More shitty news …

We’re seeing in the news that a woman died after being hit by a car while she was riding her bike on River Road on Monday. Here are the updates this morning:

The victim is being identified as Mingo Shay Pelkey, 39, from Eugene.

According to reports, she signaled a lane change and moved into either the left lane or the center turn lane, apparently preparing to make a left turn. She was hit from behind. This was about 7 p.m., so still daylight. She was taken to the hospital, and died there from her injuries.

UPDATE: Here’s the press release from EPD — not much here you haven’t read if you looked at the news reports. But I thought I’d post the verbatim information from the police, edited only slightly to take out dated information. They are saying she was in the “left lane.” River Road is five lanes out there, including a center turn lane. Some other reports indicate she was in the center lane and stopped, waiting to turn. The public information officer at EPD said she didn’t know if Pelkey was stopped or not.

August 29, 2011
Case No. 11-14528

Eugene Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team is investigating a vehicle-bike crash that occurred at 7:04 this evening [Monday, Aug. 29] in the 2600 block of River Road.

Preliminarily information indicates a female on a bike, Mingo Shay Pelkey, age 39, of Eugene, was riding her bike northbound on River Road between Green Lane and Hunsaker and changed lanes from the far right to the left lane when she was hit from behind by a Volkswagon Passat being driven by James Robert Gleich, age 53, of Springfield.

According to bystanders Pelkey had her hand up to signal and was wearing a helmet. She was taken to a local hospital … The bicyclist died of her injuries at approximately 21:29 hrs on Aug. 29, 2011. Eugene Police MCI team cleared the fatal vehicle vs bicyclist accident scene on Aug. 30, 2011 @ approximately 01:00 hrs. …

* * *

For a list of all posts about the Mingo Pelkey case, go here.

19 thoughts on “More shitty news …

  1. There’s a comment on the KMTR story from somebody who said they saw the accident:

    “Having been there last night… This bicyclist did nothing wrong. She was actually stopped in the protected turn lane. The driver swerved at a fast speed into the turn lane to pass another car that evidently was going too slow for him and hit her as she was completely stopped. Her body was thrown 150 feet from where she was hit as well as her bicke. The driver didn’t realize he had even hit her and didn’t stop till almost a block later. This story does not do the bicyclist justice. It was a horrific accident.”

    Hopefully when he eventually gets out of prison, he won’t ever be allowed to drive again.

    1. I am devastated and disgusted to hear of this latest accident by this driver. Sadly, I am not surprised. This was reportedly the third injury-accident this driver has had in the past three months! He did pretty much the same thing to us in an accident a little over a month ago, but fortunately, we were protected by a very sturdy car. He crashed into the side of our car as we were attempting a left turn, totaling both cars, deploying his airbags and causing all of us to go to the emergency room. It was truly a miracle we were not killed, let alone seriously injured as, despite his already high rate of speed, he made no attempt to stop or brake, even though he had plenty of room to stop several times over when he must’ve seen us. In fact, he actually accelerated into the side of our car. We were lucky he hit just behind the driver’s door or my husband would’ve been seriously injured, despite being in an older BMW, a very sturdy car. Anything else and we would have been dead, I think. He appeared to me to be driving much in the way described above, accelerating and swerving around another car and just seemed oblivious that we were even there. Whoever has been enabling him to continue driving should be brought to task. I was incredulous that he hit the accelerator when it was obvious he was headed straight for us. I was incredulous that he hit us at all. My heart goes out to Ms. Pelkey’s family.

  2. Sadness and discouragement. A little bit of rage. But mostly just sad, crying. A reminder for everyone. There are no accidents. But no philosophical argument nor discussion will ever bring her back. My heart and soul goes out to Mingo’s friends, family and fellow cyclists.

  3. Is it honorable and brave or foolishly naive to be a willing gnat in a swarm of birds? Contact between a car and a bike; no matter who has the legal right-of-way, the bicyclist ALWAYS loses. Sometimes everything. So sad.

    1. Ti Yar Kelly- it is neither. It is simply trying to get from PointA to PointB.
      The bird is a predator. Motorists are not.
      We are all simply people trying to move around our community.

      Blessings to Mingo Shay Pelkey and her family and friends.

  4. If there’s one thing to be gleaned from reading the predictably stupid comments on the news sites, a lot of people around here seem to dislike driving on shared use roadways, and can’t grasp the idea of paying attention to the road when they are driving. The principle of a legally protected turn lane loses precedent to the “I’m bigger than you” argument. Brilliant.

