Minivan smashes into Mill Park house

The sound of this crash sent neighbors into the street, looking for the source of the ‘explosion’ …

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct and Traffic Division officers are accompanied by Portland Fire & Rescue crews at the scene of this unusual crash.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It sounded like an explosion, on the normally-quiet outer East Portland block of SE Grant Street, just before 2:00 p.m., on July 10.

“We’ve had some fools blowing off big fireworks around here,” said neighbor Mildred Matson. “But this was a really big explosion with a smashing sound. I thought the house being built [nearby] had collapsed.”

The residents of this house say the door was closed before this Dodge Caravan came careening into their garage.

The source of this explosion was neither illegal fireworks nor a construction accident – it was the sound of a silver Dodge Caravan smashing through the garage door of a house located at 12031 SE Grant Street.

Two witnesses said they saw the Caravan speeding north on SE 121st Avenue, cross SE Grant Street, run up the driveway, and embed itself well inside the garage of the house.

The impact is so great; it also blows out the front windows of the house.

Some neighbors rushed to render aid to the driver; others pointed out that impact had substantially weakened the structure. Portland Fire & Rescue crews from Mill Park Station 7 were quickly on-scene to extricate the driver.

“When they finally got him out,” Matson told East Portland News, “He looked to be an elderly man. I think he was having some kind of a health problem.”

None of the home’s residents were reported to be injured.

Slowly and carefully, this tow truck operator drags the van out of the garage.

After checking official records, Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Greg Stewart confirmed that the driver was transported to an area hospital.

“This crash remains under investigation,” Stewart reported. “At this time, we suspect it was medically-related.”

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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