Two crashes, one day, one death – in outer East Portland

Both were off SE Powell Boulevard; learn more about these crashes in the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Centennial neighborhoods. Several were injured in one smashup; a pedestrian is killed in the other …

SE 122nd Avenue, just south of Powell Boulevard, is littered with crash debris after a driver fled from police, even though he wasn’t being pursued by officers, and smashed into a car in that intersection. PPB Image

By David F. Ashton

Notwithstanding all of the plans and measures made, and actions taken, by the Portland Bureau of Transportation in its “Vision Zero” program, so far in 2022 there have been eight traffic-related fatalities as of last weekend. Adding up to more than any year in the past three decades, the City of Portland had 63 crash-related deaths in 2021.

On just one day, January 22, several people were injured in one smashup – and then a pedestrian was killed.

DUII driver faces many charges in Powellhurst-Gilbert Crash

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, officers spot a sports car speeding through a red light, and start after it.

After seeing a white 2007 BMW 328i sedan blast through a red traffic signal on SE 122nd Avenue at Division Street at 12:42 a.m. on January 22, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers started after the errant driver.

With their overhead red-and-blue emergency lights turned on, the officers set off to make a traffic stop for the illegal and unsafe motor vehicle violation they’d just seen.

Spotting the police on his tail, the BMW’s driver didn’t stop – instead, he hit the gas, clearly indicating he did not intend to pull over, as required by law.

“The officers did not pursue; but instead turned off their overhead lights and slowed down,” a PPB official continued “However, despite there being no police officers pursuing the driver, he continued at a high rate of speed southbound on SE 122nd Avenue.”

After the BMW crashes into a car, it skids into a parking lot and bursts into flames. Courtesy KGW-TV News 8

At SE Powell Boulevard, the BMW driver blew through another red light. This time, colliding with a white 2015 Nissan Altima sedan going eastbound through the green light on Powell Boulevard. The impact caused the BMW to roll several times and land in a nearby parking lot on its wheels, and quickly catch fire.

Seeing that a passenger was trapped in the burning BMW, officers crawled into the flaming wreck, clear away the debris pinning him in, and pulled him to safety. In the meantime, another officer used fire extinguishers on the burning car; slowing the flames but not putting them out.

Amazing but true, both this BMW’s driver, and passenger, lived through this wreck. PPB Image

Yet another officer saw the suspect driver get out and run from the burning BMW, caught up with him, and placed him under arrest.

Portland Fire & Rescue and ambulance paramedics arrived and took over firefighting and patient care. The driver and only occupant of the victim Nissan, a 25-year-old man, went to the hospital by ambulance with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Likewise for the passenger from the BMW, a 21-year-old male.
The suspect driver of the BMW was not badly hurt, but was also taken to a hospital by ambulance as a precaution. After the BMW driver was medically discharged, and after an investigation, he was arrested.

Although booked on four (4) Class C Felony charges, 19-year-old Alejandro Roman Velazquez was released two days after he was arrested. Why no MCDC booking photo here? Due to the passage of House Bill 3273, sponsored and championed by Oregon State Representative Janelle Bynum (Democrat – Happy Valley), and Representative Brad Witt (Democrat – Clatskanie), neither the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, nor any other Oregon police agency, may release any booking photos as of January 1st.

19-year-old Alejandro Roman Velazquez of Portland was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 6:11 a.m. that morning on charges of Assault in the Third Degree (2 counts), Attempt to Elude by Vehicle, Attempt to Elude on Foot, Reckless Endangering (2 counts), Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver-Injury, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and Reckless Driving.

At his arraignment, Velazquez learned his combined bail for all of the charges – including four (4) Class A Felonies would be $32,500. However, Velazquez was released two days later anyway, on January 24, without being required to post any bail. Release Reason: Court Release on Own Recognizance.

Pedestrian struck and killed by hit-and-run driver in Centennial

SE Powell Boulevard is closed, after a driver kills a pedestrian and drives off.

Then, on the evening of the same day as that flaming crash we’ve just described – January 22 – along the border between the Centennial and Pleasant Valley neighborhoods, a 25 year-old woman walking along the shoulder of SE Powell Boulevard, near 160th Avenue was struck and killed by a vehicle that just kept on going.

PPB East Precinct officers were dispatched at 7:04 p.m., and found the woman dead in the roadway.

Officers with the PPB Major Crash Team set up their Leica Crash Investigation and Collision Reconstruction unit. PPB Image

Witnesses told officers that the victim was struck by a car that slowed down before the driver sped off.

Members of the PPB Major Crash Team came to investigate but were not able find the suspect driver or vehicle.

On January 26, the PPB revealed that the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office had identified the woman killed in this collision as 25 year-old Awbrianna “Anna” Amaralynn Rollings.

Her father, Robert Ryan, told reporters that he set up a memorial fund in her name, Anna Rollings, at Umpqua Bank.

Long into the evening, PPB Major Crash Team investigators continue to document the deadly hit-and-run. PPB Image

If you have information about the incident, please contact, attention Traffic Investigations Unit, and reference Case No. 22-20716. Or, if it’s easier, call and give your information at (503) 823-2103.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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