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Bicyclist killed by semi while riding on SE Powell identified as well-known Portland chef

Portland Police identified the bicyclist as Sarah Pliner, 50, of Portland. She was struck and killed by a semi-truck on Tuesday morning.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The bicyclist who was struck and killed in a deadly crash Tuesday has been identified as Sarah Pliner of Portland, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Pliner was a well-known chef in Portland. She had co-owned Aviary Restaurant on Northeast Alberta and was currently doing wine pairing dinners in the Northwest.

The 50-year-old was on her bike on Tuesday riding down what’s become known as a "very dangerous area" of Powell.

Portland police haven’t released many details about what led up to the crash, but witnesses told KGW that they saw a semi-truck make a right turn from Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard — hitting and killing Pliner.

“My heart goes out to her family and other friends. She was an introvert and never craved the limelight as is the fashion in the industry these days," said Michael Zusman, author and food writer with Willamette Week.

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Karen Brooks, a well known food critic with Portland Monthly tweeted:

"RIP chef Sarah Pliner, tragically killed on her bike in a traffic accident. Aviary was a bright light of “Portland's food scene when it opened in 2011. She was always in the kitchen, a beacon of creativity and commitment."

A small memorial now sits along the corner of Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard filled with flowers, cards and a candle.

“This is a notorious dangerous intersection; there have been several fatalities within just the last year in this inner part of Southeast Powell,” said Jonathan Maus with Bike Portland.

Maus doesn’t think the Oregon Department of Transportation has done enough in the past. ODOT owns Southeast Powell Boulevard, and Don Hamilton a spokesperson for them said they have made several changes to the stretch of road.

“We put in a lot of news crossing signals we put in rapid flashing beacons we have new lightings and signs there have been a lot of improvements in this area,” said Hamilton.

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