Motorist makes poor left-turn timing decision

See what was holding up traffic, during a recent outer East Portland rush hour …

The intersection of SE 82nd Avenue and SE Foster Road is shut down, while police try to sort out the details of a two-car motor vehicle accident.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The call came in on February 19 at 5:43 p.m. – there had been a two-car collision right in the intersection of SE Foster Road and SE 82nd Avenue.

But, this smashup wasn’t called in by a bystander. Instead, it was a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Officer who notified the  9-1-1 Center that a new patrol car had been damaged in the mid-intersection smashup.

Witnesses say many drivers had been lined up to turn west on SE Foster Road from the left hand turn lane of northbound 82nd Avenue.

According to witness Carmen Chavez, she had been behind the car she said was involved in the accident. Both vehicles were driving northbound on SE 82nd Avenue, and had moved into the left hand turn lane, to turn west on SE Foster Road.

“The [left-hand turn signal] light turned yellow, and I thought about going through,” Chavez said. “But I saw a police car across the street, and decided not to; I stopped.”

But, the car in front of hers decided to go through the now red left-hand turn signal anyway, she said – but then hesitated, observing a PPB District patrol car was southbound, heading toward it in the intersection.

A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Officer begins the crash investigation.

The offset head-on collision damages the patrol car’s push-bumper, but rips off the front end of the small car.

“It looked like the driver just stepped on the gas, and tried to beat out the cop car,” said Andrew Macena who was looking out the window of the
Taco Time restaurant on the corner when it happened. “It went, and hit the police car nearly head-on.”

Although it was a relatively low-speed crash, the impact was sufficient to set off the airbag in the small four-door car whose operator, witnesses said, had made a poor driving decision.

An AMR ambulance remains at the scene for a period of time, treating crash victims.

Paramedics riding Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 25 checked the occupants, and turned over medical care to the crew of an AMR ambulance, who remained parked in the middle of 82nd Avenue for a time, treating patients.

There’s no official word about the cause of this accident, or if traffic citations were issued. We do know at least one police officer will be available as a witness, should this motor vehicle accident go to court.

From our Front Page: This Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division Officer uses a laser rangefinder to take measurements as he investigates this unusual smashup.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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