Bicyclist hit by a van in SE Portland on the way to honor road victims, feels lucky to be alive

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 9:59 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - FOX 12 spoke with a bicyclist after he was hit by a van on his way to an event to remember those killed on the road.

The crash that could’ve ended much worse was all caught on camera.

Mark Linehan calls it a twist of fate.

“It certainly is ironic,” Mark Linehan, who was hit by a van while on a bicycle, said.

On Sunday, just after noon, Linehan was on his way to a world day of remembrance event honoring those killed on the road in preventable crashes.

He said the group crossed at this intersection at Southeast 117th and Division. The moment his life flashed before his eyes was caught on camera.

“A white van came blasting through against the red light and hit my front wheel,” Linehan said.

He said he acted quickly.

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“I saw it out of the corner of my eyes and pulled the handlebars to the left, and I think that’s what saved me,” Linehan said.

Portland police said the van ran a red light, then continued driving, eventually stopping at Southeast 111th and Powell. Police said the 25-year-old driver Yingzhi Chen was arrested and charged.

Linehan said he’s just grateful to have been able to walk away with a few bruises and a damaged bike.

“Another second further into the lane and I would’ve been right in front of it,” Linehan said.

The group Linehan was riding with, BikeLoud PDX, had filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland just days earlier, pushing for safer roads.

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“In East Portland, the roads are really designed around moving cars a lot faster and that creates a lot more danger for anybody that’s not in a car,” Kiel Johnson, Board Chair of BikeLoud PDX, said.

Linehan said he continued on to the event that day without hesitation because he knew how fortunate he was to survive.

“I feel very, very lucky and I’m also very sad for the many other people who get killed on our roads all the time,” Linehan said.

The mayor’s office and a commissioner did get back to FOX 12 and said they aren’t able to comment on pending litigation.