Hit-and-run: Cleveland grad, 23, dies three blocks from home
Friends of a man struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while walking home early Saturday, September 11, say he was a University of Oregon graduate and a Cleveland High School alumnus, who was excited to start his first accounting job.
Portland Police say Austin Boyd, age 23, was hit by a car, and was later found in traffic lanes near Clinton Street and S.E. Chávez Boulevard (formerly 39th) in Southeast Portland at 4:38 a.m.
Four days later, on Wednesday afternoon, friends gathered around a roadside memorial for Boyd marked by a bevy of fresh flowers, candles, photos and incense laid at the intersection where Boyd was killed.
"He was my boyfriend's best friend, and was a very close friend of mine," Grace Benefield reflected. "He was supposed to start his job as a CPA on Monday. He had just passed his test, and he had been really stressed about it."
Willis Schubert, also a friend of Boyd's, said Boyd "spent months in his room studying" for the test before recently landing his first job in the accounting field.
Friends said Boyd was walking home early in the morning of September 11, and was about halfway home when he was hit and killed. "His family lives three blocks away," Schubert said. "Boyd grew up in Portland, and attended Hosford Middle School, before graduating from Cleveland High School and going on to study at the University of Oregon."
Police say they responded to a "report of a person down in traffic lanes" early that Saturday morning. Boyd was pronounced dead at the scene. The Portland Police Bureau Major Crash Team investigated, and determined Boyd had been walking in or near a marked crosswalk when he was struck.
Police are still searching for the driver who hit Boyd. The suspect vehicle, described as a white or light colored 1993 to 1997 Honda Passport or Isuzu Rodeo, fled the scene.
"There may be damage to the front of the vehicle on the right side, including a shattered turn signal indicator beneath the bumper," a release from Portland Police Bureau disclosed.Boyd's friends have set up a Go-Fund-Me to raise money to install public benches at some of Austin's favorite locations. The family has released a statement: "These bench sponsorships, each costing $5,000 every 10 years, will serve as a long standing memorial to Austin. If Austin's Memorial Fund blossoms like he did, other larger opportunities will open up. Endowment Scholarships to Portland Community College and/or the University of Oregon are under consideration.
"The family appreciates all your thoughts and prayers. Please consider a donation so we can create a space where we can all go when we want to "spend a little time with Austin". The GoFundMe page is online at â€“ gf.me/v/c/x776/austin-gary-boyd-memorial-fund
Meantime, anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact the Portland Police Traffic Investigation Unit at 503/823-2103.
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