Milwaukie Skateboarder Hit and Dragged by Car

Date: June 26, 2010
Location: McLoughlin Boulevard near Oregon City Shopping Center, Oregon City, Oregon
Names: Jesse D. Ottenbacher, Michael C. Case

A 17-year-old skateboarder was seriously injured when he was hit and dragged by a car on June 26, 2010. The driver has been jailed on a charge of driving while suspended, according to an OSP press release.

Jesse D. Ottenbacher, 17, of Milwaukie, Oregon, was on a skateboard, preparing to cross a parking lot entrance/exit at the Oregon City Shopping Center around 2:30 PM. While he was still on the sidewalk, he saw a car come to a stop and believed the driver saw him. He began to cross, but the car, driven by Michael C. Case, 34, of Lake Oswego, turned and hit him, then dragged him under the right front tire before coming to a stop.

Ottenbacher was taken by ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Police arrested Case for misdemeanor driving while suspended. He was taken to Clackamas County Jail.

Detectives are continuing to investigate, and more charges are possible.

I send my personal thoughts and wishes to Ottenbacher and his family, and hope that he recovers soon. It is tragic whenever a young person is hurt in a traffic accident, and even more so when the driver should not have been behind the wheel in the first place. As the father of two young boys, this sort of event horrifies me in a very personal way.

Oregon law defines skateboarders as “vulnerable users of a public way” (ORS 801.608), and imposes greater penalties for careless driving when it results in serious injury or death to a vulnerable user (ORS 811.135). Note, however, that the driver in this accident, Case, has so far been charged only with driving while suspended, not careless driving, although additional charges may follow.

According to a fact sheet by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, skateboard injuries send approximately 26,000 persons to the emergency room each year. OHSU reports that head injuries are most common.

The importance of proper diagnosis in head injuries cannot be overstated. Doctors often miss signs of Oregon traumatic brain injury (TBI). This condition can be severe enough to cause a vegetative state, but even mild TBI can cause lasting problems that affect a person’s everyday life.

Signs of TBI include headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration. If you notice any of these problems after an accident, contact your doctor immediately.