1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
February 26, 2002 00:00
The accident occurred shortly after Simon and Portland Police Officer Jeff Bender were stopped and waiting for a train to finish crossing North Columbia Blvd. in the 2300 block. After the train cleared the roadway, Simon, who was the first car in line, did not continue eastbound on North Columbia. Officer Bender, believing that the vehicle has stalled, pulled up to Simon’s vehicle. As Officer Bender reached Simon’s vehicle he saw Simon accelerate sharply and continue eastbound. As Simon’s vehicle continued to accelerate, Officer Bender pulled behind Simon and activated his overhead lights. Simon’s vehicle swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided with the Jeep vehicle immediately after Officer Bender activated his lights. Simon died at the scene and Armando Garcia was transported to Emanuel Hospital. At the time of the accident, Officer Bender had not initiated a pursuit on Simon.
Investigators believe that alcohol consumption may have played a role in this fatal accident. Portland Police Reserve Officer Clayton Teel was in the patrol car with Officer Bender.
The investigation is continuing.
Sgt. Pete Simpson