A suspected drunk driver has hit and killed a man who was walking across Division Street

A suspected drunk driver has hit and killed a man who was walking across Division Street

The intersection of Division at SE 124th near where Damon Burton was killed.

The intersection of Division at SE 124th near where Damon Burton was killed.

A man was arrested yesterday morning for recklessly driving his car into a person who was trying to cross the street in southeast Portland.

40-year-old Clifford Eugene Perry faces charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) and Reckless Driving. Perry will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court today.

On Sunday evening Perry was driving westbound on Division near 124th (map) “at a high rate of speed” (according to Portland Police investigators) prior to coming into contact with 61-year-old Damon Patrick Burton. Perry, who the police suspect was drunk, then continued driving on Division until crashing into a gas station at 122nd. Burton lived in the neighborhood and was trying to cross Division from south to north prior to being hit.

(The police have not said where exactly Burton was crossing from, but it appears from photos taken by other news outlets that Burton was likely crossing at 124th.)







Division is one of the deadliest streets in Portland and has been a part of the bureau of transportation’s High Crash Corridor program for years. According to PBOT data Division has 50 percent more walking-related collisions than average.

The cross-section of Division where Burton was killed is daunting. He was trying to cross over nine lanes — two auto parking lanes, two bike lanes, four standard vehicle lanes, and a center turn lane.

According to the city of Portland’s Vision Zero Crash Map, this same section of Division has been the scene of two fatal and three serious injury collisions since 2005.

Mr. Burton is the 31st 32nd person to die on Portland streets so far this year and the ninth person to be struck and killed while walking. 37 people died on Portland’s streets in all of 2015 and there were 10 fatalities that involved someone walking. If this pace continues we would have 47 deaths this year which would be the most since 1998. This is also the second fatal collision involving a walker on Division this year. A person was killed while crossing Division at 156th on January 12th, which spurred PBOT to install a rapid flash beacon at that location shortly thereafter.

This latest fatality comes two days after advocates joined with City Commissioner Steve Novick and other agency leaders at a “Rally to end unsafe streets.” Burton’s death also comes as many in the community are reeling following a spate of preventable roadway tragedies that have taken the lives of vulnerable users.

19-year-old Larnell Bruce was intentionally struck and killed with a car by a man with ties to white supremacist groups on August 10th in Gresham; 15-year-old Fallon Smart was hit and killed by a reckless driver on Hawthorne Blvd on August 19th; and 15-year-old Bradley Fortner is still in the Intensive Care Unit with a brain injury suffered after being hit by someone driving on Columbia Blvd while walking to school in north Portland on August 30th.

On Saturday in Beaverton a 61-year-old woman was hit and killed by a motor vehicle operator while jogging. She was trying to cross NW Baseline at 166th.

UPDATE, 9/6 at 9:00 pm: Another person has been hit on Division near this same intersection. It happened Tuesday night. Here is the police statement:

On Tuesday September 6, 2016, at 8:44 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report that a pedestrian was struck by a driver at Southeast 148th Avenue and Division Street and that the driver fled the area.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the male pedestrian suffering from traumatic injuries. He was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment and his current condition is not known.

Preliminary information indicates that after striking the pedestrian, the driver fled the area but then returned and was providing aid to the pedestrian. Prior to police arrival, the driver left again and a female came to the scene and drove away in the suspect vehicle.

Officers engaged the female driver in a short pursuit before she crashed at Southeast 150th Avenue and Main Street, where she was taken into custody.

Officers are searching the area for the driver, described as a Hispanic male in his early-40s.

Traffic Division officers are at the scene conducting an investigation.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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