Family of man charged with killing cyclist say it was an acciden - KPTV - FOX 12

Family of man charged with killing cyclist say it was an accident

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Portland Police Bureau identified the man killed riding his bike in northeast Portland over weekend.

Officers said 38-year-old Martin Lee Greenough was killed while riding his bike east on Northeast Lombard Street, also known as Portland Highway, near Northeast 42nd Avenue.

According to PPB reports, a car hit Greenough from behind, then just kept driving around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Monday, Kenneth Britt Smith Jr., the driver accused of crashing into Greenough then leaving the scene, faced a judge.

Officers claim Smith was high on pot at the time of the crash.

Smith pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and DUII Monday.

A couple dozen relatives and friends came to court to support him. They wanted to extend their condolences to the family of the man killed in the crash, and said Smith, who has three kids and a fourth on the way, is a good person.

They call what happened an accident.

“We are very sorry for everything,” Ruthkeyshia Smith said. “My husband, he would never ever… you know what I mean. He's a good person. I really, really want everyone to know that he is an awesome person.”

“There's a lot of things going on where the area was, the bike lane,” Smith’s father, Kenneth Smith Sr., said. “It's just an accident. He would never hurt nobody. He’s a good boy.”

The crash happened on a section of Northeast Lombard where the bike lanes end and the shoulder gets narrow.

Monday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance called that part of the road unsafe, and they've created a petition demanding the Oregon Department of Transportation install bike lanes immediately.

An ODOT spokesman said they're developing a long range plan to improve safety in this area, pointing out the road was built before they understood the volume of drivers and people on bikes this area would see.

He also said ODOT wants to hear suggestions from the BTA and all public ideas to improve this area.

Smith is being held in the Multnomah County Jail.

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