PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 70-year-old woman was seriously injured when a car hit her Tuesday morning as she crossed SE Division Street, according to police.
Weifu Ma, 25, hit the woman around 5 a.m. at the intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street, Portland Police Bureau said. According to witnesses, the woman was inside the crosswalk on SE Division Street and had a walk signal as she used her walker to cross the street.
Ma allegedly tried to leave the scene, but he was chased down by Marco Herrera, who witnessed the crash and called 911. Herrera reportedly followed the suspect as he tried to drive home. He then purposefully rammed Ma’s BMW with his own Ford F-150, disabling the BMW, police said.
Officers arrived a short time later and arrested Ma on charges of failing to perform the duties of a driver, reckless driving, fourth-degree assault, second-degree criminal mischief and DUII.
Alcohol was reportedly a factor in the crash.
The woman who was hit is expected to survive her injuries.
The intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street is notoriously dangerous.
Last year, 5 people died in traffic accidents along SE Division Street, which is on the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s list of roads that require safety improvements.
SE Division Street has already received some modifications as part of Vision Zero, a project Portland and other cities have undertaken with the goal of eliminating traffic-related casualties altogether. Those changes include improved lighting, automated speed cameras, a speed limit reduction to 30 mph and modified traffic lights that alert drivers they are required to stop and wait for pedestrians to cross.
More upgrades are scheduled periodically over the next 4 years.
According to PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera, the changes have largely been effective. He says there have been zero fatal accidents on SE Division Street this year.
Still, Rivera said the modifications alone aren’t much defense against drunk drivers.
“Speed limit signs can’t affect that kind of behavior,” Rivera said. “But we need to work with he community. We need everyone to be aware of their surroundings.”