Head-on smash blamed on driver with suspended license

Take a look and you’ll see why neighbors say this residential SE Portland street should be designated a “no passing zone” …

Police say the driver of this Acura shouldn’t even been on the road – his driver’s license is suspended!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
“We really need to make SE 136th Avenue between Holgate and Powell a no-passing zone,” comments neighbor Mary Walker, as she looks at the wreckage about to be towed from the street.

Walker says she heard the accident that sent both drivers to OHSU on October 5 at about 9:30 p.m. “I was in the kitchen. I heard this huge bang. I mean, it was a really big boom. I ran out and looked, and called 911. The police were here in two minutes.”

As she walked three doors down to look at the remains of an offset, head-on collision, Walker said the horn of one car was still blaring.

Walker, who is known to East Precinct cops – because she volunteers to restock their patrol cars’ trunks, several days a week – said there was another accident on her road earlier in the day. “This street gets a surprising amount of traffic. And, it seems people are always driving in a hurry; they pass cars when it isn’t safe.”

The Acura hit the Thunderbird with such force, it bent the frame.

Shouldn’t have been driving
According to Sgt. Brian Schmautz, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, 28-year-old Lay Nguyen was driving a gray 1991 Acura Intrepid northbound and was “stuck” in traffic. However, Nguyen shouldn’t have been behind the wheel at all – his driver’s license is suspended.

Nguyen whipped out of his lane, stepped on it, and smashed, almost head-on, in to 44-year-old Dean Roundy as he was driving south in his 1993 burgundy Ford Thunderbird just south of SE Francis Street.

“Nguyen was cited for Careless Driving and Driving While Suspended,” Schmutz states.

As we watched tow trucks jockeying to pick up the totaled-out vehicles, Walker says, “I hope the city will take a look at our street before someone gets killed.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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