Hit-and-run driver botches getaway; rolls vehicle

Learn why officials say this dreadful driver shouldn’t have been driving at all – and, be amazed at the stupid thing she did after causing the wreck. The pictures tell this rather humorous story …

When we arrive on scene, this crumpled Acura is the only vehicle in sight. Fortunately, the driver wasn’t seriously injured.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The police radio reports a motor vehicle accident on NE 82nd Avenue of Roses about 1:00 p.m., as we’re covering other stories on September 13. We snap to attention when we hear the dispatcher add, “It’s a roll-over.”

When we pull up at the announced location of the wreck – NE 82nd Avenue and NE Tillamook Street – we find a silver Acura parked on the northbound side of the street. The looks as if a giant battering-ram demolished the rear end of the car.

However, the ambulance parked ahead of the disabled vehicle is just sitting there, apparently unused; the police cruiser parked behind the wreck is empty.

The culprit’s Chevy Blazer looks very much the worse for wear.

Having also heard report of a vehicle on its side near Madison High School, we venture north. Sure enough, there lies a “beached” blue-green Chevy Blazer, sans occupants, in the school’s lower parking lot entrance.

The only people we see at this location are crewmembers from Portland Fire & Rescue’s Truck 12, standing guard. They’re mum.

With no public safety officials on scene, we’re struggling to make sense of the facts at hand:

  • Two vehicles are reportedly involved in a hit and run collision;
  • One empty and crunched Acura at rests at NE Tillamook Street;
  • Five blocks north, an unoccupied, rolled-over Chevy Blazer lies motionless across from NE Russell St.

Schmautz solves the mystery
We turn to Portland Police Bureau spokesman, Sgt. Brian Schmautz, asking for his help in solving this mysterious happenstance.

“The collision occurred at 1:03 pm at Northeast 82nd and Tillamook,” Schmautz tells us. “At the time of the collision, 65-year-old Jan Albrecht was northbound in her Acura on NE 82nd Avenue when she was hit from the rear by a Chevy Blazer driven by 45-year-old Betty Elaine Calvin.”

After the collision, Schmautz says Calvin fled the scene – with the rear bumper of Albrecht’s car still jammed into the front undercarriage of the Blazer.

Yes, that silver bumper – still wedged in the front of the Blazer – belongs to the Acura the vehicle ran into five blocks down the avenue.

Yes, the story gets even better …
“Calvin stopped a few blocks away, and attempted to remove the bumper,” Schmautz continues, suppressing a chuckle that sounds to be welling up inside him.

“Unfortunately, Calvin shifted her Blazer into ‘Reverse’ instead of ‘Park’.

“This slight error caused the Blazer to leave Calvin behind as it drove backwards across the roadway and flipped into the Madison High parking lot,” he concludes.

According to police records, Calvin was charged with:

  1. Hit and Run;
  2. Reckless Driving;
  3. Following to Close;
  4. Driving While Suspended; and,
  5. Driving Uninsured.

We can only hope Calvin doesn’t have access to another vehicle …

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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