‘Hit-and-jog’ driver flees his multi-car wreck

Witnesses couldn’t believe it when they saw the car flipping through the air – and the bad driver take off on foot, after causing a three-car pileup in Powellhurst-Gilbert …

The intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and SE Foster Road is littered with wrecked vehicles.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
This multi-vehicle pile-up on SE Foster Road, just west of SE 122nd Avenue, shocked everyone who witnessed the event – for several reasons.

“I was fueling a car when I saw this red Jeep wagon coming [eastbound] on Foster Road,” said a Shell gas station employee who declined to give his name.

Witnesses say the red Jeep Wagon, lying on its side, nearly hit two people waiting for a bus at this TriMet stop.

“It swerved all over, and then came into this [westbound] lane, overcorrected – and flipped and rolled,” he told East Portland News. “The rolling car almost hit two people standing at the bus stop; and it did hit two other cars in the intersection.”

Ramona Gonzalez said she got a first-hand look – “… a lot closer than I’d like. I’m stilled scared to death; I’m still shaking! It was like in a movie, the car flew past us, and missed us by – it seemed like – inches.”

After hitting two cars, and with his Jeep skidding on its side to a stop, witnesses say the driver crawled out through a window and took off on foot.

A crash victim is loaded into one of the two ambulances that responded to the wreck.

Several people, including Gonzalez, went over to the smashed Jeep, now in its side. “The driver pushed out a window, and got out of the car. His hands were a bloody mess. He started walking away, up [north on] SE 122nd Avenue.

Bystanders helped a second victim get out of the wrecked Jeep as emergency first responders arrived, and checked those inside two silver Toyota cars, also hit during the smash-up.

Two ambulances were called to the scene to transport accident victims.

A Portland Police Bureau officer walks this man, who witnesses said fled after he climbed out of the Jeep, back to the scene.

Following the action, as police were guided by 9-1-1 Dispatch, it became clear that neighbors along SE 122nd Avenue pointed out the fleeing driver’s direction of travel to arriving police officers. The suspect ran east on SE Carlton Street, then north on SE 124th Avenue, into a dead end.

Officers found him hiding out at the end of an outer East Portland apartment building, and brought the suspect back to the scene, bloody hands and all, in handcuffs.

Escorted back to the scene, with his still-bloody hands handcuffed behind his back, the suspect is quizzed by police officers.

Questions remain: Was the driver drunk?  Was the car stolen?  Why would the injured driver flee the scene? As of this writing, there is still no official information about this startling smash-up. We’ll update the story when more becomes available.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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