PORTLAND, Ore. – Three days after a hit-and-run left a bicyclist injured, Portland police collected potential evidence from the scene after a KATU News reporter informed them about it.
Police say someone out there knows something about the driver who hit Henry Schmidt last Friday at about 1 a.m. in Southwest Portland and then took off.
TriMet bus driver Nancy Cain first saw Schmidt’s bike in the road on Southwest Barbur Boulevard about 100 yards north of the Southwest Capitol Highway/Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway turnoff. She stopped the bus and called 911.
One of the passengers on that bus told a KATU News reporter that he found Schmidt's work shirt and sunglasses at the scene the next day. So the reporter went to see what else might be there and found a pretty distinguishable car part. She told police about it and asked them why it wasn't picked up the night Schmidt was hit.
Sgt. Pete Simpson, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said the investigation, including evidence collecting, hadn't yet begun. The investigation – should Schmidt's injuries been more severe and life-threatening – would have started immediately.
He said police have to prioritize investigations because of budget cuts.
At the scene Sunday, a KATU News reporter discovered glass and plastic that had part of a number on it that goes to a 2012 Subaru Legacy. She let police know about it after she left the scene. A spokesman asked her to "bag it" for them not realizing she was gone.
On Monday, she went back to the scene to get the piece of plastic, but the whole area had been cleaned up and the glass and the piece with the part number were gone.
"You found evidence at the scene, or potential evidence at the scene. It should have been collected at the time of the incident," Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told the reporter. "We don't know a lot of times what is evidence and what isn't at a scene. We should be erring on the side of caution. In this case there were things left at the scene that should have been collected."
He said those things were collected Monday.
Investigators will try to determine if the debris is from the car that hit Schmidt.
"This is the type of case where someone needs to come forward. There will be someone in the community who knows something," Simpson said.
Police have not released a vehicle description and are asking anyone with information to contact them.
Meanwhile, Schmidt's family called the TriMet bus driver who stopped to help a hero.
Schmidt's family said bus driver Nancy Cain is the reason why he got medical attention so fast and didn't get run over a second time.
Cain drives bus No. 56 along Barbur Boulevard. She said she spotted a crumpled bike in the outside lane during her last run of Thursday night/early Friday morning.
She pulled the bus over, checked on Schmidt, called 911 and two passengers jumped out to help.
"It was pretty startling. It was pretty crumpled," said Cain. "So I knew something pretty serious had happened. But when I secured the bus and hopped off and I saw him, I knew that it looked like he'd been hit by a vehicle."
Cain said every bus is equipped with a special button that drivers can push to call 911.
She said police haven’t interviewed her yet or the bus passengers.
Police said it could be a while before they close the case because they just don't have a lot to go on.
Schmidt's mother, Kathi Sweet, has been by her son's side at the hospital. She said he's in fair condition.
Schmidt's family calls TriMet bus driver Nancy Cain a hero. She stopped to help Schmidt.