Driver, passengers flee Sellwood crash - but some return to face the music
On the rainy evening of Thursday, April 4, a "Cooper Mini Coachman" crashed into a large, parked, "Sprinter"-style van on S.E. 17th Avenue in Sellwood, just south of Tenino Street. Emergency first responders were dispatched there at 9:55 p.m. for "an accident, with injuries".
But, when Westmoreland Fire Station 20's firefighters and paramedics arrived, they found only the smashed car – but no victims, nor any occupants.
"It was a big bang, like a car drove into a wall; but instead, it looks like it ran into a parked van," recalled a nearby neighbor, looking at the scene.
"After hearing the crash, I came out – and saw the people in the car get out and run away," a neighbor said. "And, they left their car running!"
Firefighters ripped open the hood of the smashed Cooper Mini, pulled the battery cables, stopping the engine and reducing the potential fire risk, as it leaked fuel and fluids.
But that wasn't the end of the story. At least some of the people from the crashed car walked back to the crash. A Portland Police Central Precinct officer could be heard lecturing the returned driver about leaving the scene of accident.
A Traffic Division motorcycle officer arrived – but left without conducting a field sobriety evaluation. Police officials declined to provide more information to THE BEE about the incident. Not yet heard from, at that time, was the owner of the van which the small British car had smashed into.