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

Portland police ID car in hit-and-run of bicyclist »Play Video
The model and color of car believed to have been involved in a hit and run last week on Barbur Boulevard.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Police have identified the car that hit a bicyclist last week on Southwest Barbur Boulevard and left the scene.

Henry Schmidt, 20, was seriously injured after being hit Friday morning by the car just north of the Capitol Highway ramp. He did not know what happened and couldn't provide information about the car.

Police on Wednesday identified the car as a black 2011 or 2012 Subaru Legacy 25i sedan. That information is based on evidence collected several days after the hit-and-run, Portland police said.

TriMet bus driver Nancy Cain spotted Schmidt's mangled bike in the road that morning. She stopped the bus and called 911. Two of her passengers, Aaron Oosterhart and Jordan Sweet, jumped out to help.

Police had collected some initial evidence but traffic investigators hadn't gotten to the case yet. So KATU News reporter Hillary Lake went back to the scene later and found more evidence -- a car part -- that had been apparently overlooked.

She told police about it. They told her to "bag it" not realizing she had left the area. On Monday, traffic investigators went to pick it up.

Police acknowledged that they should have collected the car part at the time of the incident.

The car part -- a lamp cover for a 2012 Subaru Legacy -- helped police to identify the car.

Police believe the sedan has damage to the right-front headlight assembly, bumper and is missing the passenger-side mirror. The sedan may also have windshield damage on the passenger side.

Victim's mom initially unhappy with police investigation

On Saturday, Schmidt's mother, Kathi Sweet, called the driver who hit her son and left the scene "a coward."

Right after her son was hit, she didn't feel the police were working hard enough on the case. But she started to feel differently on Tuesday.

That's when she said she got more of a response from Portland police. One officer also came to Schmidt's hospital room Wednesday morning to do a detailed interview with him.

Sweet is optimistic the case will be solved now that police have announced they are looking for a certain kind of car. But she still feels a bit frustrated at the pace of the investigation.

"What happened to Henry, happened. And he's going to heal, and he's going to be fine," she said. "But I hope that next time there's a similar accident, it doesn't take 72 hours or more – it doesn't take somebody having to stomp their feet to get people to do their job."

Schmidt has gotten a lot of support from the community as well. Kiel Johnson owns a local bike valet service and organized a bike ride along the road where Schmidt was hit.

The riders started at ODOT headquarters at about 6 p.m. in Northwest Portland. They started there because Barbur is overseen by ODOT, which is the agency that plays a big role in any improvements to the road. The riders should get to Schmidt’s hospital, OHSU, at about 7 p.m.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver. You can leave a tip online here or text CRIMES and in the subject line write 823HELP, followed by your tip. Or you can call 503-823-HELP.

We started looking into this hit-and-run after the father of Schmidt's roommate emailed us. If there's a story you want us to know about email us at newstips@katu.com.

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