Speeding motorcyclist crashes and dies in Lents

They’re not sure if other factors contributed to this tragic single-vehicle accident, officials say. See members of the Portland Police Bureau in action, as they investigate this crash. And, learn what our cops did – a chore that no one else would do …

With Lents Town Center in the background, Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Major Crash Team officers prepare to investigate a tragic, fatal motorcycle crash.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Roads around the Lents Town Center triangle were shut down late on April 18, while Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers and the Bureau’s Traffic Division Major Crash Team investigated a deadly single vehicle crash.

A little after 10:00 p.m., a Wilsonville man had been riding his motorcycle east of SE Foster Road.

But, instead of guiding his bike south, following the curve of the block-long SE Couplet Street – it connects SE Foster Road to SE Woodstock Boulevard, heading toward the I-205 Freeway – he struck the south-side curb just east of SE 89th Avenue.

A crash investigator carefully documents the scene of the crash.

“The motorcycle rider continued straight across the traffic lanes and struck the left north-side curb, and drove over the curb and grassy median at this location,” explained PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Kelli Sheffer.

“The rider struck a metal sign post as he continued eastbound across the grassy median. He came to rest in the parking lot of a business located in the 9000 block of Southeast Foster Road.”

The headlight still burns, as it lies in the turn lane that connects westbound SE Foster to SE Woodstock Boulevard at SE Couplet Street.

The rider’s motorcycle was still on the roadway, as police arrived to check its rider for signs of life, as he lay in the Lents Body Shop parking lot.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., “medical personnel arrived on-scene, and pronounced the 28-year-old male motorcycle rider deceased,” Sheffer later stated.

East Precinct sergeants and officers report to Traffic Division officers at the crash scene.

According to the Wilsonville SPOKESMAN, the man who died was identified as Caleb Krigbaum, a Wilsonville resident.

“No other vehicles were involved,” added Sheffer. “It is unknown at this time if alcohol was a factor in the cause of this crash. However, speed is believed to be a contributing factor. Traffic investigators will continue to investigate the crash.”

When they discover no other City agency is available to help, Portland Police staff members prepare to clean up the scene themselves.

Cops clean up scene
After the victim was removed by the Multnomah County Coroner – because the victim came to rest on private property – the question arose about how to clean up the scene. PDOT and the Portland Fire Bureau found it inappropriate to respond.

“I give special thanks to officers and sergeants who didn’t want to leave the scene with residue from the victim,” PPB East Precinct Commander William Walker later told us.

Traffic Division Sgt. Robert Voepel organized a late night clean-up, Walker said, and East Precinct officers and command staff followed hazardous waste cleaning procedures to clean the area.

“They went above and beyond their job to clean the area, so that citizens later walking by wouldn’t have to see the remains of the unfortunate incident,” commended Walker.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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