News and Events
Fatal Bicycle-Related Traffic Crash - Highway 99W north of Monmouth
03/31/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

Photograph links valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Saturday morning's fatal traffic crash on Highway 99W about one mile north of Monmouth. The crash involving a pickup and a bicyclist resulted in the death of a Western Oregon University professor of Special Education.
 
On March 31, 2012 at approximately 11:22 a.m. a 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by MARVIN H. FORD, age 68, from Monmouth, was northbound on Highway 99W when a northbound bicyclist moved from the shoulder into the northbound lane in front of the pickup. FORD veered left in an attempt to avoid the bicyclist but the right front of the pickup struck the bicycle from behind. The bicyclist, identified as HENRY "HANK" ALEXANDER BERSANI JR, age 61, from Monmouth, was ejected from his road bike and came to rest near the center of the highway.
 
BERSANI was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was wearing a bike helmet.
 
The pickup came to a stop facing northbound on the southbound shoulder. FORD was not injured and has cooperated fully with investigating troopers.
 
OSP troopers from the Salem Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Senior Trooper Carlos Barrientos is the lead investigator.
 
OSP was assisted at the scene by Polk County Sheriff's Office, Monmouth Police Department, ODOT and Dallas Fire & Rescue. Western Oregon University Campus Public Safety assisted OSP with notifications to school leadership.
 
Western Oregon University will issue a news release today related to the death of Dr. BERSANI. The release can be viewed on the school's website www.wou.edu.
 
Questions for Western Oregon University should be directed to Lisa Catto, Public Relations Department, at (503) 838-8163.