Hit-and-run driver kills motorcyclist in Powellhurst-Gilbert

The suspect didn’t stop for a previous crash he’d caused, moments before this deadly outer East Portland collision. Find out how police tracked down the suspect, and arrested him …

Police officers, a Portland Fire & Rescue unit, and an ambulance arrive at the intersection of SE 148th Avenue and Powell Boulevard in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, when a hit-and-run driver smashed into a motorcycle, head-on.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The roads were dry and the skies were clear – so weather conditions couldn’t explain why a driver crashed into one car, sped away, and shortly after slammed head-on into a motorcycle, on March 14. The incidents occurred in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, and were dispatched at 3:34 p.m.

Listening to radio traffic among Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers and dispatchers, early on, we heard utility company workers reporting they’d seen an westbound Mercedes-Benz turn north on SE 148th Avenue from Powell Boulevard, collide with a motorcycle head-on in the intersection, blow through a red light, and speed away.

Officers stop traffic, and begin their investigation.

“One utility worker said the front end of the Mercedes looked severely damaged, and the windshield had been ‘completely blown out’,” a dispatcher informed officers.

The motorcyclist, later identified as 32-year-old Brandon Cody Reid, was rushed by ambulance to OHSU, in critical condition – and soon died at the hospital.

Witnesses did take note of the car’s license plate, and relayed it to police; the tag came back assigned to a “totaled” 2004 Mercedes with its last address in Troutdale.

Officers looked for the wrecked car, but didn’t find it at first, because the driver was dodging through side streets.

The Portland Police Major Crash Team van arrives at the scene.

Looking into the crash, PPB Major Crash Team investigators learned that moments before hitting the motorcycle, the Mercedes had rear-ended a Chrysler PT Cruiser just one block to the west, at SE 147th Avenue and Powell Boulevard – causing the Chrysler to be pushed into the vehicle in front of it. The Mercedes immediately fled that crash scene, too.

Officers soon located the Mercedes abandoned nearby, and started looking for the owner, later identified as 19-year-old Pavel Vasilyevich Krechko, a Troutdale resident.

At his home in Troutdale, later that afternoon, investigators contacted Krechko – who reportedly told officers that his car had been recently “stolen”, but later admitted that he was the owner and the driver.

Facing a felony manslaughter charge among others, 19-year-old Pavel Vasilyevich Krechko was booked into jail. MCDC booking photo

Krechko was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 10:30 p.m. that evening on one count of a Class B Felony; Manslaughter in the Second Degree; one count of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, a Class C Felony; as well as one count of reckless driving; and one count of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, both misdemeanors.

At his arraignment, Krechko learned he’d face all of the above listed charges, and his combined bail was set at $260,000. He remains in custody at the MCDC.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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