Cyclist killed in SW Portland, driver arrested

Crash happened around 4 p.m. along SW Multnomah Boulevard

Willard E. Tow was arrested at the scene of the crash. (KOIN/MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – An off-duty police officer was one of the first people on the scene of a deadly crash in the Maplewood neighborhood on Monday around 4 p.m., according to court documents.

The officer heard the crash from his nearby house and quickly responded to the scene located in the 6300 block of Southwest Multnomah Blvd., according to a probable cause affidavit written by deputy district attorney Christopher Shull.

When the officer got on scene, he found the victim, now identified as Andrzej Kurkowski, lying in shrubs on the side of the road. The officer saw no signs of life in the 77-year-old victim, according to court documents.

The officer turned to a group of people at the crash scene and asked who was driving the vehicle that hit Kurkowski. According to court documents, Willard Tow raised his hands.

Tow claimed that Kurkowski “swerved right in front me,” according to the court documents.

Witnesses told police a different version of what happened.

One witness told officers that the Corvette driven by Tow actually tried to pass Kurkowski on the right hand shoulder and that Tow struck Kurkowski in the bike lane, records show. Shortly before the crash, Tow’s vehicle was seen leaving the parking lot of a nearby bar.

Tow had a passenger in his vehicle and that person told police that he estimated Tow was driving about 80 to 90 miles per hour at one point, records show. Another witness estimated that Tow struck Kurkowski going about 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Tow was seen getting out of the driver’s seat of the Corvette right after the crash, records show. When the off-duty PPB officer was waiting for other officers to arrive on scene, he reported that he overheard Tow speaking to someone on the phone. Tow reportedly said, “I think I’m in trouble because I’ve been drinking,” records state.

Police with the PPB Traffic Division attempted to perform field sobriety tests on Tow but he “wouldn’t follow the instructions.”

Blood samples from Tow are pending with the state crime lab.

He appeared in court on Tuesday. He is charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, DUII and reckless driving. Records show that he completed a DUII diversion course in Washington County in 2012.

A bicyclist was hit and killed by a car in the 6300 block of SW Multnomah Boulevard, May 30, 2016 (KOIN)
A bicyclist was hit and killed by a car in the 6300 block of SW Multnomah Boulevard, May 30, 2016 (KOIN)

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