Wild-driving ex-con kills sisters in Centennial

Witnesses say this deadly outer East Portland smashup wasn’t an accident, and police say it was not his first serious crime. The candlelight vigil, held later, shows how much these sisters will be missed …

Fleeing from his previous hit-and-run smashup in the Centennial neighborhood, the driver of a black BMW SUV blows through a red light on SE Powell Boulevard at 148th Avenue, wrecks five other cars, and then runs away.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Traffic was shut down on SE Powell Boulevard on July 8 after a grinding five-car crash closed SE Powell Boulevard at 148th Avenue at 2:35 p.m., after Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched to the smashup.

But it was not the man who caused the crash who was hurt. “The driver [of a car that was hit] was critically injured, and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries; the passenger in the vehicle was deceased at the scene,” said PPB Public Information Officer Carlos Ibarra. That victim driver died a short time later.

PPB Traffic Division Major Crash Team investigators inspect the Jeep S7L in which the two fatally injured sisters were riding.

Using a FARO Technologies 3D laser scanner, a Traffic Bureau Major Crash Team investigator documents the scene.

According to witnesses, the driver of the black BMW SUV who initiated the crash grabbed items from his smashed car and ran away – but inadvertently left behind his personal identification – informing officers of his identity.

More than 30 police squad cars spread out across the Centennial and Powellnurst-Gilbert neighborhoods in search of the fleeing suspect, by then identified as 20-year-old Antonio Trayvontae Montgomery.

Zigzagging through streets and yards, Montgomery made his way more than a mile southwest of the crash scene to near SE 133rd Avenue, and hid in the back yard of a house along Center Street.

The suspect is captured in the back yard of a neighborhood home. Courtesy KGW News 8

“Montgomery was found hiding in a back yard, and was taken into custody at approximately 4:15 p.m.,” Ibarra revealed.

The homeowner of the property where Montgomery was found, Dale Heasley, told reporters that the suspect was hiding in his back yard swimming pool, and Heasley watched from inside his house as officers arrested him.

Facing two Class A Felony charges, among others, is 20-year-old Antonio Trayvontae Montgomery. MCDC booking photo

After being treated for injuries, Montgomery was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 4:09 a.m. on July 9, on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree, four counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Burglary in the First Degree, Reckless Driving, three counts of Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run – Property) and two counts of Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run – Injury).

After his booking, Montgomery was transferred to Inverness Jail, and made his appearance for his arraignment via video link from Inverness Jail to the Multnomah County District Court on Wednesday, July 10.

That’s when Montgomery learned that Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill had filed a five-count charging document for charging he’d killed two people during the a multi-vehicle crash.

Officers stand near a car that was hit by Montgomery’s vehicle, in his alleged first hit-and-run accident, 23 blocks east of the fatal five-car hit-and-run crash site intersection.

According to court documents, mere minutes before the deadly crash, Montgomery had been involved in a separate hit and run crash with a grey Ford Focus, near the intersection of SE 171st Avenue and Powell Boulevard. The driver of the Ford Focus told officers that she’d followed the suspect’s vehicle, in attempt to get the license plate information.

A high-crash
Police reports show that officers talked with numerous witnesses who reported Montgomery had been speeding – estimates ranged from 50 to 80 mph – according to the probable-cause affidavit filed with the court.

After the crash at SE 148th Avenue, a witness told officials that she had yelled at Montgomery to stay at the scene, but he took off running, according to court documents. Other witnesses told police that Montgomery offered them money in exchange for a vehicle, and that when they declined, he continued to run away.

As his arraignment concluded, Montgomery pleaded “not guilty” to all charges, including the two counts of Manslaughter in the First Degree – a Class A Felony.

These sisters, Charlene Hauth and Robin Macready, both died as a result of the crash when  Montgomery’s car smashed into her Jeep. Family provided image

Family members said that the driver of the Jeep, 59-year-old Robin Macready had had cancer, and had only months to live; she was taken to a hospital with critical injuries, and later died as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Her sister, 60-year-old Charlene Hauth, who had come from out of town to care for Robin, was a passenger in Robin’s Jeep when it was struck, and died at the scene.

Brian Hauth, Charlene Hauth’s son, talked about the impact of the deaths of his mom and aunt, at a subsequent vigil.

“I want the community to know the damage this man caused, and the goodness he erased from this world,” Brian Hauth – Charlene Hauth’s son, and Robin Macready’s nephew – told reporters.

Speaking pointedly about the failure of the local criminal justice system, Hauth continued. “I and my family need this man not to get out [of custody] anytime soon, as he did after his last conviction; we don’t need more innocent people dead.”

Previously associated with the “Track Suit Bandits” who terrorized clerks during a series of brutal armed robberies a year previously, this is a 2018 booking photo of Antonio Trayvontae Montgomery. MCDC booking photo archive

The charges to which Hauth referred involved a case that PPB Robbery Detectives called the “Track Suit Bandits” – young men who committed a string of five violent armed robberies in which Montgomery was found guilty of being involved.

Here’s a still frame from a surveillance video, showing the “Track Suit Bandits” in action. To read our coverage of these crimes, CLICK HERE.

While several of the other members of the “Bandits” received 8+ year prison sentences, Montgomery pleaded to the lesser charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Loaded Firearm, and was soon released from custody, on probation.

However, criminal records show that Clackamas County currently has a warrant out for Montgomery’s arrest for “Driving while Suspended”. And, in April, Montgomery was convicted for “Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement” – but as part of that plea bargain, a related charge of Cocaine Possession was dropped.

Seen here on a video feed from Inverness Jail on July 10, Montgomery pleads “not guilty” to charges.

Although several charges in the new case were dropped, Montgomery remains in custody on the major charges at Inverness Jail, in lieu of $532,500 combined bail.

Vigil well attended

Some 100 people gathered to attend a vigil held for the slain sisters.

On the evening of July 11, family and friends gathered at the same intersection for a candlelight vigil. Those at the gathering lit candles, and remembered sisters, killed nearby.

“The sisters were inseparable; they were such kind-hearted people, who would do anything for anyone,” said the brother of Charlene and Robin, Mike Humphrey.

Brian Hauth commented, “I’ve been through a lot of hard things in my life, but this is definitely the hardest one.”

After leading the remembrance ceremony, then reading Psalms 23, was Linwood Friends Church Pastor Carrie Baker.

Together, the group recited The Lord’s Prayer; then their family pastor, Carrie Baker of the Linwood Friends Church in the Centennial neighborhood, read Psalms 23.

“We ask that you bring peace; bring comfort; bring healing,” Pastor Baker prayed before the group disbanded.

A friend places a lit candle at the makeshift memorial set up near the crash site, where the lives of two beloved sisters had ended.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family,
CLICK HERE to open this page.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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