A Heartbreaking Update for the KBOO Community

Published date: 
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 2:31pm

Dear KBOO Friends, 

It is with sadness that we have to share the news that Sue Bartlett passed away. Sue was a long time KBOO member, former Board member, and current Board candidate. Sue was the victim of a car accident on Friday, August 31, 2019. She was a scooter advocate and was riding her scooter when she was hit by an SUV. This is a great loss to KBOO and the greater Portland community. The St John's Scooter Group is holding a scooter vigil and memorial followed by the location of Sue's accident. Join, Wednesday, September 4th at 8:40 pm at NE 40th Ave & NE Tillamook St where people can say a few words. Bring flowers.

Jeff Bartlett, Sue's brother will be in contact with us in the next few weeks regarding a memorial. For more information: https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-traffic-death-scooter-driver-fatality/




A statement made by Sue's family:

Any one of us could have been Sue last Friday night. What would Sue do if she was alive today, and one of us had been in her place? That is the question we asked ourselves after hearing the horrific news. We don't know the full answer to that question, and we will try to do her justice and make that part of our lives from now on. Sue was close to the St John's Scooter Club, she brought her brother Paul on a Halloween SJSC ride in 2014 to share the joy and her community. 

Sue was about community, a caring community. While any one of us could be a victim like Sue, I doubt many of us would have not looked out carefully for oncoming traffic before making a left turn. We here are aware of the dangers cars present to cyclists, scooters and motorcycles. Sue’s brother Paul was hit by cars making left turns twice, but fortunately survived. Many others here today have survived being hit by automobiles, others have not, The people gathered here tonight CARE about community, CARE about Portland, and are AWARE of OTHERS & our ENVIRONMENT. 

By organizing the Memorial ride and vigil, Bill Chin, Linda Martinson and many more at the St. John's Scooter Club ARE doing what Sue would have done: standing up for our fallen, raising  awareness, and seeking justice. 

By being here at the vigil tonight  you are taking the pain away from our  family, you are turning anger into action, raising AWARENESS and expressing CARE for OTHERS, sorely lacking today. 

The public knows what reckless driving is, but too many car drivers do NOT know what  CARELESS and AWARE-LESS Driving is. Two wheelers know: we are being hurt, maimed and killed by CARELESS and AWARE-LESS Driving. These are not accidents, they are preventable. There is Mindfulness and there is MindlLESSness. Driving into a scooter in its own lane with the right of way head-on is MINDLESS driving.

The investigation of Sue’s death is ongoing. We have questions just as you have. How could Sue have reportedly no life threatening injuries at the scene, and die hours later on the operating table. Were fatal mistakes made at the scene, in transport or at the hospital or all three? How can “improper left turn” be an adequate citation? We will share what we get with the community and at an upcoming memorial family and friends are planning.

We have all benefited from Sue's generosity, compassion and unrelenting pursuit of social and environmental justice. Sue drove an ecological scooter, Sue  practiced what she preached, and preached what she practiced a little bit louder. (Pause) She was difficult at times, but difficult because she cared and wanted to fix what was not right, she always wanted to go further, and she persisted to her untimely end. What would Sue do next? 

Sue would brainstorm on how to take this to a higher level in pursuit of transformative change, to make our streets safe for all vehicles.  We don't know precisely how, but what Portland is doing now is not working, is not sufficient. Portland Vision Zero is One Eyed Blind. In New York we joke about New Jersey as being the Right Right Right state, or the No Left Turn State. Now we know why. 

There are undoubtedly many solutions out there. Sue would want us to crowdsource existing practices and create new ideas. We can bring these ideas to the memorial  family and friends we are organizing in a few weeks, perhaps with a creative pre-action. Our family will add our voices to your future actions and pursuit of justice and safety, SEE YOU SOON with Both Eyes Wide Open!   
Contact through Bill Chin SJSC or Paul
Sue’s Surviving Family (Paul, Urania and Jeff) Guided and inspired by the Spirit of Sue.pbartlett@jjay.cuny.edu  pbartlett@fordham.edu



A statement made by the Scooter Club:

Attention!  Ring bell!

We are here today because Susan Bartlett was riding her Genuine Buddy motor scooter east at this intersection on Friday night.  A westbound SUV turned left in front of Sue causing a head on collision. Sue was rushed to the hospital and she died Friday night due to the blunt force trauma causing internal injuries.  We are here today in her memory. We are also here today as a large group of people and riders to make a loud statement to all auto drivers to be more cautious driving. Drivers, please be fully aware of motorcycles, motor scooters, and bicycles on the road!  Share the road and be safe with for everyone’s life and safety. Sue’s head on collision could have been avoided if the driver noticed her and waited a few more seconds. This accident could happen to any of us whether we’re in a car or on two wheels so let’s raise awareness for everyone to pay attention and be mindful and present of our surroundings driving in Sue’s memory.

I will talk about Susan, we will have a moment of silence for her, people who want to say a few words can speak, then anyone interested after this can meet at The Moon and Sixpence British Pub to mingle with her friends.

Susan Bartlett was 66 years old and she was a member of the Portland Scooter Club and the St Johns Scooter Club.  She was an avid scooter rider and rode on many of our group rides. Sue was also a compassionate environmental and social justice activist.  She sang in the Portland Peace Choir, who sees music as a path to creating more peace for our families, neighbors, communities, and the world.  Sue was also a volunteer at KBOO community radio, she had previously served on their board and was just recently a candidate for another board position.  Susan lived her life with purpose and she worked to make a difference in our community. Sue is survived by her brothers Jeff and Paul and her sister-in-law Urania, who all live out of state.  Sue’s family members could not be here today but they all gratefully appreciate us being here today in Sue’s memory and for us to continue Susan’s intentions to make a difference in our community.

Let’s all have a moment of silence for Susan Bartlett.  Anyone who wished to say a few words please line up here.  After this anyone interested can join us at the Moon and Sixpence British Pub a few blocks away at 2014 NE 42nd Ave to mingle and remember Sue.