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Drunk driver kills two (so far) cyclists on 39th & Belmont

Links to articles about drunk driver who killed to cyclists.


flowers 25.Jun.2003 10:22

A. Youngberg

i am so sad. critical massers, let's pick flowers and pay respect there on friday. police, i hope you can leave us alone for that and stop harrassing us for a bit.

42nd and Belmont 25.Jun.2003 10:39


This happened right in front of the apartment I used to live in (NE corner of 42nd and Belmont).

I think the memorial Mass is an excellent idea.

Orion Satushek 25.Jun.2003 11:01

this really sucks

One of the people killed was local musician Orion Satushek (Spooky Dance Band, Reeks & the Wrecks).

Memorial Mass 25.Jun.2003 11:23

another mourner

I think a memorial mass is a nice idea. I also hope the popo will be respectful and back off.

Very unfortunate 25.Jun.2003 11:37


This is terrible...and while I don't know any of the details, I'd just like to chime in as someone who lives in the neighborhood and spends a lot of time out at night: put lights on your bike!!

Again, I don't know the details (lights vs. no lights), and it may not have made a difference in this case. But it's a rare day I don't see someone riding around the area with no lights, all but invisible. Remember: the lights aren't there so you can see, they're there so you can be seen.

Hoping the memorial mass goes well and the injured cyclist pulls through.

lights 25.Jun.2003 11:58



I send my condolensces as well for the byciclists.

Just a comment on the "put on your lights" comment. This guy was pretty toasted. The only lights he might have been seeing were imaginary ones on the inside of his eyelids.

Safety first with those lights on bikes, but I ride with the assumption that cars don't see me, with or without the lights. When the driver is drunk,the only difference is that the bastard doesn't know that there's a dead person or bike dragging under or behind the car.

Let's hope that the police give bicyclists a breather, but I wouldn't count on it.

Peace and condolensces.

Friday Ride 25.Jun.2003 12:13

Jeff Hunt jhunt@dropkick.org

I was hit by a dumbass driver while riding my bike home from work on May 30th, and my left collarbone was broken as a result. It's healing up very well, and last night when I rode my bike around to assess the damage done (for insurance purposes), I noticed that I could ride just fine as long as I didn't over-exert myself.

I'm hoping that there will be a memorial Critical Mass ride on Friday. I'll get myself back on my bike earlier than I probably should just for this.

Everyone who has even the smallest amount of sympathy should get off their duff and ride on Friday.

Just my opinion, folks :)

VERY SAD 25.Jun.2003 12:19


drunks when identified should have free taxi service.
no driving privilege.
i don't know the details, an i applogize for that.

The others... 25.Jun.2003 13:02

so sad

Does anyone know the names of the two women who were involved in the accident? Or maybe they're not releasing that yet. Thanks.

Well said, AK 25.Jun.2003 13:02


You're absolutely right. You do have to assume you're not being seen when riding, paticularly after dark. While I'm not a stickler for following ALL the traffic rules (say, waiting at a red light when you can clearly cross), you've got to be sensible, especially after dark. Don't sneak up to the front of a line of stopped cars, don't dart across intersections, that kind of thing. Don't do things you wouldn't do if you were driving a car.

It's dangerous out there.

on the scene 25.Jun.2003 13:25

casey cars_kill@mudberry.com

i guess varro (above) may have lived in my apartment then. i found orion on the sidewalk about 10 feet from my driveway. i bike a lot on belmont and i'm also 27. i bet orion and friends were just out enjoying the semi-warm summer night. it's usually so peaceful to bike in this neighborhood at night. i can relate to some of this experience. belmont is a wide street where i live... plenty of room for bikes and cars. there's no sense in the horible thing.

it was orion friend's screaming that woke me up... the driver somehow missed hitting him... and i bet he (the friend) saw the whole thing unfold. the tone in his voice was so f*cking sad. i can't imagine his anguish right now.

i can tell you that orion was unconscious almost immediately. another neighbor reported felling a pulse but i can't confirm this, i didn't check myself... but within 30 seconds of the collision orion was gone. i really wish we would tried to communicate with him more, but it happened so fast... and he just wasn't responding to anything.

i know a girl was hit and killed also, and another girl had bad injuries... i wasn't close to them, but from actions of the EMTs i believe the first girl died immediately also.

orion and friend (i don't know her name) died in front of the immortal piano company. i hope this has an immortal impact on the biking community in portland, the city traffic planners, the bars who serve booze, and the drivers who carelessly wheeled two tons of steal to haul their fat asses around town.

since i'm right here at the scene it would be convenient for me to help with memorial efforts. we need to do something... email me:  cars_kill@mudberry.com.


40th and Belmont

dui 25.Jun.2003 13:35


one of the bikes under the car still had its blinking led thier where four riding togather the fourth was unscathed.

someone covered the deciesed girls body with a quilt. that was nice to see as most people only get that horrid yellow blanket. the driver was pretty shook up and will have to live with themselves now. thier was a officer in the intersection so the charges will probably stick.

name of girl in critical condition 25.Jun.2003 13:54


the girl up at ohsu in critical condition is 23-year-old Caroline Julia Buchalter of Portland. she's still in critical condition.

if any of orion, caroline, or the other girl's friends read this: i'm deeply sorry for what's happened.

