Father remembers son killed in hit-and-run in NE Portland

“My son and I were sitting out here enjoying each other’s company as we did every night before bed,” said Travis Philmlee Sr. “All of a sudden about 11:30 there
Published: Jul. 4, 2023 at 9:59 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - “My son and I were sitting out here enjoying each other’s company as we did every night before bed,” said Travis Philmlee Sr. “All of a sudden about 11:30 there was a loud explosion.”

Philmlee Sr says last Thursday he and his son, Travis Philmlee II were outside of their RV on Northeast 33rd Drive in Portland when a lifted white pickup truck drove by while throwing explosives at RVs lining the road.

“We saw him throw out at least one, maybe two more, either M80s or M1000s at the other trailers.”

Upset, Philmlee Sr and his son decided they were going to throw something at the truck if it came around again.

“Sure enough, ten minutes later he came back in the southbound direction,” said Philmlee Sr. “My son saw him first and said ‘here he comes’. He grabbed his hammer.” The person saw him and swerved into the southbound lane. My son let go of the hammer, it missed, and skidded underneath the car across the street.”

As his son went to retrieve the hammer, Philmlee says another vehicle, a black or silver sedan according to authorities, was going after the truck and hit his son.

“Another vehicle pursuing the truck, another person that lives down the road here, struck him,” said Philmlee Sr. “They were going about 50 mph. I ran to him and believe he was killed on impact. I told people to call 911, I called 911 and was on the phone for about ten minutes waiting for someone to answer. The woman who hit him stopped, came running back frantically yelling ‘I’m the one who did this, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I live down the road, I was just chasing the truck, what can I do?’ I was in so much shock, I was still on hold and I just screamed at her ‘you killed my son’.”

He says it was another few minutes before someone answered his 911 call and stated walking him through CPR. Philmlee Sr says it took first responders around half an hour from the initial 911 call to get to the scene.

“I told them the woman was not responsible, my son did step in front of her,” said Philmlee Sr. “That she did stop and try to offer assistance, but was probably afraid because I was pretty irate and distraught. I don’t blame her for leaving and I encourage her to turn herself in because I’ll support her in any way I can. I know what her intentions were. She was just trying to do the same thing we were doing. We all made mistakes. The only one that didn’t make a mistake is the person who was intentionally throwing out explosives at us.”

Police say 26-year-old Travis Philmlee II died at the scene. Now authorities are searching for the driver of the black or silver sedan and the driver and possible passengers of the lifted white pickup truck.

If anyone has information about the vehicles or their occupants, they are asked to contact PPB at crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 23-171259.

PPB says this is the 31st Major Crash Team activation, 12th pedestrian fatality, and 31st traffic fatality for 2023 in the City of Portland.