivers.
Photo courtesy of lifemoresimply.blogspot.com