A young man who killed a bicyclist as the bicyclist was riding alongside a street in Gresham will serve 6 years in prison in connection with the accident, a judge recently ruled.
This fatal bike accident happened last fall on a city street. According to police, the young man was traveling at 80 miles per hour at the time of the accident. The speed limit on the road where the accident happened was 35 miles per hour. The man made a sudden maneuver with his car and hit another vehicle. He then wound up on the sidewalk, where he hit the bicyclist, a 56-year-old man. The force of the impact shattered several of the bicyclist’s bones.
After the accident, police determined that the young man was legally drunk, having a blood alcohol content of .12. He also tested positive for marijuana. Police also claimed the man attempted to leave the scene of the accident and also was not behaving appropriately after his arrest.
While the criminal justice system has imposed jail time on the man, one thing a criminal action cannot do is require this man or his insurance company to compensate his victims in full. In this case, a family lost a loved one in an entirely preventable crash. Although it won’t bring their loved one back, the family is entitled to be compensated for things like funeral expenses, outstanding hospital bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be available depending on the circumstances.
There is no doubt that, particularly in a bicycle-friendly area like Portland and Multnomah County, a drunk and speeding driver can easily cause deadly bike accidents. When this happens, the family of the victim has legal options.
Source: The Oregonian, “Speeding drunken driver gets six years for killing cyclist,” Aimee Green, May 16, 2018.