(PORTLAND, Ore.) — A hit-and-run driver struck three women walking on a sidewalk in downtown Portland, seriously injuring two of them, and police said Friday they had taken a man into custody within hours of the incident.
Someone called 911 after spotting a blue sport utility vehicle that matched the description of the car that struck the women near a light-rail station by the Portland State University campus, said Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Police have not yet determined a motive and know little about the man, Simpson said. Authorities are getting a search warrant so they can seize the car as evidence, he said, and have yet to rule out factors such as intoxication, mental health problems or a medical incident.
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 (72 kph).
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.