‘Habitual offender’ charged with mowing down and killing a pedestrian in Parkrose

Find out what’s being said about a man who allegedly ran down a woman crossing NE Sandy Blvd., left her dying on the road while he ditched his minivan, and then walked back to his seedy motel room …

Making one’s way across NE Sandy Blvd., just west of the I-205 Freeway overpass, can be dangerous – even during the daytime. But on this particular rainy night, it proved deadly.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
There isn’t a marked crosswalk at NE 91st Avenue across NE Sandy Boulevard – a major seven-lane-wide thoroughfare, if you count the turn and parking lanes.

It’s unclear why a pedestrian was crossing the street there; perhaps she was about to visiting the “Neighbors Market” as she walked north across NE Sandy Boulevard at a little after 10:00 p.m. on March 16. For whatever reason she was crossing, she never made it to the other side.

“Portland Police responded to a pedestrian hit-and-run crash,” said Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Lt. Kelli Sheffer.

At the scene, 47-year-old Lori Noelle Kerr of Portland lay dying in the street. She was pronounced dead by the paramedics who responded.

“Witnesses told officers the vehicle was last seen driving westbound on NE Sandy Boulevard,” Sheffer continued. “They described the car as a tan or brown van or SUV, with front end damage.”

Officers fanned out throughout the neighborhoods bisected by the freeway, looking for the suspect vehicle. It didn’t take them long to find a 1993 Mercury Villager van that fit witness’ descriptions. It was parked just to the southwest, near NE Alberta Street and NE 82nd Avenue, related Sheffer.

“Through further investigation, officers learned the driver of the van, 36-year-old Aaron Miles Arrell, was staying at a nearby motel.”

-2 It didn’t take long for investigators to locate the suspected driver of the van involved in this alleged fatal hit-and-run accident, at this Parkrose motel.

PPB Major Crash Team investigators headed to a “no name” motel on NE 97th Avenue, about a block south of NE Sandy Boulevard, and took Arrell into custody.

Although some media reports say that investigators suspected Arrell of driving drunk, police spokespeople would neither confirm nor deny the allegation.

Here are two portraits, courtesy of MCDC, of 36-year-old Aaron Miles Arrell – one taken in January, and the other following his arrest for allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian with his minivan, and fleeing the scene. MCDC photos

Previously, according to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center (MCDC) information, Arrell had been arrested for “Driving While Suspended” on January 22 at 2:17 a.m.  Some reports say his driving privileges were suspended on January 10. Apparently, having his Oregon Driver’s License pulled didn’t keep him off the road, as another report alleges that Arrell was again arrested in February for a traffic violation, and also caught at the time with an open container of booze.

Apparently Arrell was unable to keep from having more run-ins with the police, inasmuch as MCDC records also show Arrell was arrested on March 7 at 6:10 a.m. – this time, for Harassment.

As of this writing, Arrell is again in custody – now facing a Class C Felony charge, “Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver in an Injury Accident”, and a Class B Felony, “Manslaughter II. His bail was set at $255,000.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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