A man who fled police on a motorcycle, then crashed, is the 35th traffic death in Portland this year. That's more deaths on city roads than in all of 2018.
Officials say John R. Shenfield was intoxicated and speeding when he crashed on Northwast Airport Way early Tuesday morning.
Port of Portland Police, who patrol the Portland International Airport, tried to pull over Shenfield at about 1:35 am Aug. 28, but he sped away on the motorbike. Police found him dead 10 blocks east, at the intersection of Northeast Airport Way and Northeast 148th Avenue.
"The traffic investigators concluded that speed and alcohol were likely factors in the crash," police said this morning in a statement.
City officials continue to grapple with a spike in traffic deaths, even as Portland has spent more than $100 million to improve safety on the roads.
Critics say Portland's program—called Vision Zero—hasn't sufficiently focused on personal irresponsibility as a factor in deaths. They argue that tougher DUII enforcement would discourage drunk drivers. Transportation officials contend that by making roads safer, they can make personal mistakes less deadly.