‘Distracted driver’ cited after side-swiping Photo Radar Van

Find out what happened after this driver clipped the van – and why the driver was issued a handful of tickets after the smashup…

Three vehicles were involved in this Montavilla smashup – but two of them were parked, when the accident occurred.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton

Cars collide every day in outer East Portland. So, when a blue, four-door Chevrolet AVEO ran into a parked Kia minivan on the afternoon of February 2, the rear-ender smashup seemed much like any other.

That is, until information was broadcast over the police radio that the driver had first sideswiped the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Photo Enforcement Van, parked facing southbound on SE 92nd Avenue, between SE Caruthers and Division streets.

From the marks left along the side of the PPB Photo Enforcement Van, the Chevy lightly sideswiped the vehicle – while the officer inside was catching School Zone speeders.

After sideswiping it, leaving blue paint on the white Photo Enforcement Van, the Chevy swerved into the back end of a parked Kia minivan with such force that it drove the larger vehicle’s rear wheel up the curb. The Chevy’s airbags deployed during the crash.

Why this collision had occurred at 1:14 p.m. on a sunny, clear day remained a mystery, until PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson researched the records.

Car owners talk with a PPB Traffic Division Sergeant after the wreck.

“The driver was cited for Unlawful Use of a Cell Phone,” Simpson told East Portland News. “The driver was also cited with Careless Driving (with an accident), as well as Driving Uninsured, and Speeding in a School Zone.”

Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 11 paramedics arrived to check on those involved in the crash, but left the scene without calling for an ambulance. “The cited driver was not injured, nor was the officer inside the Photo Enforcement Van,” Simpson reported.

It is not know if the driver was talking or texting seconds before the wreck – but the result of a moment’s inattention is very clear.

“This incident illustrates why using cell phone while driving, or having other distractions, can lead to unexpected and unfortunate results,” reflected Simpson.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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