Weird, unexplained vehicle crash snarls Powell Blvd. rush hour traffic

Only one car was involved in this out-of-the-ordinary smashup in the Lents Neighborhood – which sent the driver to the hospital, after he was cut out of his vehicle …

Portland Fire & Rescue crews arrive, and begin to pry the victim of a one-car accident out of his vehicle.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Anyone who has driven eastbound on SE Powell Boulevard from SE 82nd to 92nd Avenue during afternoon rush hour knows how traffic can move at a snail’s pace.

But on July 16, the driver of an eastbound silver Saturn sedan startled fellow motorists at about 5:30 p.m. – when his car’s engine roared, and the car accelerated.

The Saturn gained enough speed, in heavy traffic, to bounce up, over the median curb, travel across the grassy median, down the curb and across the westbound lanes. It still had enough momentum and power to pop up over the curb on the westbound side until it was stopped, soundly, by a tree.

The tire tracks in the weeds, over this median, show where the car came across the roadway.

From looking at this wreck, it appears that this car hit the tree with great force.

“I was waiting for my bus,” reported Lucida Gomez, “when I heard a car engine really loud, and saw the car come over here. Somehow it missed the cars in the [westbound] lanes.”

Crews from Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Truck 25, Engine 19, and Engine 11, raced to the scene.

Truck 25’s crew – their rig carries Holmatro Rescue Tools – had to cut open the driver’s door, and then lift the crumpled dashboard, to remove the victim.

While the Battalion Chief is briefed reporters on details of the rescue, East Precinct and Traffic Division officers discussed how the wreck may have occurred.

The driver was successfully removed and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

PF&R Battalion Chief Chris Babcock told East Portland News, “Once the door was cut out and removed, and the dashboard lifted away from him, the victim seemed to be in better physical condition than originally expected, and he aided in his own extrication.”

No further information is available; the accident remains under investigation.

Bystanders say they’re amazed that the victim was able to survive this crash; and wonder just how it happened.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

Comments are closed.

© 2005-2021 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.