Lawsuit: Portland man suffers injuries in cop car crash
A ride in the back of a Portland Police Bureau squad car left a man suffering from serious injuries after the police officer at the wheel crashed, according to a new lawsuit seeking $1.7 million in damages from the city.
Portland resident Kyle Odell, 28, was being transported to the downtown jail on a misdemeanor warrant on Jan. 18, 2020, when the squad car driven by Officer Peter Gill hopped the sidewalk and careened into a sign and telephone pole on eastbound Southeast Holgate Boulevard, the suit says.
The litigation says Gill's negligence caused the crash, alleging that the officer had not activated his lights or sirens and was not responding to an emergency at the time of the wreck. The car's "data recorder" indicated that Gill was driving 53 mph in a posted 30 mph zone, the suit claims.
"(Odell's) injuries included an abdominal injury with internal bleeding that required the surgical removal of over one foot of his colon," according to the three-page suit filed Feb. 23 in Multnomah County Circuit Court. "He also suffered a traumatic brain injury."
Court records show Odell, a local mover, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault in late 2019 for charges described in a probable cause affidavit as an instance of domestic violence. A probation violation warrant was issued against Odell in May of last year.
Lawyer Chad Stavley wrote his client is seeking $1.4 million in non-economic damages for past and future suffering, plus $300,000 for medical expenses. A photo provided by the attorney showed a smashed wheel well and a deployed airbag.
"There's some strange facts in this case," said Stavley. "It was a nasty car crash."
The city of Portland does not comment on pending litigation.
Follow me on Twitter
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.