Nighttime jaywalking claims life of 80-year-old woman in Lents

See why police say there wasn’t anything the driver could have done differently to avoid this New Year’s Eve fatal accident …

SE Powell Blvd. was closed for most of New Year’s Eve while officials from the Portland Police Bureau’s Fatal Crash Team investigated the death of a pedestrian.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
80-year-old Joan Catherine Blake didn’t live to see 2008. She died after she stepped off the curb, wearing dark-colored clothing, to cross SE Powell Boulevard near SE 84th Avenue on New Year’s Eve.

Blake was said to have lived by herself in a seniors’ residence, a block south of the accident.

So poorly lit was the accident scene, we had difficulty focusing on the bright orange traffic cones that marked the site of the fatality. The mishap did not occur in a crosswalk.

“The driver, 44-year-old Thomas Lynn Meeker, was eastbound on SE Powell Boulevard,” Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz reported. “Meeker struck Blake who was crossing SE Powell; he remained at the scene and cooperated with police.”

Traffic Investigators believe neither alcohol nor speed were factors in the collision. And, at this time, no citations have been issued to Meeker.

The investigation is continuing.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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