Blind man killed in crosswalk, driver arrested

Ryan Gawick, 34, faces negligent homicide

A blind man was hit and killed in a crosswalk at N. Columbia and Interstate Avenue, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
A blind man was hit and killed in a crosswalk at N. Columbia and Interstate Avenue, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A blind man was struck and killed crossing an intersection in North Portland early Monday, and the driver — who stayed at the scene — was arrested on a charge of negligent homicide.

The man was in a crosswalk on North Columbia Boulevard at North Interstate Place around 6:17 a.m. when, investigators said, Ryan M. Gawick ran a red light.

Ryan M. Gawick, September 25, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
Ryan M. Gawick, September 25, 2017 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

His 2014 Mustang hit the man, who died at a nearby hospital not long after being hit. He was later identified as 61-year-old Reke Frank Agee of Portland.

Gawick, 34, cooperated with investigators. He’s being held in the Multnomah County Jail.

Brett Walker, who works about 40 yards from where Agee was hit, said there’s “just a lot of cars speeding for no reason every day.”

“It’s not a surprise to me,” he told KOIN 6 News. “This intersection is kind of a problem, it seems like.” He added speeding cars and trucks have crashed into the same power pole at this spot before.

Another woman who lives nearby, Alyson, said for people crossing the street “it’s a life-or-death risk that they’re taking.”

“This gentleman had to lose his life for this neighborhood to be, like, ‘Oh, hey, we need better lighting and and more cross walks,” she said.

Agee was on his way to work at a business on the north side of Columbia Highway.

Walker wasn’t exactly caught off guard by this crash, but it still affected him.

“Somebody actually just took their last breath in that cross walk today,” he said. “It’s pretty sad.”

A blind man was hit and killed in a crosswalk at N. Columbia and Interstate Avenue, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)
A blind man was hit and killed in a crosswalk at N. Columbia and Interstate Avenue, September 25, 2017 (KOIN)