Teenage cyclist who hit SUV is released from hospital

Riding on sidewalk, against the flow of traffic is not illegal

By John Branton and Paul Suarez

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Kienen Wayrynen, the 15-year-old boy injured Thursday after hitting an SUV while riding his bicycle in Hazel Dell, was upgraded to satisfactory condition at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center on Friday morning, and was discharged from the hospital Friday evening.

Kienen had been listed in critical condition late Thursday.

He was riding downhill and against traffic on a sidewalk on the north side of Northwest 99th Street, in front of Columbia River High School, when he hit an SUV that was leaving a parking lot just before 4 p.m.

The SUV’s driver, Dana Wilcox, 37, of Vancouver braked and may have been stopped before the bicycle hit her car. Kienen tried to avoid the SUV and crashed into the front passenger side near the headlights and bumper, said Sgt. Randon Walker with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Kienen is the son of The Columbian’s photo editor, Troy Wayrynen.

Friday afternoon, sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Shea called The Columbian to correct information about state traffic laws that had been provided by the sheriff’s office earlier.

Kienen did not violate traffic laws prior to the crash, as previously reported.

Shea, a former traffic accident investigator, said Washington law allows bicyclists to ride on sidewalks, though they must yield the right of way to pedestrians, and that drivers of vehicles must yield the right of way to both bicyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks.

Wilcox was not cited at the scene of the crash, and Shea said he did not know if a citation would be issued later.

Shea also said the law does not require bicyclists on sidewalks to ride in the same direction as vehicle traffic.

When riding with traffic on two-way roads and streets, slower than vehicle traffic, bicyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic and stay as far to the right as is safe except while turning or passing. That rule does not apply when a bicyclist is riding on a sidewalk.

The laws in question are found in RCW 46.61.770, 46.61.261 and 46.61.755.

Two sent to hospital after fire

Two residents were taken to the hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening after a Friday morning fire at the Van Mall Retirement Community.

One suffered smoke inhalation and the other was experiencing chest pains, said Kevin Stromberg, firefighter-paramedic with the Vancouver Fire Department.

At 10:30 a.m., firefighters were at the retirement center, 7808 N.E. 51st St.

Residents evacuated themselves and seemed to be well prepared due to monthly fire alarm training, Stromberg said.

The fire originated in a paper shredder in a second-floor room, Stromberg said. The sprinkler system extinguished the fire by the time firefighters arrived.

The fire caused $20,000 in structural damage and $12,000 in loss of content, according to a release from the Vancouver Fire Department.

Man arrested after crashing into building

No injuries were reported when a man drove into the side of a Vancouver apartment building late Friday evening, but the driver ended up in custody on suspicion of drunken driving.

The crash was reported at 8:03 p.m. at 3801 N.E. Royal View Ave., according to Vancouver Police Sgt. Kathy McNicholas. The name of the driver was not released.