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Accidents and Crashes

Teen crossing Bend Parkway struck, critically injured by pickup, now in medical coma

Latest vehicle-pedestrian crash puts spotlight again on Bend Parkway safety improvements

(Update: Police release name of crash victim; adding fundraising page, update on victim condition, comments from planning officials)

Pedestrian hit in crosswalk at ICU in an induced coma

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The sixth crash in four years involving pedestrians crossing the Bend Parkway has again put the spotlight on what can be done to make the highway safer for pedestrians and drivers.

Bend police on Tuesday identified the victim of Monday afternoon's crash as Mason Briley, who was struck by a pickup truck in the area of the Pinebrook Avenue crosswalk, leaving him with critical injuries.

Briley's family said he just turned 18 last week and is now in a medically induced coma at St. Charles Bend.

Police were dispatched shortly before 4:30 p.m. to the parkway at Pinebrook Boulevard, Lieutenant Clint Burleigh said.

Bend police say Briley was struck by a 77-year-old Hood River man in pickup truck. The crash and investigation closed the northbound lanes of Highway 97 for over three hours. The man and his passenger were unhurt in the crash and the driver has been cooperative in the investigation, he added.

“At this time, investigators have ruled out alcohol and drug impairment as factors in the crash,” Burleigh said in a news release.

Burleigh said Bend police are working with the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office on the crash investigation.

Plans for parkway improvements call for pedestrian over-crossings, and closing some intersections. The project would update the entire stretch of Highway 97 that is the Bend Parkway. But that's a big project. Planning officials say it could take up to 20 years to complete.

The City of Bend and the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization are developing plans to update the Bend Parkway. Bend MPO Manager Tyler Deke says there's a need for updates, especially as more and more people are moving to Bend.

"The parkway now is closing in on being 20 years old, and so there was a need to look just bigger term. Bend's growing tremendously, and so we're expecting it to continue growing like it is," Deke said.

"With the funding constraints and the physical constraints that are out there, how do we keep the facility functioning not only for people that are traveling on the parkway but allowing and improving access for people to get across the parkway as well?"

There are several proposed ideas, and each differ in priority. Pedestrian overpasses are considered a 'Tier 2' project. meaning it's not at the top of the list.

"It's unlikely to be funded in the next few years, but it's something that is definitely a priority." Deke said.

Deke added that the project needs to be approved and funded before they can move forward with any plans. He also says the pedestrian overcrossings alone could cost $5 million.

A family member of Briley has created a Facebook fundraiser page, at: https://www.facebook.com/donate/163072849134400/

Bend / Central Oregon / Local News / News / Top Stories
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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.

Comments

56 Comments

  1. Crosswalks on “Freeways” are never a good idea. A lot of people could see this coming, and it will happen again. Nobody drives 45 on the Parkway, and if your not from the area, a person would never anticipate a crosswalk on a road like the Parkway.
    Failure to put in pedestrian bridges is based on what monetary value the State of Oregon puts on a human life. It appears a life is worth less than the cost of an overhead pedestrian bride.

    1. Completely agree. I’ve lived in Bend for decades and as much as you might try to drive 45 on the “Parkway” you’re in the very small minority, to the point that those trying to maintain the “speed limit” become a hazard. Even AT 45 mph it’s horribly difficult to anticipate people crossing the road,,flashing lights or not..it’s just a really bad situation. Pedestrians and freeways do not mix. Sincerely hope this young man recovers.

  2. Hope he lives but you just don’t walk across the Parkway These driver’s don’t pay attention & drive way to fast & we don’t have Law Enforcement out anymore Hope he makes it

  3. Are those times correct? Was this the same accident that had traffic backed up coming into town from the south around 4:30 in the afternoon?

    1. 45 mph you can kill someone if they walk right out in front of you. I have a feeling the driver had a chance to break before hitting him. The Parkway is a very very bad area to try and cross. I would never attempt it. I would go down to one of the stoplights or the overpasses to walk across.

      1. You wouldn’t go to one of those places to cross because it’s too far. You would instead drive and then perhaps be the person that runs over a pedestrian, perpetuating the cycle.

  4. With such priority given to moving vehicles faster through town these events are likely to increase. The city council will need to articulate to their primary constituents the costly damage that a pedestrian could do to their primary constituents vehicles. If the drivers see that running over pedestrians can not only cost them time but also money, they might be okay with the city spending some money to deal with their pedestrian problem.

