Caught on camera: Suspect flees deadly hit-run in SE Portland

Crime

Witness who took the video says he tried calling non-emergency police dispatch 3 times but couldn't get through

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland police said Friday they know the name of the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash the previous day and are trying to track him down.

A pedestrian was struck shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday near SE McLoughlin and SE Holgate boulevards. Police said the person died at the scene. The victim’s name has not yet been released.

A driver who was not involved in the crash took a cellphone video of a person running away from the scene whom Portland police later confirmed to be the suspect. The person who took the video told KOIN 6 News he tried to give the video to police but couldn’t get through after calling the bureau’s non-emergency number three times.

Portland Police Sgt. Kevin Allen said PPB was experiencing a high number of calls to 911 at the time of the crash. Allen said high call volume isn’t unusual and can make it hard for callers to reach dispatch.

“I think it’s pretty well known that our first responder system, our public safety system, is overwhelmed right now,” Allen said. “There are times where there are more things going on than we have the capacity to handle.”

Allen said people who call the non-emergency number but are unable to get through should try calling back later when the system isn’t so busy. Someone who witnesses a crime and knows the police are on the way should wait in a safe area until they can talk to officers in person, Allen said.

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