Police identify blind man hit, killed crossing street in N. Port - KPTV - FOX 12

Police identify blind man hit, killed crossing street in N. Portland

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Ryan M. Gawick, jail booking photo Ryan M. Gawick, jail booking photo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Police have identified the 61-year-old blind man who was hit and killed as he crossed North Columbia Boulevard in Portland.

Investigators said Reke Frank Agee of Portland was in a crosswalk when he was hit by a 2014 Ford Mustang driven by 34-year-old Ryan Gawick. The collision occurred at 6:17 a.m. Monday. 

Agee was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.  

Police said Gawick caused the crash by failing to stop for a red light as he drove west on Columbia Boulevard. Gawick was arrested on the charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Gawick told police he couldn't avoid hitting the pedestrian because the man "came out of nowhere" and was "running" in the crosswalk, according to court documents. Gawick said he was sure he had a green light. 

Court documents state two witnesses told police the light had been red for some time as Gawick approached and one witness said Gawick did not apply the brakes until after hitting Agee. 

Agee's wife told investigators that her husband was walking to work and regularly takes that route, according to a probable cause affidavit. An officer at the scene reported Agee was wearing a bright yellow reflective safety vest when he was hit.

That crossing signal previously did not have audible functions, but the affidavit states Agee's wife successfully petitioned to have that changed to notify the visually impaired when it's safe to cross. 

Gawick was released from jail on his own recognizance Monday evening. He was arraigned in court Tuesday and is scheduled to be in court again Nov. 10.

Police said this case marks the 32nd traffic death in Portland this year.

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