Tesla driver dies in Brentwood-Darlington smashup

INCLUDES VIDEO [Not graphic] | UPDATED | Officials didn’tt saying much about this crash that killed a man and hospitalized another at the time. But, witnesses say the driver of the Tesla sped through a red light …

After a high-speed T-bone crash at this intersection in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, the driver of one vehicle is dead, and another is seriously injured.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

When the report came out about a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of S.E. Duke Street and 72nd Avenue on Thursday afternoon, May 11, a neighbor nearby reported, the “We heard what sounded like an explosion, though it was just another crash here – there have been so many.”

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers dispatched to the intersection at 1:07 p.m. found a horrendous scene of destruction.

Firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue Woodstock Station 25 check inside the smashed Tesla.

After discovering that the driver of the Tesla is dead, firefighters stand back, ready to put out a fire should the vehicle’s lithium batteries ignite, and wait for investigators to take over.

A witness, who said he was driving toward the intersection, told East Portland News “The white [Tesla] was westbound on S.E. Duke Street and ran a red traffic signal at 72nd Avenue and crashed into a large southbound flatbed tow truck just the entering the intersection.”

Watch this video, as the crash investigation gets underway:

That observer said the crash caused the Tesla to roll over at least once, hitting an eastbound Mercedes sedan.

The Tesla’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

A PPB officer steps up into the rear of the ambulance to briefly speak with the injured tow truck driver.

“The tow truck driver was seriously injured, and taken to a local hospital for treatment by ambulance,” a PPB official later reported.

In addition to the ambulance, a total of 14 PPB officers and five Portland Fire & Rescue vehicles responded to the crash.

Looking at the damage caused to this heavy-duty tow truck by the crash, it’s clear that the collision was severe.

After emergency medical first responders left the scene, PPB officers extended the crime scene back for one block in every direction, chasing out bystanders and reporters, making ready for the PPB Crash Investigation Team to begin its work – and then, for the coroner to remove the deceased from the vehicle.

On May 13, a PPB official revealed: “The man who died in the May 11 southeast Portland crash is identified as Daniel Q. London, 19, of Portland.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that London was driving a white 2022 Tesla Model Y 4-door sedan when his vehicle collided with a black 2022 Freightliner flatbed tow truck being driven by an adult male,” the PPB spokesperson said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. If or when the PPB Crash Team puts out their findings, we’ll update this story.

If you have information about this crash, please email it to crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, and make reference to Case No. 23-122989.

This is the 19th traffic fatality this year in the City of Portland. It’s another setback for the goals of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Vision Zero program.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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