Two Fatalities This Week Highlight Increase in Traffic-Related Deaths in Portland

A crash Tuesday evening led to the 28th traffic death this year.

Traffic-related fatalities are on the rise in Portland.

On Tuesday, June 25, just before 6 pm, police officers responded to a rollover crash near Northeast Lombard Street and Northeast 42nd Avenue. The unidentified driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is the 28th traffic related fatality so far this year.

It comes two days after Lance T. Hart died when a driver hit his bicycle near Southeast Flavel Street and 79th Avenue. Police say the driver who hit Hart, Nicholas Martinez, was drunk.

Related: Cyclist Killed by Driver in Southeast Portland. Police Say the Driver Was Drunk.

Data show a significant increase in the rate of traffic deaths from previous years, even as the city's Transportation Bureau works to implement a "Vision Zero" traffic safety plan to reduce such deaths.

Last year at this time, there were 17 recorded traffic fatalities. And in June 2017 and 2016, there were 15 and 23, respectively. The increase in fatalities comes as Portland police admit they are assigning fewer officers to DUII patrol, blaming staffing shortages.

Related: Portland Arrests for Drunken Driving Have Dropped. That's Because Police Cut Back on Traffic Stops.

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