Bicyclist killed in collision with garbage truck

Bicyclist killed in collision with garbage truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A garbage truck turning right crushed a bicyclist in a Portland bike lane, the second such accident in two weeks.

Police said Brett Jarolimek, 31, tried but failed to brake, collided with the truck and fell beneath the rear wheels on Monday.

The truck and bicycle were headed downhill, police said, and the bicycle gained speed.

Police said the truck driver had a turn signal on, and drugs and alcohol didn't appear to be a factor.

The death intensified emotions raised by the death of 19-year-old cyclist Tracey Sparling, killed earlier in October as she was riding straight from a traffic light and a cement truck turned right.

"I'm really absolutely fed up with the idea that we have to abdicate our rights in order to have safety on the streets," said Robert Reid, a Portland attorney who stopped his bike at the scene of Jarolimek's accident Monday. The police, he said, need to cite drivers who don't yield the right of way to cyclists in a bike lane.

But Portland Police Lt. Mark Kruger said solving the problem requires more than just faulting drivers.

Cyclists need to ride defensively and be aware if they are moving too fast or are in a place where motorists can't see them, he said, adding that he couldn't comment on the specifics of Monday's collision. "You can be right, and you can be dead right."

Monday's accident was the fourth fatality involving motor vehicles and bicycles in 2007 in a city regarded as bike-friendly.

Scott Bricker, executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, said Portland generally sees up to five bicycle fatalities a year, he said. But as the number of cyclists increases, the actual rate of deaths has gone down, he said.

To read more about Jarolimek, click here.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)