Driver in Interstate Avenue crash cited on two violations

Driver in Interstate Avenue crash cited on two violations

Curtis Crothers crash aftermath

The aftermath of last week’s crash on North Interstate
Avenue. Photo by Neighborhood Notes.

The driver of a pickup truck whose illegal right turn led to a bike/truck crash last Wednesday has been cited for two traffic violations typically associated with $695 in fines, Portland police said Tuesday.

The man whose bicycle hit the side of the truck, meanwhile, remains in the hospital but continues to recover from eight broken ribs, a punctured lung and other injuries.

Here’s what police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson wrote in an email, confirming the summary of the commuter on the bike, Curtis Crothers:

The vehicle was southbound on Interstate and made an illegal right turn onto Greeley Avenue. Sign posted “No Right Turn.” Bicycle rider was coming downhill on Interstate in the bike lane and was unable to stop in time and was hit by the car making the illegal right. Rider was injured but not traumatic injuries. Car driver was not impaired. Cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device and Careless Driving.

Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device is a Class B traffic violation, which carries a “presumptive fine” of $260. Careless Driving, when it leads to a crash, is a Class A violation, which carries a presumptive fine of $435. If a judge finds that Careless Driving led to “serious physical injury,” he or she can also assign a driver to complete a traffic safety course or 100 to 200 hours of traffic-safety-related community service. The largest legally allowable penalty for the two violations would be $3,000. Participants in the crash may also be subject to civil liability.

Meanwhile, the crash has reactivated conversations in city government about improving the difficult intersection, which has been modified after other crashes on the same site, and lent urgency to efforts to improve and open the privately owned Cement Road to public traffic.

Swan Island TMA Director Sarah Angell said Tuesday that she’d met that day with the chief of staff to newly named Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and other city officials about transportation issues in the area.

A safe connection over the private road could theoretically connect North Tillamook Street directly to Swan Island, letting more riders bypass the troubled spot and extending the North Portland Greenway trail near the waterfront rather than sending it up the side of Greeley Avenue. The land is owned by Union Pacific Railroad, which operates trains alongside the pathway.

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