Alleged drunk driver injures two pedestrians on SE Division Street

The setting sun may have been in this driver’s eyes – but police say they believe that wasn’t his only impairment …

As a result of a car-versus-pedestrian accident, this ambulance races one of the two victims to OHSU’s Trauma Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Busy SE Division Street in outer East Portland can be a dangerous place for pedestrians – even if they’re within a marked crosswalk.

This became clear again on August 30 at 7:18 p.m., when two pedestrians were struck by a westbound car at SE 142nd Avenue.

SE Division Street is shut down, as police investigate an accident in which two pedestrians were hit by the same car.

“I’m still shaking, even now, after seeing this,” witness Arturo Davis told East Portland News.

“I was just coming out of the Pink Feather [restaurant] and heard a ‘thud and smash’ kind of sound. I looked over and saw two people flying up in the air, maybe as high as the [pedestrian crossing] sign, there, in the middle of the street.”

Witnesses say the car (on the left) flung the pedestrians high into the air after impact.

Davis said he didn’t see what happened before the impact, nor could he estimate the speed the car was traveling.

“I think they were hurt pretty bad. The man had blood coming out of his head, and the woman wasn’t moving,” Davis said, shaking his head as he walked away.

The PPB Major Crash Team rolls toward the accident scene.

As a crowd of about 200 people gathered on both sides of this mid-County area of Division Street, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct District officers detained and began interviewing witnesses, as did members of the Traffic Division’s Major Crash Unit.

“Officers located two adult victims, a male and a female, suffering from traumatic injuries,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Medical personnel transported both victims to a Portland hospital for treatment.”

The impact of the crash smashed and pushed in this car’s windshield.

The driver remained at the scene, Simpson added.

“After the crash, the guy [driver] was yelling, ‘The sun was in my eyes! I didn’t see them!’” said Amber LeFeurer as she watched the investigation unfold.

A block west of the crash site, police take the driver into custody; 50-year-old Michael D. Allen was later booked on multiple charges, including DUII. Inset MCDC booking photo.

However, police did arrest 50-year-old Michael D. Allen at 8:00 p.m., official records show, and he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 12:15 a.m.

“Michael Allen was arrested and charged with Assault in the Second and Third Degrees, Vehicular Assault of a Pedestrian, Reckless Driving, and DUII,” Simpson confirmed.

Friends or relatives of the victims console one another, as police preserve the accident scene.

On more than one Portland radio newscast, PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Robert King was asked if the low angle of the setting sun played a part in the crash. “Drivers should always take extra care when driving into the sun,” King replied.

“But in this case, we believe it was more than sunlight that was impairing the driver,” King told the reporter.

Allen remains in custody on a combined bail of $330,000.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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