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Portland, Oregon

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News Release: Commissioner Novick and PBOT share grief over serious injury of student struck near George Middle School

(Aug. 30, 2016) - Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick and the Portland Bureau of Transportation issued the following statement after a report that a 15-year-old boy was struck by a car on North Columbia Boulevard and North Midway Avenue near George Middle School.

“We were saddened to hear about this crash, occurring in the first week of the school year for Portland Public Schools, and as other public and private schools prepare to start classes,” Novick said. “This comes less than two weeks after a fatality on SE Hawthorne that took a young life and shocked and saddened all of us.”

As it does with all severe crashes, PBOT will work with the Portland Police Bureau to understand the factors that contributed to this incident. As PBOT has learned through its Vision Zero efforts, most fatal and serious injury crashes in Portland are caused by people disobeying traffic laws, including by speeding, distracted driving or by driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Until we learn more, this crash should serve as a reminder to everyone that every intersection in Oregon is a crosswalk, so people driving are required to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians attempting to cross. People driving need to pay attention to school zones and obey the 20 mph speed limit in those zones. Watch for school buses. Remember, if yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop. Speeding makes crashes with pedestrians more likely to result in fatalities or severe injuries. When a pedestrian is struck by a car traveling at 40 mph, there’s an 80 percent chance of fatality or severe injury, while that percentage drops to 10 percent when the vehicle is traveling at 20 mph. Whether you are driving, walking, biking or using a mobility device, be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant and courteous to other people traveling on our streets.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at

For more information on PBOT’s Safe Routes to School program visit