      1. They don’t really enforce the traffic laws because drivers are the councils primary constituents. If pedestrians were seen as important constituents there would be no money spent on reducing problems for cars until all pedestrian issues were resolved to level the playing field. Our entire planning department is about accommodating cars into the city. Without planners, cars would be impossible to organize and a country folk thing only. Bullets are much smaller and lighter than cars yet we’re forbidden from launching those down the city streets.

      2. First, how many people are aware of cross walk laws and second how many do you think watch the news or care? I drive a lot and most people don’t know rules of the road or even use a blinker. And many tailgate. Educate the people and/or build elevated pedestrian bridges.

          1. Here’s an idea, if a 3000lb machine is coming down any road, don’t cross until they have stopped or its clear of cars. Just because you’re told you have the right of way doesn’t mean it’s always safe. Use common sense. My sympathy to the injured, I wish driver’s and pedestrians both used courtesy and sense.

  5. I wonder if the pedestrian triggered the flashing lights at that crosswalk before crossing? They’re just about impossible not to notice. If they were on, and in broad daylight, the driver definitely should be cited. Booze and drugs may not have been a factor, but how about being 77 years old and behind the wheel of something that’s not a golf cart? We should be doing a better job on evaluating the competency of elderly drivers. At some point, we all have to hang up the keys.

    1. I completely agree with you. I have turned in an elderly driver to the DMV in Salem and his license was taken away. It’s not about their last bit of freedom, it’s about someone’s life. I also believe that a lot of 16 year old people shouldn’t drive either. Life on the road has changed so much over the years, it’s time to change some laws. AND hand out speeding tickets on the parkway!!!

      1. I agree that 16 years old is too young to be given the responsibility of piloting a several-ton vehicle down a highway, but that’s not going to change. At least we test them before handing them a license. We need regular testing at the other end of the age range as well. More tickets on the parkway would be a good thing. I generally just stay to the right and stay out of it, but there are left turns at the north end of town and when I’ve gotten into the left lane going 45-50, man some drivers get absolutely irate, tailgating, flashing lights, etc. It’s not a freeway folks; it’s got traffic lights and intersections.

  6. Signs and flashing lights don’t fix a terrible design with inadequate bike/ped crossings. I’m sure ODOT will build grade-separated bike/ped crossings of the Parkway at the usual snail’s pace.

    1. if folks would choose to follow the postd speed limits and established pedestrian crossing laws there would be no issues. ….but they ‘feel’ entitled and would rather whine about it online

      1. Sorry but you’re in the wrong country if think that’s going to happen. We choose not to use the technology available to enforce traffic laws with zero tolerance. The USPS would completely jam if they had to deliver all of the citations.

      2. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Even if people drive 45 mph, the Parkways controlled access design results in drivers not expecting pedestrians to be crossing.

        If it looks like a freeway, it drives like a freeway.

      3. or if they didn’t put crosswalks on a road they fully knew would be a speedway this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe odot will build a bridge with the leftover materials they have from LaPine.

  7. Crosswalks on a highway are not a good idea. Many of us said this from the get go but here we are again. They are as bad as traffic lights on a highway like the former traffic light that took that caused the accident that took the young woman’s life on the South end when they were still there a few years ago. People are always going to suck at driving no matter what. The road designers need to address this with design.

    1. The only thing that sucks worse than the drivers is the combination of road designers and politicians that might as well be sales people for the auto industry.

  8. There used to be a light at the Business 97/Parkway intersection until they put in a bridge with no southbound access. Same with the Murphy Rd Bridge. City Planning at it’s finest

  9. With the construction of new disabled ramps, are the lights even there and working? I noticed several of them were removed for construction. For those that say 45 is the speed limit, if I remember right this went to court a while back and the “Speed 45” is the suggested limit for good weather conditions, no where does it say limit on the sign. I try to stay around the limit or below 55 in the right lane, if you try that in the left lane you will be run over, better to go with the traffic flow.

  10. The entire “parkway” design is horrible. Too few lanes. Far too many side street access points. Crosswalks on a parkway???? Too many traffic lights. Speed limit with a proper design should have been 55mph. One of the worst parkway designs I’ve ever seen and there are room doozies in Oregon (Kuebler Blvd in Salem comes to mind).

    I hope this young man fully recovers. Very sad.

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