    Cars frequently stop in the protected turn lanes to make a left turn or absorb into traffic. Should they too be watching out for Speed Racer using that lane at his illegal convenience?

    1. I have a hard time reading those comments. But I have to believe — I hope I’m not wrong about this, but maybe I am — that it’s really just a small minority of loud-mouthed people.

  5. Mingo was my next door neighbor for over 9-years. She was a kind and considerate young lady that was always willing to help her fellow man.
    I moved to Arizona three months ago – and regretfully did not take the time to say good bye to her just before I left Eugene.
    I am devastated by the tragic news of her passing.
    Rest in Peace Mingo! May GOD comfort your family, friends and neighbors.

  6. The River Road area sucks for bicycling. It is totally car oriented. I cross River Road at an intersection w stoplights. Cars turning from Howard street (left) onto River Road constantly cut off Bicyclists in the official crosswalk with a green light for them to cross.
    I’m trying to get to the River Trail, 9 times out of 10, the left turning car completely ignores & is oblivious to the people in the crosswalk. I just always assume they will not follow the rules of the road, and have not been in an accident as a result. Happened again on Sunday evening, for the zillionth time.
    2 cars drove through the intersection both coming & going. Wish the cops would be handing out hefty tickets for these not only stupid, but dangerous drivers. Occasionally a car will stop mid intersection, realizing Ooops! The people in the crosswalk have the right of way, but even that is rare.
    Same deal w the new Stutter Flash Crosswalk signals, just before Maxwell street. I can see the yellow lights flashing 4 blocks away, and yet drivers on River Road just speed on through. At one point I was slowing to a stop in my car & an LTD bus was clipping along behind me, seemingly oblivious to the Stutter Light pedestrian crossing. I turned on my car’s emergency flashers to prevent the bus from rear ending my car into the crosswalk. Even where there is a huge designated crosswalk, Industrial flashing lights, pedestrians sometimes have to take refuge on the middle of the street “island”, having crossed 2 lanes of traffic going one way, then pause to see IF drivers will actually yield them the right of way. Sometimes one lane/driver does yield, but the other lane (going in the same direction, does not.)

    What an inexcusable tragedy- how could the driver not even know he’d hit a bicyclist??
    If he’s that oblivious, he should not be allowed to drive.

  7. Yeah, I don’t really think those comments are particularly representative. I think jerks just like the opportunity to be anonymously dickish about anyone they find vaguely annoying.

    It seems like it would be a great time to throw a video up on youtube of illegal & unsafe driving on River Road… maybe it would make it on to the local news.

  8. Gimmee a break, Kevin. Prison? Really? Unless the perp was blind falling-down drunk, he won’t get more than 60 days in county (unless he’s a UO athlete: then no jailtime at all).

    I am beginning to think the only way cyclists will have any reason to feel safe on the public roadways is to be in a position to return fire.

    1. Whether he gets prison time or not is, I think, not really the point. The important thing is to get him out from behind the wheel – and others like him. I don’t know what his story is, but he is definitely dangerous behind the wheel. It IS infuriating that people drive so badly, which is clearly more of a threat to the more vulnerable bicyclist than to another driver, and it is mind boggling how so many of them choose to drive like maniacs and in seemingly increasing numbers. If Mr. Gleich was driving with malice or arrogant wrecklessness then by all means he should receive jail time. But, maybe there is more to the history behind his driving, like some disorder (“Wreckless Speeding Disorder?) that interferes with his ability to drive. If the latter is the case, then those who have been enabling him to drive should be brought to task, if he was indeed at fault, which it seems highly likely that he was. The bigger question is how do you get people to drive responsibly? There seems to be an epidemic of crazy driving lately – people just doing really dumb things.

  9. I’m glad to see many positive comments here about this tragedy. Mingo was a close friend of my family. I was devastated by her loss. That this careless jerk took the life of such an amazing person only adds to the tragedy. There were almost 700 people at her memorial service at the Hilton on Saturday. I pray that all in attendance were inspired by her selfless life and will look to her example always. She is simply one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known. She never stopped giving of herself to help others. She was a sterling example of what a Christian should be. I look forward to seeing her again in the Resurrection and telling her of all the love and support that her friends and neighbors in Eugene showed during her tragic loss.

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