Elderly driver hits, hits, hits, hits, hits – then crashes

See why onlookers say they’re astonished no one was seriously hurt in this amazing series of accidents …

This utility pole was knocked off kilter, near the start of the unusual chain of accidents.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The multiple-vehicle accident on January 17th started in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood – and ended up in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.

It wasn’t caused the cloud-darkened sky, or by the heavy rain. It might have been that the driver experienced a medical emergency. Nobody is yet sure.

This is one of five cars that were hit – stuck so hard it was spun around 90º from where it had been parked. On the left side is a tree that was also struck – and tire tracks in the grass.

An ambulance was called to the crash scene, but it was later dismissed, after treating those requesting it at the scene.

At a little after 4:30 p.m., 9-1-1 started receiving calls from numerous victims of someone described as a hit-and-run driver in a silver-gray car. When Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers arrived, and began their investigation, they found that these reports weren’t exaggerated.

Starting in the area of SE 72nd Avenue and SE Foster Road, and heading north, the 2001 gray Dodge Stratus sedan had caromed off five vehicles, two utility poles, a tree, and several street curbs.

This is the car that caused it all, picked up enough speed to end up atop this retaining wall.

“The driver also hit a male juvenile pedestrian, who was not injured,” PPB Public Information Officer Lt. King told East Portland News. “The car ended up in the front yard of a house, stuck on a retaining wall, on the northeast corner of SE 72nd Avenue and SE Holgate Boulevard.”

The driver, identified as 84-year-old Patricia Knepper, may have had a medical issue, causing her to lose control of her vehicle, King said. “Officers assisted the woman in exchanging information with all involved.”

And, there were a lot of folks to exchange with. But, happily, there were no serious injuries, despite considerable spectacle and a lot of damage.

Officers assisted the woman behind the wheel of the “hit and run juggernaut” in exchanging information with everyone involved.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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