PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A driver faces manslaughter and DUII charges after a crash killed a cyclist in Southeast Portland early Sunday morning.
The bicyclist died before emergency responders arrived at the scene around 3:30 a.m. at SE Flavel and 79th.
Neighbor Patrick Henry Hague said it appeared the crash started at 78th and the bike was dragged about 150 feet.
The front end of the car was caved in, the bicycle was under the front bumper of the car,” Hague said.
Investigators believe the driver, 21-year-old Nicholas P. Martinez, was under the influence of alcohol.
According to the probable cause statement, a witness saw Martinez leave the 7-Eleven on SE 82nd and SE Flavel and believed he was drunk. The witness said Martinez aggressively sped away and then he heard a crash.
Martinez stayed at the scene and cooperated and has been arrested on charges of 2nd-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and DUII.
Officers said Martinez smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and watery eyes, the PC document said. Martinez told the officer he had been drinking Sprite and tequila all day. He said he looked down to take a bite of his taquito and when he looked up, the bicyclist was in front of his car.
Hague said he’s lived in the area for 14 years and this is the first major crash he’s seen.
A ghost bike has been placed at the crash site. Ghost bikes are a tradition among the cyclist community in Portland when someone has been killed on the road.
“This particular corner, the light is inset here, so that is a dark corner if you are coming up and down Flavel here,” neighbor Onnie Granados said.
The victim’s name has not yet been released.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call PPB at 503.823.3333.