More stories from August's issue of THE BEE!

Milk Carton Boat Races, Westmoreland Park, Casting Pond, Rose Festival, Portland, Oregon
The team paddlers aboard “Bovine Beauty” didn’t win with speed, but might surely have been awarded “Most Entertaining”, as they repeatedly capsized in the pond. (David F. Ashton)

‘Milk Carton Regatta’ makes a splash in Westmoreland Park


After the Portland Rose Festival “CityFair” Carnival packed up and moved on, only one more official Rose Festival event remained: The Royal Rosarian Milk Carton Boat Races, in Westmoreland Park’s Casting Pond on the sunny afternoon of Sunday, June 24.

“The Royal Rosarians are proud to host these races, taking place here in the Casting Pond since 1973,” smiled the Royal Rosarian Prime Minister, Adam Baker, as the first racing heat was about to begin.

Volunteers at the registration table said that 25 craft had been signed up by crews participating in the seven races and two finals that afternoon.

The Rosarians took on this event, after the Dairy Farmers of Oregon ended full sponsorship – “To provide a free family event that involves people in our community who come to race, or just watch the excitement and action on the water,” Baker told THE BEE.

KATU-TV-2 weatherman Dave Salesky was aboard a wobbly scissors-lift, placed at the south edge of the pond, to rise high for a commanding view of the pond – and to provide splash-by-splash coverage of the races.

Most of the participants came from far and wide; many of them returning, such as the Snook family from Milwaukie.

But, folks around the Casting Pond cheered a local boy who paddled furiously across, Llewellyn student and Westmoreland resident Ian Rothermel. After his race, Ian told THE BEE, “It was scary, but it was good. The hardest part about getting across the pond was paddling in a straight line!”

As the temperature soared, the crowd thinned out, but teams including kids, adults, families, and organizations continued to race, and occasionally splash overboard into the pond.

Surprisingly, the official results of the races have yet to be published; but clearly, all who made it across the Casting Pond without getting dunked looked like winners.

Senate Page, Nicolas Avendano, Cleveland High School, Southeast Portland, Sellwood, Oregon
Cleveland High senior Nicolas Avendano spent this year’s spring term as a U.S. Senate Page, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Cleveland High student serves as U.S. Senate Page


Sellwood resident Nicolas Avendano, a senior at Cleveland High School, spent spring term 2018 in Washington, D.C. as a U. S. Senate Page, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley.

Nicholas had a chance to be immersed in the current political climate, learning about daily affairs, meeting top government officials, and seeing many sights in the nation’s capital.

Avendano was introduced to the idea by his CHS Social Studies teacher, Sadie Adams. “She told me it was a cool opportunity, and that only 30 Senate Pages were selected each term across the nation,” he says. “I applied last fall, and was notified of my acceptance by the end of the year. While I don’t necessarily plan on a career in politics, the subject interests me.”

Senate Pages are held to high academic and moral standards, and wear an identifiable uniform – a navy blue suit and tie. The paid job also includes keeping up with regular school studies for the term.

“Pages live in the Senate Page Residence above the Senate Page School,” explains Avendano. “I took classes there in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies, which were harder than my CHS classes. We usually worked from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., which made it a full day, since our curfew was 9 p.m. on school nights.”

Pages serve in the daily operation of the Senate under the party of their appointing Senator (Merkley is a Democrat). They sit along the steps on either side of the President Pro Tempore’s desk, available to assist members on the floor. Their duties consist mainly of delivering correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol complex, although they also retrieve lecterns, easels, and water for Senators and clerks.

“The most exciting thing about the job was just getting to be in that environment,” remarks Avendano.“For instance, I once ran into Senator Bernie Sanders in an elevator; and I also met Vice President Pence when he was coming in to cast a vote. And, during the State of the Union address, I was just a few feet from the President.”

“The coolest thing for me was meeting French President Emmanuel Macron on a diplomatic mission. The Senate staff were very helpful and welcoming. The Senate Complex becomes your 'Second Home' during the duration of your tour [of duty].”

Among the perks of the appointment are being with teenagers from all around the country, and the opportunity to use the Library of Congress and other facilities in the Capitol. “We also went on tours of many local attractions,” recalls Avendano, “Such as Arlington National Cemetery and The White House. It was interesting to learn that Senator Merkley had spent time as an American Field Service student in Ghana. While I’m currently taking some courses at Portland Community College, I too will soon be spending nine months as an AFS student in Ghana.”

