A fatal crash in Northeast Portland brings the year's total number of car-related deaths to 34, by the most conservative estimate. That means Portland has matched the total traffic deaths in 2018, with more than four months left in 2019.
The crash occurred Friday night around Northeast 122nd Avenue and Northeast Stanton Street, shutting down traffic in both directions along 122nd. Police did not specify how many vehicles were involved.
The Portland Police Bureau counts this as the 36th traffic fatality of 2019, while the Portland Bureau of Transportation counts it as the 34th.
The discrepancy in numbers between the Portland Police Bureau and the Portland Bureau of Transportation comes from a difference in the criteria used to determine what constitutes a "traffic fatality." The PPB classifies these as all instances involving a motor vehicle that result in death. PBOT's traffic safety page, however, states that its numbers exclude "people who die: more than 30 days after a crash, intentionally (suicide), in an act of homicide (a person intentionally crashes into another person), in a crash not involving a motor vehicle, from a prior medical event (e.g. a heart attack or drug overdose), or in a crash in a parking lot."
Two incidents earlier this year—one a suicide, one an accident on a boat ramp—meet the PPB's criteria for traffic fatalities, but fail to meet PBOT's.
Either way, the statistics should concern Portland officials aiming to reduce or eliminate traffic violence on city streets.