Driver charged with killing pedestrian in Southeast Portland

Driver charged with killing pedestrian

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A driver who allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday night on Southeast Division Street appeared in court on Tuesday.

Clifford E. Perry Jr., 40, was cited for DUII and accused of second-degree manslaughter and reckless driving.

Police said Perry was speeding west down Division street near 124th Avenue at 9:40 p.m. when he struck Damon P. Burton, 61, who lived nearby. 

Perry continued west until crashing into a concrete block at a gas station at 122nd Avenue. A passenger in his car was not injured. Emergency crews declared Burtion dead at the scene.

On Tuesday, Burton's sister had the heartbreaking task of gathering up belongings at his apartment

“He was a good guy, real good guy,” said Denise Burton.

Perry was in court on Tuesday facing manslaughter, DUII and reckless driving charges.

Burton's sister had pointed words to describe Perry.

“Selfish, self-centered, irresponsible person that didn't care because he has a track record,” she said.

Perry's record goes back to the mid-90s. He's faced charges ranging from driving uninsured and driving without a license to identity theft, having a dangerous weapon and being in possession of a stolen vehicle.

Denise Burton said her brother kept to himself, but was a good man.

She said he's told her how uneasy he felt about the stretch near Southeast 122nd Avenue. People living near him agreed.

“I've had multiple residents who have actually been hit in the crosswalk,” said Dawn Luethe, who lives in and manages the apartments Burton called home.

Crosswalk or not, she said Southeast Division Street is dangerous.

“It's not a safe place to be, not for someone that's walking,” said Luethe.

“Last year pedestrians made up over half the fatalities on our roads. Nationally the average is about 14 percent,” said Noel Mickelberry with Oregon Walks.

Mickelberry says there are a number of high crash corridors in Portland, which includes sections of Southeast Division Street. More signals and crosswalks are needed, she says, and people also need to slow down.


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