Red-light runner smashes police truck in Lents

Take a look and see why a youth, blowing a red light in his family’s car, is likely in real trouble, after this outer East Portland smashup …

The intersection of SE 92nd Avenue at Division Street in the Lents neighborhood is closed for hours, after a multiple-vehicle smashup.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Ask any Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division cop, they’ll tell you, “Many times, multi-vehicle smashups are simply an accident.”

That wasn’t the case this time – when an officer reported to dispatchers he’d been involved in a crash on SE 92nd Avenue at Division Street, on the afternoon of November 12.

A PPB lieutenant looks over the smashed undercover truck after it is hit by a speeding SAAB.

“I think you’d better send my lieutenant, as well as a Traffic Division Sergeant,” the officer radioed to dispatchers, who logged the call at 2:15 p.m. that afternoon.

Just west of the intersection on Division Street was a tangle of four vehicles. Three were badly wrecked with airbags deployed – although a Toyota Rav4 only received a scratched front bumper.

After caroming off a police vehicle, the SAAB was stopped by crashing into this Nissan Maxim; here, a PPB sergeant talks with its driver, still sitting in the wrecked car.

Based on preliminary information gathered at the scene by responding officers, a white GMC Canyon 4×4 extended cab pickup truck – which turned out to be a PPB undercover vehicle – was southbound on SE 92nd Avenue, approaching Division Street with a green traffic signal.

Partway into the intersection, the officer’s GMC collided with a silver SAAB 2.0T sedan that was westbound on SE Division Street, having apparently blown through a red traffic signal before smashing into the officer’s truck.

Wreckage from the pileup remains strewn across the intersection as officers investigate the incident.

The impact spun the GMC around 160 degrees counterclockwise; the SAAB’s momentum caused it to continue careening through the intersection, nicking a Toyota Rav4, before smashing into the side of an eastbound Nissan Maxim, which was stopped for the red light.

It took quite some time for a squad of wreckers to clear the intersection.

It appears doubtful that this SAAB may ever again be on the road, after this wreck.

In spite of the violent collision, no one was injured severely enough to require a trip to the hospital. “I’m sure the SAAB’s driver will have some explaining to do,” an officer commented to East Portland News, declining to say whether the young man would be cited in the incident – but he certainly might face problems at home.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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