Careening truck blamed for four-car pile-up on 122nd

An armored car stopped out-of-control the pickup truck, officials say. Look what shut down SE 122nd Avenue for hours, while police investigated this odd crash …

Traffic comes to a standstill at SE 122nd Avenue, just north of SE Powell Boulevard, after a four-car smashup blocks the road near this Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhood intersection.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the driver of a Ford F-150 pickup truck drove across SE 122nd Avenue just north of SE Powell Boulevard on October 9, he left a wake of vehicular destruction in his path.

“I was just standing here, waiting for the ‘walk light’ when it happened,” said Zeke Wagner about the unusual accident that had taken place at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon.

Witnesses say the parked Brinks armored car stopped the pickup truck, after it smashed into a car on the street, and tore through the steel chain link fence.

“It looked like a silver pickup truck was in the alley [just north of the] Walgreen’s store,” Wagner told East Portland News. “The driver floored it, and shot [westbound] across the street, and smashed into a white car, ran down a fence, and bounced into another car in the parking lot. The only thing that stopped him was that he ran into the side a Brinks truck, parked in the lot.”

A Portland Police Bureau East Precinct District officer confirmed Wagner’s eyewitness report.

A firefighter with PF&R Truck 7 uses a Holmatro Rescue Tool to cut open a smashed car to rescue its occupant. Dick Harris photo for PF&R

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews from Mill Park Station 7 rolled to the scene minutes after the crash.

“When fire crews arrived, they found a four-vehicle accident scene, with one vehicle on its top,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

Out of the car, and strapped to a gurney, the accident victim is rolled toward an AMR ambulance. Dick Harris photo for PF&R

Firefighters of Truck 7 pulled out their powerful Holmatro Rescue Tools, and began cutting away the crumpled wreckage of a Honda Civic i-VTEC two-door, to access the driver and passenger trapped inside.

The driver and guard in the armored car were uninjured, but looked nonplussed. When asked about the experience, they just shook their heads. “This is a strange one,” the driver remarked.

Firefighters check inside the truck reported to have caused the crash, here seen between a smashed Toyota and the armored car. Note the tree under the wheels of the truck, which it took out as it plowed through the fence before coming to a stop. Dick Harris photo for PF&R

“The occupants of two vehicles were injured and transported to either Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital or to Portland Adventist Medical Center,” Simmons said.“While none of the patients were entered into the trauma system, the extent of their injuries will have to be determined at the hospital.”

This accident remains under investigation. There is as yet no report of the explanation offered by the driver who caused it all in his pickup truck.

Wreckage is strewn across SE 122nd Avenue after this unusual, but fortunately not deadly, wreck.

> On our Front Page: Photographer Dick Harris captures firefighters removing a victim from the wreckage of a car after this accident.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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