Marine Drive bicyclist struck after ignoring stop sign

See why failing to heed the “rules of the road” left this bicycle rider in very serious condition with a head injury, after he darted out in front of a car …

Portland Police Bureau Major Crash Team members piece together the accident, near Portland International Airport, that sent a man to the hospital with what officials call “a life-threatening head injury.”

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
An accident that seriously injured a bicyclist at 5:01 p.m. on October 18, on NE Marine Drive near Portland International Airport, shut down the area’s northernmost street for hours, while Major Crash Team members of Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division sorted out the details.

Paths cross with disastrous results
It was about 90 minutes before sunset, but the sky was dark with storm clouds. An automobile was traveling at the speed limit; a bicyclist was also westbound on the bike path that parallels the street.

Two witnesses at the scene say the 68-year-old bicyclist was traveling very quickly and didn’t not appear to slow down – or even hesitate – at the bicycle/pedestrian crosswalk stop sign. The bike rider darted southbound, into the path of the car, flipped off his bicycle, and smashed into the windshield of the car.

“The bicyclist was in a marked crosswalk, but failed to stop for a stop sign prior to crossing the street,” confirmed Portland Police Bureau spokesman, Sgt. Brian Schmautz.

Police say the bicyclist didn’t heed the stop sign; turning directly into the path of an oncoming car.

“The bicyclist, Robert Verrinder, was immediately taken into surgery at Emanuel Hospital with a life-threatening head injury. He remains in critical condition,” Schmautz added. “The motorist remained at the scene, and is cooperating with the investigation. Speed and impairment do not appear to be factors in the collision.”

Because of the incline at the crosswalk, investigators believe the 30-year-old motorist may not have seen the bicyclist until he was directly in front of her.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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