Woman survives serious crash in NE Portland


Police said Joann Mardis likely wouldn't have survived the crash if she'd been in a different vehicle

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman is fighting to regain movement in her legs after a crash in Northeast Portland.

Larry Mardis was tinkering in his garage on Sunday afternoon when he noticed a lot of traffic traveling past his house. His wife, Joann Mardis, had just left for her shift at Elmer’s Cafe.

“I walked out and I asked one of the people ‘Is there a detour or something up the street’ and they said ‘No, there’s a really bad accident.’ I thought well okay,” Larry recalled.

He called his wife’s cellphone to find out if she’d seen the crash but her phone went to voicemail. He tried several times with the same result.

“So then I walked out into the street and I asked another person that was in the long line of cars ‘Hey, one of those trucks wasn’t a blue Ford pickup was it in that accident?’ and they said yes it was,” Larry said. “At that moment I hopped in my truck and got in there as quickly as I could.”

Joann Mardis was driving a Ford F150 when she was hit by two vehicles in Northeast Portland, July 19, 2020. (Courtesy of Alexandria Doyal)

Joann’s family told KOIN 6 News she was in an F150, turning right onto NE 122nd Avenue when a car slammed into her. Her daughter, Alexandria Doyal, said the force “spun my mom’s truck out and another car hit her from the other side.”

Police reportedly told Joann’s family both cars that hit the pickup were going so fast that if Joann had been driving any other type of vehicle she likely wouldn’t have survived.

Joann sustained two broken legs, broken ribs, a fractured hip and damage to her spine. She’s had multiple surgeries since Sunday, including one on Tuesday afternoon. Doctors say she may not walk again but that hasn’t stopped her family from hoping for the opposite.

Joann Mardis with family. (Courtesy of Alexandria Doyal)

GoFundMe page for Joann’s medical expenses

Larry said they’ve talked about what could have happened if Joann had left just five minutes earlier or later.

“A person can always run that scenario through their mind — woulda shoulda coulda,” said Larry. “But what she said is ‘Well, then they would have hit somebody else.'”

KOIN 6 News has reached out to police but no details have been released, other than an investigation is underway.

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