Oh shit. 25.Jun.2003 13:59

Jeff Hunt jhunt@dropkick.org

Um. I think I know these people.

If these two people are the Orion and Caroline that I know, who went to Reed college, that is. They hang out together a lot.


oops 25.Jun.2003 14:16

Jeff Hunt jhunt@dropkick.org

I messed up. I don't know these folks.

Here's a link to an article about the Spooky Dance Band in the Mercury:

there goes spooky dance band... 25.Jun.2003 14:17


...caroline is a band member too. crap.

band mates 25.Jun.2003 14:19


Caroline Buchalter (viola) and Orion (vocals & Farfisa) were in the Spooky Dance Band together...
Spooky Dance Band
Spooky Dance Band

photo for feature 25.Jun.2003 14:43

bad choice

Um, about the photo that is currently up for the feature on this tragedy.... What do anarchists have to do with this accident? I mean, if the victims were anarchists, then say that, but it just seems like this photo is trying to invoke/incite something that's not there.

driver had previous DUII arrest 25.Jun.2003 14:55


KATU reported that the driver had s a previous DUII arrest. why are these people allowed back behind the wheels of deadly machines after they have displayed such flagrant irresponsibility?!! driving isn't some sort of inherent right. these idiots ought to be banned from driving vehicles for life. this waste of human life just makes sick.

about previous feature picture 25.Jun.2003 14:57


The picture was chosen as one that represented death, tragedy, and memorial. It was only meant to be short term until we got pictures of those killed. It was not meant to invoke or incite anything.

press conference at 3:45 TODAY 25.Jun.2003 15:10

I just received this email

>> If you can, please bike over and join us this
>> afternoon for a press conference at the Bicycle
>> Repair Collective, 4438 SE Belmont - help us create
>> a positive bike presence to send the message that
>> these deaths are inexcusable and preventable. The
>> people on bikes in our communities are our friends,
>> lovers, parents, sisters, co-workers and kids, and
>> the whole community bears the responsibility of
>> making our streets safe for everyone.
>> WHAT: Building a bike presence at the BTA press
>> conference to address cyclists' deaths in SE
>> Portland
>> WHEN: TODAY, 3:45 PM
>> WHERE: Bicycle Repair Collective, 4438 SE Belmont
>> St, Portland
>> Brita and the Rest of Us at the BTA

Re: driver had previous DUII arrest 25.Jun.2003 15:35


The article on KGW.com about the accident ( link to www.kgw.com) goes on to say:

Llaneza failed a breathalyzer test on March 3 and was cited, according to the records. He was booked and then released with orders to take part in a diversion program. But the records also show Llaneza did not attend the treatment as required.

According to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, Llaneza has not held a valid drivers license since his driving privileges were suspended in 1986.

So, he wasn't "allowed". The question is, what else can be done before it gets to this point?

The woman killed was named Angela Leazenby 25.Jun.2003 16:19


Apparently she moved here from Los Angeles a week ago, according to the Oregonian website ( http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/news/oregonian/0625fatal.html).

curious 25.Jun.2003 17:00


curious, that if someone is convicted on drug charges, they're required to report to a P.O. every week for a urinalysis...and yet, persons charged with DUII's, don't have to "prove" on a weekly basis that they're no longer driving and/or drinking...

my deepest condolonces to the friends and family of the victims...hopefully this we can all make something positive out of this.

Some more pictures 25.Jun.2003 17:05

no one in particular

Here are some more pictures from the KATU website...

They do not have a picture of the woman that died (Angela Leazenby) yet.
Orion Satushek (died at scene)
Orion Satushek (died at scene)
Caroline Buchalter (in critical condition)
Caroline Buchalter (in critical condition)

drinking drivers 25.Jun.2003 17:31


From the Oregonian:
"This morning's fatal collision was the second involving a bicyclist in Portland area in the past week. The driver of a truck suspected of killing a bicyclist Thursday night drove at least a mile with the victim's bicycle jammed under the truck, police said.

Paul T. Hriskos, 45, of Southeast Portland was in a bicycle lane pedaling south on Northeast 148th Avenue at San Rafael Street when he was hit from behind by a pickup. Hriskos died at the scene.

The driver, Juan Diaz Alvalos, 37, of Gresham was arrested on an accusation of drunken driving."

This is obviously happening more often than we may know about. As cyclists, we should really start focusing on the whole safety issue. The drinking and driving thing is also a major issue too, but it an issue whether your in a car, a bike or walking down the street. We need to demand that we be seen on the road.

pub crawl area 25.Jun.2003 18:02

obviously not

What I would like to know is who's getting paid off so cops don't sit in front of the spaceroom, bog, sewickly's et al at closing time when swarms of stumbling drunks get into their cars and drive off. There must be some "reason" for it, it's public knowledge and it goes on every single night at 2:30am. Serve and protect. More like bludgeon, shoot and ignore.

wanna stop drunk driving? 25.Jun.2003 21:41


have free busses run after the bars close. very simple right? also draw your own bike lanes to give your sleves more space!

silence and noise 25.Jun.2003 22:11

Primo Muir

Thanks for the article. That had to be difficult to get out, after witnessing the "accident" so closely. I've fallen into a routine of silence and verbosity since I learned about the accident. It haunted my ride home from the clinic, and an evening ride I took with my wife. The latter ride was subdued, quiet, which is quite different than the norm. It's usually a time of gaiety and teasing, a release from the day and a time to reconnect.

