74-year-old injured in SE Portland hit-and-run; police say not enough resources to investigate

Published: Apr. 15, 2023 at 10:16 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A 74-year-old woman says she was struck and nearly killed by a driver in southeast Portland, but police say the driver is nowhere to be found and they don’t have the resources to look.

Julie Singh was hit at the intersection of Southeast Powell Boulevard and Southeast 29th Avenue.

“I don’t know what was going on in his head, but what matters is the result of what happened,” Singh said. “[It’s troubling] to leave somebody crumbled up in the street.”

She’s hoping that getting her story out may lead to justice.

SEE ALSO: 2 arrested after overnight hit-and-runs in Wash. Co.

Singh says she remembers checking both ways at the intersection and seeing the road clear. But as she stepped out into the street, a vehicle was suddenly there. She believes they must have peeled out from a nearby parking lot.

“All of a sudden this entire side of me was a big light,” she said as she gestured to her right. “If I could paint, I could draw it. It was just this blinding light right there.”

She says she either screamed or thought the word “No.”

“I thought it was my moment of death.”

She recalls hearing and feeling a crumble. Witnesses believe that could have been the impact of a side view mirror, which caused her to fall over.

Singh remembers laying alone in the middle of the street.

“I remember thinking it was my last moment of life,” she said with tears beginning to fill her eyes, “and then being surrounded by helping hands.”

She said those tears are for the three good Samaritans who came to her aid. They picked her up and placed her against the wall of a nearby Starbucks.

Soon after, paramedics came.

“It was almost like they’d been parked there. I mean, I’ve never been in a situation before where I needed to be helped like that,” she said. “The only times I feel tears is when I think of the compassion of the people that helped me.”

She said she was walking her dog Zelda at the time, who she said refused to leave her side.

SEE ALSO: Motorcyclist dead after collision with TriMet bus in NE Portland

“I don’t know if I dropped the leash or continued holding onto the leash, but she was right there. She’s got so much built-in compassion, and she’s such a comfort to me. She’s a loyal momma’s girl dog.”

Singh said Zelda is also her loyal companion in the great outdoors, calling herself an avid hiker and mushroom hunter. However, due to injuries to her hands, elbows and knees, she’s not doing anything of the sort just yet, because, “right now it’s hard to even get up or down from the bed. The light, the crash, I thought I was dead. I was so lucky. Not to be hit, but to be alive.”

Portland police say they responded to the scene and gave Singh a courtesy ride home.

However, police say their limited resources restrict their Traffic Investigations Unit to fatal and serious crashes only. Unfortunately, although police say she deserves a full, robust investigation, they can’t pursue one.

“It’s not that the police don’t care,” she said. “I’m sure it’s painful and frustrating for them. Not being able to do the good job they want to do; it’s got to be painful and frustrating for the police.”

SEE ALSO: Suspect arrested for deadly Aloha hit-and-run; more victims possible

She says she hopes people learn a lesson from her story and her injuries, that compared to a vehicle the human body is very fragile.

“People need to think about that when they get behind the wheel of a car.”

Singh remains optimistic that someone with information about what happened to her will speak out, and hopes that if the culprit were to see the extent of her injuries, they may come forward too.