Fatal crash on Cornelius Pass Road prompts new search for safety

Full story: KATU-TV Portland

Following a fatal crash Monday that took the life of a teen driver, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office is looking to make changes to improve safety along Northwest Cornelius Pass Road .
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1 - 20 of 169 Comments Last updated Dec 20, 2012
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Duke Smith

Gladstone, OR

#1 Jan 3, 2008
This was a very preventable accident. Had there been guard rails in place this young girl's life would have been saved. The decades long neglect of Multnomah County to restructure this dangerous road and provide guard rails borders on CRIMINAL neglect. EVERYONE knows the road is a Jekyll and Hyde in the winter with patches of dry pavement and patches of icey pavement. Where has Multnomah County BEEN??? They have the stats, they know how dangerous it is. FIX THE DAMN THING!!
This was a beautiful, wonderful, sweet, and vibrant young girl. She was my daughter's best friend. We loved her. We are absolutely heartbroken over this.
philip

Portland, OR

#2 Jan 4, 2008
They have been tooooooooo busy spending money on bike paths, speed bumps, bike boxes, and the wants of special interest groups, to care about car drivers.
Jen

Camas, WA

#3 Jan 4, 2008
Accidents are just that, accidents. I understand that you are hurt and angry, but no one is to blame here, not even the county. Just like you said, everyone knows that road is dangerous.

Everytime you get in your car, you are taking a huge gamble. It was her choice to drive over cornelius pass.

Don't be so ignorant.
Duke Smith

Gladstone, OR

#4 Jan 5, 2008
Road safety is a primary responsibility of the jurisdiction who maintains the road. I was a. MCSO deputy sheriff who worked that district for 12 years. I pulled dozens of cars, and handled many an injury and DOA accident on that road. The only work the county has seen fit to do is to make the S shaped curve a little less hazardous. The road remains, to this day, a very dangerous road that the county could make safer. And yet despite all the evidence that clearly demonstrates a need for proper signage and guard rails, the county has done little to nothing.
As for being ignorant, you know nothing---absolutely nothing.
philip

Portland, OR

#5 Jan 6, 2008
Too many special interest groups at work. Dangerous roadways which have a PROVEN accident and death record receive NO attention, but God forbid let ONE bicyclist die, and entire infrastructure gets changed. Now that's what I call be IGNORANT to the facts.

Thanks Duke for your service!
Jen

Camas, WA

#6 Jan 8, 2008
Yes, thank you Duke for your service. I am not a jerk and am truly thankful for those who put their lives on the line each and every day.

That being said, if I know nothing, then I probably just quit my job. I have been a paramedic for over 15 years now and have worked in 3 different states.

Personal saftey is your primary responsibility. Not the county's, not the state's, not the cops'.

When you enter your vehicle, you are responsible.

Why don't you just go ahead and blame her parents for letting her leave the house that night? If road safety is primarily the county's job, then child safety is primarily the parent's job, in which case, I guess they both failed her.
Taija Belwood Family

Englewood, CO

#7 Jan 8, 2008
Duke - Please contact us. Your input may be valuable to the cause to improve the safety of Cornelius Pass road. A website is under construction at www.Taija-Belwood.com which lists contact information.
As for Jen, Taija would have understood your viewpoint, I can not.
Terra

Santa Clara, CA

#8 Jan 8, 2008
Jen, I really think you do not get the point (but I guess you wouldn't because you don't have to drive Cornelius pass to get home from work to provide for your family). This death most likely could have been prevented if guard rails were in place. I would much rather hit a guard rail if my car lost control instead of going off a 47 foot drop. It's not that the accident would have been prevented. At least if guard rails, signs, or even reflectors were in place we would know that the County cares for the safety of the people who comminute on this road.

I drive Cornelius Pass Road daily and there are many places that are missing guard rails, signs, and reflectors with 30 feet plus drops. It's sad to see the County didn't miss putting guard rails in places with less then 10 feet drops.

No matter how safe I drive on this road it is very hard to see the edge in parts that have no reflectors, no shoulder, and faded lines. Even just adding signs would be a huge improvement.

It's a sad thing to say but if the County does not fix these things there will be more crosses on the side of the road instead of signs to help.

