A Beaverton man accused of causing a crash that led to massive backups on Highway 217 over the weekend appeared in court Monday.
Beaverton police said Matthew Hamilton was drunk when he drove his truck off the Denney Road overpass at Highway 217.
Before the crash, Hamilton had been drinking at a friend's house while watching the Civil War rivalry game between Oregon and Oregon State, police said.
He later crashed his red pickup on Denney Road around 3:40 p.m., leading crews to shut down lanes of Highway 217 for hours.
"His face was head down into the airbag," said witness Rebecca Jones. "(I thought) oh my God, did he die? Was he passed out? And it wasn't until I started driving away that I noticed he was starting to move and he was waking up."
A piece of metal that caught the back axle is the only thing that kept Hamilton's truck from plummeting onto the road below.
Crews worked for several hours to save Hamilton and pull his red pickup truck up to safety. Firefighters used a fire engine equipped with a basket to get him out of the truck.
Beaverton police said Hamilton's blood alcohol level was .50 - more than six times the legal limit of .08.
Once crews brought him to safety, a crane was brought in to lift Hamilton's truck and load it onto a tow truck.
Records show Hamilton has an extensive criminal history, including several driving under the influence of intoxicants arrests. He was driving on a suspended license from a previous DUII arrest, according to records.
He is facing charges of DUII, driving while suspended and reckless driving. He was also arraigned in court for violating the probation from his previous DUII.
He is due back in court for a pretrial conference Nov. 30.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved.
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