PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Friends and family gathered Wednesday night to mourn the life of a woman who was killed while riding her motorized scooter in northeast Portland.
At least 100 people were at the gathering, leaving behind a roadside memorial honoring 66-year-old Susan V. Bartlett.
According to police, Bartlett was wearing a helmet Friday when a Ford Expedition turned in front of her near Northeast Tillamook Street and Northeast 40th Avenue. Police at first said Bartlett after the head-on collision was transported to the hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, but officers later learned she died in surgery.
The St. Johns Scooter Club held a memorial ride Wednesday night in Bartlett’s honor. Participants said Bartlett was close to the club and many of its members. Dozens of scooters rode to the site of the crash where Bartlett lost her life and then spoke about some of their memories.
Long line of motor scooters just arrived in NE Portland for a vigil to honor Susan Bartlett. The 66-year-old was riding a motorized scooter Friday night when she was involved in a head-on crash at NE Tillamook & 40th. Bartlett later died in surgery. pic.twitter.com/JguA9KReXa— Tyler Dumont (@TylerDumontNews) September 5, 2019
Some of Bartlett’s longtime friends attended the memorial, describing her as someone who was passionate about life, politics and the environment, her family and friends, and her scooter.
“It was a big part of her life,” Connie Hewitt, who says she was friends with Bartlett for 26 years, said. “She was really into scooter safety. She always wore her helmet.”
A lot of people at the memorial said they still have questions about Bartlett’s death, including why first responders thought she originally only had non-life-threatening injuries. They also wonder why the driver who she collided with had only faced a citation for an improper left turn.
So far, police have not released the driver’s name. Officers say the driver has been cooperative. They confirm there were no signs of impairment or distraction at the crash scene.
“I think that the whole community lost an enormously wonderful, impactful person,” Hewitt said. “But I lost a huge part of my heart. And I will never forget her. I really loved her.”