Hit-and-run driver fatally injures pedestrian in Hazelwood

Officials say it’s likely the driver knew well he’d seriously injured someone, after this outer East Portland crash …

Officers block NE Halsey Street, just west of NE 119th Avenue, in the Hazelwood neighborhood, after a hit-and-run driver seriously injures a pedestrian.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After a sedan or small SUV hit a person walking in, or along, NE Halsey Street, just west of NE 119th Avenue – and the driver sped away – on December 23, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were called to the scene at 8:39 p.m.

“Arriving medical personnel and officers located the pedestrian along the south curb line of NE Halsey Street and NE 119th Avenue and was taken to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery,” said PPB Public Information Officer Melissa Newhard.

Due to the severity of the crash, Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team (MCT) responds, and assumes the investigation.

“There were no witnesses who remained at the scene, and therefore no statements of fact for this crash to be obtained right away,” acknowledged Newhard. “Investigators were able to locate nearby video surveillance showing what appeared the pedestrian walking in the bike lane, or roadway shoulder area along NE Halsey Street on the south side of the roadway.

“The pedestrian appeared to be just west of NE 119th Avenue, when a vehicle passed by their location, in perhaps the right of two eastbound lanes of travel, striking the pedestrian,” Newhard continued. “The pedestrian travelled about 200 feet to the east of the impact area after having been struck,” she added.

Although an ambulance gets the victim to the hospital quickly, the pedestrian dies the next morning from their injuries.

After hitting the pedestrian, the driver of the suspect vehicle, sedan or small SUV – make and color of the vehicle are unknown – continued eastbound on NE Halsey Street without stopping.

“There was a minor amount of glass, and possibly headlight plastic parts in the roadway; but overall very little physical evidence was left behind; but, this vehicle will likely have passenger side windshield and body damage,” Newhard described.

Into the night, the investigation continues.

“Early this morning, the pedestrian succumbed to their injuries,” Newhard said on December 24, adding that the identity of the deceased has not yet been confirmed.

Officer Phil Maynard of the MCT is the lead investigator of this fatal crash; if you have information, contact him by email at Phillip.Maynard@portlandoregon.gov or call  503-823-2216.

“This is the 52nd MCT callout of 2020 and the 57th fatality on Portland roadways for 2020,” concluded Newhard.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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