The world is full of opportunities for young people, if they work at pursuing and attaining them. In a related incident last year, Avendano was chosen as a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student by the Southeast Portland Rotary Club, but was ultimately unable to accept that honor due to being offered the position as Senate Page.

Creston Pool, Southeast Portland, robbery, Powell Boulevard, Oregon
Officers canvassed the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood in the early morning hours of July 11 looking for the two robbers, but came up empty. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Teen a victim of armed robbery near Creston Pool


Clearly, the male teenager hanging out after midnight at the Creston Pool early Wednesday, July 11, wasn’t in the area for a late night swim; but why he was near the darkened and secured Portland Parks & Recreation pool facility is unknown.

Whatever his reason for being in Creston Park, just east of S.E. 43rd Avenue and Rhone Street, his evening adventure turned out badly – when he was held up by ruffians.

“East Precinct officers received the call at 12:28 a.m. and located a male juvenile victim suffering from what was believed to be a non-life threatening injury,” said Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley. “Investigators believe the victim was injured as a result of being struck with the hard surface of a firearm; the victim was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment.”

During the investigation, Burley stated, officers learned that the teen was with friends when two suspects approached the group and started going through their belongings. The victim objected, and was assaulted by one of the suspects.

Both robbers ran off, up the steep hill toward S.E. Powell Boulevard. Officers and a police canine team searched the neighborhood but didn’t find anyone matching the suspects' descriptions: An 18 to 21-year-old Asian male, with a medium build and a goatee, wearing all-black; and an18 to 21-year-old black male, with a faded haircut, wearing all-white clothing.

“There were no reports of gunfire during this incident,” Burley told THE BEE.

Anyone with the information about the incident is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau Detective Division's Robbery Detail at 503/823-1080.

Foster Road, changes, street diet, Foster Powell, Lents, Southeastd Portland, traffic changes, Oregon
Drivers in the Lents Town Center area of outer East Portland are already experiencing construction detours as the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project” gets underway. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

City’s Foster Road makeover is underway


Construction work is already bringing changes to S.E. Foster Road, from 50th Avenue to the western edge of the Lents Town Center at S.E. 91st Avenue.

The project that’s underway this summer actually began in 2012. That’s when a stakeholder advisory committee called the “Foster Corridor Investment Strategy” was founded, which began discussing revitalizing retail business along the street and increasing pedestrian safety.

Over time, it became the “Foster Transportation and Streetscape Project”; but it sat fallow while the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and allied agencies worked to collect resources for what has become a $9 million project.

In early July of this year, work began on this well-used thoroughfare as contractors ground off lane markings and restriped the pavement, narrowing Foster Road from two traffic lanes in each direction to a single driving lane each way for cars and trucks, with a turn lane in the middle.

But the heavy construction work this summer got underway east of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, as contractors began digging out pavement down to the roadbed, rerouting utilities, repaving, and widening sidewalks in the Lents Town Center area between S.E. 89th Avenue and 84th/Ellis Street. This project will continue through September.

According to PBOT Media Contact John Brady, by this fall S.E. Foster Road will have these improvements:

  • New, upgraded traffic signals at S.E. Holgate at 72nd Avenue.
  • New median refuge islands with rapid-flash beacons at six locations: S.E. 58th, S.E. Mall, and S.E. 65th, 69th, 74th, and 84th Avenues.
  • New center turn lane and bicycle lanes from S.E. 52nd to 90th Avenues.
  • New street trees and ornamental street lighting.
  • Upgraded ADA curb ramps at 69 locations.

 “The changes to the street and urban design will transform Foster Road from a high-speed, auto-oriented corridor into a more balanced streetscape that’s safer and more accessible for people walking, biking, taking public transit, and driving,” Brady assured.

So, use caution as you drive through work zones, and observe the posted speed limits in the construction area as you motor along S.E. Foster Road this summer and fall.

Monte Robin Kaija Jr, Fred Meyer, bomb, bomber, Foster Road, 82nd Avenue, Southeast Portland, Oregon
For at least the next five years, 47-year-old Monte Robin Kaija Jr. will be behind bars in federal prison for setting off a pipe bomb in the former Fred Meyer store at S.E. Foster Road and 82nd Avenue. (Courtesy MCDC)

Foster Road ‘Freddy’s bomber’ gets federal prison time


Area residents were stunned, when, on May 21, 2016, a pipe bomb exploded in a grocery aisle of the Fred Meyer store on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses at Foster Road. The store has since closed, but the story was reported in THE BEE at the time.

