Motorcyclist dies after east Salem collision

Police say a motorcyclist was killed after a driver turned in front of him Sunday afternoon in east Salem.

The motorcyclist, 48-year-old Brian Merrill, was taken to Salem Hospital with critical injuries. He died a day later on Monday, Aug. 7.

Merrill’s death marks the eighth fatal collision investigated this year by the Salem Police Department’s Traffic Team, resulting in nine total deaths, the agency said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

First responders arrived around 1 p.m. at the 1100 block of Southeast Cordon Road after receiving a report of a collision involving a driver and a motorcyclist, according to the statement.

Police determined the motorcyclist was riding north on Southeast Cordon Road when a driver, going southbound on Cordon Road, turned left in front of him into a driveway.

“The motorcyclist collided with the right rear of the car causing it to spin into a third vehicle already stopped in the same driveway. Upon impact, the man driving the motorcycle was ejected from the motorbike. Speed appears to be a contributing factor in the crash,” according to the statement.

Police said the driver of the car, 25-year-old Francisco Espinoza Sandoval, remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Sandoval and a person inside the car in the driveway were not injured. 

The road was closed for around three hours for a police investigation.

Police have not cited or arrested the driver and said in the news release that they are still investigating the collision.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

SUPPORT OUR WORK – We depend on subscribers for resources to report on Salem with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more. Click I want to subscribe!

Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.