Driver dies as pickup flattens Powell Blvd bus shelter, and flips
Just before the start of the morning commute, Powell Boulevard was blocked in both directions at S.E. 24th by police after a fatal single-vehicle on Friday, January 8.
Powell was shut down both ways from S.E. 21st to 26th Avenues for hours by the subsequent investigation.
As for the crash itself, at 5:47 a.m., Central Precinct officers and emergency medical first-responders arrived at the steel-fence-surrounded lot of the former location of Heckmann & Thiemann Motors. (The business recently moved a short distance west.)
In the pre-dawn light, officers beheld a black Chevrolet Silverado SS Extended Cab pickup truck upside down in the parking lot.
"Portland Fire & Rescue paramedics attempted lifesaving measures, but the driver was determined to be deceased," said Portland Police spokesperson Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen. "Apparently no other vehicles were involved in this incident."
As the sun came up, it appeared that the Chevy truck must have been moving at high speed before it left Powell westbound near S.E. 24th Avenue, hit some poles, then completely shattered a Tri-Met bus kiosk, before blasting through the steel chain-link fence, flipping over, and coming to a rest in a parking lot on the northwest corner of the intersection.
"The driver was a 73-year-old man from Happy Valley, Oregon," Sergeant Allen later reported. "There are indications that a medical event may have contributed to the crash." Traffic eventually resumed on Powell in the late morning – after several hours of tortuous detours for drivers, through neighborhoods both north and south of the highway.
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