A speeding driver who police said was under the influence crashed onto the MAX tracks at the Sunset Transit Center late Tuesday night.
The crash closed MAX service through the Sunset Transit Center for more than 16 hours.
Repairs went on all morning and afternoon. MAX service through the transit center was restored by 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, but TriMet said riders should still expect delays throughout the evening commute as all the trains get back on schedule.
Beaverton police officers said they first spotted a black BMW speeding at 80 mph westbound on Highway 26 around 11 p.m. An officer got into his patrol car and stopped a car that he believed to be the one that was speeding. It was not the same car, however, and during the traffic stop the officer received a page from dispatchers that said a car had crashed onto the MAX tracks.
Officers arrived and found the BMW stuck on the westbound MAX tracks and a large tree branch blocking eastbound tracks.
Police said it appeared that 27-year-old Jeff Roberton, from Vancouver, crashed off the roadway when he tried to take the Highway 217 southbound exit from Highway 26. The speed of the car at the time of the crash is unknown.
"All I heard was broken glass and some metal bending," said witness Beron Anderson. "It was coming through the far end and it flipped, flipped, flipped. I thought he was still stuck on the island area."
Roberton has been arrested on charges of reckless driving, driving under the influence and criminal mischief.
Crews brought in a crane to lift the car out of the tunnel. TriMet used shuttle buses on the west side so commuters could get back and forth between Beaverton and downtown Portland.
The original estimate for reopening the Sunset Transit Center was 6 p.m. TriMet said maintenance crews worked diligently to get back up and running ahead of schedule.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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