Fatal crash on Cornelius Pass Road pr...

Fatal crash on Cornelius Pass Road prompts new search for safety

There are 169 comments on the KATU-TV Portland story from Jan 2, 2008, titled Fatal crash on Cornelius Pass Road prompts new search for safety. In it, KATU-TV Portland reports that:

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 .

Join the discussion below, or Read more at KATU-TV Portland.


Portland, OR

#141 Jul 17, 2008
I strongly suspect that those who are against fixing CP Road are those who live right on it and don't want their property impacted with road widening, turnouts, or anything of the sort. Certainly not more traffic that might come with an improved roadway!

It is clear that the road is chock full of extreme hazards. Pretending that it's not is really very silly, and just exposes you as someone with an alterior agenda. Trees close to the lanes, sharp dropoffs, blind curves, narrow roadway with no shoulder and potential for rock and landslides are among the hazards that we all must acknowledge.

And those who criticize the Belwood family are really out of line. These folks have turned their grief into action, and more power to them! I am blown away by their tenacity and their ability to seek positive change in the face of this tragedy. That someone would bother the time to write a criticism of their efforts boggles my mind... does it make you feel better about yourself to say something nasty? I don't get it. And probably, I don't want to.
Concerned parent

Portland, OR

#142 Jul 18, 2008
The people that live on the road have been very supportive of the foundation. One thing that was brought up by a resident of the road is the danger that they feel for their children out waiting for a school bus. Many other residents have shared their concerns as well. I do not believe that people have much of a choice to drive or not drive the road. With gas prices the way they are it could add a huge amount of money on a monthly basis to commute the long way around. I know that I personally am maxed out on my expenses at this time. I think the Taija Belwood Foundation is right on track with the teen safe driving program. Many of the negative comments here talk of how it is a choice and it is about personal safety. That is why the foundation has raised the money for a program for teens. Portland State University has offered to help the foundation by making software for the program at no cost to the foundation. A driving instructor has volunteered his time to help plan the program. The has three sided approach: Engineering, Education and Enforcement. The foundation has been working with law enforcement agencies on the enforcement piece of the plan. There will be some people that are negative, that is obvious, but there are so many that care and want change. To each their own. I still choose not to call names and bad talk those with a different agenda than mine. There are 8200 people that have signed the petition for change. Thank you unreal for you comments.
St Helens Native

Portland, OR

#143 Jul 18, 2008
Actually I don't live on the road. I live in St Helens and I drive that road a lot. I don't see anything wrong with it. I do see H30 needing improvements or perhaps just more law enforcement to get people to slow down. H30 has had more deaths and accidents then silly old CP road. I am speaking my mind and since this is america I am free to do that. Does it make me feel better? Why yes it does to state my opinion. Did you feel better writing what you did. Did it help you to say what you did? I am sure there have been many issues that you have felt strongly about and have voiced or wished you had a way to voice your thoughts. What I speak out against the TBFoundation for is that they place blame on the road. And so many others are as well instead of looking themselves in the mirror and thinking that maybe there was something they did or the driver did that caused or led to or contributed to the accident. So many americans now a days are quick to place blame on someone else rather than thinking that maybe they might have been just a bit at fault. Thats what I have an issue with. Had all this started differently I might have been behind the support for change. But the way the family went about it has many people upset. There is a way to calculate the supporters I wish the non-supporteres had their own tabulation cuz I am curious just how many people don't want the road improved on. I feel we have more important and more heavily traveled roads that need improvement. And that this one shouldn't even be on the radar yet.
Concerned parent

