Police Say Driver Intentionally Hit Bicyclist

Date: May 24, 2010
Location: NE 122nd & Glisan, Portland, Oregon
Names: Michael Luther, Wayne Thompson

On May 24, 2010, a Multnomah County Judge found Wayne Thompson guilty of third-degree assault in an August 2009 bike-car crash that put a bicyclist in critical condition.

Portland Police said Thompson deliberately hit the victim. Nonetheless, Thompson was found not guilty on the more serious charges of first-degree and second degree assault. He will be sentenced June 8.

The original Portland bike crash took place August 28, 2009, around 2 PM, in a northeast Portland parking lot near NE 122nd Avenue and Glisan Street.

Police said Thompson intentionally hit the bicyclist, Michael Luther, with his SUV. Court documents say that Thompson and Luther were arguing in the parking lot, when Thompson put his Kia Sportage in reverse and slammed into Luther.

Although Luther was wearing a helmet, he suffered a brain injury.

We would like to offer Luther and his family our thoughts, wishes, and hopes for a quick recovery.

Both of the attorneys at Shulman DuBois are avid bike riders, and bicycle attorneys. We have plenty to say about car vs. bike accidents, but the thought of someone intentionally hitting a bicyclist because of an argument is horrifying.

Traumatic brain injury can be serious. As Portland traumatic brain Injury attorneys, we have experience in this area, and we’d like to share a few important points with you. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is generally caused by a sudden and forceful blow to the head. The long-term effects of TBI vary, depending on the severity of the injury. Severe TBI can leave a person in a vegetative, unresponsive state. But even mild TBI can — and often does — have a dramatic impact on a person’s life.

Further, traumatic brain injury is more common than you might think. The Center for Disease Control estimates that in the United States, 1.4 million people sustain a TBI each year. At least 5.3 million Americans are unable to fulfill normal, everyday functions as a result of TBI, and will require long-term help. But the real numbers may be even higher, because TBI symptoms — which include headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings, and frustration — are often overlooked, misdiagnosed, or completely ignored.

Unfortunately, even though the prestigious Mayo Clinic states that 50% of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by collisions involving cars, motorcycles and bicycles, car crash survivors who exhibit TBI symptoms may not ever be evaluated for TBI. The general symptoms of mild TBI may be written off as emotional responses to the shock of being in a serious car accident, and TBI often goes undiagnosed.

So why mention TBI on a lawyer website? Because we at Shulman DuBois are committed to protecting you and your family. It is a sad truth that after you’ve been injured, sometimes you have to fight to get the medical attention that you or your loved ones need. Many doctors and lawyers miss crucial signs of TBI, leaving victims without adequate treatment. If somebody you love has been injured in a car accident in Oregon and begins to show signs of TBI, make sure that they see a medical professional who is trained in TBI treatment and diagnosis. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Useful Statistics about Traumatic Brain Injury
Incidences of Traumatic Brain Injury are more widespread than you might think. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, each year approximately:

  • 1.4 million people sustain a TBI
  • 50,000 of TBI sufferers die, of which 2,685 are children ages 0-14
  • 235,000 people are hospitalized for TBI

The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimate that 5.3 million people in the United States currently have a “long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of TBI.”

Traffic crashes are a leading cause of TBI: according to the Mayo Clinic, half of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by collisions involving cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

If you or someone you love has been in a serious car crash, make sure to get an evaluation for TBI. It is more common than most people realize, and sadly, the age groups that suffer the highest-risk of sustaining a TBI are children ages 0-4 and 15-19.

Remember, if you are concerned about TBI after an Oregon accident, be sure to find an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights. We can answer many questions for free. Please call us.