Portland traffic fatalities up 1/3 in 2021
Portland traffic fatalities have increase by nearly one-third so far this year, including three fatal crashes in the past seven days.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, the 58th fatality of 2021 happened Thursday. That compares to 44 traffic-related deaths during the same time last year. It is already four more than the 54 fatalities that happened in all of 2020.
Portland traffic fatalities have now increased for the fourth consecutive year. They totaled 35 in 2018 and 50 in 2019. The fatalities are documented in the Vision Zero Traffic Crash Report 2020 that can be found here.
The name of the most recent victim was not immediately released.
Police said the most recent investigation began at 7:51 p.m. on Nov. 18 when North Precinct officers were dispatched to a report of a crash on Interstate-5 northbound just north of the Fremont Bridge. When officers arrived, they learned that the adult male driver of a Ford F-150 pick-up truck was deceased.
Another involved driver, an adult male driving a Kenworth semi-truck with trailer, remained at the scene and cooperated with police. Several witnesses also stayed to speak with police.
The northbound traffic lanes were closed and the bureau's Major Crash Team responded to conduct the investigation. After speaking with witnesses, the traffic crash reconstructionist believes the driver of the Ford was driving north on I-405 and merging onto I-5 north when his truck hit a pool of water measuring up to 4-inches deep. The truck swerved to the right, hit the outside jersey barrier, then slid toward the center lane of I-5 northbound.
Police said the pick-up was hit, broadside, by the Kenworth semi-truck, and briefly pushed north along the freeway. The Kenworth stopped as soon as he could, but the impact killed the driver of the Ford.
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