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Drunk driver rolls into 52nd Avenue Hardware

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - After rolling over a median, the pickup truck crashed into the yard of this hardware store on S.E. 52nd Avenue.An evening of fun at a local establishment ended badly about 9:30 pm on Monday night, January 28, when the driver of a large 1984 GMC pickup truck careened through the fence and into the lot of 52nd Avenue Hardware & Building Supply, Inc.

Witnesses said they saw the southbound pickup truck “barreling down” S.E. 52nd Avenue just before the wreck.

Even in the evening’s pouring rain, fresh concrete damage to the pedestrian median at S.E. Rural Street was evident.

Three witnesses at the scene told THE BEE they believed the truck struck the median, “fishtailed”, clipped off the crosswalk steel sign post, went out of control across the northbound lane, over the sidewalk, and through a cyclone fence, before it came to rest on its side.

52nd Avenue Hardware & Building Supply owner Steve Besaw looked surprised as he surveyed the damage.

“The truck hit a pallet of concrete blocks with such force, it shattered them, sending cement shards across the yard,” Besaw observed. “I’m glad the blocks were there; they got turned into dust – instead of having the truck run into our building.”

The driver, some witnesses say, initially started to walk away from the wreck before the passenger in the truck suggested he stay. Both occupants of the truck were transported to a local hospital.

“43-year-old Michael Lee Kraft was cited for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Reckless Driving,” Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson later reported.