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Update on Willamette fatality: Motor vehicle operators given DUIIs

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 4th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Scene of fatal at Willamette and Haven-7
Intersection of Willamette and Haven.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Bryan Parman with the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division has just confirmed that the two people operating motor vehicles that struck and killed a man on N. Willamette this morning were cited for driving under the influence.

Portland Police PIO Mary Wheat has also released the identity of the man who was killed. It was 31-year old Portlander Kipp Daniel Crawford. Crawford was a local musician and member of the band Thanks Kipp.

According to a report just published by The Oregonian's Noelle Crombie, the people operating motor vehicles in this incident were 41-year old Carlos Tyrone McCall and 44-year old Felisa Washington-Berry. Crombie also reports that:

"McCall, of Northeast Portland, was convicted of in 1991 for driving while suspended. Washington-Berry has a lengthy criminal record."

The Oregonian reports that her record includes following too close, driving uninsured, driving without a license, driving with switched license plates, and failure to signal to turn or stop.

Also, according to her booking information on the Multnomah County Sherriff's website, Ms. Washington-Berry has been additionally charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.

Wheat says that Crawford was already in the roadway when he was struck, adding fuel to speculation that he might have been "pushed" into the roadway. Speaking via telephone just minutes ago, Captain Parman confirmed that his investigators are looking into what happened prior to the collision.

"Suffice to say that the incident is still under investigation. There's stuff that was going on just prior to the collision that may have played a factor and we're trying to vet that first before releasing any more information... My understanding is that there was some sort of disturbance prior to the collision."

Read all of our coverage of this incident here.

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Comments
  • Dave November 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Drunk drivers? Shoot 'em dead, throw 'em in a hole, they're not people. 'Nuff said.

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  • I work in legal services November 4, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    This is a horrific sequence of events that resulted in a person's death. No matter how awful the alleged actions of the perpetrators, can commenters please evince some manner of civility here and focus on positive change. The victim's family and friends are all suffering, but people are innocent until proven guilty in the united states, and I'm sure the ALLEGED perpetrators' friends and family are suffering too. Please, let's not devolve into oregonlive...

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  • foote November 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Both drivers were drunk? Is that just a coincidence?
    I wonder what percentage or people on the road at 2:30 in the morning are somehow impaired.

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  • seager November 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    That seems like the kind of comment that should have been moderated out.

    Don't let your anger strip you of your humanity.

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  • Nick V November 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    #2 foote,

    I assume it's a large percentage. I can't think of much else to do in public at 2:30 in the morning.

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  • Marid November 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Well, not everyone works 9-5. Some even work at those bars that drunk drivers leave at that time.

    Something does sound sinister about this incident though. Really terrible.

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  • phr3dly November 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    @ #4:

    Drive to or from the airport, drive to or from work for the swing shift, drive home a friend who has had too much to drink, drive to the store for an apres-midnight snack, pick up some last minute essentials while packing for a trip..

    There are countless valid reasons to be about at 2:30 in the morning. I'm frequently driving around at that hour, and never drunk (or even slightly tipsy).

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  • Vance Longwell November 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Hey, don't forget we have yet to see tox reports on the cyclist. Plus, the mystery as to why he was laying in the road deepens.

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  • Joe November 4, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    /\
    |
    Don't feed the troll.

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  • cycler November 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    When I was in architecture school, I regularly headed home around 2 or 3 in the morning. I tried to time my trip to be either before or well after closing time to avoid drunks on the road. There are lots of legitimate reasons to be on the road late.

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  • Nick V November 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    #7 cycler,

    I was in architecture school too. That's not quite as nuts as being out drunk at 2:30am, but it's close.

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  • chelsea November 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    When I was visiting Vancouver B.C. a couple weeks ago the police had a roadblock set up on the highway and were doing random stops to check for intoxication. I would think if people here saw this sort of thing they might think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking.

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  • John Lascurettes November 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Chelsea, the do that in California too. It's quite effective. It's amazing how many drunks they catch. Most drunks get too paranoid to turn around, take a different route or just park and walk. They figure if they take any of those actions, they'll be suspected for sure, so they go through the checkpoint with ample fair warning and attempt to act "normal."

