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Distracted driving perhaps? The car veered off the road and snapped a utility pole like a twig

DAVID F. ASHTON - Still unexplained is why the driver of this Dodge Caliber veered off SE 122nd Avenue and smashed through a utility pole in outer East Portland.We still don't know why a late-model black Dodge Caliber hatchback drove up onto the sidewalk and smashed – headlong – into a stout wooden utility pole, snapping it off at the base, on April 5 at 3:51 p.m.

Based on witness accounts, the Dodge was traveling briskly northbound on S.E. 122nd Avenue, past Midland Regional Library, when it suddenly veered off the road at a relatively high rate of speed and smashed into the pole.

"I heard a 'thud and crack' outside, and saw this car had plowed into -- in fact completely through -- the power pole," Damien Lewis, a customer inside the Bridge City Taproom, told THE BEE. "It seemed like, in an instant, a fire truck was there, getting the driver out of the car."

In fact, the crew of nearby Portland Fire & Rescue Mill Park Station 7's Engine Company was logged as "on scene" a mere two minutes after the wreck. Their paramedics stabilized the crash victim until an ambulance arrived three minutes after the fire engine did, and whisked the driver off to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment.

The front of the wrecked car was crumpled in and the airbags had been deployed, likely saving the life of the wrecked car's occupant.

Portland General Electric crews began to arrive and assess the damage, noting that the utility pole was suspended only by its wires high above.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, this crash remains under investigation.

Contract Publishing

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