Investigators at the scene discovered fragments of white plastic PVC pipe and caps, electrical tape, and a granular power-like substance that was later analyzed by the Oregon State Police Lab.

According to court documents, a DNA profile collected from a small piece of electrical tape identified 47-year-old Monte Robin Kaija Jr. as the culprit. Officers arrested him on August 31, 2016, in a motorhome on S.E. 96th Avenue, where they also discovered a homemade metal pipe bomb.

On July 16 of this year, Kaija was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison for detonating that pipe bomb, and for possessing another metal pipe bomb. Upon completion of his nearly-six-year prison sentence, Kaija will be on supervised release for three years.

Homeless, panel discussion, Southeast Uplift, Hawthorne Blvd, Southeast Portland, Oregon
At “Southeast Uplift” headquarters on S.E. Main Street, participating in the NAMI-sponsored panel discussion on homelessness and mental illness, were – from left – Joanna, Johnnie, Hans, Paul, Art Sr., and Miranda. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

S.E. panel explores homelessness and mental illness


Homelessness is before our eyes a lot these days, and rising rents and home prices haven’t helped. People lose their jobs, have mental health problems or addiction, and find themselves on the streets, living in cars or in a shelter.

On June 28th the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hosted an “Evening with the Experts” panel discussion in Southeast Portland on mental illness and homelessness. The six panelists were deemed experts by virtue of having had direct or family experience with mental illness and homelessness, and said they now commit themselves to making life better for others who are mentally ill and without a home.

The discussion was held at the office of the neighborhood coalition “Southeast Uplift”, just north of Hawthorne Boulevard, and it was organized by NAMI Multnomah – one of fifteen local NAMI chapters statewide. The state chapter office of the national nonprofit NAMI – NAMI Oregon – is at S.E. 24th and Schiller Street in the Reed Neighborhood.  Its mission is to support the fifteen statewide chapters in improving the lives of individuals, and the families of those with mental illness.

Emma Vaughn-Matthews, a Whitman College NAMI summer intern working with both NAMI Oregon and NAMI Multnomah, organized the panel. One of the six panelists was Joanna, a former social worker, who has dealt with severe depression and suicidal ideation. She emphasized how difficult it can be to get help, because it takes so long to get into a psychiatric medical facility, into subsidized housing, or even just to get medications, if you don’t have an address.

It took her three months to get into a shelter, she said – during which time she developed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from being on the streets, and started self-medicating. She also said she had been disappointed and frustrated with the 2-1-1 phone system that is supposed to provide information on social resources – information that can sometimes be outdated.

Several other panelists described approaches taken by nonprofit organizations to aid those who are homeless, and often mentally ill. Panelist Miranda Woods described losing her job, her home, and her beloved boxer dog, Bailey, in 2010. Her experience of losing her dog, as well as her home, sharpened her awareness and sensitivity to the value of pets for those on the streets. In honor of Bailey and his importance to her as a canine companion, she founded the nonprofit “Bailey’s Bones and Wishes.”

Today Woods provides support to the homeless and their pets, and educates others to understand the importance of these animal friends. Woods knows that people who are homeless can be very lonely and traumatized by being on the streets. “Aside from companionship, the pets offer warmth, protection, therapy and general purpose for living.” 

She adds that the bond between dogs and homeless people can even motivate those on the streets to stay clean and sober so they can provide food for their dogs as well as for themselves.

Also on the June 28th panel was Paul Underwood, Director of Operation Nightwatch, a nonprofit that provides the homeless with a “living room” of hospitality at St. Stephens Episcopal Church at 1432 S.W. 13th Avenue in Downtown Portland three evenings a week, and also impacts Inner Southeast by serving a meal twice a week at the Clackamas Service Center, near 82nd Avenue and Johnson Creek Boulevard.

Conversation, a donated meal, board games, reading material and donated socks and shoes are offered at the Clackamas location as well as downtown, which help create trust and support in the relationships between Nightwatch volunteers and the homeless. Volunteers from all over the city come to help at the centers. A goal of Nightwatch is to help break down the stigma around mental illness, and focus on people’s strengths so they can be open to resources and can begin helping themselves.

At the end of the panel discussion, people in the audience said they had gained greater insights into what it is to be mentally ill and on the streets – and how individuals, nonprofits, and NAMI are helping the homeless deal with their challenges.

