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Police: Man arrested after three people injured in downtown Portland hit-and-run

Several pedestrians struck in hit-and-run near Portland State University on May 25, 2018. KATU photo

The driver of a car associated with a hit-and-run in downtown Portland Friday morning has been arrested.

The crash was reported around 10 a.m. at SW 6th and Hall near the Portland State University campus.

Police say the three women were walking on the sidewalk on the east side of SW 6th Avenue when they were struck by the driver. Oregon Health and Science University Hospital confirms they are treating three women; one is in critical condition, one is in serious condition and the other is in fair condition. Their families have been notified.

A fourth individual may have been injured and left the scene on their own accord.

The driver of the blue Mazda which was associated with the crash was placed in custody just before 1 p.m. at NE 16th Avenue and Glisan Street. Officials say he has been taken to a police facility to be interviewed.

Police have not released the man's name or what charges he's facing. They say they are not searching for any other suspects, and have referred to him as the "person of interest."

They say an observant citizen tipped them on the suspect vehicle's location. They say the person had seen photos of the suspect vehicle and noticed the front-end damage on the blue SUV near NE 16th Avenue and Glisan Street and called police.

Police ask anyone with information about the blue Mazda Tribute with Oregon license plate 491JHT to call investigators at (503) 823-3333.

Police don't know if the three women injured in the crash are Portland State University students.

WITNESS REPORTS

A witness, Christopher Bond, said he was inside a Starbucks near the Portland State University campus when he heard a woman scream.

He said he saw two people hit by a dark blue SUV and called 911.

When he stepped out of the coffee shop to help the victims, he said the vehicle accelerated again and he had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

The man estimates the driver was going at least 40 to 45 miles per hour. He tried to get photos of the license plate.

He said at least 20 other people witness the incident.

Another witness, Kat Caputo, said she didn't witness the vehicle hit the victims, but she was near the street at the time. She said she turned around when she heard yelling.

She saw women on the ground. One woman, she said, had "horrible bruises" on her back.

She said medical personnel arrived almost immediately and took three women away from the scene.

Caputo is a student at Portland State University and says she received an alert on her phone.

PSU classes are going on as scheduled Friday. Ken Ma with the university sent out the following statement:

On Friday morning, a vehicle struck pedestrians walking on the sidewalk near SW 6th Ave. and SW Montgomery St. on the PSU campus. Three pedestrians who were injured are hospitalized with serious injuries. The names of the victims have not been released. Portland police are investigating the incident. PSU's campus remains open, except for areas closed by police for the investigation.

PSU's Dean of Student Life's office and Center for Student Health and Counseling will provide assistance and support to any members of the PSU community who may have been impacted by this incident.

Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill released the following statement about the hit-and-run crash:

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office is working with our law enforcement partners in response to the tragic events on the campus of Portland State University this morning.

District Attorney Rod Underhill has sent Chief Deputy District Attorney Chuck Sparks along with several Deputy District Attorneys and a team from our Victim Advocate Unit to assist in the investigation and to offer assistance and resources to those affected.

The MCDA Victim Assistance Program facilitates the Multnomah County Victim Assistance Mas Casualty Committee, which is made up of federal, state, and local system-based advocates, local non-profits and law enforcement.

Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, no additional details can be provided at this time.

Multnomah County reminds the public that it has a mental health call center that is available 24 hours a day. Anyone who is feeling trauma or who would like to talk with someone after the hit-and run incident is invited to call.

Trained operators are available at (503) 988-4888. Individuals can also call toll-free to 800-716-9769. The hearing impaired can dial 711 to be connected to the center.

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