Elderly woman killed while crossing Foster Road

It remains unclear exactly how the accident happened at this outer East Portland intersection, but the result was fatal …

When a pedestrian is struck on SE Foster Road, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, police close down the street and begin their investigation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Only hours after City of Portland officials, and neighborhood and business leaders, cut a ribbon on June 13 formally dedicating the new “Foster Road Streetscape” project – making it a safer street, by eliminating half the vehicle traffic lanes and installing other improvements – an unfortunate incident occurred which demonstrates that improved safety is relative, and not absolute: An elderly woman was struck while crossing the street only a block west of where the ceremony took place.

As the sun was setting at 8:40 p.m., Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers arrived at the intersection of SE Foster Road and 71st Avenue to investigate the accident involving a Honda Accord and the pedestrian.

Officers examine the car reported to have struck the pedestrian crossing the street.

“Police and medical crews found a pedestrian suffering from critical injuries; she was transported to a local area hospital,” confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Brad Yakots.

As PPB East Precinct officers closed down Foster Road, a Traffic Division officer began the investigation of the crash.

A PPB Traffic Division officer uses a laser instrument to take measurements at the crash scene.

“The investigation determined a Honda was travelling east along SE Foster Road, and struck a pedestrian who was crossing in an unmarked crosswalk, near Southeast 71st Avenue,” Yakots said.

The driver of the car stayed at the scene of the crash and cooperated with the investigation; a Trauma Intervention Program volunteer consoled the driver at the scene. “Eventually, the driver was released from the scene,” said Yakots.

Foster Road remains closed, on into the night, as the investigation continues.

The following morning, Yakots reported that the woman, identified as 82-year-old Louanna Battams, had passed away at a hospital from her injuries. This is the 26th traffic related fatality of 2019.

Anyone with information relating to the crash is asked to contact Traffic Investigator Chris Johnson at 503-823-4028.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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