Pedestrian clings to life – then dies – after darting into traffic on SE Foster Road

Find out why authorities say this accident didn’t have to happen – and who they say is at fault …

SE Foster Road was closed for hours, allowing members of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Major Crash Team to examine evidence at the scene, after a man was struck by an SUV.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
At 7:20 p.m., it had been dark for hours, when word came of a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle on SE Foster Road, just east of SE 122nd Avenue, on January 23.

“This guy took off running through traffic,” said eyewitness Seth Edwards. “He was dodging traffic. I don’t think the car that hit him had a chance to stop or miss him. He got hit so hard, it looked like it knocked him out of his shoes.”

First responders checked the man’s pulse – and found none. It looked as if the 44-year-old man was dead at the scene.

Nevertheless, paramedics quickly scooped up the victim and rushed him to OHSU. On the way, they managed to revive him. Still, according to the radio calls, it was obvious that the man was very seriously injured.

Investigators came to believe the pedestrian’s actions, alone, caused this accident here in outer East Portland.

“The driver of the vehicle that hit the pedestrian remained at the scene and cooperated with police,” reported Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat.
The Bureau’s Major Crash Team rolled up to the scene and began investigating this incident. They took measurements, and processed all available evidence, with Foster Road closed to traffic.

“Investigators determined that the pedestrian was crossing [SE Foster Road from] south to north,” Wheat reported. “The driver was traveling westbound on 122nd when the accident occurred.  Witnesses reported that the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk, and walked in front of one car, before walking in front of the vehicle that hit him.”

For days, the victim clung to life at OHSU Hospital in critical condition, before he died from the injuries sustained in the accident, Wheat later said. “The name of the man is not being released until police can positively identify him.”

Officials say the driver of this Ford SUV cooperated with police, and wasn’t found at fault in this accident.

Wheat noted, “Investigators do not believe speed or alcohol was a factor in this incident, and the driver was not cited.”

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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