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Police identify woman killed by semi while riding bicycle on SE Powell Tuesday

The truck struck the cyclist shortly before noon Tuesday at the intersection of Southeast Powell Boulevard and Southeast 26th Street.
Credit: Joe Raineri, KGW
A woman on a bicycle was hit and killed near the intersection of Southeast Powell Boulevard and 26th Avenue in Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police have identified the bicyclist who was struck and killed by a semi Tuesday as Sarah N. Pliner, 50, of Portland.

Bike Portland and Eater Portland have both identified Pliner as a chef and the former owner of the Northeast Portland restaurant Aviary, which closed in 2020. A Portland police spokesman said police had not confirmed her occupation but had no reason to dispute that report.

Pliner was hit shortly before noon while riding near the intersection of Southeast Powell Boulevard and 26th Avenue, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) reported Tuesday.

The crash happened at 11:49 a.m. The truck driver who was involved in the crash stayed at the scene and was cooperating with police, PPB said in an initial statement.

Grover Cleveland High School sits at the intersection where the crash occurred, and Portland Public Schools indicated in a statement that some students saw it happen:

"This morning, a vehicle hit and killed an individual who was biking near Cleveland. Because this is an ongoing investigation, we will be unable to share further information. We ask for the community’s support with the police investigation, and for those students who witnessed the collision."

Responding to concern from the community due the timing and the proximity of the crash to the school, PPB later clarified that that the victim was not a high school student and was instead an adult woman in her 40s. Her identity was released publicly on Wednesday.

Southeast Powell Boulevard was closed between 25th Avenue and 27th Avenue for the investigation, PPB reported. TriMet also reported multiple service interruptions "due to a non-TriMet collision." The street was reopened just before 3:30 p.m., after nearly four hours.

Because the crash happened so close to the school, PPS administrators went to Cleveland High School to offer any support to students who may have seen the crash. 

"We put students into a lockout just to prevent then from roaming the campus and throughout the halls of school. We wanted them to be in a safe place, especially for the students who may have witnessed the event this morning," said PPS Senior Director of Communications Freddie Mack.

Anyone with information about this fatal crash who has not spoken to police should contact PPB at 503-823-2103 or at crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, attention Traffic Investigations Unit. Reference case No. 22-266862. 

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