Two wrecks on 122nd Avenue; both now fatal

UPDATE: At first, it appeared as if the driver in the Russell crash survived, but later died in a tragic outer East Portland wreck, a passenger in Mill Park accident didn’t make it …

All survived this three-vehicle smashup in the Russell neighborhood, but the driver of a T-Boned truck is fighting for her life, her family says.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Both police and medical first-responders were called out to a multiple-vehicle collision on May 19, dispatched at 2:12 p.m.

Witnesses said two “speed racers” – one in an Infiniti G37S and one in an Audi coupe – were traveling at high rates of speed southbound on NE 122nd Avenue, coming uphill from the traffic control signal at the I-84 exit.

An officer photographs the crash scene on NE 122nd Avenue.

After getting it from the PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team, an investigator sets up their Leica device used to digitally-capture the crash scene for later reconstruction.

The driver of a Ford F150 pickup truck was eastbound on NE Russell Street, stopped, and was pulling out of the intersection to turn south on NE 122nd Avenue when it was apparently struck by both vehicles as they were speeding up the hill.

“I called 9-1-1 to report the wreck; then went to be with a woman in the truck until the paramedics came; she looked to be a bad way,” remarked Larry Cross, who told East Portland News that the sound of the impact caused him to rush outside of his home nearby.

Police evidence markers are placed in the debris field documenting where parts of windows, and other car parts, landed on the street a half-block from the impact area.

Debris from the crash was scattered the length of a city block; as many as 15 Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers responded.  Some closed down NE 122nd Avenue, while members of the PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team began unpacking their gear to investigate and document the crash.

Joann Mardis, the driver of the pickup truck, was taken to a hospital after being extricated from the truck – as her husband, Larry Mardis, explained to reporters.

The victim’s family credits the sturdy build of this Ford F150 pickup truck to the driver’s survival, after being side-impacted by two speeding cars.

Police reportedly told Joann’s family that both of the cars that struck her truck had been going so fast that if Joann had been driving any other type of vehicle, she most likely wouldn’t have survived the impact.

“This was a three car crash in which one person was seriously injured and transported to the hospital by ambulance; this is an ongoing investigation,” is all PPB Public Information Officer Derek Carmon would confirm for East Portland News, not commenting on other possible injuries.

Inasmuch as she was severely injured, Joann’s family reports that she’s undergoing multiple surgeries.

Want to help out? CLICK HERE to open Joann’s GoFundMe page, and donate to help the Mardis family with her medical expenses, by reaching their $15,000 goal.

UPDATE: Crash proves fatal

On July 27, Officer Carmon sent this notification:

“The driver who was transported died; she has been identified as 58 year old Joann Dee Mardis of Portland. This was the 25th call-out for the Portland Police Bureau Major Crash Team and the 26th traffic fatality for 2020.”

Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to call Officer Phil Maynard at  or 503-823-2216.


Woman fatally injured in Mill Park crash

Police cruisers close SE 122nd Avenue, far from the crash site at Stark Street.

Little is known about the other wreck – this one on SE 122nd Avenue at Stark Street – which took place on Wednesday, July 22. The smashup was reported to police and medical emergency first-responders at 10:27 p.m. However, it is established that a passenger died in the crash.

Officers closed off all traffic, south and northbound, on SE 122nd Avenue from Oak to Morrison Streets, as well as east and westbound traffic on SE Stark Street, from 119th to 126th Avenues.

The PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team responds to this crash.

The day after the fatal crash, Carmon revealed, “The person who died, as a result of the vehicle crash, has been identified as 45 year-old Julie Elizabeth Dunlap. This is the 26th call-out for the Major Crash Team and the 25th traffic fatality for 2020.”

If anyone witnessed this crash, please contact Officer Chris Johnson at or 503-823-2213.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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