By NR Staff • 

Cyclist dies after being hit on Highway 18

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Hwy 18 is not a very good place for a cycle event. I was headed toward mcminnville yesterday and noticed how there were people on bikes stopped practically in the road. They need to rethink these things. I know the law is on their side but there are roads that bicyclests have no business on. There needs to be mutual respect both bicycles and cars. Too many times bikes are riding outside of the bike lane. There also needs to be more bike safety training. Mcminnville i see bicycles on sidewalks and in cross walks. My prayers and thoughts to the injured person and his family. I hope he rides again soon. :)


This is a horrible area for a bike riding event. It seems that every year an accident occurs due to this event. Hwy 18 is dangerous enough without having to share the road. Many thoughts and prayers to the family. I hope they rethink this "Reach the Beach" event.


There is nothing wrong with traveling on hwy 18....the shoulder is as wide as
the lanes !! This moron driver went onto the shoulder INTO THE CYCLISTS !!
We always travel 5 miles on hwy 18 to get to the coast turn off and then come
back the same way for 5 miles and turn onto the country roads. DRIVERS NEED


slvo700 - Yes, drivers need to pay attention - As do cyclists and pedestrians. Not only on Hwy 18, but 'everywhere.' No one should ever assume that just because they're on the side of the road, in a crosswalk, or even a vehicle that they are safe.

I myself experienced stopping at a stop sign - looking both ways, and then just as I was pulling out, a cyclist crossed right in front of me. He never even stopped or payed any attention to me. It was dark, and he had nothing reflective on either his person or his bike. It scared me to death!!!!! Had I hit him I would have been mortified - So, in the wake of the tragic event that happened over the weekend, let this be a reminder that everyone needs to be aware and respectful to each other.

My heart goes out to the cyclist and his family, and also to the young man who hit him. I feel pain for all involved.


slvo700 the shoulder is as wide as the lanes in most places.. where this accident happened was right before the 2 lane bridge where HWY 18 merges into 2 lanes from 4. It is ALWAYS a bottle neck on the weekends and then you put into the mix several hundred bicyclists who hold up the traffic even worse! There is NO room that bridge for 2 way traffic and a bike! I am sure what happened is the traffic backed up and the young man did not realize it had stopped and as ANY driver would swerved to the right to avoid hitting the car in front of him.
I pray for the young man along with the victims family. ODOT needs to wake up and fix the problem!


I'm very sad about this horrible accident. It's beyond sad. But DON"T blame the driver. The 24 year old kid who hit him was from Battle Ground Washington. Chances are, he didn't know about Oregon allowing thousands of bicyclists to take over roads not identified as safe for bicyclists by ODOT or the federal department of transportation. WHY WOULD YOU THINK THERE WOULD BE BICYCLES RIDING ON THE HIGHWAY? It's ridiculous to think there won't be injuries and deaths when you have motor vehicles vs. bicyclists...who aren't charged with babysitting motor vehicles like drivers of motor vehicles must babysit bicyclists...on Hwy. 22, with wicked crazy blind curves. If I had a TCCA or Averill truck coming at me and I came around a blind corner with bicyclists in my lane, I'm's a no brainer.


Don't blame the 24 yr old driver ???? Really ! Sorry, he made the bad call, not
the cyclist.....and bamadrmz: what planet are you on.......there are cyclists all
over the country......sorry, that will sound pretty stupid in court. Tragic, yes, but
don't make excuses for the driver for the accident.


ODOT might consider lowering the speed limit from Willamina to where the merge begins, I'd suggest 45.mph. From the merge point forward, should be reduced to 35 on Hwy 18 through the rest of Grand Ronde proper. As for Hwy 22/Hebo Road from Valley Junction on, nothing can be done to make that stretch to the coast safe for bicyclists and/or pedestrians.

It's dumbfounding to understand why this event is even held. Why is it?


