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Suspects Evading Law Enforcement Increase Car Accident Risks for Other Drivers

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Car Accidents on December 3, 2020

No one likes getting stopped by the police. For motorists, seemingly minor traffic infractions can result in costly fines while more serious offenses could leave you with points on your license, jeopardizing your driving privileges. Regardless of the penalties, most drivers still pull over when they see flashing red lights behind them. Those that do not, leading police on potentially high speed chases instead, increase the likelihood of car accidents in Portland and endanger not only themselves but everyone else on the road.  

Fiery Car Crash In Portland Results From Driver Fleeing Police

A Portland man was recently arrested after a fiery car crash that happened while he was attempting to evade police. According to a November 28, 2020 KOIN 6 News report, the accident happened shortly after midnight at the 4600 block of SE 122nd Avenue. Police state that they were trying to apprehend a 26-year-old male suspect who was wanted on prior charges of reckless driving and eluding arrest. 

After spotting his vehicle, law enforcement officials put down spike strips in an effort to prevent him from fleeing. When these efforts failed to work, they gave chase. The suspect eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pool. As his car burst into flames, he attempted to escape the scene on foot. Police did eventually apprehend and place him under arrest. He faces numerous misdemeanor and felony charges, including multiple counts of reckless driving, multiple attempts to elude by vehicle, and possession of heroin. Fortunately, no other drivers were injured in the accident. 

Suspects Fleeing Police Put Other Drivers At Risk

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) conducted an extensive study of motor vehicle crashes that occur during police pursuits. They found that roughly 300 people in the United States are killed in these types of car accidents each year. Close to half of the victims were not directly involved in the chase but were merely innocent drivers on the road. 

The study showed that suspects often run from police due to outstanding warrants or in an attempt to evade apprehension for serious crimes, such as assault, robbery, and drug or weapons offenses. However, there are just as many cases in which a driver faces far less serious charges and simply hopes to avoid being cited. Dangerous driving behaviors they may engage in as a result include: 

  • Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
  • Running red lights;
  • Driving the wrong way on roads;
  • Swerving from lane to lane;
  • Aggressively tailgating and side swiping other motorists.   

It is not just suspects who put innocent motorists at risk. Police are discouraged from engaging in high speed chases at any time or place where innocent drivers may be impacted. 

When the reckless actions of other motorists leave you suffering serious personal injuries, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. provides the professional legal representation you need to hold them accountable. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.

Marc Johnston
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