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Mosier resident dies in I-84 accident

The following is from a press release from the Oregon State Police:

On August 24, 2014 at approximately 6:20 a.m., Ellen Dittebrandt, age 52, from Mosier, was riding a bicycle westbound along Interstate 84 approaching the off ramp near milepost 56 to Viento State Park.

A 2014 Ford pickup driven by John C. Allman, age 55, from NW Portland, was also traveling westbound when it traveled onto the shoulder and struck the bicycle from behind, ejecting Dittebrandt to where she came to rest in the left westbound lane. The pickup came to rest in the westbound traffic lanes.

Dittebrandt, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

She was a Mosier firefighter/EMT and a local artist.

Allman was not injured and is cooperating with the investigation.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Cascade Locks Fire Department, and ODOT. The westbound lanes were closed about 90 minutes before one lane was open while investigators continued working at the scene.

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wapuka 1 month, 4 weeks ago

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of Ellen. Perhaps we as a community can rally a cause to keep cyclist and pedestrians off our highways. Never have I lived anywhere as in the state of Oregon where pedestrians and cyclist are permitted to use the highway with cars racing by at 65 and 70 miles per hour. This needs to be changed in honor of Ellen. With Metta, Natasha of Hood River

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kairadicle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

I think it's sad to try to ban bicycles from our highways just because cars aren't paying enough attention to what is going on around them. They have a right to be there just like any other form of transportation. Maybe people should try to be a little more responsible for their own actions. I'm very sorry that I will never again be able to enjoy riding with Ellen but that's no need to be extreme.

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MMike 1 month, 3 weeks ago

So where do we draw the line? Is it OK for for cyclists to ride on Country Club Road where cars are doing 45-50 mph?

What if the tired driver had plowed into a disabled mini-van with a family inside? Should we rally as a community to ban all cars that might break down?

Why is it that anytime someone is killed while recreating (be it a climber on Mt. Hood or a cyclist on a highway), we are so quick to blame the victim? What is more noble...to die while pursuing your passion, or of a heart attack on the couch?

As a firefighter, I'm sure Ellen was safety conscious and was aware of the risks of riding along the relatively short section of her route that does not have an alternative for cyclists.

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