Minivan crash closes SE Stark Street

How or why this wreck happened still remains unknown …

On Christmas Eve Day, SE Stark Street is closed to traffic, after a minivan collides with a utility pole.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Many outer east Portland drivers, rushing to finish their Holiday preparations on Christmas Eve Day, were surprised to find several blocks of SE Stark Street closed in the Hazelwood neighborhood, due to a single vehicle crash.

At about 10:30 a.m. on December 24, a witness said, the driver of a red Dodge Caravan was rapidly traveling westbound on SE Stark Street.

Wires are down across SE Start Street, after a utility pole is snapped off at its base by this minivan.

“It hit really hard,” observed Enrique Lopez, who said he’d been waiting for a bus across the street when the wreck happened. “I was really surprised to see the pole and wires down in the street.”

Lopez said that, as the minivan approached the intersection of SE 142nd Avenue just east of Classique Floors, it drifted off the road, collided with a wooden utility pole – snapping it in half – and was stopped from continuing into the store by a second utility pole.

The impact of the crash triggers the minivan’s airbags to deploy.

Paramedics did come to the scene, but Lopez said he was unsure if any victims were actually transported to the hospital, or were evaluated and released at the scene.

A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Motorcycle Officer checks out the scene of the single-vehicle wreck.

A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Motorcycle Officer investigated, but his findings have yet to be revealed.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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