Driver in I-405 viaduct crash may be charged
Prosecutors are considering whether to file charges against the driver whose vehicle plummeted from the I-405 bridge viaduct in Portland as he remains in the acute care unit of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
At around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, Timothy J. Barna, of Portland, was driving a white Jeep SUV northbound on I-405 when his vehicle drove off the viaduct, landing near Northwest 16th Avenue and Overton Street and coming to a rest upside down.
One woman told KGW TV she saw the SUV pass her at a speed of roughly 80-85 mph or more before it slammed into a barrier. It reportedly caught fire in mid-air.
Portland Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response extricated Barna from the wreckage and transported him to Legacy Emanuel, a certified Level 1 trauma center.
Police identified Barna, 43, and said he has been criminally cited for reckless driving.
Asked about Barna's case, a spokesman for the Multnomah County District Attorney's office said, "The matter is still under review with this office."
A longtime Portlander and an engineer by training, Barna bought the used Jeep in February, according to his Facebook page. He posted videos of him driving it on YouTube.
One longtime friend, Charles Hennig, said he hasn't spoken with Barna since the crash, but described him as "super-nice, wouldn't harm a fly … I have nothing but glowing things to say about him."
Reportedly, Barna has limited recollection of the events leading up to the crash.
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.