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Despite the irony involved, Foster Road is probably safer now; but safety is a relative term

DAVID F. ASHTON - After a pedestrian was fatally struck at sunset on S.E. Foster Road, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, police closed down the street to begin their investigation. Only hours after City of Portland officials, and neighborhood and business leaders, cut a ribbon on June 13 formally dedicating the new "Foster Road Streetscape" project – making it a safer street, by eliminating half the vehicle traffic lanes, and installing other improvements – an unfortunate incident occurred which demonstrates that improved safety is relative, and not absolute: An elderly woman was struck while crossing the street only a block west of where the ceremony took place.

As the sun was setting at 8:40 p.m., East Precinct officers arrived at the intersection of S.E. Foster Road and 71st Avenue to investigate the accident involving a Honda Civic and the pedestrian.

"Police and medical crews found a pedestrian suffering from critical injuries; she was transported to a local area hospital," confirmed PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Brad Yakots.

As PPB East Precinct officers closed down Foster Road, a Traffic Division officer began the investigation of the crash.

"The investigation determined a Honda was travelling east along S.E. Foster Road, and struck a pedestrian who was crossing in an unmarked crosswalk, near Southeast 71st Avenue," Yakots said.

The driver of the car stayed at the scene of the crash and cooperated with the investigation; a "Trauma Intervention Program" volunteer consulted with the driver at the scene. "Eventually, the driver was released from the scene," reported Yakots.

The following morning, Yakots reported that the woman, identified as 82-year-old Louanna Battams, had passed away at a hospital from her injuries. This is the 26th traffic related fatality of 2019.

Anyone with information relating to the crash is asked to contact Traffic Investigator Chris Johnson at 503/823-4028.


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