Driver hits pedestrian and flees, in Centennial

UPDATED: It’s clear the driver knew what happened in this outer East Portland smash; the car sped away – after turning its lights off …

Just outside of the crime scene, an investigating officer walks past the well-marked pedestrian crossing on SE Stark Street, in the Centennial neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It may have been an accident, of course. A silver or light gray sedan with no rear license plates hit a pedestrian – in a crosswalk – on SE Stark Street near 160th Avenue, on Tuesday evening, November 17. But it became a crime for sure, right after that.

The actions of the driver, in fleeing the scene, were clearly intentional. That’s what investigators from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Major Crash Team said about the wreck.

Investigators look at evidence as they look into this hit-and-run crash.

PPB officers and medical first responders were dispatched to the crash at 6:54 p.m. that evening. “Medical personnel arrived and quickly determined the pedestrian’s injuries were life-threatening. The pedestrian was transported to a nearby hospital and immediately taken into surgery,” said PPB Public Information Officer Melissa Newhard.

The PPB’s Traffic Division Major Crash Team van soon joined the officers at the crime scene, and began the investigation.

A PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team investigator moves a FARO Technologies crash reconstruction mapping device into place.

“Investigators believe that prior to crossing in the crosswalk, the pedestrian had activated the rapid-flashing beacons, which alerts oncoming motorists of a pedestrian crossing or intending to cross the street; then, the pedestrian entered the crosswalk and crossed from the north side of the road, walking to the south,” Newhard told East Portland News.

Officials say the pedestrian was most likely hit after he’d crossed the first lane of westbound travel, and was into the second lane of westbound travel of SE Stark Street.

This isn’t the actual vehicle … but investigators believe the suspect vehicle involved in this serious injury hit and run crash is a 2002 to 2006 Infiniti Q45, most likely silver or tan, with damage to the front left headlight and hood, and possibly to the windshield.

“The vehicle, described as a silver or light gray sedan with no rear license plates, was traveling westbound in the left of two westbound lanes of travel on SE Stark Street,” Newhard confirmed. “Witnesses described the vehicle as traveling with its headlights off [after the collision] and at a high rate of speed.”

Later, Newhard identified the pedestrian as 27-year-old Daniel Lopez-Herrera; he remains in critical condition, and is receiving lifesaving care at a local hospital.

PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team investigators confer about the evidence located at the scene.

On November 28, officials revealed that the PPB’s Traffic Investigations Unit has confirmed that the pedestrian, Daniel Lopez-Herrera, 27, died Friday, November 27, in the hospital from injuries sustained in the crash 10 days prior.

The investigation is still ongoing at this time. If you have information about the vehicle, please contact Officer Chris Johnson at 503-823-2213 or; note Case Number 20-344144.

There have now been 51 traffic fatalities investigated by the Major Crash Team this year.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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