Teen's father says he forgives driver who killed his son in SE Portland crash


A Portland father has a message to the driver who killed his 16-year-old son: he forgives him.

Portland Police Bureau officers say James Freeman was a passenger in the deadly crash that happened early Monday morning on Southeast Foster Road.

Ed Freeman, James' father, tells FOX 12 his son was with a friend Sunday night. Freeman had given James money to go to the mall and waited up for him because he had school the next day, but James never made it home.

“I was up really late waiting for him to come in and, of course, he wasn’t going to,” said Ed Freeman. “I’m just not gonna see him anymore. It’s sad.”

Freeman said the driver was his son’s friend — a 21-year-old man — who police say had a blood alcohol content of .126, well over the legal limit.

“I don’t know how to think about that, you know. That guy’s in the hospital, so he’s apparently hurt pretty bad. So I don’t want to have his whole life destroyed because of this,” Freeman said.

The teen’s father tells FOX 12 he forgives the driver who killed his son.

“Yeah, I can. I don’t know that there’s other people, that may not feel the same way,” Freeman said. “It’s hard.”

There’s a long road ahead for friends and family who, Freeman said, will dearly miss James and the way he would light up a room.

“Just a good, fun-loving kid, you know,” he said.

Officers said the driver has serious injuries, but is going to be OK. They’re not yet identifying that man because he has not been charged.

However, family members of the driver have told FOX 12 they’re praying for the Freemans and thinking of them.

Investigators said they do expect the driver to face charges as the investigation continues.

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