PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 25-year-old man now faces criminal charges, accused of being an impaired driver who struck and killed two pedestrians early Saturday on southbound Interstate-5 at the I-405 interchange.
Officers were dispatched to the area between NE Killingsworth Street and the Rose Quarter just before 2:30 a.m. Investigators said two women pulled over on the right shoulder of the freeway after their SUV broke down. Then, another car pulled over to assist them, but stopped in the center of the freeway split between I-5 and I-405. When they were unable to start the broken-down car, the two women crossed the traffic lanes to get to the other car when they were hit by a person driving a Ford Fusion.
When officers arrived at the scene, they confirmed the two women had died as a result of a collision. The third person who stopped to help was unharmed.
After notifying next of kin, police identified the victims as 37-year-old Katherine Chavez and 32-year-old Paris Green.
While investigating, police said that the driver of the Ford, identified as Michael Hanson, 25, was impaired at the time. He was arrested and charged with two counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide and DUII.
The crash forced a closure from Exit 304 / Missouri Ave to Exit 303 / Going St. Southbound traffic was diverted off the freeway at NE Killingsworth Street. The freeway lane closures lasted longer than seven hours, according to police, and reopened to traffic around 9:45 a.m.
Portland police said this was the “third fatal crash in the city within a 24 hour time frame.” A total of 42 people have died in traffic-related incidents in Portland this year.
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