Vancouver man dies in single-vehicle crash in Portland

50-year-old apparently lost control of a commercial truck while coming down a steep hill

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



A Vancouver man was identified as the truck driver who was killed Monday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash in southeast Portland.

Jon Pierce Wright, 50, was driving a commercial pumper truck north on Southeast 110th Avenue, which is a steep downhill roadway, according to a Portland Police Bureau press release.

Witnesses told police that it appeared Wright could not slow down and lost control of the truck, driving through a guardrail and off of the roadway, then traveling about 120 feet before crashing into an embankment. The crash occurred about 4 p.m. Monday.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded and found Wright deceased in the cab. Firefighters at first left because of the hazardous conditions of the rescue, but then returned later with equipment and extricated Wright from the cab of the truck, Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

On initial investigation, officers found a pair of dress shoes that appeared out of place on the side of the roadway, and were concerned there was possibly a second victim, according to the press release.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team responded to search for an additional victim. The group checked murky water and surrounding wooded brush using dogs and infrared cameras. They found no indication that there was another victim.

The 60,000-pound vehicle struck the embankment hard enough to disconnect a tank, which was carrying mud sludge, from the truck, Simpson said. The truck was equipped with a vacuum for mud removal.

Removing the truck from the brush took several hours overnight, police said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and police are looking to speak to more witnesses.

Anyone with information should contact Officer Peter Kurronen at 503-823-2208 or

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