GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — A 54-year-old Gresham man died when his Mazda was struck by a Mercedes going an estimated 100 miles per hour Tuesday night.
Donald Bard died at the scene at Highway 26 and SE 267th Avenue, just two blocks from his home. He was on his way from Home Depot — only two blocks from his home.
Before the crash, Gresham police received a report of a Mercedes driving recklessly east of Sandy. Police said they saw the speeding Mercedes around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, but before they could stop it, the car collided with Bard’s Mazda at the intersection.
“It is like taking a toy car, throwing it on the ground and watching the pieces explode; that’s what the car looked like,” said bystander Paul James. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life, and it almost made me want to throw up.”
Immediately after the crash the Mercedes caught on fire. Officers and bystanders pulled the driver, Sun Bear Raven, out of the car.
Raven, 36, has not yet been charged. He was driving with a suspended license for multiple traffic crimes, including a DUII, Gresham police said. Records obtained by KOIN 6 News show Raven had an arrest history out of Clackamas and Multnomah counties going back to 1996, with convictions for first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, resisting arrest, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and supplying contraband.
He remains hospitalized in serious condition.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Bard’s family said,“Donald was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend. He was born in Lewiston, Maine and has been a loyal Red Sox fan his whole life. He served in the US Navy, where fate took him to his wife and soul mate in 1980. He was the kindest and most caring individual anyone could ever have the pleasure to know. He worked hard to provide for his family who he adored and cherished. He is survived by his wife of thirty-one years, two children, mother, three brothers, one sister and two grandchildren. He will never be forgotten. We love you so much and will miss you dearly.”