Two motorcyclists die over New Year’s, in two different crashes

INCLUDES 2 INVESTIGATION VIDEOS | Here’s what’s known about these two fatal crashes, one on New Year’s Eve, and the other on New Year’s Day – in outer East Portland’s Hazelwood and Lents neighborhoods …

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Major Crash Team is called out to investigate two smashups – both involving motorcycles – within a day.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Two different crashes, on December 31 and January 1, each involving motorcycles, killed each bike’s drivers over the Holiday weekend.

December 31
Driver deceased, rider injured, after a motorcycle collides with compact SUV in Hazelwood

Just north of SE Stark Street, 122nd Avenue is closed down – as investigators begin to document a SUV vs. motorcycle smashup.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched to the crash on December 31, 2023, at 2:48 p.m., on SE 122nd Avenue just north of Stark Street. Arriving officers found a crash between a motorcycle and a car.

Watch, as officers investigate the fatal crash on New Year’s Eve afternoon:

Within 30 minutes a total of 15 PPB staff were at the scene, closing off all traffic, unpacking their equipment, and interviewing witnesses.

The driver of this Chevy SUV stopped after the accident, and cooperated with police in the investigation.

A blue Chevrolet compact SUV, with front end, driver’s side damage, was stopped southbound at the curb on SE 122nd Avenue, beside Victorico’s Mexican Restaurant – between SE Oak and Stark Streets. The SUV’s front bumper was lying in the street.

The driver of the Chevy SUV remained at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation – but, so far, there’s been no official word from the PPB if any citations were written.

The damaged motorcycle lies near the center of the street, along with evidence markers.

Near the center of the highway, officers discovered that the motorcycle’s driver was dead, and covered the body. A mangled motorbike nearby\ looked as if it had caught fire after the accident.

The PPB’s Traffic Division Major Crash Team officers were called in to further investigate the crash.

PPB Major Crash Team investigators set up their FARO Accident Reconstruction System – a device that digitally “maps” the scene, using laser and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technologies.

Soon, these investigators were deploying their FARO Accident Reconstruction System to document the crash for later study. None of the PPB’s drones were seen in use at this crash.

“There were two people on the motorcycle when it crashed; what happened to the other person,” a bystander asked. Officers at the scene declined to provide information.

Throughout the afternoon, and into New Year’s Eve, the crash investigation continues.

During the investigation SE 122nd Avenue was closed for in both directions, between Stark and Ash Streets, while the Major Crash Team took photos and measurements at the scene.

Later that evening, the Portland Police revealed that, “A passenger riding on the motorcycle in this deadly crash was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries and is in critical condition.” The identity and current condition of that passenger have not been disclosed.

If you have information about the incident, and have not already spoken with investigators, contact crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, attention Traffic Investigations Unit, and reference Case Number 23-336454.

This was the last deadly crash in outer East Portland for 2023, but it was not the last fatal smashup that weekend.

January 1
Motorcyclist rear-ends car, dies in Lents crash

Members of the PPB’s Major Crash Team begin to investigate this motorcycle vs. car collision that took place along SE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

On New Year’s Day, January 1, PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched to look into a reported vehicle crash at 10:23 p.m. near the intersection of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Woodstock Boulevard.

This video shows the PPB’s Major Crash Team documenting and investigating this second deadly motor vehicle crash of the New Year’s weekend.

In the darkness, officers came upon a 2011 Hyundai Sonata with substantial rear-end damage, facing northbound along 82nd Avenue of Roses, in the Woodstock Boulevard intersection.

Again, the PPB’s Major Crash Team (MCT) was called to the crash scene as officers closed off the intersection.

Investigators say that the driver of this Harley Davidson motorcycle drove into the rear end of a car, stopped for a red light at the intersection.

In northbound SE 82nd Avenue, at the “stop line” edging the intersection, officers saw a badly damaged 2023 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a severely injured driver.

The motorcyclist, identified on January 4 as 32-year-old Jesse J. Loyer, of Portland was taken to a local hospital by ambulance, but later died.

As occupants slowly get out of their rear-ended Hyundai Sonata, investigators examine the crash scene.

The occupants of the Hyundai – an adult male and an adult female – suffered minor injuries, and remained at their car to cooperate with the investigation.

For hours into the night, the PPB’s Major Crash Team continued their investigation in the shut-down intersection.

Some officers were walking south along S. E. 82nd Avenue of Roses from the intersection, checking buildings to see if they had video surveillance cameras pointed at the highway.

An officer carefully examines the crashed Harley Davidson motorcycle, before marking the pavement to diagram the accident.

The MCT’s preliminary investigation revealed that motorcyclist Loyer was riding northbound on SE 82nd when he rear-ended the Hyundai, which was stopped for a red traffic light. “Loyer did not appear to be wearing a helmet,” a PPB spokesperson commented.

If you have information about the incident, and have not already spoken with investigators, contact crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, attention Traffic Investigations Unit, and reference Case Number 24-746.

And this is Portland’s first fatal crash of 2024.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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