‘Huffing’ felon dies after crashing in Parklane Park

Police say the violent, single-car collision also killed his dog …

When police arrive, the “roll-over crash” turns into a death investigation, in Parklane City Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Before dawn on October 29, Betty Halley said she heard a “really big bang” outside her Centennial neighborhood home, across the street from Parklane City Park, on SE Main Street.

“When I took my dog out for a walk later, I saw police around a really battered up looking car, which had stopped by the new play equipment in the park,” Halley told East Portland News. “Car parts were strewn around the area.”

This is the tree that finally stopped the Mercedes – in a crash that fatally injured the driver, and his dog.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers and medical personnel arrived at the park at 5:15 a.m., and located a single vehicle smashed into a large tree in the outer East Portland park, said (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“Medical personnel checked on the adult male driver and determined that he was deceased,” Simpson added. “A dog in the vehicle also died during the crash.”

Observing the scene, it was clear how the accident occurred.

This play structure, installed just a year ago, is closed off with crime scene tape, after being damaged.

“A man was driving his 1998 Mercedes eastbound on SE Main Street at a high rate of speed,” Simpson confirmed. “Just past 151st Avenue, where the road curves to the right, following the outline of the park, he failed to follow the road.”

Instead of following the curve of the road, the driver, later identified as 30-year-old Leo Luke Limbrunner appeared to accelerate as he drove onto a gravel service path, through a cable barrier and hit several trees before coming to a stop near the playground equipment.

A Portland Parks & Recreation worker picks up parts of the smashed car, some of them located quite a distance from the crash site.

“In the vehicle, investigators found evidence that Limbrunner was ‘huffing’ intoxicating inhalants prior to the crash,” Simpson later informed us. “Additional drug paraphernalia was located inside the vehicle.”

-5 Records show that Leo Luke Limbrunner had had numerous run-ins with the law. MCDC most recent booking photo

According to a public records search, Limbrunner had been arrested more than dozen times in Multnomah, Washington, Lincoln and Clatsop counties on a variety of charges.

Anyone with additional information about this crash are asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division at (503) 823-2103.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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