    Unfortunately, sobriety checkpoints have been challenged in court in Oregon and subsequently seen as entrapment. That's why you don't see them here.

    http://www.blueoregon.com/2009/03/sobriety-checkpoints-for-oregon-yes-or-no.html

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  • John Lascurettes November 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Sorry, I should have said, not entrapment, but rather illegal search and seizure.

    Back to on-topic. My thoughts go out to all families involved.

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  • BURR November 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I try and stay off the main streets at that hour, whether I'm driving or biking, too many drunks out and about at that hour.

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  • rixtir November 4, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    DUII? They killed somebody. DUII is when you're driving drunk. Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is when you kill somebody while driving drunk.

    PPB, why are you looking the other way when drunk drivers kill?

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  • rixtir November 4, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I agree with BURR. Too many drunks out at that hour, and I'm not interested in being their victim. And I know that BURR agrees that nobody should ever ask what a cyclist was doing out at that hour.

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  • chad November 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Took a first aid class a year ago where the instructor (a veteran first responder) said that at 2am in the morning approximately 80% of drivers are intoxicated.

    He didn't cite any study, but his first hand experiences were reason enough for me to avoid the faster roads where collisions like this are more possible when I have to travel at that time of the night.

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  • rixtir November 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    My bad. The Oregon Legislature, in its wisdom, has chosen not to make killing somebody while driving drunk a criminal offense.

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  • Stig4 November 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    You can get drunk and kill someone with your car and get released same-day. No bail either. Misdemeanors all around. Great system we have.

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  • Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Can't use checkpoints on Oregon?

    Replace a random or 100% checkpoint concept with a suprise obstacle course. If you are capable of making your way through you must not be impaired. Better still, any traffic stops at that point would be based actual driving infractions and not subjective guidelines for pulling over the "profile of the week".
    Police could set up fake construction zones near popular boozing areas. If it is done often enough people might drive more cautiously near real construction zones not knowing if is a DUII trap.

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  • kww November 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I agree with rixtir, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. WTF is wrong with the police? Someone dies in an accident and they are drunk, they should get charged. Leave up to their sorry asses to prove their innocence.

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  • Stig5 November 4, 2009 at 6:59 pm
  • bc November 4, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    This is a horrible, and very strange story! As for the talk about charging....those types of serious charges have to be brought about by a grand jury...they never happen right away, so there's obviously a big possibility that the charges will increase.

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  • kww November 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    You are right bc

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  • Joe Adamski November 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Its possible that design of the roadway plays into this also. I wasn't there. I assume the two charged drivers had their role to play. But Willamette Blvd at this point chokes down to a very narrow point. Even if the drivers were not impaired, it has very poor lighting and a canopy of large trees that block any available lighting. The trees are shedding leaves now. Should they cause a rider slip and fall, there is no place to go if you are driving behind him, with the pedestrian island in the middle. Parked cars often line the street there too. Too much is squeezed into to small an area.
    Willamette in general is not optimal. The south side is narrow, perhaps two feet, the north side is much wider with a lot of wide parking provided. Cars turning on and off of Willamette face needing to be vigilant of both high cycling volume on street and joggers and cyclists on the sidewalk. Many local cyclists use the sidewalks out of fear of using the streets. A lot of them 'salmon', riding against the flow of traffic.
    In short, even if those two drivers were completely sober, Willamette blvd does not have good facilities. I usually ride on N Amherst, about two blocks north of Willamette, but it only goes from the Penninsula crossing trail to Chataqua,next to Columbia Park. Then you are forced to use either Willamette or Lombard.

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  • rixtir November 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    bc,

    I think you're right on that. But we've also seen the police in the past refusing to cite drivers for traffic violations because they claimed they were waiting to see if the D.A. would press criminal charges in the case.

    It would be really helpful in this case if the police would clearly state what is and isn't being considered in the way of charges. At a minimum, the D.A. should be considering charges of criminally negligent homicide for these two drivers.

    And if Kipp was pushed into traffic, a more serious homicide charge may be appropriate for his assailant.

