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Hit-Run driver kills pedestrian in Foster-Powell neighborhood

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Officers look for evidence, after a man was hit in, and thrown out of, a Powell Boulevard crosswalk at S.E. 71st by a SUV which then fled the scene. The pedestrian, David Charles Eklund, died from his injuries.A man lay in the wet street, gravely injured from being hit by a car, on October 31st at about 9:30 pm.

“I heard a ‘thud’, and turned around to see what happened,” said Brad Eagleton who had just made a purchase from the 7-Eleven Store on S.E. Powell Boulevard at 71st Avenue.

“It looked like a smaller-sized SUV took off,” Eagleton added, “I didn’t know that was the car that hit the guy. Another guy here said the driver stopped to look, then took off.”

The accident victim had been wearing a hat and carrying a bag – both items were still lying in the street as police closed it off to begin their investigation.

A sergeant on-scene said, based on what officers had learned, that the man was walking across S.E. Powell Boulevard in the crosswalk, just as the traffic signal for cross traffic was turning green.

One car stayed stopped, to allow the man to finishing crossing. But, what witnesses described as a “dark colored small SUV” impatiently whipped around the waiting car, and struck the pedestrian.

An AMR ambulance secured the victim for transport and sped off to OHSU, along with a police officer, in case the victim were to regain consciousness.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Major Crash van pulled up, and specialists prepared to conduct a forensic investigation.

Soon after officers began examining the scene, word came that the victim, later identified as 60-year-old David Charles Eklund, had died from the injuries he had sustained.

The man’s wife of seven years, Cindy Eklund, talked with media about the sudden loss of her husband – saying that David had left their home to visit his mother, who lives nearby.

After reporters commented on the circumstances of his death, she corrected them, “He was actually hit, then rolled off the hood, and then was run over. That’s why he died.”

Police haven’t yet identified the driver, according to PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. His vehicle is described as a dark-colored small SUV. The driver is described as a white male in his 30s or 40s, with short, black hair.”

The grieving wife tearfully spoke through the media directly to the driver: “You need to take the blame for what you did. Nobody else did it. You did.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Officer Chris Johnson at the Traffic Division, 503/823-2103.