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Dangerous Forest Grove intersection notches another crash and serious injury

COURTESY PHOTO: FOREST GROVE FIRE & RESCUE - Emergency responders work on a critically injured motorcycle rider at the intersection of Highway 47 and Fernhill Road.This story was updated at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 10.

A motorcycle rider in his 60s was seriously injured at one of Forest Grove's most notorious intersections a little before 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.

According to Forest Grove Police Capt. Mike Herb, 62-year-old Darrell Davis of Gaston was northbound on his motorcycle on Highway 47 when a Ford SUV attempted to cross the highway, traveling north from Fernhill Road to Maple Street (the road changes names on the other side of 47).

The biker struck the Ford, driven by 48-year-old Amelia Johnson of Cornelius, and was transported to a Portland trauma center via LifeFlight, said Herb, who knew of no injuries to anyone in the SUV. Traffic investigators concluded that Johnson should have yielded to Davis but failed to do so, he said. There was no indication of impaired driving, although Johnson might receive a citation, Herb said.

According to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue spokesman Dave Nemeyer, the motorcycle rider was conscious but critically injured when rescue personnel arrived. "Initially, someone who called 911 reported him to be deceased on scene," Nemeyer said, but "he was very much alive when we got to him." That could have changed quickly if his injuries hadn't been treated, Nemeyer said.COURTESY PHOTO: FOREST GROVE FIRE & RESCUE - A Forest Grove police officer talks to a witness to the crash at Highway 47 and Fernhill Road while emergency responders work to save a seriously injured motorcycle rider.

For FGF&R, it was "our third multi-vehicle, T-bone-style crash since 8 a.m. today," Nemeyer said. The first happened at Thatcher Road and Nichols Lane about when the school day was starting, he said, and involved only minor injuries. The second happened around 11 a.m. at the intersection of Verboort Road and Heesacker Road, also with minor injuries, with one person transported to a hospital.

"We hope people really take a little more time to be aware of other cars at intersections," Nemeyer said — or in the Highway 47 case, of motorcycles too.

The intersection of Highway 47 with Fernhill Road and Maple Street has been the site of numerous crashes over the years, some with serious injuries, and city officials have waged a campaign to install a traffic light there. It got special attention from a team of traffic analysts assembled by the Oregon Department of Transportation a few years ago and is still being studied for possible improvements.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information on the victim's name and injuries and the name of the Ford SUV driver, as well as other T-bone accidents that happened that day.

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