Off-duty firefighter assists after serious-injury crash

The Clark County firefighter witnessed the Beaverton hit-and-run

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor


Updated: June 1, 2014, 6:31 PM


An off-duty Clark County firefighter offered help early Sunday morning in Beaverton, Ore., after he witnessed a hit-and-run vehicle crash in which a pickup truck collided with a motorcycle, seriously injuring the motorcycle’s driver, according to the Beaverton Police Department.

The crash, near Southwest 139th and Tualatin Valley Highway, took place shortly after midnight. Clark County Fire District 6 Capt. Scott Taube helped the motorcycle’s driver until emergency crews arrived.

Just before the crash, the motorcycle was traveling at about 45 mph in a westbound lane on Tualatin Valley Highway. The truck was traveling east on the highway and started to turn left onto 139th, hitting the motorcycle head-on, police said.

At the same time, Taube of Hillsboro, Ore., was driving his family home after catching a late movie for his daughter’s 18th birthday.

“I told my wife, ‘There’s been an accident, can you call 911?’ ” Taube said Sunday.

He approached the scene and noticed the truck’s air bags had been deployed, but its driver had fled. Taube then found the motorcycle’s driver on the curb, about 30 feet from the point of impact.

The man was unresponsive, unconscious and “he was not breathing very well at all,” said Taube, a certified EMT who works at the Salmon Creek fire station.

Taube said he removed the man’s helmet, kept his spine stable and moved him into a position that opened up the man’s airway, allowing him to start “breathing much better.”

The motorcycle’s driver was transported to a nearby hospital and underwent emergency surgery, police said. Taube said the man’s injuries were bad — including broken bones and a dislocated leg — but that they did not appear life-threatening.

Police unsuccessfully attempted to track the truck’s driver with a police dog. At 2:22 a.m., investigators got a tip that a person was pounding on the door of a home at 13820 S.W. Electric St., near the scene of the crash.

When police arrived, they arrested the hit-and-run suspect, Oscar Ottoniel Bravo Matias, 33, and took him to the hospital to test his blood for drugs and alcohol, according to the Beaverton Police Department. He was booked into jail on warrants and on suspicion of probation violations, police said, adding that charges for hit-and-run and for driving under the influence are “forthcoming.”

Taube said it looked like the truck’s driver dragged the motorcycle about 200 feet before stopping.

The name of the motorcycle’s driver was not released.