Two street smashups send three to hospital

Here’s why NE Halsey Street and SE Foster Road were closed down for hours on Tuesday evening. Actually, it’s a miracle no one died …

Portland Police Officers from the Traffic Division and East Precinct look into the car said to contain – among other things – open containers suspected to have contained alcoholic beverages.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Two different motor vehicle accidents closed down two major roads for hours on October 6. Somewhat surprisingly, all of those affected are still alive.

According to Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Captain William Walker, a call came in at 8:03 p.m. Tuesday evening, October 6th, describing a horrendous two-car smash-up on NE Halsey Street at NE 132nd Avenue, alongside Glendoveer Golf Course.

“Our records show that the crash took out a utility pole – in fact, the pole was completely severed and was hanging by its wires,” Walker told us.

Officials say this overturned Mazda smashed into another car – before careening almost a block westward on NE Halsey Street.

See where the street lamp is hanging down? Officials said the suspect’s car slammed into another vehicle, smashing it through a utility pole – and still had enough momentum to make it hop, skip and roll nearly a block.

Arriving on scene, we learned from an officer that two cars were traveling westbound on Halsey. A Mazda, traveling at an estimated speed of up to 80 mph, slammed into the back of a westbound Buick. The momentum of the Mazda then carried it onward about a city block westward before it came to rest, upside down.

Although he said he couldn’t confirm it, an officer told us he believed beer cans were found in the inverted Mazda.

We’re amazed to learn that the driver of this Buick wasn’t killed when the alleged impaired driver slammed into the back of his car at a high rate of speed.

“The report shows smoke coming from the engine,” Walker said. “Although the information available at this time is inconclusive, it looks as if one of the drivers is suspected of Driving Under the Influence.”

Only two individuals were involved, Walker added; both of them were transported to area hospitals. Their conditions are unknown, but they’re alive.

Pedestrian struck in Lents

In Lents, just west of the New Copper Penny, police say the driver of the white van hit and dragged a pedestrian who was crossing SE 92nd Avenue.

Later that same evening, police were called to SE Foster Road at 92nd Avenue at 9:17 p.m., responding to the report of a truck striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

“I looked over, when I heard a woman scream,” said an attendant at the Chevron station at that intersection. “Her scream chilled me to the bone. We called 9-1-1 right away.”

According to Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat, a driver, westbound on SE Foster Road, was attempting to turn south on SE 92nd Avenue, and struck a woman crossing the street in the intersection. “According to the reports, the pedestrian was crossing with the signal. The driver stated he didn’t see her.”

On scene, we learned that the victim had been struck, and run over – with tire tracks left on the victim’s clothing.

“The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation,” Wheat told us. “There were no signs of impairment. He was cited for Failure to Stop for a Pedestrian and Remain Stopped.”

Wheat said the victim was transported to an area hospital with serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.

Although police say the van’s driver wasn’t impaired, he still seriously injured a pedestrian.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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