Hit-and-Run driver kills pedestrian in Foster-Powell Neighborhood

Here’s what officials – and the victim’s wife – have to say about a senseless accident that ended in death …

Police Traffic Division officers start their preliminary investigation of a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian in a crosswalk on SE Powell Boulevard at 71st Avenue.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A man lay in the wet street, dying from injuries suffered from being hit by a car, on October 31 at about 9:30 p.m. – and this clearly wasn’t a Halloween prank, witnesses said.

“I heard a ‘thud’, and turned around to see what happened,” said Brad Eagleton who had just made a purchase from the 7-Eleven Store on SE Powell Boulevard at 71st Avenue.

“It looked like a smaller-sized SUV took off,” Eagleton added, “I didn’t know that was the car that hit the guy. Another guy here said the driver stopped to look, then took off.”

In the glare of flashing police car lights, witnesses await their interviews with officers, after a fatal car-vs.-pedestrian accident occurred on Powell Boulevard.

The accident victim had been wearing a hat and carrying a bag – both items were lying in the street as police closed it off to begin their investigation.

A sergeant on-scene said, based on what they’d learned that the man was walking across SE Powell Boulevard in the crosswalk, just as the traffic signal was turning green.

A car stayed stopped, allowing the pedestrian to finishing his crossing. But, what witnesses described as a “dark colored small SUV” whipped around the waiting car, and struck the pedestrian.

The Police Traffic Major Crash team’s van arrives at the scene of the fatality – SE Powell and 71st Avenue.

An AMR ambulance secured the victim for transport and sped off to OHSU, along with a police officer, in case the victim regained consciousness.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Major Crash van pulled up, and specialists prepared to conduct a forensic investigation.

This man, David Charles Eklund was struck crossing the street to visit his mother, when he was struck in SE Powell Blvd. on Halloween night. DMV photo

Soon after officers began examining the scene, the victim, later identified as 60-year-old David Charles Eklund, died from the injuries he had sustained.

The man’s wife of seven years, Cindy Eklund, talked with media about the sudden loss of her husband – saying that David had left their home to visit his mother, who lives in the area.

After reporters noted the circumstances of his death, she corrected them, “He was actually hit, rolled off the hood, and then was run over. That’s why he died.”

A Traffic Division investigator sets up their “Total Station” as they begin their forensic examination of the scene.

Police haven’t yet identified a suspect, PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson reported.

“Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect,” Simpson added. “The suspect vehicle is described as a dark-colored small SUV. The driver is described as a white male in his 30s or 40s, with short, black hair.”

The grieving wife tearfully spoke through media directly to the driver: “You need to take the blame for what you did. Nobody else did it. You did.”

Officers look for evidence, after a man was hit and thrown out of the crosswalk by a SUV.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Officer Chris Johnson at the Traffic Division, (503) 823-2103.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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