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Car rolls down hill, kills man in his carport

TROUTDALE - A 63-year-old man died Sunday after an unattended parked car careened down a hill and struck him as he sat under a carport to the side of his home.

Officers responded to a call of a man pinned under a vehicle at 4:21 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Columbia Vista Mobile Home Park in the 800 block of Southwest Alder Circle.

Gresham Fire and Emergency officials found the victim, Arthur Lee Dentler, trapped between his house and the 1988 Acura, said Sgt. Marc Shrake, Troutdale Police Department spokesman.

Dentler was transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center, where he died of his injuries.

'Where he would have been sitting, the sun would have been in his eyes,' Shrake said, adding that it is unlikely that Dentler saw the car coming.

Portland resident Challa Anotta, 18, told police he parked the car just up the hill from the cul-de-sac in front of his girlfriend's home and was reportedly inside her home at the time of the incident, Shrake said.

'It was distance enough for it to gather up a bit of steam,' Shrake said.

Witnesses who tried to move the vehicle off of Dentler noted that the car was in gear and the emergency brake was on, Shrake said.

The Acura was taken to a dealership for a 'vehicle autopsy.' Police are waiting for results of that report, which will help them determine if there was some kind of mechanical problem with the car or if there was any negligence on the part of the owners.

Police said they believe the crash was simply an accident.

If police determine there is negligence on the part of the owners, the District Attorney would decide whether to file charges against them. The East Multnomah County Vehicular Crimes team is investigating.