Morning crash shuts down 82nd Avenue for hours

Look here, and find out why a two-car crash, off the main highway, caused officials to close this busy thoroughfare …

As the morning rush hour winds down, SE 82nd Avenue of Roses is shut down at Yamhill Street after a two-car collision.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

What started off as a crash at the intersection of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and SE Yamhill Street ended up closing down the busy highway for hours on January 19.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were called to the outer East Portland intersection at 8:43 a.m., and found two badly-damaged cars on the west side of the avenue.

Firefighters extricate a victim from the smashed car. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews also rolled to the crash scene and discovered a troubling situation when they arrived. One of the cars had caromed into a nearby body shop building, and snapped off the natural gas line there.

“Firefighters had several jobs that needed to be accomplished at the same time,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

With Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 19 at the ready with charged water line hoses, the victims are removed from the car that broke off a natural gas pipe. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

“Crews began stabilizing the patients, cutting the patients free, protecting the patients with hose lines until they could be removed from the vehicle, and checking nearby buildings for the presence of [natural] gas.”
The male driver of the vehicle that smashed against the building had to be cut from the car in which he was trapped, Simmons reported. “He was transported to OHSU, and was entered into the trauma system due to the nature of his injuries.”

Police officers keep everyone, except for emergency responders, away from the wrecked cars – and from the spewing natural gas line.

A female passenger was transported to a hospital with injuries that didn’t appear life-threatening, Simmons added. “The driver of the other vehicle was not injured, and no other injuries were associated with this incident.”

At first, the uninjured driver was reported to have wandered away from the accident. However, PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson later reported, “The other driver remained at the scene and has cooperated with investigators. At this point there is no indication of impaired driving by either party.”

NW Natural brings in heavy digging equipment to reconnect the business’s gas service.

Representatives of NW Natural arrived, and were able to stop the gas leak at the point of damage. However, to restore service, heavy equipment was brought in to dig up the street and install a new gas line, keeping the avenue closed well into the afternoon hours.

The PPB Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team responded and began investigating the violent crash. Their findings have not yet been released.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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