Driver Who Backed Into Cyclist Charged with Assault

Date: August 31, 2009
Location: NE 122nd Avenue and Glisan Street, Portland
Names: Michael F. Luther, Wayne Conrad Thompson

According to the car accident article, a cyclist is recovering and a man is charged with assault after backing into him in a collision in Northeast Portland on Monday, August 31. Reports said the driver, Wayne Conrad Thompson, 35, of Portland, was going 40 mph when he backed into Michael F. Luther, 52, of Portland. The accident occurred at approximately 2 PM in a parking lot at NE 122nd and Glisan Street in Portland.

Observers at the scene told The Oregonian they heard arguing before Thompson shifted into reverse and backed his white 1997 Kia Sportage SUV “as fast as it possibly could go” into Luther. Observers described the impact as seeming to pin Luther to the rear of Thompson’s vehicle. The driver was going so fast that his vehicle ran through a planter box and dislodged a 100-pound boulder.

Thompson, initially listed in critical condition at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, had improved to fair condition by that evening, but later reports indicated he was still hospitalized as of September 5 – the day after his 53rd birthday – and his prognosis remained “unclear.” KATU quotes his sister as saying he has suffered serious brain injuries. “He can talk and he knows that we’re there,” she said. “And for that we’re incredibly grateful, but there’s a long road to go.”

Thompson has been arrested and charged with first-degree assault, a Class A felony and Measure 11 offense. An Assault I charge refers to causing serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon.

This is deeply disturbing, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and his family. This case is still under investigation. And while it may seem black and white, it never truly is.

As Luther recovers, he or his family may wish to consider their legal options, including a consultation with a personal injury attorney. In a situation like this, there are actually two separate and distinct cases. One is the criminal action, and the other is the civil action. Civil and criminal law are quite different; there are differing standards of proof, different procedural rules, and different purposes (for a criminal action, the purpose is punishing the offender, while for a civil action, the purpose is compensating the victim). During the criminal case, Thompson will be represented by a lawyer specializing in criminal law, and the people will be represented by the district attorney. Then, after the criminal case has been resolved, Luther should look for a skilled personal injury attorney to pursue a civil case for damages he suffered.

Shulman DuBois LLC represents victims with injuries resulting from accidents.  Our clients deserve representation with our experience, sensitivity and tenacity.  Should an unfortunate episode find you or someone you know in need of representation as a result of an accident related injury, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get educated by ordering your free copy of 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.