My regards to the family. I am truly sorry for your lost
With sympathy

Salem, OR

#9 Jan 9, 2008
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the blood that was shed for Taija. Thank You that You alone have our days numbered. Thank You for the impact Taija had on the people wherever she was. Thank You that even in her death, new live is beginning in many hearts and many ways. Comfort the family and friends in a way that only You can, with peace that passes all understanding.Thank You that You are going before these families on this quest for fixing Cornelius Pass, You too know the dangers of it & the changes needed. You have raised people to accomplish a work You begun, thank You that You will provide all their needs according to Your riches & glory in Christ Jesus, in Your time. In You name we pray with thanksgiving. All glory, honor & praise to You! Amen & Amen
At 11:41 AM 1/8/2008, you wrote:
Please pray for this family in their time of grief,
Guard Rails would likely have prevented her death~
Taija Belwood Family

Englewood, CO

#10 Jan 9, 2008
Thank you for the touching prayer. Please be nice to each other as that is what Taija would want but please help us fufill her life's legacy of changing the world. If we can save one life, the world WILL be changed. The web site is being updated and many plans are underway. If you would like to help, or just stay informed email us at the address on Taija-Belwood.com .
stewart

West Linn, OR

#11 Jan 9, 2008
I live right up the street from the crash site. For me fixing cornelius pass road has to do with nothing less than quality of life. For all the commuters who fly past my house.For all the truckers who flagrantly violate noise ordinaces. This is my neighborhood, it's not some lawless isolated back road where anything goes. Have some respect, I don't do this in your neighborhood and you can bet that if I did, you would have something to say about it. As far as suggestions for improvement, we could start by enforcing the laws as they stand. That means we need police presence that will slow people down. Next, truck traffic needs to be limited. Ironically, the haz mat trucks are the safest ones out there; it's the others you need to watch out for.
THERESA

Portland, OR

#12 Jan 9, 2008
BELWOOD FAMILY AND FRIENDS, YOU GUYS ARE ALL GREAT PEOPLE. KEEP YOUR FIGHT GOING FOR TAIJA. THE CITY HAS WORKED TO IMPROVE OTHER ROADS SO WHY NOT THIS ONE TOO. HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE FOR THIS CAUSE. TAIJA HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON ME AND MY CHILDREN EVEN AFTER SHE HAS GONE. THANK YOU TAIJA. YOU MADE ME HOLD MY CHILDREN AND FAMILY A LITTLE CLOSER AND I HAVE CRIED FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY EVERYDAY SINCE YOU LEFT THIS WORLD. NO ONE SHOULD BLAME THE FAMILY FOR HER DEATH. LETS JUST WORK TOGETHER TO AVOID THIS IN THE FUTURE. RIP TAIJA AS IN THE WORDS OF DUKE FIX THE DAMN THING!!!! LOVE YOU BELWOOD FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND I AM TRULY SORRY THIS UNFAIR THING HAPPENED.BUT TAIJA IS CHANGING THE WORLD.THANK YOU TAIJA
Taija Belwoods Mom

Gladstone, OR

#13 Jan 10, 2008
This was quite a read. I had not seen it before. Thank you to all that had such nice thoughts for our family. It continues to amaze me that people have been so kind through this tragedy. I don't want this to be a huge blame game but a call to awareness that this road is dangerous. I have always been a believer in looking for the best in each person and am very nonjudgemntal of others opinions. I feel so sad that Jen felt it was needed to blame me the parent. I did everything I could to make my daughter a safe and responsile girl. She took drivers education and she paid her own car insurance. I rode with her and taught her all I could. I never thought far enough ahead to put a guard rail half a mile up that road. I wish I would have. Each person is responsible for their own safety that is true. You just hope for a little help from everyone to make the world safe. I firmly believe that in the place that my daughter went off the road a guardrail or barrier would have stopped her. Judge as you will. I am the one that lives everyday now without my precious girl in my life. If I can help one other person, family or Mom then that is what I want to do. For Taija.
Lisa

