Date: May 12, 2010
Location: I-84, Portland, Oregon
The motorcycle rider was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with serious injuries, including a broken back.
TriMet spokeswoman Bekki Witt said the bus had been handling poorly before the Portland crash, and they are checking to see if there was a mechanical problem. She said the bus driver was not impaired.
TriMet LIFT buses serve seniors and the disabled on an advance-reservation basis. They are smaller than standard buses.
The bus crash in Oregon comes less than a month after a TriMet bus ran into a group of pedestrians in downtown Portland, killing two people and injuring three others. On May 7, TriMet announced changes intended to address safety concerns, including 31 fatalities since 1988.
We send our best wishes to the motorcycle rider in this accident. We are thinking of you, and we hope you are out of the hospital soon.
Anytime a Portland motorcycle accident occurs, we are reminded of the high injury and death rates for motorcycle riders. Several factors contribute to the potential risk, but probably none more so than motorists’ seeming inability to see motorcycles. Certainly rider skill can come into play, and we absolutely welcome the new Oregon law requiring motorcycle skills training. However, no matter how safely a person rides, a driver who isn’t looking will remain a danger to a motorcyclist. And in this case, it seems likely that poor maintenance may have been a factor as well. There is no excuse for a public agency like TriMet to fail to keep its buses properly and safely maintained.
If you are hurt in an Oregon vehicle collision with a TriMet bus, you should be aware of special time limits for injuries by City of Portland drivers, state employees who were on the job, TriMet buses, and any other state, county, or city workers. You will probably have to file a Tort Claim Notice within 180 days–but 180 days is not 6 months, and time limits are very strict. The notice must be sent to the right person, and must say the right things. Details are in ORS 30.275.
After an accident, you probably have many questions. So please, do not hesitate to call us or request a free copy of our book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case. Our website has helpful advice, and what we don’t cover there, we will be more than happy to answer ourselves.