Truck’s errant driver blamed for ‘pin-in’ crash

Find out why officials are still puzzled about why the driver was turning into the parking lot of a former Hazelwood strip club …

Portland Fire & Rescue stations respond to the site of a serious motor vehicle accident on NE Glisan Street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Highway traffic was thin, as a rainstorm drenched outer East Portland on the Saturday morning of December 20.

But, just before 8:00 a.m., emergency first-responders were called to NE Glisan Street, near NE 119th Avenue – directly in front of the now-shuttered Jody’s Bar & Grill – for a motor vehicle accident in which a victim was injured and pinned into her green Dodge Stratus.

A firefighter from PF&R Mill Park Truck 7 starts up the power unit for their Holmatro Rescue Tools they’ll use to cut the door off the victim’s vehicle.

A motorist, who said he was westbound on NE Glisan Street just before the collision occurred, said he was behind the woman’s four-door car, as vehicles started off, westbound, from the traffic signal at NE 122nd Avenue.

“We didn’t have time to get up much speed,” the witness told East Portland News. “A landscape maintenance truck was driving eastbound on NE Glisan Street, and just swung [north] into Stratus, as if it he was trying to turn into the parking lot across the road.”

Using a Holmatro Rescue “Power Spreader”, firefighters rip the door off the wrecked car.

Indeed, officers arrived and learned that large work pick-up with a trailer had collided with the car, and that the crash caused injuries, possibly fatal, to the driver of the car.

“The Traffic Investigation Unit responded to the scene,” said Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “The driver of the pickup truck remained on scene and cooperated with the investigation.”

Emergency first-responders work as a team to rescue the driver trapped in her smashed car.

Paramedics extract the victim from the car, and transport her on a gurney to the awaiting ambulance.

“The investigators have determined that 2005 Ford pick-up was headed eastbound on NE Glisan Street, when the driver pulled into the turn lane,” confirmed Simpson.

“The vehicle attempted to pull across the west bound lanes and collided with the car. The driver of the truck, registered to the company “Live Earth, Inc.” in Gladstone, Oregon, remained at the scene, and is cooperation with investigators,” Simpson added.

An officer looks at the smashed remains of the car.

Following up, we learned from Simpson that the driver of the Ford truck, 29-year-old Southeast Portland resident Samuel Bruch, was given multiple traffic citations.

“Bruch was not arrested for DUII or distracted driving,” Simpson said. “He simply turned in front of the other vehicle.”

Hopeful news was that the driver of the Stratus, an unidentified 34-year-old Southeast Portland resident, sustained “injuries that were much less serious than initially believed,” Simpson concluded.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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