Monday, February 22, 2021

Driver Strikes and Kills Person Biking on Lancaster Drive

Sunday night, driving on Lancaster Drive in the Four Corners area Anthony Mankins struck and killed Blake Saville, who was biking.

Looking north in the 300 block of Lancaster Dr SE
(Inset, sign for 40mph in the 700 block SE)

From the Sheriff's release:

At approximately 8:17 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2021, Willamette Valley Communications Center received a 911 call from a driver reporting they struck a cyclist in the 300 block of Lancaster Drive SE. When first responders arrived at the scene they located a 25-year-old male cyclist who had sustained life-threatening injuries. The male was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition. The driver was not injured in the crash and remained at the scene.

Investigators from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Crash Team were called out to investigate. Based upon initial information, investigators believe the driver was traveling northbound on Lancaster Drive when the cyclist was struck while crossing the roadway. Neither driver impairment nor speed appears to have been contributing factors to the collision. Lancaster Drive SE was closed to traffic for several hours during the investigation.

And an update from the Sheriff (which appears to be written by a different person, as it uses the "hit by car" passive voice in contrast with the clearer language of "driver" in the first release):

Earlier today the Marion County Sheriff’s Office provided preliminary details about a serious injury crash involving a cyclist who was struck by a vehicle on Lancaster Drive SE on Sunday evening, February 21st, 2021. Following the crash, the cyclist was taken to an area hospital with critical injuries. The cyclist has since succumbed to their injuries and was pronounced deceased late Monday morning.

The cyclist has been identified as Blake Saville, 25, of Salem. The involved driver in the crash, Anthony Mankins, 29, of Salem was uninjured.

To say "speed appears [not] to have been [a] contributing factor" omits that even at lawful speed at 40mph, a crash with a person on foot or on bike is nearly certain to be fatal.

Even if speeding is not a factor, speed most certainly is.

There aren't a lot of signalized intersections here, and crossing can be difficult. It might not be well lit at night. The road is wide, and at 40mph any small error in judgement by either Saville or Mankins might result in catastrophe to the more vulnerable person on bike.

The road's design is inherently hostile to people on foot, on bike, or in wheelchair. 

This post may be updated.

Tuesday paper uses "hit by car" and passive voice

On erasing the driver - Columbia Journalism Review

For more discussion of language see these recent examples:

For more on the cultural and legal context of our autoism in which we minimize the responsibility of drivers and shift blame to people on foot, see:
Back in 2015 we said "troubling"
but really, how troubled are we?

Killed in 2021

  • Unknown (I-5 and Market Street interchange)
  • Rachel Bunting (while driving a bus for Cherriots)
Killed in 2020
Killed in 2019
Killed in 2018
Killed in 2017
Killed in 2016:
Killed in 2015:

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