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  • are November 4, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    sobriety checkpoints ruled not unreasonable search and seizure 1990

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Dept._of_State_Police_v._Sitz

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  • JR November 5, 2009 at 12:18 am

    What a truly aweful event. The perpetrators should be punished to the full extent of the law and we (society) should be much less tolerant of driving under the influence. Driving is not a right, as these individuals have asserted through their repeated attempts to circumvent the law. The law, and society in general, are simply too lenient when it comes to automobile driving. It's not a right!

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  • jim November 5, 2009 at 12:19 am

    The story I heard was he was jumped, mugged, possibly had his wallet taken, left in the road with his legs still wrapped around the frame, hit by one car, then hit by a second car, both drunk, both stopped, both arrested....

    People get mad at me when I harp on them that they need to follow the rules/ laws. What kind of charges are these two facing?
    Don't do the crime if you cant do the time.

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  • Cecil November 5, 2009 at 5:21 am

    are (#28) noted that the US Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are not an unreasonable search and seizure. The court was interpreting the United States constitution, however, and the Oregon courts have regularly held that the Oregon constitution offers greater protections than the federal constitution, particularly in the area of search/seizure.

    Thus, although sobriety checkpoints may pass muster under the search and seizure provisions of the 4th amendment to the federal Constitution, they are nevertheless barred in Oregon by Article 1, section 9 of the Oregon constitution.

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  • Joe November 5, 2009 at 7:12 am

    wow if someone mugged him what is the world coming too? I think people keep
    feeling " safer " in their cars? windows rolled up doors lock hauling around. ahhhh

    war on our streets these days! be safe all

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  • seager November 5, 2009 at 11:33 am

    The story that I've been reading is that he was laying in the road when they both hit him. Sounds like foul play.

    It was dark, I wonder if the drunk drivers would have hit a guy laying in the road if they were sober? Chances may be good... I certainly don't expect that when I'm driving in the dark.

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  • peejay November 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    You know, when I'm driving — even at night — I am able to see and avoid objects smaller than a man and his bicycle. I don't think that's such a high standard of reasonable care to ask of every licensed driver. One way to be able to avoid killing someone is to follow the speed limit. The other is don't be f@&king drunk.

    Driver fail x 2. They should never get to drive again, at bare minimum.

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  • GlowBoy November 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Wow, this isn't automatic vehicular homicide in Oregon? In the mid 90s I was on a jury (in WA state) that convicted someone and sent him away for several years for vehicular homicide. The possible difference from this case (besides OR vs WA) was that the guy we convicted was driving recklessly. My recollection is faint, but that may have been one of the elements of the WA law that had to be proven to convict.

    In any event, I don't think it's much coincidence that both drivers were drunk. A LOT of people on the roads at that hour, quite possibly a majority, are intoxicated. But, as has been already pointed out numerous times, not everyone is drunk at that hour, and no one should be assumed to be. In neither the case of cyclists or drivers is it reasonable to as "what were they were doing out at that hour?"

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  • rixtir November 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    What peejay said.

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  • Lisa G November 6, 2009 at 12:00 am

    GlowBoy,

    I agree. In the case of the cyclist he was very likely heading home from a gig or a rehearsal. Musician's hours. Vehicular homicide is a law we need sooner rather than later.

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  • Dave November 6, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Seager, there isn't half enough pure cold rage at impaired drivers--by getting into a car when soused they forfeit any humanity they might have been born with. DRUNK DRIVERS ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS.

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  • JadedEvan November 6, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Oh, just another one of those pesky cyclists! Like most instances where great harm is done (lethal in this case) to bikers, the way the drivers will be charged and convicted will be wholly different from your typical murder trial. His life will be written off as some accident, penalties for the guilty far lighter than they really should be. The privilege and impunity that automobile drivers leverage always carries itself into the courtroom too.

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  • jim November 8, 2009 at 1:55 am

    The ironic side is these drivers will maybe now become cyclists if there driving privs are revoked

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  • [...] The two people that struck Crawford were cited for drunk and reckless driving. [...]

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