PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 28-year-old man accused of drunk driving when he crashed into a power pole Sunday morning in Northeast Portland, killing one passenger and injuring himself and four others.
Gawayne J. Streeter is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Multnomah County Circuit Court. He was arrested following his release from an area hospital.
He is charged with one count each of first-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run), driving under the influence of intoxicants, second-degree criminal mischief and two counts of second-degree assault. He also had an outstanding warrant for possession of cocaine, DUII, reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.
The crash occurred just before 6 a.m. Sunday morning near the intersection of Northeast Fremont Street and 102nd Avenue. A sheriff’s office spokesperson said investigators have determined there were six men inside the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. Portland police Lt. Derrick Peterson said Streeter was driving “well over the legal limit” and lost control. The right rear passenger, 24-year-old Paul Joseph Williams, died on impact when his door struck the pole. Williams was not wearing a seatbelt.
“Even if he had worn his seatbelt, due to the severity of the direct impact” he would not have survived the crash, Peterson said.
A second passenger, 27-year-old John Perry, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and then also arrested upon his release on an outstanding warrant for multiple charges including theft of services, interfering with a peace officer, third-degree escape and felon in possession of a restricted firearm.
Two more passengers, 26-year-old Deonte Gordon and 24-year-old Gene Earl Hankins, were treated at a Portland hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Investigators believe a sixth passenger fled before deputies arrived on scene.
Anyone with information on the incident should call sheriff’s detectives at 503-251-2531. The East County Vehicular Crimes Team is continuing to investigate.
— Brent Weisberg
Follow on Twitter: @BrentKOIN