A man has been hit and killed while walking on SE McLoughlin Blvd

Posted by on September 2nd, 2021 at 3:15 pm

Yellow is direction of the driver. The star marks approximate location of collision.

“A car that was driving really fast and really out of control just came and made contact with that person at full speed.”
— Eric Lindsay, witness and responder

This morning a man was killed when someone driving a car slammed into him. The Portland Police Bureau says the person driving the car abandoned his vehicle after the collision, ran away on foot, and remains on the loose.

This is the second person to die at the hands of a driver while walking on McLoughlin Blvd in the last eight months. On February 6th, 34-year-old Joshua Stanley was killed when a car user hit him at the intersection of McLoughlin and SE Franklin, about 0.7 miles north of this morning’s fatality. McLoughlin is State Highway 99 E and is about 100-feet wide in these sections with six lanes plus two wide breakdown shoulders.

According to the PPB tally, this is the 43rd traffic fatality so far this year. We had 33 deaths by this date in 2020.

I spoke with someone who saw this morning’s collision. Eric Lindsay was the person who first called 911. He told us it happened just a few yards west of the intersection of Southeast McLoughlin Blvd and Holgate, on a section of road that’s a multi-lane off-ramp that allows southbound highway drivers to head east across Holgate without having to make a left-turn across oncoming traffic.

Eric said he was in a car on Holgate facing west, waiting to turn right (north) onto McLoughlin, when something caught his attention. “A car that was driving really fast and really out of control just came and made contact with that person at full speed.” The driver had been traveling southbound on McLaughlin and had entered the Holgate off-ramp lanes and Eric said the driver had already made contact with the guardrail above the bluff prior to hitting the man in the street.

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“I was with this person when they died… we should honor him. He certainly had people in his life who loved him and whom he loved.”
— Eric Lindsay, witness and responder

Eric, who happens to be trained as a first responder and has worked as an EMT and rural firefighter said, “It is the most violent thing I have ever witnessed in person happen to another human body. I mean, this person just flew and cartwheeled and crumpled and bounced in a really awful way.” After the collision, Eric was able to cross over the intersection and attend to the victim.

Eric is disturbed by what he saw and told me it makes him even more “angry at ODOT for all their dangerous roads.” He’s also angry about how this crash is such a tragic illustration of how our society isn’t taking care of its most vulnerable people. While he doesn’t know for sure, Eric said he has a strong hunch that the person who died in his arms today was living with the many other people who have made makeshift homes out of tents and tarps along the bluffs above the Willamette River south of Ross Island Bridge.

Eric said that he felt even the driver was probably not in a very good place even before the collision. “The person who hit him, you know, my guess is that person was having a nihilistic day or moment. I don’t know… but sometimes you see people on the road and it’s like you can tell, they don’t care either in a different sort of way. They don’t care about themselves, either.”

While he was trying to keep the scene safe during the confusion before first responders showed up, Eric said another person crossed McLoughlin on foot and become very distressed when she saw who had been hit. The woman, who Eric also assumed lived on the bluff, was so distraught she stopped and laid down in the middle of the street. (Thankfully, Eric encouraged her to move to a safer place.)

Now Eric just wants people to remember the victim — this person he’d never met but is now forever connected to.

“I was with this person when they died, and was touching their body. They might have fallen on some hard times but we should honor him. He certainly had people in his life who loved him and whom he loved.”

——

Police are still searching for the driver. He’s described as, “shirtless, with long hair pulled into a bun on the top of his head.” Call 911 if you see the person or call the PPB non-emergency line (823-3333) if you have any information about what happened.

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

On one of those rare occasions when I drive, I was driving down this road within the last few days. I am pedantic about speed limits and I was not surprised that I was being passed by virtually everyone. C’mon, 45mph is plenty fast people.

