PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A multi-car crash in Southeast Portland on Thursday night resulted in the death of three people and seriously injured another, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
Officers say they arrived at Southeast Powell Boulevard near Southeast 63rd Avenue around 9:34 p.m. and found two people dead. A third person was transported to the hospital via ambulance with life-threatening injuries, police say, and a fourth was transported with non-life threatening injuries.
Sadly, despite life-saving efforts, the third person later died at the hospital.
Police say their investigation suggests two cars, a BMW sedan and a Subaru Impreza, were speeding while racing down SE Powell Blvd. Meanwhile, a Lexus sedan was turning onto SE Powell Blvd. from SE 63rd Ave.
As the Lexus was turning, the BMW crashed into it — sending the BMW into the raised median and knocking over multiple trees, according to PPB. Police announced the driver and passenger of the BMW, Hannah E. Fetters and her twin sister, Grace I. Fetters, both died at the scene. They were 18.
The occupants of the Lexus were both hospitalized, but the driver, Julie D. Skeen, 55, of Portland, later succumbed to her injuries. The male passenger remains hospitalized.
Although the Subaru was not directly involved in the crash, police say its 17-year-old driver pulled over and remained to cooperate with officers.
Hours later as police were still investigating, PPB says another driver crashed into a Traffic Sergeant’s SUV which was being used to block traffic. The collision totaled the car, but no injuries were reported as the vehicle was unoccupied at the time.
A 28-year-old driver has since been issued criminal citations for DUII and reckless driving.
Southeast Powell Boulevard is closed to all traffic between Southeast 60th Avenue and Southeast 72nd Avenue while PPB investigates. Officials say these fatalities bring the total number of traffic-related deaths in Portland this year to 41 — including 10 in July alone.
Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who is in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, issued a statement following several recent crashes in the Portland area:
“Being a City Commissioner during this challenging period of Portland history, requires acknowledging a significant amount of preventable death. As the Commissioner-in-charge of the Bureau of Transportation, it weighs heavily on me that we have had many traffic-related fatalities in the last week. Every one of those affects me and my staff on a deep and profound level. I will continue to work with PBOT on infrastructure safety improvements and with Portland Police Traffic Enforcement to cut down on unsafe and impaired driving.”
Police ask anyone with information on this crash to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and reference case number 23-190919.
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.