Soccer supply company, fire, Foster Road, Southeast Portland, Oregon, Score It Soccer
While a firefighter on the roof looked for hot spots, other crewmembers headed inside the burned building on S.E. Foster Road. (Photo by

Foster Road soccer supply company damaged by fire


Reports reaching Portland Fire & Rescue (PFR) on the evening of July 3, at about 8 p.m., sent 16 fire trucks to “Score It! Soccer” at 7410 S.E. Foster Road.

Lents Fire Station 11’s Engine Company arrived first, called for a full “commercial building alarm”, and began attacking the fire. One minute later, Woodstock Station 25’s crews arrived, followed by several other engine and truck companies.

East Precinct police officers shut down Foster Road as fire-fighting apparatus soon filled the street. Fourteen minutes after the first 9-1-1 call about the fire, the PF&R Battalion Chief and incident commander called for a “second alarm”, bringing more rigs and crews to the area.

After entering the doors on the east side of the building, on the 74th Avenue approach, a PF&R official messaged at 8:20 p.m., “Fire crews have made a good knockdown on the fire, and have now recalled the second alarm; all first-alarm companies are remaining on scene and continuing to work.”

A PF&R fire investigator arrived a bit later to determine the cause and origin-point the fire in this company that, among other services, provides silk screening, embroidery, and in-house “heat press” to personalize team uniforms.

It took about an hour, in total, for firefighters to make sure all hot spots had been extinguished.

The cause of this fire, and the estimated damages, have yet to be made public by PF&R.

Eagle Scouts, Westmoreland, Troop 64, Luca Gregston, Cleveland High School, Ryan Cechini, LaSalle High School, Portland, Oregon
Meet the two newest Eagle Scouts in Westmoreland’s Boy Scout Troop 64: Luca Gregston of Cleveland High, left, and Ryan Cechini of LaSalle High School. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Westmoreland’s Troop 64: Two more Eagle Scouts


Once again, Boy Scout Troop 64, of America Cascade Pacific Council Lewis & Clark District, has recognized with the Eagle Scout rank, two more young men – at an “Eagle Court of Honor” ceremony on the evening of June 3, in the Community Room of Moreland Presbyterian Church.

“Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest rank that a young man can earn as a Boy Scout,” remarked Scoutmaster Tom Armstrong. “Both of these young men, Luca Gregston and Ryan Cechini, have been active in Scouting for number of years. Becoming an Eagle Scout is a combination of earning merit badges, attaining leadership in the troop, and providing community service.”

Eagle Scout Luca Gregston
Cleveland High School senior Luca Gregston said he’s been in Scouting for eight years, starting in the “Webelos” level (We'll Be Loyal Scouts).

“Most important thing about Scouting to me is that I’ve been able to both learn so much, and also teach others; when you put more into scouting, you get more out of it,” Gregston said.

Gregston remarked that he considers learning lifesaving skills to be important. “But, as important, is learning to teach younger Scouts leadership by example.”

His Eagle Scout candidate project was planting – and recruiting other Scouts to plant –1,400 native shrubs and bushes near Sellwood Riverfront Park, just south of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, thus restoring a former trail at Oaks Crossing to its natural condition.

Eagle Scout Ryan Cechini
Some might say that, as Woodstock resident Ryan Cechini heads into his sophomore year at LaSalle High School, he’s remarkably young for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

“It’s true, I am a bit on the younger side, but I’ve been working with Scouting for quite a while; the time has flown by, and it’s been a nice journey,” Cechini grinned.

While he has enjoyed learning a wide variety of subjects, “I just love being outdoors and camping; it’s been a real pleasure to escape the city and be in nature.”

For his project, Cechini – and the Scouts he recruited to help with the project – reorganized the Portland Animal Welfare Team’s pet food storage area.

Asked how it happens that Westmoreland’s Troop 64 has had so many Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts, Armstrong responded, “Each Eagle Scout sets an example for the next round of upcoming Scouts; so the positive energy builds, year after year. It’s pretty neat to see.”

Michael R. Hecht, Sellwood, stabbing, domestic violence, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Arrested in the Sellwood stabbing was Michael R. Hecht, now in jail and facing multiple felony charges – including “Domestic Violence Attempted Murder”. (MCDC booking photo)

Man arrested in ‘Sellwood Center Apartments’ stabbing


After a person was reported to have been stabbed at the Sellwood Center Apartments on July 3 at 2:12 p.m. – that’s the high-rise apartment building at S.E. Tenino at 17th owned by Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) – seven Central Precinct police cruisers arrived to surround the building.