This accident comes at the heels of what I have perceived to be an resurgance of anti-cyclist chatter on local chat boards and in letters to the editor. It's become clear that cyclists must connect to automobile drivers and offer context and correction to the urban myths flying around town.

At the same time (as others have noted), DUI must be taken more seriously. It is an act that puts the lives of others in danger. It should have serious consequences. It must have serious consequences. This is the type of act that gives the justification for having a police force and a justice system, yet this act is way down the list of priorities for those within those systems. I wonder if activists can team with MADD and SADD and others to create change. I hope so. I don't think the cycle will end without the creation of coalitions to change the strange perception that allows drunk drivers to kill thousands each year in this nation.

my old neighborhood 26.Jun.2003 07:57


Dam-n dam-n
I only bike and lived at 19th and Belmont before coming to Japan five months ago.

I've been lucky enough not to be injuried by a car yet, which is something of a miricule considering the times places and number of times I've ridden all over Portland. Hearing this helps wake me from this idiot idea that I'm immortal on a bike just because nothing's happened to me yet.

My best wishes to the family and friends of those killed and the woman injured.

One good thing about where I am in Japan is that there is always plenty of room for bikes off the road, the sidewalks often are twice as wide as what is typical in Portland.

I shiver now when I think about all the times I rode home--forced to trust my back to drivers on dark rainy weekend nights.

To think that I or someone I know could be ended, erased like this makes me feel very small. I got to remind myself that when I come back to Portland I need reach out to what exists of the community around me so that if such an accident happens to me or someone I know there is a greater chance of it being a cataylst for a change for the better, so that something good comes from the tragedy. Meaninglessness is quite possibily what I fear more then death.
Keep the faith for the better, there are places--cities/countries that embrace bikes. I have to believe that Portland can progress to that someday.


cars 26.Jun.2003 09:07

a biker

My stomach is just churning over this.
I ride my bike a half hour to and from work every day and not a week passes where I don't have a close call with a driver. One of those close calls will end up killing me I'm afraid. Last night, around 5:00, I was almost hit by a guy in an SUV with his windows rolled up (A/C blasting I'm sure) eating a burger, rolling through a stop sign and only looking one direction. He was still moving forward as I screamed at him and hit the hood of his car before he finally realized what was happening. I pointed to the stop sign, behind him, and he gave me one of those shrugging Sorry dude looks like it was no big deal. I feel like I have to be so defensive and always assuming a car is going to hit me. Is this the only reason I've survived on the streets this long?
I just don't think drivers understand the power they have behind the wheel of a big hunk of steel. I drive a car sometimes and it 's scary. I don't like how fast it moves me and I fear for birds and rabbits and PEOPLE and I just don't like it!

feeling so bad 26.Jun.2003 09:23

just me.

I'm feeling so bad right now, I have been ever since I heard about this. I didn't know the victims directly, only through my sister... maybe it's something about it hitting too close to home, people in my community dying on roads i bike.... like torrit said, it crashes the idea of imunity. This whole thing is one of the most depressing things i've heard. I hope their souls have found peace... corny sounding, but it's what's keeping me from crying my eyes out. My strongest condolences to all who have been affected by this.

Proposal 26.Jun.2003 09:37



In some cities in Europe, Copenhagen and Amsterdam being two of the best examples, they have entire lanes (not just lil bike lanes) and roads just for bicyles. It should be proposed that certain streets running north-south, and east-west, be blocked off completely to through automobile traffic. I can tell you that I ride every day on "bicycle route" streets and have been nearly killed multiple times by some asshole zooming by in (usually) his car. A system could be arranged whereby people who live on those streets would be able to get to and from their homes, but that it would be inconvenient for other people to drive on them. Perhaps having blockades at the end of every block, rather than just 39th and 20th. This may sound unfair, but drivers have all the streets all across the city and we have shit.

Riding Scared 26.Jun.2003 10:28

Aram F.

This horrible event is only made worse by overhearing coworkers comments this morning. Some people are using this tragedy as a catalyst to pound on bicyclists, to say we shouldn't be on the road that late at night -- or even at all. It's absolutely amazing. One coworker told me that he'd posted "stuff about stupid bikers at O-live" last night. I checked to see about this, and, sure enough, in the OregonLive Portland forum there are a number of posts by people who are using this as a chance to take out their frustration upon cyclists.

I don't know what to say. This only makes this tragedy even more depressing. It only serves to create more fear in me. I doubt that I'm going to enjoy the ride home this evening.

For what it's worth ... 26.Jun.2003 13:07


Speaking as an automobile driver who is not a cyclist ... I too abhor this situation. There are always some who will make political hay from tragedy. There are always some who will demonstrate complete insensitivity in the face of such tragedy. And, these dipsticks come from all over the social and political spectrum. Ignore them.

