Multnomah County

Marine veteran's training helps him after crash

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- Monty Breuer was riding his motorcycle on his way home from his job as an airline maintenance supervisor for Horizon Air around 9:30 p.m. Monday. His wife Sandra knew he was on his way, but gauged the time and realized he should have been home.

Her phone rang. 

"It's the call you never want. You never want to know that someone you love was hurt," Sandra told KOIN 6 News.

She and her daughter rushed to OHSU and saw Monty. He was lucid, she said, but bloodied and broken.

"He's a big believer in safety, so he was covered up from head to toe," she said. Monty had leather chaps over his work pants, riding gloves, a motorcycle jacket and a helmet.

"It was a special mesh-type jacket for motorcycle riders, so it had the protection plates and they did what they needed to do," Sandra said. "They protected him."

Still, he suffered a broken right leg, a fracture just below the left knee and 2 broken ribs. He underwent surgery on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to recover.

Sandra said a tan, 4-door import was tailing her husband on I-205 near the Foster exit and as he tried to get out of the driver's way, the driver "got between the car in the lane next to him and him, splitting the lane. She was actually in 2 lanes simultaneously and when he turned his head to see, that was the last thing he knew of being upright."

Monty, she said, was "sliding down the freeway watching pieces of his motorcycle going by him." The driver, Sandra said, never stopped.

"That's the most heart-wrenching part is that we all make mistakes. We all get lost in our own thoughts, especially when we're driving. We can be in a hurry for for many reasons," she said.

Monty, 52, used the skills he learned as a Marine in the immediate aftermath of the crash, Sandra said.

"One of the things he told me was that he tried to get up to get off to the side of the road to get to the median, but his leg gave out because it was broken. He didn't know. So he was crawling. He had to use his elbows to (crawl) to the median. Thank you, Marines, because that training is what helped him have that consciousness of what to do."

An off-duty police officer was one of the first people who responded, she said. "Thank you, whoever you are, for taking care of my husband."

A spokesperson for Portland police said there was nothing in the initial police report about a reckless driver. But officers will follow up with the Breuer family.

Monty's 16-year-old daughter, Paige, said the crash makes her upset because her dad "always taught me to be vigilant of motorcyclists and, you know, you need to pay attention."

Sandra wants the driver to understand the magnitude of what happened.

"At the end of the day, you made a mistake. We understand but you need to take responsibility," she said. "It's a life you almost took."


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