Anyway, what I came to say is, an 18 wheeler took this side shoot / transition to Holgate at about 55mph. I know how fast it was going, because it passed me while I was still going 45mph. The driver was just trying to get through the light, I’m sure. However, chronic speeding is a real problem. PPB could really bolster their budget by starting to punish speeders.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

And perhaps win back some public sentiment.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Yeah, I think at this point even a small effort would go a long way toward their integrity.

PdxPhoenix
Guest
PdxPhoenix

Sadly, at this point I’m not entirely convinced that they care what we think of them (if they ever did).

Bicycling Al
Guest
Bicycling Al

I’m a big proponent of revoking CDL’s when a fatality is involved regardless of fault. You kill someone, you find some other job that doesn’t involve driving. It would make ALL commercial drivers safer drivers within a couple of years.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

Large SUVs and trucks should require a driver’s license somewhere between a regular DL and a CDL, with fewer points before offenders must switch to a vehicle that’s less dangerous to the rest of us.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

The speed camera van is often in the area.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Well, that’s something at least.

tee
Guest
tee

It’s definitely there very frequently.

Watts
Guest
Watts

PPB could really bolster their budget by starting to punish speeders.

Just a quick reminder that PPB does not get money from writing tickets, nor should they.

Lauro Ritubo
Guest
Lauro Ritubo

Well they might not have folded the traffic division if they got money from tickets.

Philips
Guest
Philips

A horrible reminder that everyone involved in these sorts of violent “accidents” becomes traumatized, not just the victims.

At the risk of diverting the conversation, I feel it important to move past thoughts-and-prayers platitudes and seek solutions rather than solace. It’s barbaric that we allow these unmedicated drug addict homeless to live and die among us because we are uncomfortable about making decisions on their behalf. Laws must be changed. They can no longer care for themselves.

Jason
Guest
Jason

A horrible reminder that everyone involved in these sorts of violent “accidents” becomes traumatized, not just the victims.

Yes, including the first responders and the loved ones.

It’s barbaric that we allow these unmedicated drug addict homeless to live and die among us because we are uncomfortable about making decisions on their behalf. Laws must be changed. They can no longer care for themselves.

It’s easy to see houseless people and complain, but hard to realize that they are not all like you describe.

Opus the Poet
Guest

Deep exasperated sigh at another needless death. I see little to no pedestrian infrastructure in the image of the impact site.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Having driven through there hundreds of times, I can confirm there is none there.

Brandon
Guest

Yup, I drive this stretch on my way to work anytime I’m not riding my bike and there is no pedestrian infrastructure along most of it until Milwaukie. The road is designed like a freeway, without the typical safety infrastructure of a freeway. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen pedestrians climbing over the concrete divider in the middle and trying to scurry across the other 3 lanes while a 50,000lb semi is barreling towards them at 55mph.

SERider
Guest
SERider

There is no pedestrian infrastructure because it’s not a place that normally has any pedestrians. There is no access down to the Springwater in this area. It’s basically just a pseudo-highway and a cliff on the West side.

was carless
Guest
was carless

Yep. Unfortunately, many people are now living on the cliffs and have built cave dwellings underneath the highway there. I believe more people these days are accessing the bluffs through the old concrete property now that the land is vacant. At least there is a crosswalk with a light there.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

I used to drive through that intersection twice every day on my commute. Even then, it was like driving in a road rally.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I simply cannot fathom the thought process that allows someone to walk away from killing someone else with a car.

Marvin Himmelfarb
Guest
Marvin Himmelfarb

Agreed. However I’ve seen some commenters here show a weird sense of joy that their fellow humans who aren’t vaccinated are dying off.

The Dude
Guest
The Dude

It definitely is weird rooting for the unvaccinated to die, but they have shown casual disregard for my health and that of others, and their profound scientific illiteracy is clearly impeding progress on the pandemic (not to mention how annoying they are) so it seems like the best, most karmic outcome to me. Best of luck to you all in your pursuit of the prestigious Herman Cain Award.

