Accidents magnify into 'road rage' finale in Foster-Powell
Two traffic accidents between a van and a truck, one after another, led in the end to both drivers receiving East Precinct traffic citations on Wednesday afternoon, July 7, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.
The driver of the van – it was a GMC Safari – was later identified by police as 34-year-old Rawland Strong. He spoke with THE BEE at the location of the second crash. He said that the vehicles had first collided on westbound Powell Boulevard, just east of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses. He said that the other driver left the scene in his truck, continuing west on Powell, and he followed.
Looking up the incident record, Portland Police spokesman Lt. Greg Pashley confirmed his version the story up to that point.
The truck then turned south onto 73rd and then east on Center Street. Strong said he'd hoped to find the truck again, so from westbound Powell he turned south on 74th Avenue, and then headed west on Center Street. Again, Lt. Pashley confirmed that part of the story.
According to Strong, the driver of the truck intentionally rammed him, mid-block on S.E. Center Street, pinning both vehicles at the south curb. Strong also declared that the truck's driver verbally threatened him, before ramming the van away from his vehicle, and taking off southbound on 74th Avenue. Strong depicted himself as the innocent victim of this odd incident, although that part of Strong's account apparently could not be confirmed by officers.
What was confirmed was that the slowly-fleeing truck was apparently followed by a bicyclist, who witnessed the crash, and the aftermath in which the truck dragged an axle – leaving a visible trail as it scraped the pavement as it left the second accident scene. The truck made its way south and west, until ending up about a tenth of a mile away, at the eastern dead-end stub of the 8100 block of Raymond Court, behind the Harbor Freight Tools store.
"An officer located the truck, driven by 23-year-old Dacoda Weaver," Lt. Pashley said.
After interviewing multiple witnesses, and viewing video taken on a smart phone by at least one neighbor, both drivers were cited, Pashley told THE BEE. "Strong was cited to appear in court for Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief II and other violations. Weaver was also cited to appear in court, for Failure To Perform the Duties of a Driver – Property Damage (Hit and Run) – and other violations.
"There are two sides, plus witness accounts, to every story," reminded Pashley. "The investigating officer believed there was probable cause to cite both drivers, as indicated, because he believed they'd each committed those crimes."But it remains one of the few accidents THE BEE has reported lately in which both drivers were cited for similar offenses – which certainly could be the definition of a true "road rage" incident.
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