Officers guided emergency paramedics to an adult male who had been assaulted by a person with a knife, and an ambulance took the victim by to an area hospital. “The man sustained what were believed to be serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” later reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

The knife-wielding assailant had managed to slip out of the building; but, as the investigation unfolded, Milwaukie Police Department officers managed to locate and detain the suspect in the stabbing. Portland police officers went to Milwaukie to take custody of the suspect later that afternoon.

Arrested was 40-year-old Michael R. Hecht, who was lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 6:13 p.m. that evening on charges of “Domestic Violence Assault in the First Degree”, “Burglary in the First Degree”, “Domestic Violence Unlawful Use of a Weapon”, and “Domestic Violence Attempted Murder”.

After his arraignment in Multnomah County Court, the judge ordered Hecht to be held for trial on all four charges. At this time, Hecht remains behind bars in lieu of $560,000 combined bail.

Lane Middle School, grounds, maintenance, volunteers, parents, Southeast Portland, Oregon
In one of the Lane Middle School atriums, volunteers Albert Zayha and Marylu Gray turned to watering the new plants, after the area was cleaned up. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Volunteers spruce up Lane Middle School


For the third year in a row, as the last school year wound down, neighbors and faith groups rolled up their sleeves for a day of service at Lane Middle School in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

“Here, during our annual beautification and cleanup day, we have a bunch of volunteers continuing to make our school into the gem of our neighborhood community,” smiled the school’s PTA President, Esther Crowell-Duncan. “For hours, we’ve been polishing it up, cleaning it up, planting flowers, laying down bark dust, and taking down weeds – both outside, around the building, and in the two atriums.

“We’ve added flowers to our beautiful front planters, donated by Portland Nursery, and are already making big plans for our next clean-up, because so much could be done,” Crowell-Duncan said.

Their vision includes a putting in a “learning garden” in the Library Courtyard, just east of the school. “It would be great for kids to have an outdoor garden as well as a beautiful green space, just outside their classroom windows,” pointed out Crowell-Duncan.

She didn’t have an exact count of the volunteers, Crowell-Duncan said, because they came and went throughout the day – but she guessed that about forty folks had come, several bringing their kids to help out.

The school’s Principal, Jeandré Carbone, commented, “It’s really heartening to see people from the neighborhoods come out and help the school; I think it makes such a huge, positive difference.

“I’ll be so excited to see the students’ faces, when they come in and see this beautification their school, adding an element of pride and thanks for the community volunteers who helped,” Carbone said.

Crowell-Duncan nodded in agreement, and added, “I feel really blessed to have wonderful neighbors and a wonderful community, like the people from the Oaks Parish Church and the Mt. Scott Baptist Community Church – all wonderful people who are helping out.”

Dewayne Wyron Musgrove, assault, Powell Boulevard, Plaid Pantry, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Police took a shirtless man into custody, identified as 49-year-old Dewayne Wyron Musgrove, on two misdemeanor charges – after he reportedly assaulted a woman, apparently under the misapprehension that she had stolen belongings from his wagon train of shopping carts. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Assault suspect on Powell Blvd struggles with officers


After a tall, shouting, shirtless man reportedly attacked a woman near the Plaid Pantry at S.E. 52nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard, in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, on Thursday, July 19, two East Precinct squad cars were dispatched to the location.

The first officer arrived at about 3:40 p.m., and immediately radioed to dispatch that more officers were needed at the scene. Within minutes, six more units arrived.

The shouts and calls of a middle-aged man could be heard from a block away, accusing unknown people of stealing belongings from his caravan of shopping carts, which were on the sidewalk next to the store.

“Preliminary information suggests a male suspect physically assaulted a woman,” Portland Police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley confirmed for THE BEE, after checking call records.

The suspect struggled with officers who patiently worked to calm and arrest him.

“Officers took the suspect into custody,” Burley said. “Officers learned the suspect and victim did not know one another. Based on initial information, there does not appear to be anyone with serious injuries as a result of this incident.”

The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Dewayne Wyron Musgrove, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 4:35 p.m. that afternoon of two misdemeanor charges of Fourth Degree Assault and Menacing. After his arraignment, Musgrove was ordered released – presumably on his own recognizance, pending trial – by the court.

