Watch: Ore. officer barely squeezes past car sliding on icy road

"You're going to get hit, sitting here," said Officer Jackson, seconds before his prediction comes true


By Zane Sparling
oregonlive.com

TIGARD, Ore. — A quick-thinking Tigard police officer is fortunate to be alive after he was nearly crushed by an out-of-control car that slid into another motorist Sunday.

Body-worn camera footage shows Officer Brian Jackson rushing out of the pinch-point just as a tractionless SUV slides into another car stopped on the icy Southwest Scholls Ferry Road overpass above Oregon 217.

It happened after several inches of snow fell across the Portland area.

“We’re just really glad he’s OK,” said Tigard police spokesperson Kelsey Anderson. “It’s one of the situations where it could have been so much worse, so we’re just grateful.”

Jackson, who joined the force in 2000, had finished giving another driver a push while resolving a separate two-car fender bender when he noticed the apparently snow-stuck driver on the overpass, Anderson said.

The officer drove over, crossing city limits, and learned she was the victim of a hit-and-run and was waiting for a police response. Jackson confirmed that Beaverton authorities were aware of the incident, then advised the woman to go home and wait for a call.

[RELATED: 16 winter weather tips for on and off-duty cops]

“Let’s get you out of the road,” he said, according to the bodycam video. “You’re going to get hit, sitting here.”

Moments later the driver called out, “You’re about to get hit,” according to the video. Jackson jumped aside, narrowly avoiding being pinned. His patrol car was dented by the careening car.

Anderson said the SUV driver, who works in loss prevention in the area, “felt so bad” about almost hitting the officer.

“We don’t mean to make him look bad; it just shows the danger of being out there trying to help people,” she said. “Even though there’s not a ton of accumulation on the road, you can see it was very slick out there.”

While dramatic incidents — like the ODOT truck driver who dodged a falling tree on Interstate 5 Monday — are more likely to make the news, there have been hundreds of snow-related traffic incidents across the westside since Christmas, according to data provided by Anderson.

Since Dec. 25, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported 100 dispatched traffic calls and 201 self-initiated calls, Tigard Police Department had 48 combined traffic calls, Sherwood reported 42 calls and Tualatin reported 16.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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