Police arrest suspect in hit-and-run of bicyclist on SW Barbur

Police arrest suspect in hit-and-run of bicyclist on SW Barbur »Play Video
Miriam Ann Clinton.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Police have arrested a 29-year-old woman whom they say was the driver who hit a bicyclist last week in Southwest Portland and left the scene.

Police say Miriam Ann Clinton of Lake Oswego turned herself in Thursday afternoon.

Henry Schmidt, 20, was seriously injured after being hit Friday morning on Southwest Barbur Boulevard by a car just north of the Capitol Highway ramp.

A TriMet bus driver spotted Schmidt and his crumpled bike along the road. She stopped and called 911 and two of her passengers helped Schmidt.

Earlier this week, KATU reporter Hillary Lake alerted police to a car part she found at the scene. It helped lead police to identify the car as a black 2011 or 2012 Subaru Legacy 25i sedan.

According to Portland police, a tipster led them to the vehicle, a black 2011 Subaru Legacy, at a body shop in Wilsonville.

Police say the car is registered to Clinton and that she had taken it to a retired auto mechanic who had done work for her in the past. He apparently saw a news report about the case and told her he would call police.

According to police, she turned herself in after they knew where the car was but before they had made contact with her. She posted $1,000 bail and was released from jail late Thursday night.

Police say Clinton faces charges of two counts of felony hit-and-run.

She will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court on Friday.

License Suspended

According to Oregon DMV, Clinton's driver's license is suspended. The DMV suspended it after Clinton received four or more "driver improvement violations" within a 2-year period.

Suzy Hanlon, with the DMV, said Clinton has had this type of suspension several times in the past and was in a "driver improvement program."

According to the DMV website, the program is to motivate "people to drive safely and to (keep) unsafe drivers off the roads." For drivers older than 18, the DMV could restrict a person's driving privileges or suspend a person's license for 30 days after a certain number of driving convictions or accidents.

Hanlon said Clinton's suspension is for 30 days and ends next Wednesday, Aug. 28. She will need to pay a fee to get her license back.

Clinton has a total of nine traffic violation convictions since 2009, said Hanlon.

And according to court records, she was also the victim of a hit-and-run accident about a year ago.

Arrest Reaction From Cyclist and His Mother

Schmidt is recovering in at OHSU and is in good condition.

His mother, Kathi Sweet, told KATU on Thursday afternoon after police made the arrest that she's not happy, not angry, but relieved police have located the driver accused of hitting her son. 

Sweet said she'll never understand why the driver left her son on the side of the road.

"I've said it all along. An accident is an accident. I don't know why she hit him – maybe it was speeding, maybe it was just purely an accident. And that's too bad," Sweet said. "But the decision to leave him there seriously injured, and the bus that came by was the last bus of the night. If it had happened a few minutes later, he wouldn't have been found, he may not have been found and that shakes me to my core."

Schmidt has two broken legs, a broken collar bone and will be in physical therapy for weeks. He may suffer chronic leg pain for the rest of his life.

"The fact that the justice system worked is what gives me satisfaction," he said. "It makes it that much harder for the crime to happen again. ... That being said, I'm certainly not celebrating, I'm happy to see it happening, but this is a young woman who made a poor choice to not deal with it, and the criminal justice system can be very severe."

He said he's not angry but he feels the driver should face serious consequences. He's also relieved an arrest was made and he can now focus on his recovery.

His mother said she was furious when she found out that Clinton has a suspended license.

Schmidt was able to go home Thursday night. He's celebrating his 21st birthday this weekend. Doctors expect him to make a full recovery but it will take months of physical therapy.

Accused Driver Supported by Friends and Neighbors

Clinton goes by the name "Mimi" around the Lake Oswego apartment building where she lives with her young son.

Her longtime friend and neighbor, Brian Ventura, said he'll continue to be her friend and won't judge her.

"I'm heartbroken, completely heartbroken for her, for him, for everybody in this whole situation," he said. "She's awesome. She's outgoing, great mom, bubbly ... just a normal person."

KATU News reporters Emily Sinovic and Erica Nochlin contributed to this report.

KATU's coverage of this story:

Portland police ID car in hit-and-run of bicyclist:

Reunion with the men who help rescue Schmidt: Raw Video: Schmidt thanks his rescuers: KATU reporter finds potential evidence in the case: