Yesterday, we learned that Marilyn Hayward, owner of Coventry Cycle Works, was seriously injured in a crash while riding her bike in Cornelius, about 24 miles west of Portland. Marilyn was struck around 10:00 am at the intersection of 10th and N. Adair, and was taken to the intensive care unit. We are thankful to learn that she is in stable condition, although her injuries are serious.
A dedicated advocate for bicycling and experienced recumbent rider, Marilyn has contributed great value to her community as a small business owner, volunteer, and supporter of community organizations like the BTA. In an interview with Marilyn featured on our blog in 2010, we learned about what inspires her to ride:
“I was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer 17 years ago. The doctors weren’t sure I would survive. After removing 25% of my lung, they also wanted to amputate my arm. I decided that enough was enough, and turned to bicycling to focus my energy towards fighting this disease.”
Seventeen years later, with both arms still fully intact, Marilyn now owns Coventry Cycle Works and bikes to work as much as she can. To top it off, Marilyn participates in “Bike Sebring”, a 24-hour continuous cycling event held in Florida each winter. Her goal is to bike 400 miles this February, and from the looks of it, she will have no trouble pulling this off.
As friends, our thoughts, first and foremost, are with Marilyn and her family. We are saddened by the knowledge that Marilyn faces a challenging recovery, and we wish her family strength and support.
As advocates, our top concern is making sure that the police and authorities conduct a full investigation and pursue appropriate legal action. At this time, no charges have been filed against the driver. Some questions on our mind include:
What type of bike facilities are on the street — was there a bike lane or safe separation? Is there an opportunity to engineer a safer environment? If the road is an ODOT road, the location may be a candiate for Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funding. If the road is a county/local road, since it is in Washington County, there may be safety project funds in the county’s Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program (MSTIP) account.
Was anyone at fault? If the automobile driver is found to be at fault, we would ask that police consider the application of Oregon’s Vulnerable Road User statute, which is designed to increase penalties for people who injure or kill our most vulnerable citizens, people on bikes and people walking.
For updates on Marilyn’s condition, Oregon Human Powered Vehicles, a community of recumbent riders, is posting information in a forum conversation. There are plans to set up a CaringBridge website.
More reporting on the crash: