Thursday, March 4, 2021
March 4, 2021

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Car strikes, severely injures bicyclist in Hazel Dell

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says a bicyclist was severely injured when he was struck by a vehicle Tuesday evening in Hazel Dell.

Deputies and medics were dispatched around 10:40 p.m. to the 1400 block of Northeast 78th Street for a crash. Witnesses called 911 and reported that the bicyclist was injured and lying in the road, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The deputies contacted Natalie Berkey, 19, of Portland, who was driving the involved vehicle, a Hyundai sedan.

Berkey was traveling west on Northeast 78th Street when the bicyclist — later identified by deputies as 56-year-old James Evans — rode directly in front of her vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

Traffic unit investigators found that Evans was riding his bike from the north sidewalk of 78th Street to the south, and into the vehicle’s path.

“The resulting (crash) had caused Evans to strike the front windshield of the Hyundai causing significant injury,” the sheriff’s office said.

Berkey stayed on scene during the investigation and cooperated with deputies. She did not exhibit any signs of impairment, and no citations were issued, the sheriff’s office said. There was also no evidence “of significant speed on the part of Berkey’s vehicle,” deputies said.

The speed limit on that section of 78th Street is 35 mph.

Evans was not wearing a helmet nor was he using any type of lighting equipment, the sheriff’s office said. He was not in an intersection when he crossed into the path of the car.

“It should be noted that there is a signal-controlled intersection with a crosswalk at Northeast 13th Avenue, less than a block from where the collision took place. Evans did not utilize this intersection,” deputies said.

Evans had just left a homeless encampment known to deputies on the north side of 78th Street in the 1400 block, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators concluded that Evans failed to yield the right-of-way to Berkey, which caused the crash.


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