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UPDATE: Police say a medical event may have contributed to the early Friday crash.

KOIN 6 NEWS - This image shows the scene of the Friday morning crash on Powell Boulevard.A driver was killed in a single-vehicle roll-over crash that closed Southeast Powell Boulevard on Friday, Jan. 8.

Policde said the was a 73-year-old man from Happy Valley. There are indications that a medical event may have contributed to the crash.

No other person was injured in the crash, which also destroyed a TriMet stop.

According to police, 5:47 a.m. Friday, Central Precinct officers responded to a crash on Powell at Southeast 24th Avenue. When officers arrived, they found a vehicle that had rolled over.

Portland Fire & Rescue paramedics attempted lifesaving measures, but the driver was determined to be dead.

The investigation revealed the vehicle, vehicle, a black Chevrolet Silverado, left the roadway east of Southeast 24th Avenue, hit some poles, destroyed a Tri-Met bus kiosk, rolled over and came to a rest in a business parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection.

No one else was injured.

The Portland Police Bureau Major Crash Team responded to the accident. Powell was closed between Southeast 21st Avenue and Southeast 26th Avenue for the preliminary stage of the investigation.

Fifty-four people died in crashes Portland last year, the most since 1996, when 59 people were killed. The jump is similar to increases in other metropolitan areas across the county, PBOT said in a Wednesday, Jan. 6, press release.

The increases seem unlikely since traffic counts fell last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but PBOT said an analysis of local crashes reveals that a high percentage of drivers were engaging in risky behaviors, including speeding and operating vehicles while impaired.

Alcohol consumption, as well as rates of anxiety and depression are up nationwide, according to surveys and media reports, PBOT said. The death rate — an indicator of how safely drivers are using the roadways — jumped 20 percent between January and June 2020, compared to the same six-month period in 2019, according to the National Safety Council. That runs counter to historic trends, when fatalities normally drop along with driving during recessions.

Portland police also noted that even though traffic declined because of stay-at-home orders, excessive speeding increased and contributed to at least 23 fatalities, or about 45% of the state's total for the year.

"We know that people are suffering, and we believe we are seeing the results of that on our streets," Portland Transportation Director Chris Warner said. "We are also seeing some hopeful signs that our safety improvements are reducing crashes in some areas and saving lives, and we will continue to do more. We need everyone's help to stay safe this winter season: slow down when you're driving, and encourage your family and friends to make sure they have a safe ride home."


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