Weird wreck sends car into chicken shack on 82nd

How this incident, which started on SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, ended up causing a car to careen into the Foster Road “Popeyes” fried chicken store, remains a mystery …

An employee at the Popeyes restaurant in the Foster-Powell neighborhood examines the car smashed into the building – noting how closely it came to wrecking her own car, parked nearby.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A two-vehicle collision on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses — reported at 8:29 a.m., on July 12 – ended up with a late-model Oldsmobile Intrigue planted, nose deep, into the stucco siding of the “Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen” at 8111 SE Foster Road.

“I heard this terrible crash, and a ‘thud’ that shook the while building – I was afraid it would come down,” remarked a worker who’d been opening up the store for the day. “Look how close the car came to hitting my Jeep.”

As they gather information about the crash, Portland Police officers confer.

Simultaneously, units from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) pulled up; the firefighters were concerned that the crash could have broke natural gas lines into the building. However, the fire crew with PF&R Lents Station 11 found nothing amiss, and left after investigating the crash.

An officer speaks with an eyewitness to the crash.

A PPB East Precinct officer said, based on witness statements, that the crash actually started on southbound SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, parallel with the Fred Meyer shopping center, when two vehicles had collided.

After talking to witnesses, officers learned that the driver of the Oldsmobile was traveling in the center, southbound, lane – and had made an abrupt, illegal right hand turn, across the lanes, attempting to dash into the shopping center parking lot.

Debris from the collision remains in the street, while the investigation continues.

The red Olds turned right in front of a black Range Rover, and the vehicles collided, with damage to the driver’s side of the SUV, which left bits of trim, plastic light covers, and other debris in the street.

The story really turns strange at this point, as the victim of the crash turned into the wanted party – by failing to stop. Although the SUV was damaged in the crash, the driver kept on going. Now the police are looking for him or her, on a charge of – at least – “failure to perform duties of a driver”. They could charge him or her with more, when they find out why the Ranger Rover driver was reluctant to stop.

As the driver of the SUV sped off southbound, the Olds veered west into the Fred Meyer parking lot, curved toward the south, popped over a curb, and right into the Popeye’s building at a relatively high rate of speed.

That driver was taken to a hospital with injuries the officers first described as serious, and later downgraded to “non-life threatening” according to officials.

Police say that, because of this accident, this Olds is likely a total wreck.

While in the hospital, the driver who smashed into the fried chicken store was later charged with making an unlawful turn, and careless driving causing an accident. At last report, the police were still looking for the other driver.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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