Rolling domestic dispute stalls I-205 traffic for hours

See why this argument led to a single-car accident, which led to the arrest of the passenger who reportedly pulled a knife on the car’s driver, while passing through the Lents neighborhood …

The car hit the lamp pole with such force, it snapped off the fixture as it charged up the embankment.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
This accident is an object lesson on why couples shouldn’t argue while driving – especially if one of them has potential anger-management issues.

A police officer observed a Ford Taurus heading northbound on Interstate 205 as it passed through the Lents Neighborhood on the afternoon of November 13.

Suddenly, the car swerved off the freeway – as we gathered from the police radio calls – snapped off an aluminum light pole, and ploughed up the embankment almost to the top. From there, it rolled back down, then down across the freeway, ending up in the center emergency strip.

Looking at the embankment from the side, the tire tracks – and the downed lamp pole – tell part of this little domestic story.

Stunned-but-alert drivers who witnessed the event managed to miss the careening car, so no other vehicles became involved in the incident.

Said to threaten driver with a knife
“Apparently 28-year-old Sean Smith was the passenger in the car, which was being driven by his 22-year-old former girlfriend,” Portland Police Bureau’s spokesman, Sgt. Brian Schmautz informed us, adding dryly, “It appears as if they had prior domestic violence issues.”

While they were driving northbound on the freeway, passing the SE Foster Road interchange, Schmautz added, Smith allegedly threatened the driver with a knife.

“Smith reportedly grabbed the [car’s steering] wheel and turned it enough so that the car hit the pole and continued up the embankment. Officers on patrol in the area saw the accident and stopped to assist,” Schmautz said.

The driver was not injured. Smith was accompanied to Adventist Medical Center by a police officer for evaluation. “Smith was charged with one count each of Assault in the Second Degree, Menacing, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Reckless Endangering, and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree,” reeled off Schmautz.

There appears to be no hope of a romantic reconciliation in this one.

Traffic creeps by the spot where the car came to rest in the center of the freeway where officers investigate the incident.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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