Pedestrian critical; two arrests in Powell hit-and-run

The driver ran down a pedestrian on this dark street, then sped away – but did not get away with it …

Police close down SE Powell Boulevard, west of SE 130th Avenue, to investigate a hit-and-run accident in which a pedestrian sustained critical injuries.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Even with streetlights, it’s dark along SE Powell Boulevard, near of SE 130th Avenue. With few sidewalks, most pedestrians walk in the “bike lane” to avoid mud puddles along the side of the road.

On October 29, about at 8:27 p.m., Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers learned there’d been another hit-and-run pedestrian vs. car accident on SE Powell Boulevard at 130th.

Receiving “traumatic injuries” after being hit by a car, the victim is taken by ambulance to OHSU.

“Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a dark-colored car, last seen being driven eastbound on Powell Boulevard,” recounted PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.
“Officers and medical personnel arrived, and located the adult male victim down in the roadway,” Simpson added. “He has been transported to a Portland hospital for treatment to traumatic injuries.”

Officers cordon off a “crime scene” as the investigation into this crash gets underway.

For about four hours, Powell Boulevard was closed to all traffic from approximately 129th to 132nd Avenues, with vehicles routed through nearby narrow, and some unimproved, streets in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Even before the PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team arrived, eyewitnesses gave officers a good description of the vehicle, including the license plate number. While some officers protected the crime scene, others were dispatched to the location of the car’s registered owner.

Officers compare notes after talking with eyewitnesses of the crash.

In the garage of a rental house, about than a half-mile away from the accident site, in the 2900 block of SE 138th Avenue just south of SE Woodward Street, officers found a blue 1994 Chevrolet Camaro with front end damage.

Witnesses near that address told police they saw a man run from the car after parking it; officers began a search of the area.

“After officers served a warrant on the residence, the Chevrolet Camaro was towed as evidence,” said Simpson. “Further investigation by officers led them to arrest Miguel Jay Venegas and his uncle, 43-year-old Larry T. Venegas.”

Arrested, and jailed on numerous charges, in connection with this pedestrian hit-and-run is 21-year-old Miguel Jay Venegas. MCDC booking photo

21-year-old Miguel Jay Venegas was arrested on charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run Felony), and Reckless Driving. He was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 5:10 a.m., where he remains in lieu of a combined bail set at $257,500.

Also arrested in connection with the case, but now free from jail, is 43-year-old Larry T. Venegas. MCDC booking photo

His uncle, 43-year-old Larry T. Venegas, said to have been a passenger in the car at the time of the accident, was also arrested for Hindering Prosecution, and was booked into MCDC at 5:09 a.m. However, he was “Released on Own Recognizance” later that day.

“The victim, a 38-year-old male, was in critical condition,” Simpson noted. “At last check, the victim was suffering from traumatic injuries.”

Until the wee hours of the morning, SE Powell Boulevard is closed while this case is investigated.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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