Lauro Ritubo
Guest
Lauro Ritubo

What a tragedy! I’m getting very angry at all the traffic related deaths in a city that pledges support to Vision Zero. A hit and run! Drivers here know there is no enforcement, an understaffed police department and excessively slow 911 response times. I assume that no one will ever be held accountable for this person’s death. I feel like I’m living in a 3rd world country where life is cheap, laws are rarely enforced, and criminals are infrequently brought to justice. This just plain sucks.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Drivers here know there is no enforcement, an understaffed police department and excessively slow 911 response times

This is a reminder that law enforcement lobbyist killed a bill to make automated traffic enforcement easier in the last legislative session.

https://www.wweek.com/news/2021/03/14/police-unions-will-oppose-changing-law-to-allow-civilians-to-review-fixed-speed-camera-tickets/

The first step to taking back our streets is to take away enforcement from those who profit off the streets being dangerous in the first place.

Mark in NoPo
Guest
Mark in NoPo

In the lead-up to next year’s elections, we need to push every candidate on their commitment to enabling automated traffic enforcement.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

Tina Kotek let it die and now she is running for governor. Hopefully that comes back to haunt her.

Lauro Ritubo
Guest
Lauro Ritubo

Are you saying police profit off our streets being dangerous. Huh?

Watts
Guest
Watts

in a city that pledges support to Vision Zero.

Just a quick reminder that Vision Zero is a PBOT goal that is more than a year old, and is therefore null and void. PBOT’s foremost goal at this point is “combatting hate” (which I wish was a joke).

The Dude
Guest
The Dude
Philips
Guest
Philips

Well, what do you expect? No one answers at 911 we are discouraged from calling anything anyway lest it be deemed racist, no cops to respond and the ones who do are openly contemptuous of the community that pays them, zero traffic enforcement and a DA who has pledged to do as little as possible on a variety of issues.

We get what we deserve and like it or not, chronically voting for overzealous, underachieving candidates who talk a big game but have none of the skills or savvy to implement sweeping reforms have led to our city turning into a massive experiment in libertarian-anarchist fantasies come to life.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

I always wonder about any of these crashes, were the victim and the perpetrator acquainted at all with each other beforehand? Did the driver recognize the victim before the hit? Was it preventable due to distracted driving/high speed, or might it have been deliberate? The driver running away is certainly curious, not what you expect for the typical “he came out of nowhere” response we often hear from other crash drivers. Who’s car was it?

Steve C
Guest
Steve C

No, running away is not “curious” or odd. People run all the time when they are either impaired and will face less penalties if it can’t be proven they were impaired, or they feel they can’t be tied to the vehicle, or both. This is one reason why more stringent rules around vihical registration and tracking ownership of cars in general should be beefed up. The registered owner of the car should be, in a better administered system, easily findable and questioned.

I know you have mentioned, in the past, instances in your city where investigations have found that drivers have used cars to murder people they know. If and when they find the driver the police should do the due diligence of checking for any association between killer and victim. But I really don’t think this is likely in this or most vehicular violence.

LEE ENGEL
Guest
LEE ENGEL

I was wondering the same thing. Since apparently the victim and the driver both lived in the same camp near the crash site.

J_R
Guest
J_R

From the article: “Eric said the driver had already made contact with the guardrail above the bluff prior to hitting the man in the street.”

If it hadn’t been for the guardrail, the scofflaw driver would have plunged over the cliff and would be the fatality and the pedestrian would be alive. Shame on ODOT for putting in that guardrail.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Easier to shame the city’s nonexistent DUI prevention program.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Unless it came crashing down on the trail below. That’s where the Springwater path is.

Tom
Guest
Tom

It seems like things just keep getting worse.

