Driver charged with DUI and Reckless Driving in Foster Road head-on

Here’s just one more reason why drinking and driving can cost one more than traffic ticket …

Officers look over the wreckage of what were, minutes before the photo were taken, good, late-model automobiles.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Even after all of the tragic stories about dangers of drunken driving – and the stiffened penalties Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) – some people still refuse to heed the warnings and start up their cars, even though they’re far beyond simply being tipsy.

A call came in to 9-1-1 on October 13 at 8:08 p.m. A grinding smashup had occurred on S.E. Foster Road. which police tell us they suspect was caused by a drunken driver.

A blue, Pontiac GrandAm was traveling west on SE Foster, passing 92nd Avenue, and was struck head-on by a Mazda – driving eastbound on the one-way section of road near SE 88th Avenue – instead of following the roadway where it splits off, and curves south on a very short street called SE Couplet St., then on to SE Woodstock Blvd.

It is truly astounding that no one was killed nor gravely injured in this wreck.

The last of three ambulances was just leaving the scene when we arrived. Looking at the two destroyed vehicles, airbags deployed, we realized the crash must have been horrendous.

An officer called out and said, “Hey David! What are you doing out here on Sunnyside Road?”

We replied, “I’m pretty sure this is SE Foster, right?”

The officer came back, “After we helped up the woman who we believe was the driver of the Mazda, from the pavement where it looked like she’d crawled out of her car, she asked, ‘This is Sunnyside Road, isn’t it?’”

Even with the impact cushioned by the Mazda’s airbags, the woman’s passenger didn’t fare well. Records show he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and sustained the most serious injuries.

It wasn’t wet pavement that caused this wreck – police say it was caused by the impaired judgment by a driver they charged with being “over the limit”.

“Although some of the injuries were serious, none of them were life-threatening,” Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Det. Mary Wheat told us. She said that the driver of the car suspected to have caused the accident was charged DUII and Reckless Driving.

“So often we hear that DUII drivers say they didn’t want to deal with the inconvenience of taking a cab home, or being driven by a sober driver,” Wheat mused. “Being charged with DUII will most likely suspend your license. The court costs, attorney fees, and fines can cost thousands. If you kill someone, you may go to jail. Add to this the cost of replacing your car, and calculate the increase in your car insurance – if you are again allowed to drive.  It’s really not worth it when you add it all up.”

Drinking and driving can cost a driver more than a traffic ticket – look at the damage this allegedly boozing motorist caused.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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