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A very busy commuter intersection came to a halt in 'afternoon drive' on August 5th; here's why

RITA A. LEONARD - A Pontiac sedan, left, ran the stoplight and collided with Volvo sport van, disrupting the afternoon commute traffic at S.E. 17th and Tacoma Street in Sellwood on August 5th. The busy intersection at S.E. 17th Avenue and Tacoma Street in Sellwood has experienced traffic delays for many construction-related lane closures this year, both before and after the new CVS Pharmacy opened on the southwest corner. Drivers used to congestion got even more for a while on Wednesday, August 5th, at about 3 p.m.

It happened when two vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection as the traffic light was changing, with both veering over and crashing into the southeast corner, in front of the "Mio Sushi" restaurant. Traffic was stopped for a time, forcing a detour.

In the mishap, a Volvo sport van ended up facing east, wedged between a power pole and an evergreen tree, while the Pontiac sedan that was adjudged to have caused the accident was wedged on the other side of the same tree, wedged against a ground-level Mio Sushi sign. Westmoreland Fire Engine 20 was first to arrive, and medically checked out those in the crashed cars – shortly followed by the arrival of an investigating Central Precinct officer.

Both vehicles were disabled and required tows, although no significant injuries were reported for either driver. The person at the steering wheel of the Pontiac, which appeared to be registered in Illinois, was cited for "Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device, Driving While Suspended, and Driving Uninsured".


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