Uber Passenger Fatally Ejected Through Windshield in 100-MPH Crash With Intoxicated Driver

It’s the 18th traffic death in Portland this year, and the second over Easter weekend.

(Sam Gehrke)

An intoxicated driver slammed a stolen pickup truck into an Uber vehicle at about 100 miles per hour on a Northeast Portland overpass Saturday.

The driver of the stolen pickup and the Uber driver survived, Portland police say. The Uber passenger—a man who was sitting in the backseat—was ejected through the windshield and died.

It's the 18th traffic death in Portland this year, and the second over Easter weekend.

The unusual circumstances of this crash drew immediate attention. It's unusual for ride-hailing customers to die in wrecks, and it raises questions about legal responsibility, especially if the passenger was not wearing a seat belt.

But it's the larger trend of traffic deaths that will renew questions about the city's effectiveness in enforcing a "Vision Zero" campaign to eliminate traffic deaths. Observers have criticized the city's walking and bicycle safety infrastructure and a lack of DUII patrols.

Already, Portland had seen a fatal crash this weekend. A woman crossing Northeast Broadway on foot was hit and killed by a delivery truck in the Rose Quarter on Friday evening. Police are still investigating, but say speed and alcohol weren't factors.

Last night's crash occurred on Northeast 102nd Avenue around midnight. The driver of a stolen Dodge pickup truck crossed the median while on the road's overpass above Interstate 84, and crashed head-on into a Lexus SUV in use as an Uber.

The driver of the pickup, who police say was under the influence, went through his own windshield, but suffered only non-life-threatening injuries.

WW intern Allison Place contributed reporting to this story.

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