Portland, OR

#144 Jul 19, 2008
The Belwood Family did not start the foundation it was a non family member. The majority of the members are not family members and many of them never knew Taija at all. It is obvious that Taija was behind the wheel when the car drove off the road, it is obvious that she was the only one in the car that could have stopped it from heading off a 65 foot embankment. However, had there been a guardrail there it would have kept at least 3 cars in three months from rolling down and into the creek. Thankfully for the other two they landed on their wheels not on the top of the car like Taija. All three cars were totalled. With the impact attenuating guardrails that push the car off at a shallow angle there is a small possibility that the cars would have traveled into the oncomong traffic. Again, though, no one saw these accidents occur so the angle at which they returned to the road would not be a consideration. Cornelius Pass was on the list of capital road improvement before the foundation pushed for improvement. It was at number 4 on the capital improvement list long before Taija was killed. I mentioned before that a task force had met twice to discuss this road in the year before Taija was killed. The task force was brought together at the request of the Mult. Co. Sherriffs Office because of the high accident rate on the road. Now the foundation is apart of the task force not a new one started from the foundation. The Taija Belwood Foundation is one small part of this force which includes; Mult. County officials, Wash. County officials, state senators, ODOT, Mult. County Sherriffs dpt, a rep. from the trucking industry and more. I think if the family of Taija just wanted to blame the road they would sue the county for negligence. They have not they have asked for improvemnets to save lives.

Portland, OR

#145 Jul 21, 2008
After reading the article in The Oregonian, I went to the web address they printed to buy some of the raffle tickets....I could not find the web site. If someone would send me the link, I'd love to buy tickets and spread the word....Thanks

[email protected]
Concerned parent

Portland, OR

#146 Jul 22, 2008
Elizabeth~The raffle for the car ended last Sunday. Thank you for the interest. The foundation was able to sell the 3000 tickets and the winner was chosen Sunday. This fundraiser was able to net over 10,000 profit. This money is earmarked for starting the teen driving program. www.taija-belwood.com

United States

#147 Jul 25, 2008
Welcome to part of the human condition. It is called emotional. If several of you are emotionally stunted and lacking in compassion, take yourselves elsewhere. Most likely you only care about you and yours in your infantile, narcissistic perspective of the world. That should be how you are treated in kind.

When you have a severe life threatening situation one day and need assitance, please mark yourself, so the rest of us can pass on by and leave you to die on the wayside. We will be certain to spend a few seconds considering our regards to you.
St Helens Native

Portland, OR

#148 Jul 25, 2008
Who the heck are you mr PFFFT? Way off the beat here. You have no idea what you are talking about and obviously have not read through enough of the comments to grasp what those of us opposing CP are saying. So before passing judgment you might want to read. I know it takes time and maybe you don't have the brains to fully understand. I feel for you. I really do. There are those ignorant people who just don't get it and don't want to learn how to get it. So yes I will pray for you and hope that you get a brain full of understanding.
think about it

Wildomar, CA

#149 Aug 29, 2008
seriously, st. helens native...you wrote:
"What I speak out against the TBFoundation for is that they place blame on the road. And so many others are as well instead of looking themselves in the mirror and thinking that maybe there was something they did or the driver did"
So what you're saying is that if the dead girl's family just says their daughter killed herself you'll leave them alone? That's what will make you happy?
You're obviously super bright and have time and energy to bring to a worthwhile cause. Please consider doing that.
think about it

Wildomar, CA

#150 Aug 29, 2008
btw, i'm a 4th generation oregonian who's happy to get away from this type of small mindedness.
St Helens Native

Portland, OR

#151 Aug 30, 2008
No that is not what I am saying. I drive that road several times a week and I pay attention to what I am doing. I do not use my phone and I will not drive over it in the winter time when there is snow and ice or the potential for this. To me when I drive by that corner it looks like an easy corner to miss if you were going to fast or not paying attention or had fallen asleep at the wheel. I did not say anything of the nature about the family admitting their daughter killed herself. You extrapulating that from my comments shows that you are unitelligent and probably undereducated. Or you simply like to dramatize things. Also accidents are accidents and I have never said Taija killed herself willingly. That is a very stupid accusation for you to make and shows your narrowmindedness. I, like many others, feel there are more important roads to improve on like H30 for one, or H26 going up to Mt Hood or even the 6 going out to the coast. Nobody is forced to drive these roads so it boggles me when people get hurt or killed and then these types of groups form and beg for road improvements. I am not against that I am against improving a road that in my oppinion could wait since H30 has killed more people than CP. Even that intersection of H30 and CP could use just one little insignificant improvement that would help save lives--a stop light with a delay between the red and green lights so that when people run the red there is a lesser chance of someone getting hurt/killed. I am all for road improvements but who voted Bellwood Foundation judge and jury on which road to improve?
Concerned Parent

