Driver accused of deliberately hitting, killing man near St Johns Bridge

Crime

Investigation remains open

Roy Bennett Jr. (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A driver who left a pedestrian in North Portland with serious, life-threatening injuries last week now faces an attempted murder charge following the victim’s death Sunday.

On the afternoon of Friday, March 19, police received word of an injury crash at North Crawford Street under the North Philadelphia Avenue bridge ramp viaduct. Officers found a person with serious injuries and was eventually taken to a hospital by ambulance.

The driver of the vehicle involved left the scene.

Upon further investigation, the Portland Police Bureau determined Roy Bennett Jr., 29 ,to be the driver. He’s accused of intentionally crashing into the victim and then leaving the scene. He was charged with second-degree murder; one count of failure to perform the duties of a driver; and one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for his alleged role in the incident.

Police said Bennett was arrested in a stolen vehicle, but police could not confirm if it was the same one used to strike the 57-year-old victim, who was publicly identified on Tuesday as Errol Rees of Washington County.

Errol Rees, 57, was killed in a hit-run near St. Johns. He was publicly identified on March 23, 2021 (PPB)

“Detectives are still looking to talk to witnesses,” said PPB Lt. Greg Pashley. “They’re still gathering information. This is only a few days old of a murder investigation. And so they don’t have a ton to release right now.”

PPB said the investigation remains open. Anyone with information about the incident, is urged to contact Detective Ryan Foot at 503-823-0781 or Detective Travis Law at 503-823-0395.

Pashley said this marks the 22nd homicide so far this year. There were only three homicides reported this time last year.

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