Mother, son killed in SE Portland hit-and-run remembered

Mother, son killed in SE Portland hit-and-run remembered

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by Associated Press and KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on March 10, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 11 at 9:51 AM

PORTLAND -- Police said a man was taken into custody following a traffic crash in Southeast Portland that killed two people.

The victims in the crash Saturday evening have been identified as 55-year-old Paul Lawrence Knepper and his 90-year-old mother, Hazel Agnes Knepper.

Officers were called to Southeast 28th Place and Southeast Gladstone Street just before 5 p.m.

Investigators said a Cadillac SUV went through a stop sign and hit a Toyota Corolla driven by Paul Knepper.

Three people in the SUV fled on foot, but 29-year-old Daniel Troy Johnson, suspected of being the driver, was later taken into custody. The two others had not been found.

Police said Johnson (pictured) was facing two counts of second-degree manslaughter and other charges including DUII.

A fourth person in the SUV, who remained at the scene, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

"What would cause a person to run from the scene, drunk or not, leaving behind a friend and your car? I mean they are going to find you," said Greg Wilkinson who lives near the crash scene and attempted to help the victims. "I keep having visions of what happened."

Paul Knepper lived with his mother Hazel in a home she's owned for more than 60 years. They lived only blocks from the crash site. Paul's brother John had died of cancer just a few weeks ago.

"She loved her son no matter what. She was a wonderful lady and really took care of the family," said Mike Vantea, who went to high school with Paul.   

He said Paul had returned to school to become a teacher and was already teaching a driver's education course. 

"He was really working hard to make a positive impact on people and was working to better himself," said neighbor Troy Jones.

 


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