My personal belief is that the vast majority of drivers and bicyclists are reasonable, careful, responsible people. Were that not true there would be pure carnage on the roads as cars outweigh bikes by a huge factor. The fact that incidents such as this generate sorrow and outrage is actually encouraging in one respect ... it demostrates that they're relatively rare. Thank God for that.

The true villian in this piece is the drunk driver ... not this particular schmuck, but all drunk drivers. They're a menace and I'd gladly embrace a solution that would effectively deal them out of the game and protect the rest of us from becoming their victims. Alas, I don't have any good answers for the problem.

One of my favorite fantasies is the notion of closing a stretch of freeway for a day and forcing convicted drunk drivers to drink themselves silly and then drive with just each other on that road for a few hours. I'd put governors on the engines to ensure that no car would go slower than 60 MPH. Doing something like that every year for a few years would provide a good, draconian solution. Obviously, this is not a practical approach.

But I can assure you, it's not just bicycle riders who see this 'event' as tragic, senseless and appalling.

-PS- 26.Jun.2003 13:12


Along the lines of earlier suggestions for riding safely ... as a driver, I'd like to point out that, after dark, those lights mounted on bicycle helmets are really a good thing. They're bright and they're up high enough to see easily. They make a bike rider very visible, in part because they kind of bob along and that motion catches the eye. If you're looking for a bit of equipment to increase your safety when riding, those things have my vote.

next steps 26.Jun.2003 15:48

who's streets? our streets! kelly@southeastuplift.org

I work with neighborhood issues all the time, and in my opinion the moment is ripe for organizing for real change in terms of traffic safety. Bicyclists have alot of allies among neighbors who are concerned about cars zooming down side streets at horrendous speeds risking the lives of pets, kids, and pedestrians & bikers of all ages.

We need to:

organize a lobby to get PDoT's -do nothing policies changed, and more funding too
(yes, I know there are some great PDot staff who are traffic safety & bike/peds advocates, but on the whole the status quo is unsatisfactory to say the least, it's all about the car)

take actions with homemade signs, intersection repairs, and other community initiated
responses that help change the climate in our community in regards to cars & traffic

SE Uplift has a somewhat dormant Neighborhood Traffic Safety Task force, but I know they would love to get revitalized and powerful, but it takes people ready to get involved and organize !

Get involved! www.southeastuplift.org

P.S. after yesterday's press conference I immediately bought the helmet and lights I've been needing.

I'm also forwarding on a bit of good news:

Oregon passes a 'deceptively minor traffic revision' into law that gives pedestrians new rights
when they cross the street. in the June 19 -- Register-Guard




The Oregon Environmental Council is pleased to
announce passage of House Bill 2043, which will
encourage auto insurance companies to "test drive"
cents-per-mile premiums. The bill passed the Oregon
Senate June 19 on a vote of 16 to 12. The House of
Representatives passed the bill on April 23.
It now heads to the governor's office for his

HB 2043 provides a limited tax credit to companies
that offer per-mile insurance premiums to customers in
Oregonians. Auto insurers are interested
in providing "pay-as-you-drive" insurance (PAYD)
premiums, but face the costs of setting up a new
system and tracking mileage. OEC hopes this
tax credit will give them the incentive to create the
necessary infrastructure.

503-232-0010 ext 22

Spooky Dance Band 26.Jun.2003 15:50

Angelo thehiggybaby@hotmail.com

I met the Spooky Dance Band through my friend Isaac (former member of Small Craft Advisory and a KPSU DJ and volunteer). Isaac set up a live in-studio performance with them when they were still living in Bellingham, Washington. After their fabulous in-studio (which included a cover of "Baby's on Fire" an Eno cover), myself and Tom (who does the D show after me), and Caroline, Orion, and Jason hung out smoking out and enjoying food and drinks at the Mississippi Pizza pub and the Jockey Club with Pat (former Blackbird owner). This is my only real experience knowing them other than seeing Caroline and Orion one other time at the Paradox. They were very cool people in that frame in time of my life. I can't pretend like I really knew them, but the CD ep called "Number & Names" they made and gave me of their songs was being played at my girlfriend's house just days before I heard the horrible news. It is a shame to lose such talented life. And even though I only hung out with them once and did not know Angela Leazenby, I felt an emptiness in losing peers of my community. My heart and thoughts go out to the families and loved ones of those departed, alongside best wishes for Caroline's recovery. I hope all find the strength and love to survive these times.

