Updated with cyclist's name at 12:27 PM.
The city’s third fatal car and bike crash this year occurred last night on NE 122nd. The police aren't releasing much information about what happened, but it's not clear whether they have much, since they arrived on the scene after 52-year-old cyclist James Neal Wagner was already dead and the driver already gone. Detective Mary Wheat put out this brief report early this morning:
Tonight at approximately 2:15 a.m., Portland Police Officers responded to the area of Northeast 122nd and Fremont Street on a report of a hit and run incident involving a car and a bicyclist. When officers arrived, they found a 52-year-old deceased male bicyclist and determined the vehicle involved had left the scene.
The Major Crash Team responded to investigate and believe this was a hit and run incident. It appears that the bicyclist was riding Northbound on 122nd when he was struck and killed. No vehicle description is being released at this time.
That stretch of 122nd is a terrible place to ride or walk. It’s impossible to tell just from looking around whether the trash and pieces of cars—a hubcap, a high-heeled boot, bolts and reflectors—are from last night’s accident or just refuse from the thousands of cars that speed down the street daily. All that remains on the road from the bike and the man who died are the ashes of police flares.
The flares blocked off the entire intersection where I-84 entrance and exit ramps meet NE 122nd. A narrow bike lane runs along both sides of 122nd there. Since Wagner was riding north he would have been heading downhill, likely picking up speed. At the intersection, the right car lane can turn on to I-84, so it’s possible Wagner was struck by a classic right hook: he was heading straight and fast through the green light and a car heading onto the freeway did not see him before turning right.
The Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division has a couple witnesses, but are not releasing all the information they have. Anyone with info is asked to call Officer Barry Busse at 503-823-2216.