Toren Paul Flom, drug pusher, MDMA, Powell Boulevard, Jack in the Box, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Although almost immediately released from custody, 25-year-old Toren Paul Flom is nonetheless expected to return to court to face two drug-related charges, and two driving charges. (MCDC booking photo)

Accused drug pusher busted on Powell Blvd


Dealers of illicit drugs don’t work regular retail hours, and apparently neither do Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Drug and Vice Division (DVD) officers. They arrested an apparent dealer of a party drug known as “Molly” – a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception of Saturday night revelers – at 7:24 a.m. early Sunday morning, July 15, on the north side of Powell Boulevard.

“The officers observed a ‘suspect vehicle’ parked in the lot of the Jack in the Box restaurant at 921 S.E. Powell Boulevard,” Portland Police spokesperson Natasha Haunsperger told THE BEE. “When officers pulled into the parking lot, the suspect tried to flee the scene in his car.”

Instead of escaping, however, the driver crashed into a police K-9 cruiser – with the officer and police dog still inside. “There were no injuries to the suspect, officers, or police canine, as a result of the crash,” Haunsperger said, adding that the suspect was arrested without further incident. 

Drug squad investigators found the illicit drug in the car. The narcotic, MDMA, is also known as “Molly”, due to its chemical name – 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

This discovery led to a subsequent search warrant served at the suspect’s residence in Gladstone, a couple blocks northeast of S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, off Glen Echo Avenue, on Howell Street.

There, the DVD investigators found and seized an additional 115 grams of MDMA, the estimated wholesale value of which is about $45,000 – and Haunsperger noted, when packaged for retail sale, amounts to about 2.865 street dosage units.

Arrested was 25-year-old Toren Paul Flom, who was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 11:46 a.m. that morning on charges of Delivery of MDMA, Possession of MDMA, Attempt Elude By Vehicle, and Reckless Driving.

Flom wasn’t in jail for long; he was released later that same day “on his own recognizance”.

Police spokesperson Haunsperger told THE BEE, “Community members wishing to provide information about large-scale drug trafficking or drug activity in their neighborhoods can file it online –

Duke Street, rear ender, distracted driver, accident, three cars, ambulance, Southeast Portlnad, Oregon
After a three-vehicle chain-reaction crash, paramedics readied a gurney to transport the driver of the vehicle witnesses say caused the smashup. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Distracted driver causes multi-car crash on Duke Street


The Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood intersection at S.E. 72nd Avenue and Duke Street has seen more than its share of accidents.

A three-car crash was reported there at 5:17 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, bringing East Precinct officers to the scene.

Based on witness accounts, a black Chevy Trail Blazer SUV was southbound on 72nd Avenue, approaching Duke, preparing to turn west. “But I stopped, because the light turned red,” the driver explained THE BEE.

Following her Blazer was a silver Hyundai sedan; that driver also stopped normally.

But then, according to witnesses, a red Honda sedan speeding toward the intersection did not stop – its driver apparently sufficiently distracted not to notice the stopped traffic ahead. The Honda plowed into the Hyundai with enough force to deploy its air bags – driving that car into the back of the Blazer.

Lents Fire Station’s Engine 11 paramedics responded to help the Honda’s driver, who was taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

While the drivers of the Chevy Blazer and Hyundai exchanged information, officers turned to the task of helping the young children who had been passengers in the crashed Honda get home. This accident is still under investigation.

Crash, T-bone,, Ramona Street, Woodstock, stop sign violation, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
An East Precinct officer watches, as the owner of a T-boned BMW gets items from her vehicle. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock T-bone smashup sends two to hospital


A side-impact vehicle accident in the intersection of 57th Avenue and S.E. Ramona Street, in the Woodstock neighborhood, summoned emergency first-responders on Friday, July 13, at 1:44 p.m.

Apparently a Chevy Coachman van had been southbound on 57th Avenue. The van’s driver told THE BEE that she’d slowed down at the intersection and looked both ways, but conceded that she didn’t come to a complete stop.

As she proceeded into the intersection, a white BMW was eastbound on S.E. Ramona Street. This direction of travel does not have a stop sign; the driver entered the intersection and was T-boned by the Chevy van.

“I didn’t see the car at all, it must have been going very fast,” speculated the van driver.

The resulting side-impact crash spun the BMW 90 degrees, so it was facing south; the van driver continued a quarter block south, and parked.

Two youths in the BMW were transported to a local hospital for evaluation and possible treatment. “The medical transport was at their discretion; this is not currently listed as a trauma incident,” reported an East Precinct officer at the scene. There is no word on whether either driver was cited in the mishap.

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