~Angelo De Ieso II

europe has lanes and LAWS 26.Jun.2003 16:38

jeremy peaslove@hotmail.com

various posters reference european bike paths/streets and we certainly need them but i really think that what we need is law and enforcement. duis are almost decriminalized provided you dont injure somebody (and if you do ie scott thomason money can get you out of that and you still get to drive!)
im not exactly clear on the particulars and specifics but i believe that the sort of driving scofflaw as the manslaughterer in this case would have done some time in most european countries for his past behavior.
this is a horrific "solution" for somebody who used to and still largely does wants to abolish prison.
but as someone who only bicycles i want to live long enough to imagine the day when the viciously irresposible among us dont get created, and maybe protecting us from them -- punishing them i guess since im not suggesting life imprisonment for dui just long term/permanent suspension with serious jail if youre found in violation -- and maybe the shitforbrains(and ethics!) would have changed his behavior.

followup essential 26.Jun.2003 21:50

Guy Berliner

Experience has shown that the active interest and pressure of the community make a crucial difference in the eagerness of prosecutors and law enforcement to effectively pursue reckless and dangerous drivers like the one in this case. As an effort to protect others in the future, set a sobering example, and as an act of loyalty to our friends and fellow cyclists, I think it's crucial that we make an effort to follow up on this case and insist that the responsible individual be pursued to the maximum extent of the law. For example: public presence at arraignment and trial, letters to the prosecutor and letters to the editor, etc. Does anyone have particulars about the state of the case of this reckless driver, which we could print up and distribute at Critical Mass and elsewhere?

Cars are inherently violent 27.Jun.2003 04:07


I don't think villianizing drunk drivers is going far enough. People are in denial. They don't understand that an SUV or light truck going at 30 MPH has many more times the destructive energy of a shotgun blast. Highway fatalities kill more Americans each year than the worst year of the Vietnam War did. Cars are the number one killer of on-duty police officers.

Cars are designed to be falsely comforting, even though they're one of the most likely places for an individual to die or commit manslaughter. We have examples of prosperous cities (Manhattan, for instance) where the majority of the population just doesn't own private vehicles.

People have defense mechanisms. The worst asshole bad drivers in the world think they're the fucking golden boys of automobile control. Normal people read about these stories and think "well, I'm not a drunk driver and I'm not a bicyclist, so this doesn't really affect me." That's why those watercooler jackoffs can say such horrible things. They feel as removed from this problem as they feel removed from daily starvation in the third world. It's not their problem, since they're the best thing to sit behind the wheel since Evil Knievel. Drunk drivers are in the worst denial of all. They read about these stories too and they think, "well, I'm not really a drunk driver and I'm not a bicyclist, so this doesn't really affect me."

It's about time we villianize the State and the materialistic society that puts more resources towards supporting obsolete private automobiles than safety and efficiency. I mean for FUCK'S SAKE, imagine if the Portland PD took those resources it's using to sic dozens of motorcycle, squad car and bicycle cops on harmless activists like Critical Mass and they put it towards drunk driving enforcement.

I don't want to politicize these tragedies, but we were political and organized long before now and people refused to listen. Now I'm angry and sad and I don't even know why, but I know I have to fight to make any of this senselessness make sense to me.

Thoughts 27.Jun.2003 10:20


Places like NYC have fewer % of drivers because of an elaborate public transportation system. That's why I continue to support
extensions of Max and streetcar lines. It is not just SUV's, all vehicles are potentially deadly. It's the driver that makes the difference.
At the root, we need to focus on the reason why people feel the need to be so inebriated all the time. There are responsible drinkers and
there are alcoholics and irresponsible drinkers. I've seen too many of the later on the roads every week end. Then there are those who
don't know how to drink and are nasty and violent. I really regret this situation, but as a driver, biker and runner, I understand all the
viewpoints. A vehicle is a weapon and people need to realize that each time they get into one.

Before his time 27.Jun.2003 11:08

Mark mkepp@hevanet.com

I met Orion when he was visiting Portland a few months ago. His enthusiasm for electronics and music was remarkable.His shop on N. Mississippi really took off as soon as it opened. He was a rising star who was taken before his time. Never forget all the good things he did.

There is supposed to be a memorial for Orion this Sunday afternoon at Mt. Scott. See ya there.

goodbye orion ,hope to see ya 27.Jun.2003 13:25

powwowboy magpietv@yahoo.com

i met orion in this silly hippie town bellingham -maybe 5 years ago.. a real nice guy.. me im a hard boiled bastard in a way and im sick of drunk drivers

what will we do except just lay flowers and ride bikes around in circles?
i want tough laws for these low life drunks

.02 in sweden or .05


maybe im nuts

i dont want to get political here in a memorial forum too much

i could say more but i wont

We're all wounded 27.Jun.2003 14:03

cgiface fellacutie@yahoo.com

i would like to send my deepest condolences to the victims and their families/friends/fans. as a resident of se pdx, it pains me to accept that this has happened. critical mass is now all the more critical in my opinion.

Action against drunks 27.Jun.2003 15:05

mute editor@parthenocarpy.org

First, condolences to the lost and hurt.

