Miss-timed turn wrecks New Year’s plans

In a split-second, one driver’s inattention sends another driver to the hospital. Remember these photos when you’re driving at night …

Officials say it took Portland Fire & Rescue workers considerable effort to safely remove the driver of the Mazda Protégé after it was struck by the Toyota SUV.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although it was dark by 6:30 p.m., on New Year’s Eve, neither of the drivers of the two vehicles that collided in Powellhurst-Gilbert had been drinking. Officials say it was simply a moment’s inattention that led to the traumatic intersection crash.

So severe was the pile-up, a Portland Fire & Rescue truck was called to the motor vehicle accident at the intersection of SE 104th Avenue and SE Holgate Boulevard simply to extricate 45-year-old Caroline Scott from her 1999 Mazda Protégé.

Turns in front of traffic
Scott, according to Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz, was westbound on SE Holgate Boulevard. “There wasn’t an indication of excessive speed or impairment.”

Officials warn that taking your eyes off the road, even for a moment, can result in a life-threatening crash like this one.

The other vehicle involved, a black 1994 Toyota 4-Runner, was driven by 27-year-old Elysia Simmons.

A passenger riding in the Toyota told us at the scene, “We were going east on Holgate, turning left (north) on 104th. I yelled when I saw the car coming, and she hit the brakes.”

Simmons was cited for Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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