‘Panicked’ driver crashes in Powellhurst-Gilbert

Here’s what’s been learned about a one-car crash in outer East Portland that closed down SE Powell Boulevard on Thursday afternoon, November 4 …

SE Powell Boulevard is closed to traffic here, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood along Ed Benedict City Park, after a sedan smashes through a utility pole, and crashes into a fence.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Just before afternoon the afternoon commute ramped up on Thursday, November 4, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched at 4:53 p.m. to an “Accident – Hit & Run – Priority” along SE Powell Boulevard, just west of 102nd Avenue, at a spot along Ed Benedict City Park.

Arriving officers found that a sturdy wooden utility pole had been sheared off at its base, across from Curtis Trailers & RVs; and the found a wrecked Nissan Maxima sedan stopped by the split-rail fence of the park, just east of 102nd Avenue.

This PGE Eagle Crew member has hooked up the ruined utility pole, and prepares to tow it out of the street.

Because the utility pole lay in the street, officers closed that section of SE Powell Boulevard while investigating the accident. A PGE “Eagle Crew” worker arrived to skid the pole out of the thoroughfare and start preparing for its replacement.

“I overheard that the driver may have been drunk, or on drugs when the crash happened, and maybe that’s why the woman left the scene,” a bystander commented to East Portland News. But that rumor turned out to be wrong, as rumors often are.

A PPB officer helps the driver of this smashed car gather her personal belongings from the vehicle, before it is towed away.

Neither a ‘runner’, nor intoxicated
“Not true,” assured PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen about the rumor, after researching the smashup.

“First, the Motor Vehicle Accident was dispatched as a ‘hit-and-run’ incident because the driver walked off; but, she returned to the scene, explaining to officers that she’d had a ‘panic attack’ at the time of the accident,” Sgt. Allen told East Portland News.

“And, she was not cited or arrested. Additionally, there is no indication in the report about the driver being under the influence of intoxicants at that time,” he added.

And, no one was taken to a hospital for medical care.

A wrecker drags the smashed vehicle into the street, where it can be towed away, ending the incident.

“A passenger [in the car] was detained at the scene, but it was regarding an unrelated case,” Sgt. Allen concluded.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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