PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was killed when a driver hit his tent alongside a freeway early Sunday morning in Southeast Portland, police said.
Around 3:22 a.m., officers responded to a report of a crash along I-205 N near the SE Powell Boulevard off-ramp. When they arrived, police said they found a Honda sedan crashed into an occupied tent.
The man inside the tent was dead. Police said the woman driving the sedan was seriously injured, and she was taken to the hospital.
Spokesperson Don Hamilton said officials at ODOT will be taking a closer look at this case to try to figure out exactly what happened and they will also determine if there’s anything they can do to prevent another similar tragedy.
Hamilton also noted that homeless camping near Oregon’s highways is a problem statewide.
“We’ve seen this in the past before, where cars have gone spinning off the road, and hitting somebody who was residing right next to the road like that. It’s dangerous, we try to do everything we can to make sure that some of these campers stay away from the road,” Hamilton said.
According to Hamilton, anytime there is a crash like this, ODOT looks at what they can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again, including looking into safety factors in those areas.
“We’ve used a couple of things as a disincentive, to try to make sure people are not camping near the road, fencing is certainly one of them. But, the rocks have been an effective disincentive in some areas too. We are going to be looking at a lot of things for this area, find out what more we can do to try to keep this area safe,” Hamilton said.
As far as actually removing campers from the area, Hamilton said the city would be in charge of cleaning out camps within city limits.
Authorities asked anyone with information to email email@example.com or call 503.823.2103.