Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 5th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
It has been a horrible start to a new year for the safety of people walking on the streets of Portland. In the past 24 hours, two people have been hit (one of them killed by a hit-and-run driver) while attempting to cross SE Division Street.
At the end of last year, Mayor Sam Adams and the City of Portland designated SE Division Street and 122nd (just four blocks from where a man was killed last night) as the second most dangerous intersection in the city and made it part of their High Crash Corridor program which was launched in November.
At about 1:49 pm today, a 47-year old woman sustained life-threatening injuries after being hit by a man driving a pickup near Division and 170th. Police say the man driving the truck is cooperating with the investigation and did not show any signs of impairment.
Last night, 38-year old Rance Lee Lamb from Southeast Portland was hit and killed while attempting to walk across Division near 126th Avenue. The driver of the car did not stop and is currently on the loose. According to police, witnesses say a black vehicle (maybe a Mercedes Benz) struck Lamb and then sped away "at a high rate of speed." The driver has been described as a white female in her mid to late 20's. If you have any information about this crash or the driver, contact Officer Peter Kurronen at (503) 823-2208.
In 2010, 15 people were killed while walking on the streets of Portland.
Both of these crashes are tragedies on many levels. These wide, fast arterial streets continue to claim victims and we have yet to dedicate significant resources to tame them. Banners are not enough. We need a combination of new policies, laws, and infrastructure to turn these de facto "freeways" (in the words of Mayor Adams) into streets that improve our city instead of continuing to degrade it.
UPDATE, 1/6: From PPB:
Portland Police Major Crash Team Investigators have determined that vehicle parts left at the scene of this morning's fatal pedestrian hit and run match a black 90's era Mercedes Benz, possibly S Class model. The hit and run vehicle will have damage to the right front headlight along with possible hood damage. Investigators are still looking to find this vehicle and identify the white female driver.
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