PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A driver rammed into three women walking on a sidewalk Friday in downtown Portland, critically injuring one of them, before speeding away and getting arrested within hours of the crash, authorities said.
Someone called 911 after spotting a blue SUV that matched the description of the vehicle that struck the women near a light-rail station close to Portland State University, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, Greg Philip Porter, 61, was arrested at Northeast 16th Avenue and Northeast Glisan Street. Porter faces charges including three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault and reckless driving, according to the bureau.
Police have not yet determined a motive, but say the suspect was cooperative during his arrest, Simpson said. Authorities said they were getting a search warrant to seize the car with a crumpled hood and have yet to rule out intoxication, mental health problems or a medical incident as the reason for the crash.
The names of the victims have not been released.
Sgt. Chris Burley said one victim was in critical condition at a hospital and another was in serious condition. The family of the third woman asked that no updates be given about her health.
Police have not said how fast the 2005 Mazda Tribute was traveling or how long it spent on the sidewalk before speeding off.
A witness, Christopher Bond, said he was standing on the sidewalk when he saw a newer SUV hit at least two women. He estimated it was traveling about 45 mph.
Bond said he turned to help, and the driver “gunned it,” nearly hitting him.
Another witness, Kat Caputo, was talking to a friend by a light-rail station when she heard a commotion and turned around. She saw two women lying on the sidewalk and another leaning against a brick wall. Others were shouting that a car had jumped the curb, struck the women and sped away.
One of the women appeared to have serious back injuries, she said.
“I’m still kind of in shock. If I were two minutes later, that would have been me, or if I had just walked that normal route, that would have been me,” she said. “A lot of people were crying.”
Police cordoned off several blocks around the scene. A green sweater, a pair of sneakers, a pink slipper and one black bike glove lay scattered on the sidewalk near a small splash of blood.