Fatal head-on crash closes Powell Blvd. in Powellhurst-Gilbert

Investigators may never know the reason a driver let her car stray out of its lane, in this outer East Portland fatal smashup …

In the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, SE Powell Boulevard totally closed for hours, while this head-on, four-vehicle crash is investigated.

Photos and story by David F. Ashton

A four-car wreck on SE Powell Boulevard on Sunday morning, January 10, closed the highway for hours – both to perform an investigation and for clean-up.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers, dispatched at 11:32 a.m. that morning to Powell Boulevard two bocks west of SE 108th Avenue – adjacent to the FunTastic Traveling Shows lot – found that two cars and two trucks were involved in an smashup.

The driver of the Subaru Legacy tells officers he didn’t have time to react when an oncoming car crossed into his lane.

According to officers at the scene, a Toyota Corolla CE sedan had been eastbound on Powell Boulevard, and crossed over the center line into the path of a Subaru Legacy, a utility truck, and an 18-wheel semi truck, all headed westbound.

“The driver of the Toyota was traveling eastbound on SE Powell Blvd and crossed into the westbound lane of traffic,” confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Melissa Newhard.

“The driver of the Subaru told investigators that the driver of the Toyota drove into his lane and was going ‘pretty fast, maybe 45 mph’, not giving him time to respond,” Newhard told East Portland News.

Working in the rain, officers investigate this violent crash.

The violent head-on collision spun the Toyota around so it was facing nearly westbound. Damage to the front end of the Toyota was extensive, and its airbags had deployed. Officers found a tire and wheel assembly from the vehicle some 250 feet south the crash, along SE 117th Avenue.

The violent crash snapped off the Toyota’s wheel and tire, sending it south on a neighborhood street, for some distance.

Emergency medial first responders told officers that the driver of the Toyota was “unresponsive”, and taken to the hospital. “That driver later passed away,” Newhard informed. The others involved in the crash were medically evaluated at the scene and were released.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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