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The lady had over FOUR times the legal blood alcohol reading, in the crash that closed Powell Blvd for hours

DAVID F. ASHTON - Officers look at whats left of two badly damaged Hondas, after a major crash on S.E. Powell Boulevard at the Ross Island Bridge. This cars driver, cut out of the wreck by firefighters, was charged with DUII - she had 4-1/2 times the legal limit for blood alcohol.  A high-impact, offset head-on crash closed S.E Powell Boulevard, State Highway 26, for many hours. The smashup occurred just east of the Ross Island Bridge, on Saturday evening, October 10.

"I don't see how anyone could have lived through that crash," commented witness Alphanso Blackburn, who told THE BEE that he had been looking the other way, waiting for a westbound bus, when he heard the high-impact crash.

"It was a loud – I mean, a really loud smash – making me look over, and I saw to two cars spinning around in the road," Blackburn recalled.

Ten Central Precinct s quad cars and seven Portland Fire & Rescue crews were simultaneously dispatched at 7:47 p.m.

Emergency responders found a red Honda CR-V in the center lane, facing west, and a Honda Pilot against the north curb, sideways across the traffic lanes at the Lucky Devil Lounge, facing south.

"One driver was pinned in, until rescued by Portland Fire," reported PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen. "That driver is in a hospital with serious injuries."

That driver was responsible for the crash, Sergeant Allen told THE BEE. "Officers cited 27-year-old Rachell L. Barnhill of Beaverton [the driver of the CR-V] for DUII and Reckless Driving; her blood alcohol concentration was .356, nearly 4-1/2 times the legal limit to drive. She has not been booked into Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC); but her injuries apparently were such as to lead to an extended stay in the hospital. If all she is subject to is that citation, the charges involved in her court appearance may nonetheless prove very expensive for her.

The CR-V's front end was destroyed; the Pilot looked as if it had been T-boned in the driver's side front quarter panel and front end. Exactly how and where the vehicles collided is still under investigation.

"There was a family, with kids, in the other vehicle; thank goodness they were not hurt," Allen added. Their having avoided injury in this grinding smashup seemed to be something of a miracle.


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