This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Police Identify Bicyclist Killed By Truck Last Night

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 11:44 AM

A woman hit by a tractor-trailer while riding her bike down SW Madison near Chapman Square and Terry Schrunk Plaza last night has died of her injuries, police announced this morning. She was identified as 29-year-old Kathryn Leah Rickson.

Rickson was eastbound on Madison and heading toward SW Third—a direct line to the Hawthorne Bridge—when the collision happened, police said. The truck, which was stopped at Madison, was trying to turn right on Third. Rickson was taken to a hospital, where she later died.

Bike Portland's Jonathan Maus has the most thorough writeup of what happened, including an email from someone who came upon the scene after the collision:

I was riding my bike home from a meeting when I came upon the accident just after it had happened. I came down S.W. Madison and saw the truck stopped part way through a right turn. When I got closer I saw the wrecked bike and then saw that the rider was down. The rear tires of the semi's cab were pinning one of her legs. Another cyclist stopped around the same time, and indicated he was a paramedic. We had the driver move the truck slowly back, and I got the young woman's leg out from under the truck tire. But there is no doubt she was severely injured. The bike frame was crushed, seemingly indicating the truck had rolled over it, and she was still on the bike.

The accident occurred right next to the Justice Center, but it seemed like an eternity before emergency services arrived. I'm sure it was only a couple of minutes, but for a few moments it wasn't clear if the victim was still alive.

As the news has reported, the truck driver was extremely distraught. For all the people at OLive [OregonLive] crowing about who "wins" when a truck hits a bicyclist, the obvious answer is 'no one.'"

Photos of the scene are here. Maus says this was an unusual right-hook collision because "the PPB says the truck had its signal on and that the woman was struck by the front portion of the cab. This is significant, because, according to the PPB, most right hook collisions involve the trailer and rear of the of the truck rolling over the victim."

No matter the mechanics involved here, my condolences to everyone involved.

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