Allegedly impaired driver kills teen on bike

Some witnesses in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood say they were surprised that this accident resulted in death …

After a pickup truck hits and knocks over a bicyclist – resulting in his death – the PPB Major Crash Team van arrives.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Balmy spring weather brought out many people across outer East Portland on the Saturday afternoon of March 19 – including bicyclists.

A bike ride near his home ended tragically for 17-year-old Austin Joe Hrynko, however, when he was run down and killed by a Dodge Dakota pickup in the area of SE Center Street and 142nd Avenue, at 3:51 p.m.

PPB Major Crash Team officers get out their gear and begin to investigate this fatal accident.

“The driver of the vehicle has been detained, and the Major Crash Team is responding to investigate,” was the first information made available by Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson, minutes after the accident.

“I saw it happen, but I was quite a ways away,” remarked Sally Porper.

“It didn’t seem like the truck was driving that fast; it seemed like the truck and the bike rider just ‘came together’, and then, the bike rider went down hard,” Porper told East Portland News.

With the wrecked bicycle still in the street, the investigation gets underway.

Simpson revealed the driver involved in the crash was 55-year-old Franklin Eugene Drobny.

“During the investigation, officers learned that Drobny, driving a 2003 Dodge Dakota pick-up, was eastbound on Center Street, and turned left in front of Hrynko, who was riding westbound,” Simpson said.

“Drobny was attempting to turn into the cul-de-sac leading to his home in the 14200 block. During the left turn, Hrynko struck the right front corner of Drobny’s truck, which caused fatal injuries,” added Simpson.

Streets in this area of the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood are closed to both vehicles and pedestrians as the investigation continues.

55-year-old Franklin Eugene Drobny faces three charges, the most serious being Manslaughter II. MCDC booking photo

Drobny was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 10:10 p.m. that evening on charges of Reckless Driving, DUII, and Manslaughter II.

After his arraignment on March 14, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ordered that Drobny be tried on all three charges. He is currently lodged in MCDC in lieu of $255,000 combined bail.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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