Second, what to do?

a. Sit outside of a bar with a cell phone and call in plate numbers of drunks. I've called them in when driving behind them.

b. Video tape (night vision is on most vidcams now) the faces, plate numbers and driving of drunks. Send copies to police, officials, senators, anyone who has power that will get tired of these tapes filling their boxes. Publicly post on a website for the humiliation factor (anyone know if that is legal?). I'll even post it on my site.  http://parthenocarpy.org. I have been looking for something meaningful to do with that site.

c. Last and most importantly. Don't drink and drive, don't let your friends drink and drive. Sounds trite doesn't it? I can't tell you how many times I have been out to dinner or dancing or what not and driven home "I'm fine, let me drive" BS. I think it is the idea "I can handle it" that is dangerous. EVERYONE I know has driven in a state that could/should have killed them or others. Face up to it. It isn't just the Mexican immigrants as suggested by others. It is you and me too.

comment 27.Jun.2003 16:16


As someone who hasn't ridden a bike since I was 17 (due to a knee problem), I have to say that I'm very surprised by some of the comments by drivers that I've seen on other sites. I had no idea how entitled some drivers feel to exclusive use of the streets—instead of being happy that there are fewer cars to clog the highways and that bikers create no air pollution, I see some people being very angry at bikes slowing them down, suggesting a curfew on bike riders, and most disturbingly, even that just by virtue of being out riding a bike after dark that this crime--caused by a speeding, drunk, pathologically uncaring (didn't even put on his brakes) driver--was somehow the victims' faults. I sure understand bikers feeling vulnerable out on the road with people like this.

I can say that in over a decade of driving I've rarely had a problem with cyclists. Any annoyance (and fear) that I feel on the road has come almost exclusively from other drivers—the distracted, angry, speeding, and drunk ones.

I'd also like to say some things about the accident—I don't even want to call it that—it was preventable and it was a crime. It happened right in front of my apartment building, and I—like most of us in this apartment complex and the one over from it--heard the accident and saw the aftermath. After Orion hit the back shield of the SUV—which made a horrible crash--I looked out my window and saw Larry (the one rider who Llaneza didn't hit) riding down the street towards his friends, wailing. This street is extremely well-lit by streetlights, and I had no trouble at all seeing Larry clearly, even though the lights in my apartment were on. Any driver who was even minimally conscious of his surroundings would have seen the cyclists clearly.

And, as I said, many of us heard the collisions, but none of us heard a car braking. No, Llaneza was determined to keep going, even with bikes caught beneath his car. He was over a block away from where the first victim landed, trying to make a right turn onto 39th street. Fortunately this is an active area at night, and a police officer happened to be on the scene to stop him.

I think I can speak for everyone who saw the aftermath that we are all traumatized, and will be for a very long time. The news reports didn't do justice to the violence of it. I won't describe it in much detail, but Orion ended up across the street from Caroline (and Belmont is a very wide street), and Angela ended up quite a distance down the street from her. Personally, I couldn't immediately make sense of it as a car "accident," because the victims were so scattered. There were glass and shoes and other items strewn up and down the street. The condition of the bodies and the street looked like pictures I've seen of mortar attacks in a war zone. One of the newsmedia said that Llaneza "plowed" into the cyclists, and to me that word fits perfectly.

Only today I notice that the Oregonian says that police estimate that Llaneza was going 70 mph. His blood alcohol level was reported as almost 3x the legal limit, rather than the 2x I've seen reported previously. Apparently he's also a diabetic who refused to take his medication. I'm disturbed that the reporter also bothers to say that the police representative "couldn't say" if they were wearing helmets or had lights, as if that detail could have spared the victims. (I've heard elsewhere that there were lights. Additionally I'll say that the condition of the bikes was such that there was apparently some difficulty determining what was on the bikes—police spent much of the night picking up and examining fragments that were scattered over several blocks). The tinge of victim blaming annoys me. Because: lights, the best helmets, or neon signs strapped to their bikes wouldn't have protected these people or allowed them to live.

I'm absolutely positive that this event wouldn't have occurred with even a marginally sane, sober, and aware driver behind the wheel. Not any of us, whether pedestrian, cyclist, or driver, could be safe, or could prevent a disaster, with someone like Llaneza in his condition on the road. Once the system decided not to take his car (inexplicable to me why this isn't a consequence of drunk driving) or lock him up for his previous offenses, perhaps speed bumps would have slowed him down. I do hope laws for drunk and impaired driving, and speeding will be changed. The paper says that he faces a "10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted of first-degree manslaughter... and several more years if convicted of the assault charge as well." I'll be very interested to see what he ends up with (it can't be long enough), and how many times, after he's released, that he'll be stopped for various other traffic offenses. Unfortunately, I kind of doubt that he has a conscience to bother him.

make a website on politicians that drove drunk 27.Jun.2003 19:49


wa state supreme court judge bridges , preimer gordon campbell bc canada, whatcom co executive kremen. rep kelli linville wa legislature

these are the people making the laws for our lame society .. blind leading the blind ,, what a joke

Mallard received 50 years for murder and 10 years 27.Jun.2003 20:24



the woemyn in texas got 60 years .. i hope" liberal" portland wakes up and gives the same to this peice of human garbage that killed these people .. its a crime that is very similar

we all lost something 28.Jun.2003 12:47


I can say with sincerity that Orion was probably one of the kindest people I've ever known. I will remember him for his smile and his warmth. He was really a part of us here in Bellingham. So much so that I can't separate him from this place. I feel alone now Orion and I miss you. I didn't get to see your last show- I'm sorry. I love you.


not just drunks 28.Jun.2003 15:23


I was out of town when this occurred but followed it online--I got home and had to go pick up coffee beans at the shop next to the Mississippi Record store...it was all boarded up with flowers. I had no idea Orion was "the amp guy" that always smiled from his little space in the back as he was hard at work on whatever.

