Last night while apparently crossing Cherry Avenue on Salem Parkway with a green light, a driver operating a semi-truck struck and killed a person biking north on Cherry Avenue against the light.
From Salem Police:
On October 15, 2021 at approximately 7:50 p.m. Salem Police and Fire personnel were dispatched to the intersection of Salem Pkwy and Cherry AVE NE on vehicle versus bicycle crash. When officers arrived they determined a semi-truck and trailer driven by Montaque Annear, age 55 of Dallas, had struck a bicycle, killing the male adult rider.
The Salem Police Traffic Team responded to conduct the investigation. They have initially determined that Annear was traveling southwest on Salem Pkwy on a green light when the bicyclist proceeded northbound through the intersection at Cherry AVE and was struck. Annear stopped, remained on on-scene and cooperated with the investigation. Additionally, a Level I truck inspection was completed on the semi and trailer, and no violations were found.
No arrests were made and no citations were issued. The bicyclist has been identified but his identity will not be released until his next of kin have been notified.
This is the sixth fatal pedestrian or cyclist crash in Salem this year.
|Parkways: "high capacity, high speed" - Salem TSP|
If the preliminary investigation is verified as correct, and it might not be since there is so often a bias in favor of the operator of a motor vehicle, and the dead are not able to tell their side, but if further crash analysis confirms the account, it will be pretty clearly an instance of a person biking at fault and making a grievous error.
It's hard to know what to advocate for here. Even on streets classified as major arterials it is plausible to argue for comprehensive reductions in posted speed such that crashes are less likely to be fatal. But parkways are structured to be quasi-highways, and speed reductions there seem very unlikely and implausible. (Kuebler/Cordon pose the same problem.)
Still, there's a pattern of problems near that intersection on the Parkway and on Cherry Avenue.
You may recall an impaired driver struck and killed Travis Lane while he attempted to cross the Parkway at Cherry in 2015, and right after we saw a number of crashes there.
School bus and trees blocking SB Salem Parkway near Cherry Avenue. #SalemOR pic.twitter.com/SlHmwHrzLc— Anna Reed (@annaereed) June 9, 2015
TRAFFIC: Crash closes lane of westbound #SalemOR Parkway east of Cherry Avenue http://t.co/1xvfZL0d4Q— Statesman Journal (@Salem_Statesman) June 26, 2015
TRAFFIC: Crash blocking southbound lane of #SalemOR Parkway north of Cherry Ave http://t.co/vWpsHuVqPy— Statesman Journal (@Salem_Statesman) June 30, 2015
A little south of the Parkway on Cherry Avenue, a different impaired driver struck and killed Jolene Braasch Berry as she was biking.
|"Needs, Opportunities, and Constraints" memo|
Winter-Maple bikeway study, Jan. 2017
The intersection was identified in the Winter-Maple bikeway study as needing attention, but the final recommendations were not very strong for it, perhaps in acknowledgement that ODOT and freight interests would oppose most changes.
Maybe there will be more to say. If the person biking is identified, we'll update with that for sure.
|Earlier this month|
Separately, earlier this month, a driver struck and killed a person biking north of Independence.
From Oregon State Police:
On October 5, 2021 at approximately 7:36 PM, Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a bicyclist on Hwy 51 near milepost 4.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a southbound bicyclist, Frank Koch (80) of Independence, was struck from behind by a southbound Toyota Prius, operated by Krystal Kamback, (33) of Independence.
Koch sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased. Kamback was uninjured, remained at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement.
Even though the Police report named the driver, the paper literally erased the driver in their story, and used the "hit by car" formula.
|On erasing the driver - Columbia Journalism Review|
For more discussion of language see these recent examples:
- "Headline Omits Verb, Erases the Driver; New TRB Paper Addresses Problem" (2019). This also has links to a follow-up study on framing and reader interpretation.
- See the way the story develops with different publications in "Driver Strikes and Kills Marshall Leslie on Foot near Downtown Safeway." (2019)
- "Why so much Acceptance for Traffic Cone Theory of Walking?" with discussion of a Salem Police PSA (2015)
- Notes on a City of Salem PSA, "City PSA on Time Change and Safety Needs Paradigm Change Itself." It has many links to the history of jaywalking also. (2019)
- On "distracted walking," "Death on Foot: Too Much on Distracted Walking Canard." (2018)
- "Why Pedestrian Rights themselves may not be Sufficient." (2015)
- Two discussions of a law review article about our system of subsidy for autoism, "The Laws for Compulsory Autoism at The Atlantic," and "Police Publish Video on How to Speed Without a Ticket." (both 2019)