Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thank God everyone's all right!

Some of you who live in the Portland area might have heard about the shooting in the Tualatin area yesterday. I was one of those who got caught in the immediately resultant traffic jam that ensued in the east Tualatin area. By the time I got to my turn southbound at Sagert and 65th--which was about 5:20 PM, twenty minutes after the shooting--the police had closed it off. (You can see on the linked map that my route would have gone directly by the site of the shooting. )

The redirecting of traffic down northbound 65th was beginning to cause a traffic jam that went all the way back to 70th. I was looking in my rear-view mirror and saw a Tualatin police cruiser in the oncoming lane cresting the hill with lights and siren on. At the same time I looked in front of me to see a Nissan Altima two cars ahead of me take a left on 68th to get around the traffic. The driver of the Altima didn't see the cop in the left lane heading down the hill right at him.

I didn't think the cruiser would get down the hill that fast, but before I could think about what was happening I saw the Tualatin cruiser T-bone the Altima on the rear driver's-side door and pushed it all the way back to the sidewalk. The officer jumped out of the car and shouted nearby cars down, "Can you stop! I need witnesses!" The young couple in the Altima, along with their young daughter, crawled out of the passenger side of the car.

The good news is that everyone was OK, but were both completely stunned by the secondary crash just blocks away from the original incident. I stood outside in freezing-cold weather for about twenty minutes to give my story to an Oregon State Trooper (due to TPD's involvement in the crash, they were unable to provide the investigation team).

The couple's car was nearly completely destroyed on one side and the wheels on the other side was bent at 45 degrees against the curb on the other. The wife is expecting a baby in May, so she asked for medical assistance. Tualatin Valley Fire Department was brought in to help.

You may remember my last (not near as exciting) encounter with the Tualatin Police. Regardless of the fact that they have to point out my mistakes from time to time, I'm glad to have people like these on the spot and ready to protect and serve.

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