Bicyclist struck by SUV survives the ordeal

See photos that show the amazing work of our firefighters to save a victim trapped under a car! And, find out why police say it wasn’t the vehicle driver’s fault – and, what can be learned from this potentially-tragic mishap …

Station 11’s Engine and Rescue crews from Portland Fire & Rescue work to free a bicyclist who was struck, officials say, when he darted out in front of traffic.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
April 25 was, indeed, a dark and stormy night in outer East Portland. At about 8:00 p.m., a found himself bicyclist lying under a SUV on SE Foster Road, at SE 83rd Avenue.

“It looked like the guy riding a bike popped off the curb, without even looking,” said witness Michelle Maddox. “He was going so fast, the driver [of a Saturn MDX] never had a chance to see him, or stop. He’s under there right now.”

Having freed the victim from under the vehicle, crews work to medically stabilize the patient.

Quickly and carefully, firefighters and paramedics lift the patient onto a gurney.

The Engine and rescue companies of Portland Fire & Rescue Station 11 in Lents were on-scene when we arrived, and were busy stabilizing the patient.

Usually crews who ride an “engine” need to await the arrival of a “truck” – the long vehicle with the big ladder – because trucks carry all kinds of rescue equipment and supplies. However, using great care and ingenuity, were able to free the victim before the truck arrived.

Later, we checked with Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Lt. Robert King to find out more about the collision.

“While our Traffic Division still has this case under investigation,” King said, “It appears as if the bike rider did ride off the sidewalk, at a faster-than-walking pace, and was run over by the SUV.”

Bystanders watch as AMR paramedics prepare the victim for transport.

The stuck bicyclist is loaded into the ambulance.

King added the bicyclist was also riding without lights when he was stuck. “The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”

The driver of the SUV stayed at the scene, and fully cooperated with the investigation, King added. “The driver was not cited.”

Even with Portland being a bike-friendly city, police remind bicyclists that they, too, have responsibilities – among them to ride carefully, have lights on their bike, wear a helmet, and at night to wear light-colored clothing.

SE Foster Road remains closed as Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division investigators collect evidence at the scene of the scary bike-SUV crash.

© 2012 David F. Ashton  East Portland News

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