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Trying to beat a train to a crossing in a car is foolish; even more so, when doing it on a bike

DAVID F. ASHTON - In the Brooklyn neighborhood, the crossing signals were still operating as Portland Police Transit Division and TriMet officials investigate this crash between a MAX Light Rail train and bicyclist. Traffic slammed to a stop on S.E. 17th Avenue near Pershing Street, on March 13 at 4:25 p.m., when a bicyclist rode across the grade into the path of a southbound TriMet MAX Orange Line Light Rail train.

"It looked like the guy was 'racing the train', trying to beat it through the crossing," remarked Jeremy Daniels, who said he witnessed the crash "from the corner of his eye" while taking a break from his job nearby.

"I'd say he got thrown from 12 to 16 feet after he was hit," Daniels told THE BEE.

Paramedics with Portland Fire & Rescue Westmoreland Station 20 medically stabilized the bicyclist who was transported by ambulance to OHSU with unspecified injuries.

As investigator from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Transit Division came to the scene, where the vehicle crossing arms were still down across S.E. 17th Avenue, the lights were still flashing at the pedestrian/bike crossing, and the warning bells were blaring.

"The train and bicyclist collided," confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris Burley. "Officers continue to investigate this crash; and, preliminary information suggests the cyclist sustained non-life-threatening injuries."

An official statement by TriMet followed:

"Our thoughts are with the bicyclist, and we hope he makes a full recovery," was the response to an inquiry about the incident by TriMet Public Information Officer Tim Becker. "We can tell you the MAX Orange Line was disrupted for about 45 minutes before service through the area could be restored."

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