As wide as a lane? Yeah in some places. But there are many places where i wouldnt even walk along side the road. With this many bicycles the event should be held on a road that doesnt have as much traffic, or atleast but signs out saying to watch out for cyclest.


miketubbs1: the Reach the Beach bike ride is a lung cancer fundraiser.
There are cycling accidents every day all over the country....some due to idiot
cyclists and some from idiot drivers. Some times we have to go on busy highways for a short distance. The 500 mile Cycle Oregon bike ride does it's best to use busy highways as little as possible, but some times you have to in order to get from point A to point B and so do all the other group rides. I ride about 4,000 miles per year and have had some close calls myself. This was not a problem due to lack of signage....the driver reacted to an incident....sadly, not the right decision. This was not a blind curve error....cyclist was in plain sight. Cyclists should not have to worry about drivers texting, talking on cell phones, drunk driving and people like this driver....but we do, and that's don't stop doing what you love to do or you would have to lock yourself in your house. People need to pay attention.


I am appalled at many of the comments. In no way was this the cyclist at fault. The car driver went on the the shoulder and hit the cyclist. As one person mentioned, there needs to be more training, but it is car drivers that need it. Bicyclist have just as much right to use the public roads as car drivers. Always be aware that there can be a cyclist, jogger, walker or animal on a shoulder and sometimes in the road. Look for them, always Share the Road.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Steven Dayley. Remember he is a real person, not just a statistic. And look out for me (and everyone else) because I am out there on my bike.


"People need to pay attention."


I couldn't agree more with you on that. Having lived out here on Hwy22/Hebo Road for the last 8 years, and on many occasion having walked it, I have intimate knowledge of the danger this stretch of road presents. More than a few incidents have ended tragically.

Though, this year (during the Reach the Beach weekend) did seem relatively uneventful when compared to most, my wife and I only heard the siren of one ambulance. Most cyclists did seem to heed the single file signs posted prior to the event .We'd seen a few riding side by side, but not as many as in the past.

As for that particular stretch of Hwy 18, my wife and I have witness too many drivers attempting to jockey for what apparently to them seems to be some kinda 'Pole Position' for their own race to the coast.


Curious if the driver swerved into the "emergency lane/bike-lane" in order to go around the driver in front of him. Was he not paying attention to the road and driving conditions and nearly rear-end the guy in front of him, or was the guy in front making a turn and the driver was too impatient to wait, thus swerving around to save that extra five second wait time?

What was the reason to swerve?


Everybody agrees that this accident, and obviously any accident where someone is critically injured, is tragic.

Can you imagine how the driver of that car feels? How would you feel? This isn't something that was done intentionally. How can blame be placed on either the driver or the cyclist?

Blame does nothing. This is a very rude awakening to all of us as drivers, pedestrians, bikers and joggers alike. Be aware and be safe. Don't ever assume anything.

My heart goes out to everyone involved in this tragedy..


jst4us:: Yes, all agree it was tragic for ALL, but this is STILL DRIVER ERROR !
Still caused by the driver.....blame may do nothing, but it's still there and cannot be ignored in this case. If I did it, I would feel horrible too.....but the fact that I did it....does not go away....and no one is "assuming" anything.


There is no turn there it is where the 4 lanes merge into 2 onto a 2 lane bridge. There are concrete barriers on both sides and the median.. no turning. I also live on this stretch of road and when the bikes crossed the bridge all vehicle traffic stopped. I am assuming the traffic stopped and the driver did not realize it and swerved to miss the car in front of him.
It is sad too much death on this highway due to too much traffic on an outdated road!!


slvo700 - Should I assume that when I am walking my dog and we are crossing the street, that the oncoming vehicle sees me and is going to stop? Should the mother walking her infant in the stroller assume the vehicle sees her - should I assume that when I am crossing the parking lot with my basket full of groceries that the vehicles see me - - HECK NO. So.....I never assume anything - when I'm driving on Hill Rd. and the cyclist is taking up half my lane, should I assume he knows I'm coming up behind him and he is going to veer to me - - - HECK NO.

I have driven HWY 18, 30 miles per day, for the last 15 years. You name it, and I have seen it. It's barely safe for vehicles, and then you put cyclists on top of all the weekend traffic, and you're asking for trouble. As Peter said,' there's been too much death on this outdated highway, that has too much traffic. ' I'm in no way against cyclists, but they also need to be more considerate - it's a no win if they tangle with a vehicle.

Right, wrong, indifferent or otherwise, the young man driving that vehicle will be paying for this the rest of his life. When you say that 'no one is assuming anything,' you are already assuming that this is 'driver error.' Please, when you're cycling, be careful - - 'don't assume' the vehicle sees you.


