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Friday, September 4, 2009

Cyclist Hit By Car Was Uninsured Safety Advocate

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 9:51 AM

One week after Portlander Mike Luther was seriously injured while biking in a parking lot off NE 122nd, his family has released a statement asking for help covering Luther's medical costs and bringing justice to the Kia Sportage driver who allegedly backed into him while going 40 MPH in reverse.

The driver, Wayne Conrad Thompson, earlier this week pled not guilty to charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon (the weapon being his car). Luther is currently in fair condition at the hospital but that doesn't mean he's out of the woods. His family is holding a mini press-conference later today but, for now, here's their statement which hits home our need for a much more inclusive and affordable healthcare system:

Mike Luther is a public transportation and safe biking advocate. His chosen method of transportation is his bicycle, and he taught his daughter and nieces and nephews how to navigate and enjoy Portland’s rich public bus and light-rail system. At the apartment complex where he lives, Mike’s the guy the children of the area go to when they need a helmet.

Mike remains hospitalized with substantial injuries. His prognosis is unclear; all we know for certain is there will be a long recovery for Mike that will include a lengthy rehabilitation period. The family thanks the Portland Police Bureau and in particular the homicide detectives for their quick and rapid response and continued support. Witnesses are encouraged to contact the Portland Police detectives at 503-839-0692.

Mike is one of the 649,000 Oregonians not covered by a health insurance plan and according to preliminary legal counsel it is unclear if the driver of the car has insurance to cover Mike’s medical bills. Because of this, a Special Needs contribution account has been opened in Mike’s behalf at US Bank. Donations can be made to the Mike Luther fund at any US Bank branch. The family thanks contributors in advance and those who have already contributed for assisting with medical costs.

Again, the family thanks Mike’s community, his friends and extended family for the support through this difficult time.

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