See why of accused driver – “Junebug” Jenkins – did more than run from the scene, and learn the charges now leveled against him and his friend …
SE Powell Boulevard is closed to eastbound traffic at SE 122nd Avenue, diverting traffic away from the second fatal pedestrian accident on a major outer East Portland street in two days.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A second pedestrian within 24 hours was struck and killed by a vehicle in outer East Portland on Saturday evening, February 15.
The first was run down on SE Division, but the driver stayed at the scene, A day later, another pedestrian fatality occurred on SE Powell Boulevard, at 124th Avenue, and the driver hit – and ran.
Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were first on scene, arriving at 6:26 p.m., followed by medical personnel.
Paramedics wait to be released from the scene after finding this hit-and-run victim is deceased.
First responders found a man, later identified as 60-year-old Douglas Norman Miller, lying lifeless near the center line of this two-lane, heavily traveled thoroughfare.
What officers didn’t find was the driver, or the vehicle, that killed Miller on that stormy night.
A PPB East Precinct District officer guides the Traffic Division Major Crash Team van into the scene.
Police shut down SE Powell Boulevard from SE 122nd Avenue to SE 126th, cordoning off a safe area for the PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team to work as they set about gathering evidence.
“This was the third fatal crash of 2014 in Portland,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “We do seem to be having more pedestrian incidents in the area. It’s dark, and there are no sidewalks.
“But the conditions on the highway have nothing to do with leaving the scene after an accident,” Simpson observed.
Two PPB sergeants confer, sharing information they’ve gathered from witnesses.
Fatal pedestrian hit-and-run accidents are notoriously difficult to investigate, PPB Traffic Division officers have told East Portland News in the past. Typically, there’s very little physical evidence, and often witness recollections are flawed.
In this case, at least two witnesses told PPB Major Crash Team investigators they saw a “silver minivan” flee the area after striking down the pedestrian.
However, investigators located the minivan that had been reported, and eliminated it from consideration.
Regardless of the blustery weather, the investigation continues.
“In this case, Traffic Division investigators got a tip,” Simpson said. “They went to a residence in the area of SE 141st Avenue and Center Street at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sunday night. There, they located the suspect vehicle in the fatal hit-and-run.”
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators recovered a 1995 Subaru station wagon from this property in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.
Then, early Monday morning, police arrested the suspected driver, 24-year-old Jay Taylor “Junebug” Jenkins, Simpson said. PPB TriMet Police also collared 29-year-old Jerin Nigel Crabtree.
“Crabtree is believed to have been assisting Jenkins with attempting to repair damage to the vehicle,” Simpson reported.
24-year-old Jay Taylor “Junebug” Jenkins faces multiple felony charges in connection with this hit-and-run death.
Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) records show that after “Junebug” Jenkins appeared in court where he was arraigned on February 18, he had accumulated five charges. These included multiple felonies, such as Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver to the Injured, Hindering Prosecution, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and the misdemeanor charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Jenkins is lodged in MCDC in lieu of $297,500 combined bail.
29-year-old Jerin Nigel Crabtree is accused of helping Jenkins cover up the crime for which he’s been charged.
And as for Crabtree – after he deals with a no-bail charge of Delivery of Cocaine, he’ll also face charges of Hindering Prosecution, a Class A Felony, and Tampering with Physical Evidence, a misdemeanor that carry a combined bail of $7,000.
Crabtree is lodged in Multnomah County Inverness Jail.
© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News