You may not assume a car sees you at an intersection, but on that road, he was in plain sight ! This was driver error..........cyclist was minding his own business, on the shoulder of the road, and the driver wasn't paying attention and hit him. Atleast the driver is still living, unlike the defenseless cyclist....don't worry, Oregon law sucks when it comes to killing a cyclist.....he won't get any time ! Cyclist's lives don't mean anything to OR laws....assuming this is driver error...??? Uh, driver ran over cyclist on shoulder of 11 yr old grandaughter could figure this one out..........


One thing my wife and I took notice of while we were planting our tomatoes and bell peppers on Saturday, was that an unusually large number of cyclists this year had chosen to forgo the more dangerous stretch heading into and through Grand Ronde..

There seemed to be a large number of bicycles that were trucked, trailered..or..otherwise attached to the fronts and rear-ends of motor vehicles. That in itself may account for the lower number of ambulance calls from 3 or 4 during this event, down to just 1 this year. Just a thought.



Be careful what you wish for. Some states do ban both cyclists and pedestrians from access to highways and/or heavily traveled roads. California being just one of them. This area being rural, does have a number of residents that for whatever reason do not have another means of transporting themselves about, and/or through their community, when they need to.

I do feel that events such as this particular 'Reach the Beach' ride are a reckless means of raising both money and awareness for a cause.

I'd always thought the raising of cash, such as the sale of traditional fireworks, firecrackers, bottle rockets and/or even some of the more impressive stuff like my Uncle Bud used to 'let fly high in the sky'' for worthy causes, was a good idea. As long as you went about what you wanted to do in a safe and sane manner.

I'd like to be able to set off a spectacular display during the strike of midnight on New Years Eve out here in Grand Ronde, when it's virtually impossible to set anything on fire, on purpose, let alone by accident.

Wish we could, and I feel allowing such would be an excellent means to raise funding for any worthy cause. I am quite positive that I am not alone in my wish to do so.

Demand the state step in, and you may find yourself without particular stretch of road to either ride, or walk on.


I think that it is a terrible accident that has happened. period. I am not going to blame the motorist, I wasn't there in the car with him..were you?, and I am not going to blame the bicyclist.

I am however going to look at the people responsible for holding events such as this.

Last year, I think, there were many bicyclists that received tickets for not following the rules of the road, that caused a big stink because it was for a cause, this year, as far as I know, there were no tickets issued because the rules were followed.

In a situation as this, where there are going to be slower moving vehicles on the road, they should have everything well posted, not the little signs I saw on 99 going into Amity.

If this is something that is going to be an annual event, I know this one is, then wouldn't it be a good idea to create a side area, similar to the walk/bike path between Monmouth and Rickreal, that is available for the more dangerous areas?

One other thing, when looking up bicycle laws, 814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles, it states that a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways...

Then point is, attention. Everyone needs to be attentive to what is going on around them. Bicyclist and drivers included.


Mike: give it a rest.......I think people can handle one day a year of cyclists, who by the way, WERE PAYING do their fundraiser.
Mom: the driver made the that's where the blame goes....not the
Typical American responses.........never take responsibility for your actions.


"Typical American responses...."

We're all entitled to express our opinions. Take your own for instance, you seem to feel a need to...well....dare I say...'scream & shout' your own at others. Just curious, do you exhibit this same type behavior while you're out biking?

Because if you do, there is a name for that behavior, it's called 'Road Rage'


mike: only when some moron, non-paying attention driver almosts mowes me
down. Yes, everyone has a right to their opinion.........but put the blame where
the blame belongs...on the driver, not the event.....put the responsibility where it
belongs instead of trying to make someone else take it. Accident or not, the driver still cause the death of the innocent cyclist. If you can't see a cyclist on the road, then you shouldn't be driving........! They are a quite large, moving object....pretty hard to miss........IF the driver is paying attention......key words !


slvo - so what's your take on the state banning the 'native american mascots' in schools? or were you paying attention?


slvo- so you WERE in the car with driver! Then please tell me what happened. It is sad. I am not saying that the driver is innocent, I am not saying that the bicyclist is guilty, what I am saying is that if there was more signage or flags or something then maybe the out-of-state driver would have seen that there was a large event going on. Yes he should have been paying attention, but unless you were in the car and I know I wasn't then it is up in the air to us.

