Driver identified in Portland rampage that left 1 dead and 10 injured, and AAA says it’s crash not accident

We finally know who was — allegedly — responsible for the murderous vehicular rampage that left a 77-year old Portland woman dead, and as many as ten others injured.

And why, sort of.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, including second degree murder and multiple assault and hit-and-run charges.

Unbelievably — literally — he had shifting explanations for why he intentionally ran down so many people, most of whom were walking or riding bicycles.

Rivas initially claimed his Honda Element was having brake problems and that he was searching for an auto repair shop.

Other times, he suggested the injuries could have been inflicted by “another, similar looking” Honda car, not his; and he admitted at one point to striking a bicyclist but characterized the collision as an “emergency maneuver” he made to avoid a more serious crash with oncoming traffic, Multnomah County prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

This despite running down the elderly woman as she was crossing the street, then making a U-turn and slamming into her again, dragging her to her death under his SUV.

Yeah, sounds like bad brakes, all right.

The descriptions of his attacks are simply horrific.

Donald Hinson was riding his bicycle on Southeast 18th Avenue when the Honda “drove straight at him without slowing,” sending him and his bicycle onto the hood of the Honda. He fell onto the street and suffered injuries to his leg and a cut to his nose, the affidavit said…

Raymond Chihak said he was on the sidewalk near Southeast 19th Avenue and Stark when he heard screaming. That’s when he noticed the Honda speeding directly toward him. It struck him as he stood on the sidewalk, he said, then sped off, according to the affidavit. Chihak also was treated for his injuries at a hospital.

Bicyclist Juan Caicedo-Gomez was riding in the bike lane on Southeast Belmont Street when the Honda swerved into the lane and hit him from behind, throwing him off his bicycle, according to police.

Pedestrian Faviola Palomera said she was walking in Laurelhurst Park and saw the Honda doing U-turns nearby. “The next thing she knew she woke up in the hospital,” with a head injury after she had been knocked unconscious when the Honda was seen driving out of the park and struck her while walking, according to her statement to police and a witness’ account, the affidavit said.

Yet those are just a few of the victims who were lucky enough to survive.

And yes, those were real people.

https://twitter.com/mckra1g/status/1354525420503396352

That crowdfunding campaign to replace their bikes and help with medical expenses has raised nearly $1,000 of the modest $4,000 goal.

After repeated denials, Rivas finally admitted to detectives that he was the one behind the wheel of the killer SUV.

According to police, he denied drug or alcohol use and did not appear to be under the influence, leading them to suspect he suffered from some sort of mental illness or physical ailment.

Let’s hope it’s enough to keep him off the road for the rest of his life.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the tweet.

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That sudden chill you feel is hell freezing over.

Update: It turns out that statement wasn’t from the national AAA; instead, it came from the organization’s second largest affiliate group

But still, it’s a start.

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Your periodic reminder that being one of the greatest cyclists of all time wasn’t even close to the most important accomplishment of Gino Bartali’s life.

Bartali is credited with saving dozens, if not hundreds, of Jews during WWII as he transported forged documents hidden in the frame of his bike.

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But at least you can tell the cop it was gluten free.

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When life gives you a geyser, take a shower.

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And no hands, no less.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

That other chill you feel is formerly auto-centric Caltrans asking for your input on creating long-distance carfree bicycle highways in the Bay Area. Now if they could just get around to it down here in SoCal, where the weather is usually more conducive to year-round riding.

Calbike is sponsoring AB 117 in the state legislature, which would create a $10 million fund to provide incentives for ebike purchases; you can sign a petition to support the bill hereAlthough something tells me they could probably go through that much in the first week alone.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy organization sings the praises of Quick-Build Projects, saying it’s more equitable to vet a project on the ground than on paper. It also sidesteps the endless series of angry meetings that allow NIMBYs to kill much-needed safety improvements simply by showing up and screaming en masse.

 

National

Your next Lime scooter could be a mo-ped.

A bike industry op-ed says promoting diversity in bicycling must be more than just a gesture.

Utah considers adopting the Idaho Stop Law, as a legislative committee votes 8 to 3 to pass it on to the full state house, even if state transportation officials don’t exactly like the idea.

He gets it. A Montana columnist says before you try to pass an expensive and unnecessary bike safety law, try talking with some actual bicyclists first.

An Ohio city manager responds to an online petition to yank out a new bike lane by saying just give it a chance, already.

A New York councilmember calls on the city to develop a real-time map showing where bike lanes are blocked. Wouldn’t a better solution be to just keep them from being blocked in the first place?

No bias here. After a New York driver gets “terrorized” by a bunch of teenaged bike riders, a state legislator calls for a new law to help police pinpoint cellphone 911 calls. But bike riders get terrorized by drivers on a daily basis, and no one cares.

 

International

Nothing like a little Chilean mountain biking in a total eclipse.

Once again, a bike rider can credit his Apple Watch with saving his life, after it automatically dialed the equivalent of 911 when he was swept away by an English river.

Britain’s Independent professes to tell you how to pick the right kind of bike for the way you’ll ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an 88-year old man walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider, after a judge sentenced sentenced him to a lousy 16-week curfew.

Sad news from Dublin, where a teenaged boy was stabbed to death when he attempted to intervene in an argument over a stolen bicycle.

A Mumbai teen hangs a banner thanking the police for recovering her bicycle less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

When an Indian boy’s bike was stolen after his disabled father had struggled to buy it, a kindhearted government minister stepped in to buy him a new one.

 

Competitive Cycling

It looks like former USA Cycling Team member, Orange County attorney and frequent BikinginLA contributor David Huntsman’s son is following in his dad’s tread tracks, as Eddy Huntsman joins three other new riders on the Continental Tour Elevate-Webiplex Pro Cycling Team. Thanks to proud papa David for the heads-up.

Bicycling says we should celebrate Tom Dumoulin’s sabbatical from the pro peloton. As usual, you can find it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you unsuccessfully try to make your getaway by bike after stealing a car while high on meth, then returning it and fighting with the owner. That feeling when you get drunk and ride your bike on the freeway.

And maybe this is why she wouldn’t return your call.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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