On Sat 8/21 at ~1:55pm I was walking on the sidewalk and turned from SE 84th northbound to SE Washington eastbound and caught a glimpse of an approaching vehicle on Washington eastbound that appeared to be gradually drifting to the side. Vehicle did not appear to be speeding, but kept gradually drifting and was not slowing down. It just seemed weird. I ran back around the corner to 84th, pulling my walking partner with me, just as the vehicle jumped the curb at the intersection and sheared the fire hydrant off at the ground, taking up the whole sidewalk as it kept going down the sidewalk. The vehicle was up all the way to the retaining wall, so there would have been no way to just hug the wall. My immediate impression was that there was no way that would have been survivable if we had not ran around the corner. It was cutting it so close, my walking partner was distraught. Would have been double fatality. I’m not usually too phased by close passes and right hooks on the bike, but this was something much scarier that took some time to get over. I lost the feeling that the sidewalk is reasonably safe. Curbs and fire hydrants provide zero protection for even non-speeding vehicles. There is no protection other than maybe mature trees with thick trunks, but the Washington furnishing zone ends at that intersection, I assume possibly removed due to a previous one to two lane road widening as others were in the past. Later I noticed on GM that the house across the street has three heavy duty looking bollards at the corner.

The vehicle stopped 100ft down the sidewalk so I took some pictures, then crossed the street to get some more pictures. The vehicle had no license plates in the rear or front, and no paper license plates either. The driver got out, walked around back to see the fire hydrant near the vehicle, and then returned and tried and start the vehicle, but it would not start. He appeared to put it in neutral and push it off the sidewalk. After maybe five minutes of standing outside and leaning into the driver seat he got it started and drove away. Hit and run (of fire hydrant). Driver did not appear to be intoxicated. When vehicle drove off, it was driving in a straight line.

I want to report the hit and run to PPD, just so it has a chance of going on record. The vehicle appeared to have front end damage from multiple collisions so I’m wondering if he is just driving around getting into collisions and driving off but nobody is able to report the vehicle due to no license plates.

If you see this vehicle parked, I would like to report its parked location along with my pictures and report to PPD. That’s all I can do.

– Dark blue Honda Odyssey SUV. No plates of any kind.
– Completely broken rear windshield, covered in greenish plastic, which also has a large hole.
– Wooden pallet strapped to roof, and bike strapped on top of pallet.
– Front end damage (a lot).
– Something is hanging below the vehicle near the right front and dragging on the roadway.
– Engine makes a very loud unusual noise, something like a loud lawnmower. Its very distinctive.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Something is gravely wrong when pedestrians are wearing hi-viz clothing. I’ve seen this multiple times during all hours, including bright sunny days. If that doesn’t demonstrate a sincere lack of trust for motorist safety, I don’t know what would. All the signs are there, the people in power are misinterpreting the signs.

tee
Guest
tee

I don’t trust drivers at any time of day. As a result, most of my running and biking clothes are hi-viz and obnoxiously bright. I like bright colors, but it is a conscious decision when purchasing new gear.

Laura
Guest
Laura

There are several old minivans being driven in our neighborhood that appear to have no working brakes. The drivers, who appear to be unhoused people, use curbs as a way to stop the vehicles at interections. It is scary AF to be walking when one of them is nearby.

tee
Guest
tee

I have seen this too, and it also isn’t how I want to die (or have them or someone else die). These drivers and their vehicles 100% need to be removed from the road. Owning a vehicle and driving are privileges, not rights.

Lauro Ritubo
Guest
Lauro Ritubo

tee,
Unfortunately this concept does not really exist in Portland. There is limited enforcement of laws for fear of it being uncompassionate or racist.

Watts
Guest
Watts

tee, please stop your bigotry towards those experiencing brakelessness.

David Hampsten
Guest
David Hampsten

Humorous comment of the week!

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

Too many houseless neighbors live in that area. The area is probably not developed for pedestrians due to the lack of sidewalks. It also has poor lighting, like most of Portland. Too many people dying due to not having a safe place to live. Who’s calling Dan Ryan?

Steve C
Guest
Steve C
Tad
Guest
Tad

I hope so too. Unfortunately with the PPB being so severely understaffed and a weak DA it’s unlikely that he will ever be caught and/or prosecuted. It seems we live in a post-apocalyptic Wild West in modern Portland where justice is rarely served.