On my way there (yes, I was driving a car), two huge cars pulled out into the intersections though I had the right of way. I barely was going the speed limit and still had to thrown on the brakes. More than half the time, I can't even see around the cars and especially the SUVs that park all the way up next to the intersection, which (by the way) is aganst the law. I cannot count the amount of times in Portland I have just had to guess (on a bike or in car) and go for it, hoping all was clear.

Though what happened to the 3 cyclists was due to a wasted driver, we all need to make noise about how absolutely horrid traffic conditions are in this city. No one seems to follow rules and it is particularly dangerous when those not adherring to some relatively easy rules are big ass SUVs...of which there are more & more and bigger and bigger everytime I look around. I barely feel safe enough to bike in this city and am getting nervous about driving my car. Everyone, bicyclists and drivers, has a responsibility to learn and follow the rules. If we don't, accidents will continue to happen. I am certain this joker probably would have been the kind of driver to plow into bicyclists during his apparently rare sober moments. He definitely had no concern for the rules of the road when he got into his minivan countless times without a driver's license.

Remebering Angela Leazenby 29.Jun.2003 18:57

Her family

June 21st 1977, the first day of summer was the day that Angela Leann Leazenby was born to Judy and Tom Leazenby and from that day on she's touched the lives of so many people and seemed to embody the essence of everything beautiful about summer. A simple child she grew up living an uncomplicated but extremely full life with her older brother, Troy. Her personality and passionate dreams flourished as a teenager with the support of her mom, Judy and "Pops", Kenny. She chose life as a vegetarian and a naturalist in her early teens, never wanting to harm anything, with the hope and desire that one day her convictions and example would live on in those lives she encountered. Angie (teasingly referred to by her Pops as a modern day Nomad) left home, East Peoria Illinois when she was 19 years old and pursued a life in Los Angeles, California where she held a variety of jobs and took many diverse college classes. Her goal was to be an environmental architect and recently had begun taking classes to achieve that goal. Seeking not only to preserve what she perceived to be a gift - this planet - but as a human being to responsibly cooperate with it. Again doing what she could to give back to this earth that she loved and so respected. She met many friends along the way as she journeyed from one coast to the other and even beyond our shores. Every life she touched has been enhanced by the love she so freely shared and the passion she exuded for life. Angela seemed somehow to know that her time here was going to be short. She lived and loved with an immense and seemingly extraordinary compassion and understanding for people. She recognized early in life that material things are not what is important but that loving acceptance and tolerance for others are the best gifts shared. Angie freely and unconditionally loved and gave. Although her family was distressed at her going so far from "home" we all knew that she was doing exactly what she wanted to do, this town too small for someone with such large dreams and home for her... this planet. On behalf of Angela's family we are so appreciative of the many condolences and the support that many have shown us. Her visitation was today, June 29th. Friends from New York, California, East Peoria and family from various states attended. We would appreciate any news links or articles that you could provide. We'll check this site for any news. Thank you so much. Our hearts are comforted knowing that Orian, Angela and Caroline have not suffered without notice. Thank you, again. Vicky Giersch (Aunt Vicky)

Angela was a beautiful soul 30.Jun.2003 00:54

A Lotus Friend from Los Angeles kkisler@hotmail.com

It pains me to think that Oregon and the greater world will not get the chance to experience the beauty of Angela Leazenby. I worked with her for about a year in Los Angeles and was honored to drink up her com/passion, insightfulness, humor and magnetism during this time. She recently left us in LA to move to Oregon and pursue new adventure, knowledge, nature and revolution- all qualities Angela valued greatly. She deeply impacted all who came into her presence and will be sorely missed in Los Angeles. My thoughts are with Angela's family and loved ones- thank you for giving us the opportunity to share in the life of such an amazing woman.

Angela, A Beautiful Soul 30.Jun.2003 05:29

Aunt Vicky

Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Our hearts are comforted knowing that others knew, understood, appreciated and loved Angela. We too, are deeply pained realizing that so many will never again have the extraordinary pleasure of knowing her. But, how blessed we feel in that we have been loved by her. Thank you again, her precious Lotus friend, find comfort in remembering. Angela's immense Spirit was too large for her fragile body, too large for Illinois, too large I think for this planet.... She, I believe is a Cosmic Journeyer. We will miss her but are so grateful that she has been a part of our lives and that the essense of Angela, her passion, her compassion and her love live on. Aunt Vicky

hi aunt vicky 30.Jun.2003 09:30

powwowboy magpietv@yahoo.com

just saying hello from bellingham.
its all so sick . on railroad st near shop where orion worked i think there was a savage beating two weeks ago by fools with baseball bat ..

we have to do something about violence in society.. what creates these fools?

i will miss orion

to Aunt Vicky 30.Jun.2003 19:10


Dear Aunt Vicky--

No, Angela, Orian, and Caroline did not suffer without notice. Quite a few people in the apartments and the Walgreen's adjacent to the site rushed to the scene and tried to help each of the victims until the paramedics got here (which was very quickly). We will never forget that night. There have been a couple organized gatherings here where people shared their sadness at this event. And there are still memorials up where Angela and Orian passed--with flowers, small tokens, heartfelt notes, and candles that continue to be lit at night in their memory. I'm constantly seeing people walking or riding their bikes near the memorials, and then stopping and taking several minutes to pray or think about what happened here.

