15-year-old clings to life after being hit by a driver near north Portland school – UPDATED

The intersection of Columbia and Midway. George Middle School is on the left in the background.

The intersection of Columbia and Midway. George Middle School is on the left in the background.

Despite pleas from the police to slow down due to the start of the school year, there has already been a major collision and a 15-year-old boy is clinging to life.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, the crash happened at around 7:45 am this morning at North Columbia Boulevard and Midway — right across the street from George Middle School. The Oregonian has confirmed that the boy is an incoming freshman at nearby Roosevelt High School and was headed to his first day of classes.

As you can see in the photos below, Columbia Blvd is a major industrial freight route with a wide, five-lane cross-section. And Midway is at an angled intersection. The street is so dangerous to cross and so close to a school that it has one of those walking bridges that goes up and over it (bridges that planners and engineers often see as symbolic of a failed street). The speed limit is 40 mph at this location. There’s a speed reader board a few tenths of a mile from the collision site which means that PBOT has been trying to slow speeds down in this area.


Here’s more from the PPB about the collision:

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located a 15-year-old male suffering from traumatic injuries. He has been transported to a Portland hospital for treatment to potentially life-threatening injuries.

The driver stopped approximately one block away from the scene then walked back to talk with police.

Due to the severity of the teen’s injuries, the Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team is responding to conduct an investigation.

All traffic on North Columbia Boulevard is closed between North Midway and Burr Avenues.

In the last few days the police have tried to warn the public to be extra careful while driving:

This crash comes just 11 days after 15-year-old Fallon Smart was hit and killed while trying to cross Hawthorne Boulevard. And on August 10th a Gresham man used his car as a weapon to kill a 19-year-old.

UPDATE, 3:46 pm: Police have just released names and more details:

The 15-year-old male injured in this morning’s crash has been identified as Bradley Fortner of North Portland.

Traffic officers learned that the driver, 28-year-old Natanael Lopez-Castillo of North Portland, was driving a gray 1993 Nissan pickup eastbound on North Columbia Boulevard when he struck Fortner in the roadway. Fortner was crossing from the southside of the street to the northside at the time of the crash. Lopez-Castillo did not exhibit any signs of impairment.

No citations have been issued and Lopez-Castillo was not arrested.

The investigation is continuing and once complete it will be given to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office for review.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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