Portland, OR

#152 Sep 3, 2008
As I mentioned before the intersection at CPR and 30 does need a delay and that is one thing that the foundation is asking for. You will see that suggestion in my previous post.

Portland, OR

#153 Dec 5, 2008
I have driven this road for many years even before hi-tech arrived and when Hwy. 30 was 2 lanes being transformed to the 5 lanes it is today. The amount of traffic increased in 10 + years should have signaled Multnomah County. the urgency and necessity of keeping the road up to date and safe. I have even seen an empty dump truck and without a trailer, heading towards Hwy. 30, going around the end of the sharp "S" curve and slide sidways. Thankfully he had control of the situation and stopped his rig before an accident happened. He was not going fast, swerving, nor were conditions wet or cold. The curve is way to dangerous especially during inclement weather. Too many corners and hidden t-intersections on such a short but busy road.
Please fix this catastrophe before a large amount of people are hurt or killed. It's gonna happen, just when and where, who knows.

“History is everything. ”

Since: Dec 08


#154 Dec 8, 2008
I have driven on Cornelius Pass for years and it is a dangerous road. However, to be honest, so are many others across the state and even in the Portland area. The road can be improved but what is more important is teaching young drivers how to be safe.

Oxnard, CA

#155 Apr 3, 2009
I miss you Taij. Keep watching out for all of us, I think about you daily. =]
Need to know

Portland, OR

#156 May 29, 2009
I would like to know if this girl was drinking when she crashed? Because I drive that road everyday and I can't see how she went off the road.

It was also very dangerous to have the family parking and praying along side the road.

I understand their grief but that's no reason to endanger others.

Sad that this had to happen.

Portland, OR

#157 May 29, 2009
The road needs to be fixed. Plain and simple. How many more deaths need happen? There is no room for mistakes or a mishap on this road and as we all know, mistakes do happen. My prayers to the family.

Portland, OR

#158 May 29, 2009
Need to know wrote:
I would like to know if this girl was drinking when she crashed? Because I drive that road everyday and I can't see how she went off the road.
It was also very dangerous to have the family parking and praying along side the road.
I understand their grief but that's no reason to endanger others.
Sad that this had to happen.
LJ in Goble

United States

#159 Jul 14, 2009
I have been driving CP road daily for about a year now. Trying to widen that road may prove to be unrealistic. I am surprised there has not been more land movement than there has been because of the slopes and digging in further seems to just beg fro trouble. However, there are some things that could improve the safety abit just by changing the banking on some of the curves. There is one in particular that is banked very poorly and do not pull the car around the turn but rather tries to slingshot it off of the apex. The other factor is that people need to take the responsibility to drive that road with care. I have seen some real bonehead maneuvers on my way too and from work.

Beaverton, OR

#160 Nov 21, 2009
Jen wrote:
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.
Jen, you're disregarding the fact that the only road from Columbia County to Washington County is Corn. Pass Rd. Columbia County has no community college and Columbia County residents pay PCC taxes. So the community college for Columbia County is PCC Rock Creek. Many Columbia County folks work in the high tech industry and elsewhere in Washington County.

In 1989, ODOT proposed a Westside Bypass that was squelched by members of 1,000 Friends of Oregon. This young woman's family ought to sue those members involved in preventing a safe road from being built. One of them is a state senator for district 16.

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