‘Sudden swerve’ causes three-car Marine Drive smashup

Find out why observers say they’re surprised that nobody died in this Memorial Day crash …

Firefighters scramble to remove a trapped crash victim from his car. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

By David F. Ashton

A pleasant Memorial Day afternoon drive along the Columbia River turned catastrophic in an instant, when a car reportedly crossed the center line near 13531 NE Marine Drive at 3:11 p.m., and crashed into two other cars.

While one driver was able to walk away from the wreck, and another driver was immediately taken to Adventist Medical Center, reportedly with a broken collar bone, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) firefighters deployed their Holmatro Rescue Tools to extract a driver trapped in his car.

Using their powerful Holmatro Rescue Tool, firefighters cut open the smashed car to release the driver. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

“Firefighters used hydraulic tools to cut the Chrysler sedan from around the trapped patient,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

“Once firefighters got him out of his car he was entered into the trauma system, and transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center,” Simmons said.

The driver not seriously injured in this crash told reporters that the Chrysler caused the collision by “suddenly” swerving across the center line.

Crew members dissemble this Chrysler sedan, completely removing the roof. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

After the Chrysler sideswiped the first car, it smashed, head-on, into another vehicle.

The quiet tableau of watching boats go by on the river was shattered by what a resident, John T. Candioto, whose house is a few feet away from the epicenter of the crash, called a “horrific noise”.

“Looking at the damage to the cars,” Candioto told reporters, “I’m amazed that there were actually survivors.”

Looking at the wreckage, it is amazing that no one died in this crash. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Major Crash Team responded to the wreck. This crash remains under investigation.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland

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