Truck blows stop light, puts two in hospital

Careless drivers do more than wreck vehicles. Look what happened when a reportedly-speeding truck blows a red light and nearly kills the driver and passenger of a van …

Witnesses say a large truck hit the Qwest van so hard, it skidded over 100 feet before stopping at the curb.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
“I was waiting to cross the street,” Sammy Harris told us, “and the driver of the big truck over didn’t even slow down for the red light. He slammed into the van so hard, the ladder and pieces flew off everywhere.”

The accident at SE 72nd Ave at Duke St. was more than a fender-bender. “This could have been a fatal accident,” reported the traffic officer on duty.

On October 4, about 2:00 p.m., a truck, reportedly owned by Metro Interiors, was going southbound on 72nd Ave. Witnesses said the big hauling truck was going fast — really fast — before it blew through a red traffic signal light at SE Duke St.

Sadly, that intersection wasn’t empty.

Unfortunately for the driver and passenger of a van, operated by Qwest Communications, they were – at that moment – eastbound on SE Duke St., through a green light.

Rescue workers had to use the “Jaws of Life” to remove the driver.

The Qwest van was struck on the driver’s side with a shuttering blow. The impact was so severe, the Qwest truck skids sideways, south from the point of impact, well over 100 feet according to our unofficial measurement.

Within minutes, Portland Fire & Rescue crews were on scene, using the Hurst Tool (Jaws of Life) to extricate the driver of the Qwest truck.

Another vehicle, a white Pontiac hatchback, was facing north, stopped on SE 72nd Ave at the red light at Duke. The big truck tore off the front, passenger side quarter-panel of the vehicle.

The driver of this vehicle says she’s lucky to walk away, or even be alive, after the two wrecked trucks skidded in her direction.

“It happened so quickly,” the shaken hatchback driver told us. “It’s like the big truck and the Qwest van split; they slid by both sides of me.”

The driver, who asked not to be identified, said she wasn’t injured. “I got out of my car and went over to the truck that got hit. I saw the woman in the Qwest truck. She didn’t look so good. I feel so bad for her and hope she’s OK.”

The impact of this large truck on both the Qwest van, curb and shrubs looks like it pushed the front axel backward two feet.

The driver of the big truck was cited for “Failure to obey a Traffic Control Device.” New privacy laws affecting hospitals prevent our learning the condition of the victims in this crash.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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