Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 10:24 AM Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 10:43 AM
Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian
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102010.i84mp2.6.JPGView full sizeOregon State PolicePeter K. Gunderson, 59, was riding a 2000 Yamaha Motorcycle east when he failed to notice that traffic in front of him had slowed to watch the presidential motorcade pass.
A northeast Portland man critically injured Wednesday evening when his motorcycle rear-ended a car and caught on fire along eastbound Interstate 84 died early this morning of his injuries.
Peter Kendall Gunderson, 59, seemingly failed to notice that rush-hour traffic ahead of him was slowing as he maneuvered a 2000 Yamaha motorcycle toward the 33rd Avenue overpass just after 5:50 p.m. Other drivers were pausing to watch as police were closing down the westbound lanes for President Barack Obama's motorcade to travel past enroute toward the Oregon Convention Center.
Gunderson lost control as he braked, skidding and sliding under a stopped 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Leeanne C. Griffin, 38, of southeast Portland, according to Lieutenant Gregg Hastings, an Oregon State Police spokesman. The bike came to rest near the center concrete barrier and quickly caught fire. Witnesses pulled Gunderson away from the burning motorcycle, then put out a small fire on his leg.
Portland firefighters put out the motorcycle fire and Gunderson, who was wearing a helmet, was rushed to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with critical injuries. Hospital officials confirmed Gunderson died at 12:27 a.m.
Griffin was not injured.
OSP troopers assisting during the motorcade took over primary investigation responsibility from Portland Police to help their department during Obama's visit to the city, where he stumped for gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber.
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