Driver newly-cited in February pedestrian death

He got traffic tickets, but the driver who ran down an elderly couple in an unmarked SE Division Street crosswalk won’t be facing jail time, officials say …

SE Division Street is shut down, midday on February 14, when two pedestrians are struck crossing the street, and one of them is killed. East Portland News archive image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The second Portland traffic fatality of 2014 took place on the morning of February 14, when 80-year-old Zhi Hu and his wife, 78-year-old Yan Huang, were crossing SE Division Street in an unmarked crosswalk, at SE 84th Avenue.

> To read our coverage of this story, CLICK HERE.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Major Crash Team investigators determined that a 2014 GMC pick-up truck, driven by 38-year-old Jarred Holt was turning left – eastbound – from SE 84th Avenue onto Division Street when he struck both pedestrians near the center turn lane.

“Huang died at the scene and her husband, Hu, was transported to a Portland hospital for treatment to non-life threatening injuries,” recalled PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Investigators say that the driver who they accuse of hitting the pedestrians with his truck, 38-year-old Jarred Holt, wasn’t impaired.

“Holt remained at the scene and cooperated fully with the investigation. Impairment by drugs or alcohol was not a factor in this crash,” Simpson said.

The case was presented to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, which decided not to criminally charge Holt.

Instead, Simpson said, Holt has now been issued two traffic citations. “He is cited for Careless Driving Causing Death to a Vulnerable Road User and Careless Driving Causing Serious Injury to a Vulnerable Road User.”

Holt will appear before a Multnomah County judge on those two tickets on April 21.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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