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Drivers mistakes do have their cost

POWELL PILEUP
by: David F. Ashton After removing the pillars and rear door of the car in the middle of the crash – the Kia – firefighters extract the occupant and place her on a waiting gurney.

It wasn't drink driving, speed racing, or road rage that caused an April 14th multi-vehicle crash on eastbound S.E. Powell Boulevard just after 10 pm, officials say.

Instead, it was a just plain driving error: This one, as basic as allegedly not keeping enough distance between moving vehicles on a rainy night.

After checking the reports, Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson told THE BEE that a gray Chevrolet Malibu sedan was stopping for a red signal at S.E. 72nd Avenue.

A white Kia sedan driven by 26-year-old Jessica Paterson was close to the Chevy; she hit her brakes hard to stop at the light, as did the white Dodge pickup truck behind her, driven by 22-year-old Ramiro Martinez-Vasquez.

But, the pickup truck was following too closely, and because the driver was apparently not looking ahead to see the light changing, didn't stop quickly enough. He plowed into the back of the Kia, which itself had barely avoided hitting the car ahead - and pushed it into the Chevy.

The Kia, caught in the middle, was so badly smashed that the crew of Portland Fire and Rescue's Woodstock Truck 25 worked for almost a half hour, using their powerful Holmatro Rescue Tools, to cut open and pry apart the crumpled vehicle sufficiently to make a rescue.

Although the extent of their respective injuries is not known, two individuals were transported to area hospitals as a result of the accident.

'Martinez-Vasquez and Paterson were both cited for 'Following Too Close',' Sgt. Simpson later revealed.