Portland, OR traffic fatalities drop ‘significantly,’ while state deaths rise

Traffic crashes killed 34 people on Portland streets in 2018, a significant decline from the past two years but a grim statistic in line with the average death toll over the past decade, transportation officials said this week.

Motorcyclists accounted for more than a quarter of Portland’s fatalities and more than half of those killed while riding in or on a vehicle in the city. Jimmie Luff, a 48-year-old Tacoma man, became the ninth motorcyclist to die in Portland and the city’s last 2018 road fatality when he fell off his motorcycle Saturday on Interstate 205 in Northeast Portland after rear-ending a car. He died a few days later.

The traffic deaths – which include motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who died within 30 days of the crash and were not known suicides – were down from 45 fatalities in 2017 and 44 in the previous year. But the numbers remain stubbornly consistent with the 20-year average, which is 36 traffic deaths.