I am not putting blame, but you sure are.


I am going by what the news didn't need to be in the car to know what happened. Yes, I blame the driver, because a cyclist is easy to see and he killed the cyclist trying to avoid hitting another car.....still his fault. Had it been the other way around and the CYCLIST had darted out in front of the driver, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You would have nailed the cyclist ! No questions asked !
You don't defend a driver if he's in the wrong and you don't defend a cyclist if he's in the wrong. This time it was the driver at matter what caused him to do it.

As for the mascots........stupid idea to ban them. Schools using mascots is no disrespect to Indians.......

John Smith Jr

I think bicycle lanes could be safer - even adding the road vibrators between the car lane and the bike lane and making bike lanes wider would help - if for some reason a car is going in to the bike lane, it would alert you....very very sad situation, I hope the families involved find peace soon.


slvo700 - well at least we agree on one thing -


Road vibrators are the best.....but this guy was trying to avoid another accident, so
doubt he would have responded to them. Sad indeed.


"They are quite a large moving object....pretty hard to miss."

I've maintained 'Preferred Driver' status for a great many years with my auto insurance carriers. I am a very defensive driver when behind the wheel, I give everyone a wide birth. I absolutely never tailgate for the very same reason, I want plenty of reaction time in the event that some situation as is being claimed in this article may unfold before me.

I am always aware that just around the corner of any blind turn there will always be a high probability for a head-on. There are just too many situations where a bicyclist, jogger or walker are presented with little options for escape. Highway 22 / Hebo Road is a very dangerous road to travel, especially on the weekends. A lot of death out here on Hebo Road.

.....heY! year, slow down a bit after you pass St.Michaels and you can take in the view of an ancient Redwood forest while it's still in it's toddler stage.

And!...that's not all, if your own vision ain't too bad, and you gaze beyond those'll be able to behold our mighty cornstalks as well. Our cornstalks are the tallest cornstalks in Yamhill County today, bar none.

My prized cornstalk, Earlene, is already knee high, 44 days shy, of the 4th of July!


Mike: Well, finally, some good to say ! Myself and other cyclists appreciate you being so aware of your surroundings while driving :) Blind curves anywhere are very bad and I hate/fear them. I don't gaze around much on that Hebo Rd. It's very pretty to ride, but afraid I may end up in the water if I look around too seems that where my eyes wander, so does my bike, but I will give it my best shot and check you out. Congrats on your prized cornstalk, Earlene.....

Roll on...........

Jeb Bladine

Just a note of caution about comments attributing blame based on "what the news said," and claiming you don't need to have been there to know what happened:

Much news such as this comes from law enforcement reports, which certainly are not infallible despite perhaps being the best available source of information. This report said the driver swerved to avoid traffic, but that leaves much to the imagination about what actually might have happened. We all can agree that it was a tragedy for all involved, particular the victim and his friends and family.

As a side note, none of the comments have touched on the continuing leg of this event, which sends hundreds of riders onto Highway 22 and the Little Nestucca River Road to share sharp/blind corners with vehicles traveling both directions. Anyone who has driven those roadways during the event knows that the dangerous conditions there exceed those of the Highway 18 stretch.

No doubt it's a good cause. I probably would opt for a different fund-raiser.

Jeb Bladine


Jeb: You obviously are not a cyclist. You don't cancel fundraisers because a driver made a bad decision and hit a cyclist.........and this cyclist WAS NOT riding in the Reach the Beach ride anyway. We can only take our facts from the news media and are you saying your news media is incorrect ? Like I said is not hard to SEE a cyclist on the road. Fact: accidents are either caused by a stupid cyclist or a stupid driver. If the news media is correct, this time it was the driver. There a lots of narrow roads all over the country.....but that doesn't mean that because some drivers or cyclists are not paying attention, that cyclists should not be able to use those roads. Everyone is out there at their own risks.....being a driver or a cyclist. Don't blow this out of proportion. Just be sure you print the correct information.