Englewood, CO

#14 Jan 10, 2008
I have to say...I drive that awful road everyday,and it is true, that a guard rail here or there would be benificial...however,if EVERYBODY who traveled that road would do the speed limit and yeild to ALL signs preparing you for corners and such,alot of accidents could be advoided.When weather is a factor(and yes the county usually has the road well groomed)PLEASE SLOW DOWN !!!
I traveled that road the morning of that accident at 7:00am and it was clear...no ice...so what does that say???
Lisa

Englewood, CO

#15 Jan 10, 2008
Whoops
Taija Belwood Family

Englewood, CO

#16 Jan 10, 2008
It says that your experience on the road that morning in no way effects the totality of reality. It only reflects your experience. A parked vehicle in our driveway that morning started sliding, does that mean you were lucky? Please be constructive and kind.
Jen

Camas, WA

#17 Jan 10, 2008
Taija Belwoods Mom wrote:
This was quite a read. I had not seen it before. Thank you to all that had such nice thoughts for our family. It continues to amaze me that people have been so kind through this tragedy. I don't want this to be a huge blame game but a call to awareness that this road is dangerous. I have always been a believer in looking for the best in each person and am very nonjudgemntal of others opinions. I feel so sad that Jen felt it was needed to blame me the parent. I did everything I could to make my daughter a safe and responsile girl. She took drivers education and she paid her own car insurance. I rode with her and taught her all I could. I never thought far enough ahead to put a guard rail half a mile up that road. I wish I would have. Each person is responsible for their own safety that is true. You just hope for a little help from everyone to make the world safe. I firmly believe that in the place that my daughter went off the road a guardrail or barrier would have stopped her. Judge as you will. I am the one that lives everyday now without my precious girl in my life. If I can help one other person, family or Mom then that is what I want to do. For Taija.
Oh hunny,

I was in no way blaming you for your daughter's death.

My comment was in response to Duke's comment on the county being primarily responsibe for road safety. I personally do not believe that to be true. I only meant it as if one believes your daughter's death to be the responsibility of the county, then one should blame also blame the parents, which I do not believe to be true.

I appologize to your and your family. I get riled up when people displace blame.

I in no way believe that you are responsible for your daughter's death. I am truly sorry if you gathered that from my previous comment. I appologize for hurting your feelings (if I did). I was simply trying to prove my point.
Livinginsthelens

Vancouver, WA

#18 Jan 10, 2008
I must agree changes need to be made to Cornelius Pass Road. I travel on that road by choice to get to the Beaverton/Hillsboro area. I will gladly travel that road during the day and pray when I have to go on it at night that I make it home with my precious cargo. My husband has to travel on the road on a nearly daily basis always in the evening and early morning hours when the road is quite dangerous. We as people who use the road, need to work together to get changes put in place to make the road a safer commute.
I'm so sorry for your loss of such a beautiful, bright young lady with so much promise to the world around her.
Taija Belwoods Mom

Gladstone, OR

#19 Jan 10, 2008
Thank you everyone for your nice comments. Jen, I appreciate your response. My feelings were hurt. No one knows the exact conditions of the accident because no one else was there. We do know the road needs improvement. We also know that people need to drive the speed limit and show respect for the road. We can work together in a positive and respectful manner to make a change. To help us please go to www.taija-belwood.com and pledge your help.
Kurt Kessinger

United States

#20 Jan 14, 2008
Jen--

So personal safety is my primary responsibility. Unfortunatley, I put the safety of a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk at 62nd and TV highway first. Sorry for me, whoever was behind me did not and I got smashed from behind. So, was I at fault here. I guess my parents should have never of let me drive in the first place. I stopped aware of the situation. No good deed goes unpunished.

Oh, by the way. On December 31st, at about 2:00 pm. I was on Roy Rodgers road heading north about a half mile from scholls ferry. An Asian women heading south crossed about three feet over the center line (yes, it was that close, I could see the ethnicity of the driver). So tell me, miss smarty pants, what should I have done. Hit her head on, hoping my airbag would save me? Veer left, to take a hit in the passenger's side door? Or veer right, and take the hit in driver's side door, knowing that a 1998 Saturn has no side airbags? So, how am I responsible for my own safety here, short of not driving at all? Lucky for me, she corrected herself and I did not have to make a decision. But, I wonder, especially given the death rate with side impact accidents, regardless of seatbelts, since "I" am "primarily" responsible for my saftey, what should I have done. Please advise.

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