Crash victim cut out of truck, after near head-on crash in Powellhurst-Gilbert

It’s not a gory story – but it clearly illustrates the mayhem that can happen on any neighborhood street, in an instant

SE Holgate Boulevard is shut down, while first responders work to free a man, trapped in his smashed truck.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
As the sun was nearing the western horizon on August 22, one unassuming driver’s life changed in an instant, when SUV was struck, nearly head-on, by a pickup truck loaded with firewood.

This grinding smashup occurred a little after 7:00 p.m. on SE Holgate Boulevard at SE 112th Avenue, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood – bringing outer East Portland rescue crews and police to the scene.

Exactly how or why it occurred is unclear. People who claimed to have witnessed the violent grinding crash gave conflicting accounts.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Lt. Robert King looked up the crash report and clarified how accident investigators reported that this incident occurred.

After cutting the victim out of the pickup Chevy S10 pickup truck (right), firefighter/paramedics slide him on to a gurney.

“The Chevy pickup was northbound on SE 111th Avenue, stopped at the intersection, then turned east on SE Holgate Blvd.,” King told East Portland News.

“The driver of the truck moved over into the left turn lane to turn north on SE 112th Ave. This signalized intersection has a designated left turn lane, but does not have a left turn arrow.

“The Chevy pickup truck started to make the left turn. But a Ford Explorer was westbound and hit the Chevy when it turned in front of it,” reported King.

He added that officers believed neither driver speeding.

Paramedics continue life-saving efforts before moving this crash victim.

The result: The load of firewood slid forward. That, and a collision witnesses say was “extremely violent”, crumpled the pickup truck’s cab, causing the driver to be pinned inside.

The crew from Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 7 was used pry bars, wedges, and Holmatro Rescue Tools to free the pickup truck’s driver, who was transported to Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital via AMR ambulance with “traumatic” injuries.

A Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Engine 11 firefighter/paramedic stays with the driver of the SUV, clearly shaken by the incident.

While unconfirmed at this writing, an officer investigating the accident indicated that “alcohol may have been a factor in this crash.”

We’ll update this story as information becomes available.

Witnesses say they’re amazed that the drivers survived this crash.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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