Many people will be following this case. You may want to post your request for articles and links as a new thread so more people can see it, since this one is archived so far back, and perhaps even put up an e-mail address so people might send you links as they see them. Take care.

I saw the scene that night 01.Jul.2003 17:41


I was there at the accident that night-I had completed my walk, having driven up 39tth to make a left and I noticed it was tapered off by fire trucks, multiple police and ambulances...I asked someone what happened and they told me some bicyclists had been killed....I didn't know how to feel-Having grown up in the 80's, Im desensitized to the death that occurs around me, even my own family...I don't understand how society can abuse alcohol, let alone to the point of being careless behind a wheel..I won't make judgement calls on automobile drivers to the satisfaction of Critical mass, because I don't ride a bicycle...the transit system here sucks, but in my experience I have noticed that some, not all bicyclists don't use much precaution when riding, especially on Hawthorne or Belmont and the lanes can be particularly narrow and I often have to drive over the median to avoid them and oncoming cars...look, all I am trying to say is that there are multiple factors that play into this and having protests at the site of the accident doesn't help, thats just a desparate ploy for anger and hostility, and that won't help in gaining sympathizing attitudes from others-working with city developement to develop better designated routes for bicyclists might-but I realize you are anti-establishment so in the end everyone loses-unfortunately..I can't leave any contact information about this subject because you guys just boycott or segregate from anyone that doesn't agree with your political ideologies-I do feel sorry for these people-they were not martyrs for your anticar, gasoline whatever-they were human beings that will never live another day

comment 01.Jul.2003 18:26


You did not see the site of the accident that night, if you were stopped at 39th--that's only where Llaneza's van was stopped. You also seem not to realize that Belmont does not have narrow lanes. Perhaps some bicyclists are careless, but you have no indication that that was the case here. As I said in an earlier post, I don't ride a bicycle, and I'm not part of any pro-bike organization. But, having been present at this event, I can say that it was due to no fault by the victims on this extremely well-lighted, wide street. Had a car been driving down the street, there's a decent chance he would have smashed into that. I wouldn't try to paint this event with the frustration of a driver being annoyed by careless bikers. Remember, Llaneza was going 70mph, didn't even brake or stop after hitting these people, and was driving away from the scene with bikes pinned under his car. There is/was something seriously wrong physically and emotionally with this man.

im disturbed 01.Jul.2003 22:18


im really disturbed about this and i havent even been able to read the last two comments and yet i post again... im getting psychotic i think

Angela 02.Jul.2003 10:55

friend from Los Angeles

I didn't know Angela well, we worked together briefly and had mutual friends. Friends had always described her as being slightly depressed, moving to Portland was her way of finding true happiness. I would always ask a friend of ours how she was doing, until that day i was told she was gone. A reality this stranger did not want to face. Even though i didn't know i know she was happy, maybe for the first time, this nomadic girl, finally found some happiness being in portland. God bless you Angela you were a beautiful soul and you will live on in many of our memories. I'll never forget how you twirled those golden locks of yours...God Bless your family! My heart goes out to you....

angela leaves and beans 03.Jul.2003 12:32


i met angela probably at a show at airwaves skate park in peoria. she loved music and never missed a show. she was a caring compassionate and sensitive friend.

there were a lot of us from here that wound up in LA and it was hard for all of us to be so far from home. the second year we were there we all had thanksgiving together. angela made pumpkin and raspberry tamales. it was a wonderful day. we all felt very close that day.

while she was in high school angela worked at the leaves and beans coffee shop. that is how she got the nickname angela leaves and beans.

she was an excellent photographer. she made good goofy faces. she was a very giving person.

i will miss her.

my thoughts are with caroline, angela, orion and their families.

call the prosecutor 04.Jul.2003 13:31


and say you want the book thrown at this stupid drunk driver

re: Angela Leazenby 04.Jul.2003 20:39

Aunt Lisa Lisa_Rubel@msn.com

I am moved by all the comments I have found on this site. I am also Angela's aunt and am having a hard time realizing that she is not celebrating the 4th of July with friends and that instead her mother and pop are grieving for her not being here. A part of me and all of my family are now missing due to the actions of a subject that is in my eyes worthless and unremorseful. But not to waste words on him---I am interested in talking to someone that was there,I need some answers and hope that I can chat with someone about it. Feel free to e-mail me. I only hope that as the officer said she never knew what hit her and that it was fast. Otherwise that is hard to bear. This was our family's first tragedy and we are a large but very close family. I know that Angela loved her friends and family and lived life to it's fullest. It is so sad that it was taken away as was Orion's. My thoughts and prayers are with his family along with the other 2 cyclists.
Lisa Rubel(Aunt Lisa)
Angela Leann Leazenby & her brother Troy and mom Judy
Angela Leann Leazenby & her brother Troy and mom Judy

i have a chatroom 08.Jul.2003 08:55



 link to groups.msn.com

join my group- leave a post .... maybe we can all talk sometime