Outer Marine Drive claims yet another driver

We waited to publish this until all the information was in. See exclusive photos, and see what the investigating officer had to say about this fatal wreck – which also sent three folks to the hospital …

Officers from Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division Major Crash Team use a special GPS surveying device while investigating an accident that claimed the life of the driver of the Honda, behind them, on NE Marine Drive.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It wasn’t raining or foggy on February 27, when a Honda Accord crossed the center line of NE Marine Drive, across from the PDX Airport viewpoint, a little after 10 p.m.

A cold wind blew along the Columbia River embankment, as we watched Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division Major Crash Team officers investigate a wreck that shut down Marine Drive from NE 33rd Avenue all the way to NE 122nd Avenue.

Although they had to pry the doors off this Ford Expedition, its three occupants suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

“About 10:15 p.m., officers were called to the 9500 block of NE Marine Drive regarding a two-car crash,” Acting Lieutenant Todd Davis, Traffic Division, told us. “When we arrived, we found there was one fatality at the scene.”

Davis said it looked as if a Ford Expedition, carrying three occupants, was traveling westbound on Marine Drive. “A Honda Accord was traveling eastbound on Marine Drive with one occupant. For reasons unknown at this time, the Honda Accord crossed the center line and hit the Ford Expedition head on.”

A semi-truck detours onto NE 122nd Avenue to avoid the closure. About ninety blocks of Marine Drive were blocked throughout the night, as the Major Crash Team investigated this fatal accident.

The three occupants of the Ford Expedition were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “We have officers at the hospital interviewing them right now,” reported Davis.

The driver of the Honda, later identified as 44-year-old Jennifer Turcol by police spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat, died at the scene. “There were no citations issued, and the traffic investigators stated that the deceased crossed the center line of traffic.”

We may never know why this accident really occurred. But, Marine Drive does claim a life every six months or so – be careful!

All it takes is a moment of inattention, Traffic Division officers say, to cause a fatal car wreck like this one.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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