I agree Jeb "As a side note, none of the comments have touched on the continuing leg of this event, which sends hundreds of riders onto Highway 22 and the Little Nestucca River Road to share sharp/blind corners with vehicles traveling both directions. Anyone who has driven those roadways during the event knows that the dangerous conditions there exceed those of the Highway 18 stretch." Please tell me how anyone could enjoy riding their bike on those roads without the fear of being hit? People use those roads going to the coast and sandlake and usually they are pulling motorhomes, trailers, and trailers filled with quads or/and camping equipment. I myself just being a driver and not a cylist do not enjoy holding up driver's behind me while doing the speed limit, I pull over and let them pass, I could not imagine going a few miles an hour and holding them up. Sad someone died, but I believe this event should not be held on these dangerous roads.


Jeb- "opt for a different fundraiser"-

I can enjoy a good bike-ride with the rest of them, but it seems as if there is an extreme that exists. The extreme expects that roadways be shut down for them (which happens often in Portland), that they should have equal rights as drivers and that they should be allowed to ride where ever they want to.
Giving bikers these equal rights has resulted in millions of dollars worth of expansions, paint, and planning.

The second you even suggest something like a different route you will have them screaming that you are not treating them fairly, instead of them realizing, there are just some places a bike shouldn't be- like on highway 18- shoot there are places a car doesn't belong- like highway 18!


Why is it that bicyclists assume that no drivers pay attention to them? Why is it the drivers assume that no bicyclists pay attention to them?

There are exceptions to the rule. I have a classmate that rides a bike. She has evening classes and I have passed her on more then one occasion. She wears headphones, so does not hear the world around her, including my car as well as every other car around her, nor does she wear a helmet. I was approaching her the other night on the three mile bridge- the one right after JD Park. Her light was bright, I could see her, and I planned on scootching in to the OPPOSING traffic lane putting myself in potential danger to assure her safe passage on a very narrow bridge. Now that I put it these terms, what the hell was I thinking? Who will care for my kids if I got hit by oncoming traffic, who will pay my bills if I am hurt or killed, who will... fill in the blank. I have had other bikers refuse to stop at stop signs and cut me off, and I have had them slide right up the passenger side and in front of me as I attempt to make a right turn.

While I may go the extra mile to help out a bicyclist, what was that bicyclist doing to help me out? I get we have to share the bridge, but she didn't wear a helmet, her hearing was impaired, and it was night- no reflective clothes (although she did have a light). Yet on another given day I may have passed a bike that was doing everything right. Some drivers whizz pass her within less then a foot, I have seen them do it, not taking in to consideration she may have to swerve for debris of some sort, or if a rock hit their tire and throws her off balance.

Quit assuming, drive AND bike AWARE of each other, and the only thing you should assume is that the other doesn't know you are there, so be prepared, be cautious, and be courteous.

Civility- where has it gone?


I live in rural farm country and cyclist piss me off. They come out on the weekend and do "events" which means you might as well close down the road. I remember stopping for a flagger on a rural road by my house and waiting for ten minutes because of an event and when I got to the flagger and asked him if he was state certified, he said no so I ignored him blowing through and about 20 cyclist tried to ride right into the side of the truck. Quit feeling so entitled cyclist you should all be in jail.. The road doesnt belong to you, you dont pay road tax.....


"They come out on the weekends and do "events" which means you might as well close down the road."

It's for obvious reasons that most biking events are held on weekends. Perhaps a new tradition could be made to happen. Spirit Mountain Casino might consider hosting a biking event, a marathon of sorts, perhaps?

Perhaps multiple events, with varying degrees of difficulty..or..not. Those events might entail everything between fastest bike time to the top of Spirit Mountain, to down it.

From most completed laps around a closed course in 24-36 hours? ... down to who could stay within a small radius the longest without touching a foot to the ground. Maybe even one of those endurance things where the last person to let go of a bike, wins it?

Just a thought.


I do feel very bad for the family of this cyclist. I do not think that there is anything wrong with having the "reach the beach" route on HWY 18 but I do think that most of the cyclist's ( not saying this one in particular ) do not use caution. They are supposed to be riding in a straight line not side by side half way out in the road. They want the respect of the drivers on the road but most do not show the respect to the drivers on the road.

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