PENDLETON, Oregon – Pendleton police were struggling with conflicting stories from eyewitnesses to the motorcycle vs. Toyota Rav4 crash at Southwest Dorion Avenue and 10th Street Tuesday afternoon. Officers had been told that no video was available from Dave’s Chevron at the time of the crash, but were notified Wednesday that video did indeed exist. It gave police a view of what actually happened.
“Both the Rav4 and the motorcycle were eastbound on Southwest Dorion, the motorcycle being in the south lane and the Rav4 in the north lane. As they are approaching the intersection at Southwest 10th, the motorcycle attempts to make a left turn onto Southwest 10th northbound, and that’s when the collision occurs, basically in the intersection.”
Roberts said the motorcycle was making an unlawful and dangerous turn from the wrong lane.
“It appears the Rav4 was traveling at a little higher speed than he was,” Roberts said. “He’s initially ahead.”
Roberts said at the time the two vehicles got to the intersection the Toyota was either even with or a little bit behind the motorcycle.
“He did not see the Rav4, it appears,” Roberts said.
The 73-year-old motorcyclist was caught under the Rav4 and was seriously injured. Minutes after arriving via LifeFlight to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington, he was taken into surgery and Roberts said hospital officials estimated it would be at least two days before he could be interviewed. At last report, police were still trying to contact the injured man’s family. His license indicated he resides in the Calgary area of Alberta, Canada.
Roberts considered it unlikely that they would issue a citation to the motorcyclist, whose injuries he described as life altering.
“A violation or citation on top of everything else he’s going to go through, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he said.
Roberts reminds local drivers that while Pendleton Bike Week is going on they should stay vigilant, just as they had to do last weekend with the Pendleton Whisky Music Fest, and as they do every September with Round-Up.
“Folks that come into town, they get confused by the one-ways,” he said. “They make unlawful or illegal turns. They go the wrong way. They make maneuvers, being unfamiliar with the area, that are unsafe. It’s very easy for a motorcycle to get lost in a blind spot. People in this community should be hyper-aware to the fact that there are going to be folks that are unfamiliar with the community.”