Life-threatening car crash on NE Glisan ups urgency for safety project

Posted by on July 26th, 2021 at 3:55 pm

(Aftermath of high-speed hit-and-run on NE Glisan last week. Photos by PPB)

It’s always tragic when people are killed or badly hurt in collisions on our streets — especially when it happens on a street already known for its dangerous design. In the case of outer Northeast Glisan, not only is the street notorious for crashes and dangerous behaviors, it’s also next in line for changes aimed at stopping them.

For three people who suffered serious and life-threatening injuries in a crash on Glisan near 114th Wednesday afternoon, changes planned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation didn’t come soon enough.

As we reported in September 2019, PBOT has already finished Phase 1 of their East Glisan Street Update Project by implementing a road diet and adding parking-protected bike lanes and other safety features between 122nd and 162nd. Phase 2 of the project is set to be completed by this summer.

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(Hit and run suspect car and occupants. Photos: PPB)

According to the Portland Police Bureau, someone driving a white Saturn sedan on Glisan near 114th hit another driver and caused them to swerve over the centerline and slam head-on into a third driver coming in the opposite direction. The high speed of the collision sheared the engine from one of the vehicles and ejected two people from one of the cars. Those two people remain in the hospital with life-threatening injuries and a third person remains hospitalized with fractured legs.

Police are looking for the driver of a 2000 Saturn 200 with Oregon license plate 594FBF. Anyone with information about this crash is asked to contact Detective Calvin Goldring Calvin.Goldring@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-0256 or Detective Anthony Zoeller Anthony.Zoeller@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-0743.

Conditions on Glisan near 114th.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As we reported back in March, major changes aimed to improve safety and reduce collisions like this are imminent and expected to begin this summer. In our 2019 story I photographed the exact stretch of Glisan where this collision occurred to show an example of how dangerous it is and why it needs to be changed.

Last Thursday, PBOT Project Manager Timur Ender (who also lives in the Hazelwood neighborhood) took the rare step of issuing a statement about the crash.

“For now, we merely wanted to acknowledge that we are aware of this crash and the mental and physical trauma for those who were involved and at the scene,” Ender wrote, “As a neighbor and as a project manager at PBOT who cares deeply about safety on our streets, my heart goes out to family and friends of the individuals physically injured and everyone in the community who is feeling the impacts of this crash.”

This project should make it less likely that people drive fast and reckless. And hopefully it’ll be completed before anyone else gets hurt.

UPDATE, 7/28: PPB have found and arrested one person in connection with this crash.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Samuel
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Samuel

So no word when this project will actually start? They said it would begin back in May.
Now summer is half way over. Unbelievable

Andrew Kreps
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Andrew Kreps

Well, the link above points you to the project page, though their “news” section hasn’t been updated since last year. It merely states it will be done in 2021. You can sign up for email updates on their site to get the latest and greatest, that’s how I learned of the Blumenauer bridge delay.

Tyson I
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Tyson I

So sad. This is what you get when a city essentially abandons all traffic enforcement.

mark
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mark

…and when the penalty for hit-and-run is not severe enough to compel drivers to remain at the scene.

Steve Hash
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Steve Hash

Y’know what else might make it less likely for people to drive fast and recklessly? Some enforcement of current laws. Maybe it is time to look at funding a traffic enforcement team separate of the PPB (if that’s even possible).

Stinky Pinky
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Stinky Pinky

I was renting out near there while I was in Portland and I tried so hard to get into riding my bike more, but I just always felt so damn vulnerable and determined it just wasn’t worth it. Halsey is basically a freeway and terrifying. Most of east PDX out there was pretty dreadful for bike riding. Hats off to the folks that commit to it but it just was not for me. Stay safe out there.

Mike Quigley
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Mike Quigley

So, they know the perp was driving a 2000 Saturn 200 with license plate 594FBF, and they’re asking the PUBLIC for help in identifying the guy?

Steve Hash
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Steve Hash

New “community policing” tactic, pretty soon they’ll bring back deputized posses.

Chris I
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Chris I

Stolen, unregistered, etc. A license plate doesn’t tell you who is driving.

Steve C
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Steve C

Good point, though the police statement should be clear about the car’s status then.

Also, unregistered cars should be removed from the road either by contacting the owners and requiring them to be registered (with provisions for economic hardship) or impounding them.

We need to keep better track of cars on the road, they are deadly weapons when used irresponsibly.

Matt
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Matt

They have a pretty clear photo of the driver and their passenger–I wonder where the photo came from–and the driver appears to be a gal, not a guy.

JR
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JR

I don’t feel safe biking, walking, or even driving in this city. Every day I see multiple vehicles with expired tags, missing license plates, etc. I have to look both ways when crossing intersections now because I’ve seen so many vehicles blow through red lights and outrageous speeding. Lawless is the word that comes to mind. PBOT could re-stripe and re-design every street, but at some point this city needs traffic enforcement.

Bike Guy
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Bike Guy

I recently gave up riding on the Eastside.

We’ve empowered criminals to act without consequences. The results are predictable.

Peter Sullivan
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Arrest made- answers to many questions here https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/news/read.cfm?id=321853