Police: Driver was going 90 mph before fatal crash

Police: Driver was going 90 mph before fatal crash »Play Video
KATU photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - One person was killed and another was injured when a speeding car slammed into a power pole, careened down a street and ended up in a yard.

The crash, which left a trail of destruction in its wake, happened just before 2 a.m. near Northeast 146th Avenue and East Burnside Street. Only one car, a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse, was involved.

"Speed was a major factor," an officer on the scene told KATU News. Police later said they estimated that the Traverse was going about 90 mph when it went out of control.

The driver, 33-year-old Shelby Lynn Williams of Southeast Portland, was ejected from the car and died. Her passenger, 28-year-old Cleveland Nelson, was taken to the hospital. He was badly hurt but is expected to survive.

"He has several broken ribs and he has a collapsed lung," Nelson's cousin, Willina Thompson, said. "He's in ICU. He can't speak to anyone right now."

Thompson said Shelby is the cousin of the mother of Nelson's son.

Witnesses said the car actually went airborne and hit a second-story apartment before coming to rest across the street. Others said the crash was so loud it woke them up.

"I was sound asleep and I heard this huge, huge bang," Bruce Fagerberg said.

Westbound East Burnside Street near Northeast 146th Avenue and a MAX station at Northeast 148th Avenue were closed Wednesday morning while police investigated. MAX service was interrupted but later resumed as police cleared part of the scene.

One neighbor told us that people speed along that particular section of East Burnside Street all the time. She said it's not uncommon to see drivers going about 60 miles per hour. The speed limit is 35 mph.