Careless driver’s ‘PIT’ sends truck careening off I-205

Cops use the PIT technique to spin-out fleeing crooks – but learn what happens when a careless driver tags a delivery truck near Airport Way …

We don’t know why the driver didn’t make the eastbound Airport Way exit off I-205; we did see the results of her trying to pull back onto the freeway. At the bottom, you can see gouged earth where the truck hit after it got knocked off the freeway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
All in all, 18-year-old Jake Council seems to be taking his harrowing experience rather well, as he sits on the back ledge of the delivery truck he was driving on around 9 a.m. on May 28.

“I was going [north] along on freeway, and just past the [eastbound] Airport Way exit, my truck started skidding out of control,” Council tells us. “That exit drops way down, you know. I tried to keep it under control, but I could see I was going over the top, down into the exit. I thought for sure the truck was going to roll, but it stopped on the other side of the ramp.”

Traffic backed up as tow trucks and rescue gear cleared the accident.

Indeed, the elevation drops off steeply at the exit; and we see where his truck’s tire marks end at the top – and begin again at the bottom of the drop off.

Even though it is well after the morning rush, traffic is backing up, as a towtruck removes a wrecked car from the freeway; the off ramp – where Council’s flying truck came to rest – is closed off.

This car won’t be driven on the freeway – or anywhere else – any time soon.

Executes the PIT maneuver
The official report says that the collision occurred at 9:03 am, when 19-year-old Olga Brichak swerved to attempt to take the Airport Way East exit northbound from I-205.

“The report says Brichak was past the exit when she attempted to merge onto Airport Way. When Brichak realized she could not take the exit, she was forced to re-merge with the freeway traffic,” police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schmautz tells us.

As she did so, Schmautz says, Brichak inadvertently tapped the bumper of a truck Council was driving. “Officers are trained in the ‘Pursuit Intervention Technique’ – we call it the PIT maneuver. A rather small ‘tap’, if it’s in the right place, and send a large vehicle out of control.”

Brichak received a citation for Careless Driving.

Jake Council says he tried to regain control of his delivery truck – as it flew over the embankment and landed 20 feet below on the Airport Way East offramp. You can clearly see where the front of the truck gouged out the hillside of the exit – stopping it and keeping it from rolling over.

Called ‘Careless Driving’
Portland Fire & Rescue workers on scene tell us they’re amazed that that Council’s truck didn’t roll. “But, there were no injuries,” confirmed one of the crew members.

“This could have been a deadly accident,” confided a police officer.

With his foot still in a walking cast, Council continues to sit on the back ledge of his flying truck and says, “Today was my first day back at work. Maybe I should have waited another day.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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