Three women were hospitalized Friday morning after a hit-and-run crash on the Portland State University campus.
All women suffered serious injuries and were transported to local hospitals. Two women have serious life-threatening injuries and the third is in fair condition, according to a Portland Police Bureau news release.
PSU officials have confirmed one of the women is a freshman at the Oregon school, reports KATU.
The three women were crossing the street in front of the school’s Urban Center Plaza when a vehicle struck them at approximately 10:04 a.m. Witnesses told police a blue midsize SUV jumped the curb, hit the women as they were just about to reach the curb and sped off.
“I thought he was going to drag them down the street,” said witness Lauren Peoples. “He just kept going down the street swerving.”
Witness Christopher Bond said after the vehicle struck the women, the driver “gunned the motor” and sped toward him, according to The Washington Post.
Another witness, Isabela Juan, said one of the victims was being put on a gurney by paramedics and that she appeared to be unconscious with half of her face covered in blood. Another victim was screaming and unable to walk, added Juan.
Police tweeted Friday afternoon that they were able to track down a blue 2005 Mazda Tribute they believe was involved in the crash.
The suspect, 61-year-old Greg Porter, was taken into custody and is facing charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.
Suspect Allegedly Suffered from Delusions, Was Flagged as Suicidal in Police Database
Porter’s most recent listed place of residence is at Secora, a rehabilitation facility in Southeast Portland.
James Aldred, an administrator at Secora, said Porter was a patient at the facility but moved out May 1 when he finished physical therapy. Aldred also said Porter suffered from delusions, reports Oregon Live.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he was involved in something,” Aldred said, but that he wouldn’t have expected “something to this degree.”
A Portland police source confirmed Porter, the registered owner of the SUV, is flagged in the bureau’s database as suicidal with mental health issues and that they believe the crash was intentional.
Two of Porter’s neighbors, Dawn Holbrook and Ralph Garza, told Oregon Live that he was prone to confrontation.
“I was not shocked at all,” Holbrook said of hearing about the crash.
Holbrook said Porter would accuse her of stealing the password to his laptop and locking him out of it. Porter also allegedly made the accusation toward Garza.
Another neighbor, Judith Lynne, said Porter and his wife, Mary, often offered to help her with household chores as she has Parkinson’s. Lynne also said she began to notice a change in Porter’s behavior in 2016. The couple would allegedly fight in the parking lot and his wife had been in and out of the hospital for years, which Lynne said was taking a toll on Porter.
“My sense is he didn’t know how to manage it — seeing Mary like that,” Lynne said.
The couple broke up in April 2017 and Mary later died in May 2017, according to the neighbors.
Porter is expected to appear in court for the first time Tuesday.
Students said they received alerts and updates Friday from campus security regarding the incident and PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi also sent an email to students and faculty.
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