Child, adult injured when light pole falls in NE Portland

Police said the boy and caretaker were taken to the hospital and the boy was seriously hurt.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 8:58 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - If you take a walk through Irving Park, you may now notice signs up on lamp posts warning people they’re unstable after Portland Police said a concrete lamp post fell down on a boy and his caretaker last Thursday.

“It was traumatic to see,” Aliya Smyth said.

Smyth was at the park that day with her six-year-old when she said she heard a loud crash and screaming.

“They were sitting in a hammock. It was attached from the pole to a tree, and the weight pulled it down and fell on them,” she said. “There were people helping out, trying to lift the pole, it’s really heavy it looks like it’s made of cement. I saw a boy who looked, I thought he was dead. He was not breathing. There was somebody giving him CPR.”

Debbie Frank was also at Irving Park Thursday and called 911 when she heard screaming.

“It was clear that neighbors were working to help stabilize what turned out to be a 9-year-old child who had suffered clearly multiple injuries and was upset,” she said.

Police said the boy and caretaker were taken to the hospital and the boy was seriously hurt.

While Portland Parks & Recreation said it’s against city code to attach anything to a structure in a city park, Frank said that’s not a widely known fact. She hopes they’ll replace or block off the lamp posts there.

“I think anyone can make this mistake and you know, in this world, it’s very easy when something like this happens to say, ‘I would never do that.’ But the reality is there are a lot of people who would do that,” Frank said.

She’s just glad neighbors have posted fliers on the dozens of posts around the park so this doesn’t happen again.

“I just can’t even imagine what they’re going through. I just hope their little boy is okay,” she said.

Portland Parks & Recreation said they’re saddened about what happened Thursday and evaluating potential next steps.