Reconstruction by Hayes + Associates, Inc. of a collision between a Portland bicyclist and an ambulance contributed to a defense verdict by supporting the ambulance driver’s claim that the cyclist toppled into the side of the vehicle when her tire was caught in light rail tracks.
Testimony by Wilson “Toby” Hayes, Ph.D., president of H + A, and analysis by associate Matt Soicher, Ph.D., corroborated testimony from American Medical Response driver and paramedic Samatha Katterman-Stekhuizen and her passenger, paramedic Alan O’Leary, who witnessed cyclist Tanya Rogers’ front tire becoming lodged in the Max light rail track before she “tipped over and collided” with the ambulance. This account was confirmed by nearly all witnesses and also by Rogers herself, whose injuries were severe. However, one witness, Katherine Ross, who was driving her car behind the ambulance, maintained that she did not see the bicycle tire becoming lodged in the track, and that the ambulance had struck Ms. Rogers. After Ms. Rogers’ death, her daughter, Brittany Randall, brought suit against the ambulance company on behalf of her mother’s estate.
By examining the scene and bicycle, as well as Ms. Rogers’ medical records, Dr. Hayes and Dr. Soicher were able to demonstrate that the tire fit within the track flangeways, initiating a fall to the left and left-sided impact on the street, with force levels exceeding pelvic fracture thresholds consistent with Ms. Rogers injuries.