Oregon has a driving problem and we all need protection

Oregon has a driving problem and we all need protection

In just six hours on Sunday morning three separate incidents showed just one aspect of the vast negative impacts driving has on our state.

Traffic safety issues are often framed in a way that makes them seem like it’s all about “bicyclists and pedestrians”. But the reality is that dangerous driving (and driving itself, but that’s another conversation) is a menace to everyone and no person — or thing — is safe as long as our roads and culture normalize this behavior.

Over the course of less than five hours Sunday morning (between 2:30 and 8:30 am) here’s what my inbox looked like (emphases mine):

From Albany:

Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon reports on March 26, 2017, at 02:49 a.m. Deputies responded to 3725 SE Spicer Road, Albany, for a reported crash of a vehicle into a house.

The investigation revealed a white 2015 Subaru WRX 4-door sedan, was northbound on Three Lakes Road when it failed to negotiate a curve in the road where it intersects with Spicer Road. The vehicle left the roadway, crashing through a yard, into a power pole and then struck the front of a house before coming to a stop.

The operator, Joshua Pairan 33-yrs-old of Albany, told deputies he was out for a drive to show his friends his new car.

The passengers were identified as Noah Padilla, 33-yrs-old, and his wife Danielle Padilla, 31-yrs-old both from Albany. Danielle Padilla was sitting in the rear seat of the car and had to be rescued by the Albany Fire Department using the jaws-of-life to extricate her from the crushed vehicle. Danielle Padilla was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis for non-life threatening injures.

Joshua Pairan was arrested and charged with DUII, Reckless Endangering, Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief II and Assault III. He was lodged at the Linn County Jail. Alcohol and excessive speed appear to be contributing factors to the crash.

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From Salem:

On March 26th, 2017 at about 3:00 am, a black Ford F150 intentionally crashes into the side of the building of the Star Market at 9005 River Rd NE and steals the ATM. The vehicle is described as a 2004-2006 year and having a leveling kit, running boards, black fender flares and black rims. The rear of the vehicle now has damage from ramming the building, twice.

After the described suspect vehicle crashed into the building and left another subject entered into the business and stole several packs of cigarettes. His photo’s are attached. It is unknown if they two incidents are connected with each other.

And from northwest Portland via KATU News

A car landed on top of a boat Sunday morning after a driver crashed in a Northwest Portland neighborhood, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue said.

Fire crews rushed to stabilize the car so paramedics could start treating the injured driver. No word on that person’s current condition.

The boat’s owner, Tim Brown, was home doing the dishes when he saw the car coming towards his house.

“Catapulted across the street, landed on our driveway and bounced up on the vehicles,” Brown said.

Brown says he’s had a car totalled before, after a previous incident where a car crashed in to his driveway. He didn’t have much time to be surprised by what happened Sunday morning. After seeing what had happened, he had his wife call 911, then Brown jumped in to action.

“I had just taken an EMR class. Fortunately it was still fresh in my mind,” Brown said. “I grabbed my bag, I jumped on top and tried to make contact with the person in the vehicle.” Witnesses said the driver lost control, drove up a berm and traveled through some trees before landing on the boat.

Emergency responders at the scene said it’s possible the driver suffered some sort of medical issue before the crash.

People failing to control their cars and/or purposefully using them to create havoc are more common than you think — and this goes far beyond simply a “bike and pedestrian safety” issue.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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