Vancouver lady sought in hit-run crash where victim wrongly determined Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, records – OregonLive

12March 2021

Portland police provided an arrest warrant Friday for a Vancouver woman in a minor hit-and-run crash that drew baseless attention recently to City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty when a vehicle driver wrongly identified her as a suspect in the accident. Police launched investigative reports, audio of the initial non-emergency call and

TriMet security video of the suspect cars and truck. They utilized the video to rule out Hardesty and identify Shirley K. Collins, 64, as the woman behind the wheel of the cars and truck believed to have rear-ended a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Evelynn Starr Ellis, 46, of Portland, according to authorities reports.

Both Hardesty and Collins are Black. Ellis is white.

Read the authorities reports. The warrant accuses Collins of 2 counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver and causing property damage.

Hardesty flatly denied any involvement in the March 3 crash and called for a city investigation on how the accident and her name became public. “I’m informing you today, these allegations are false, and to

be frank, these accusations are suspicious, “she stated at the time. The mayor’s workplace revealed the public release of the police files due to the considerable variety of ask for them, it said in a declaration. Hardesty’s workplace is also reviewing the file and will respond to concerns next week, the declaration said.

The police reports show how Ellis, the female who reported the accident, mistakenly told a dispatcher and then authorities detectives consistently that she acknowledged Hardesty. The rear-end crash happened at 4:48 p.m. at Northeast 148th Avenue and East Burnside Street. Ellis called non-emergency dispatch at 11:09 p.m.

Ellis stated on the call that she didn’t get the other chauffeur’s license plate number”but I understand who hit me.” “This is where it gets unusual. It was a city commissioner, “she informed the dispatcher, according to the audio. “It was Jo Ann Hardesty. She lagged me for three red light. I understand it was her.”

Ellis said the other vehicle had been straight behind her on East Burnside when they got stuck at 3 various traffic lights in a row. She reported that she might see the driver behind her each of those times and observed her looking down in her lap.

Two officers went to Ellis’house that night. She informed police that she had been driving her silver 2020 Volkswagen Jetta south on Northeast 181st Street and turned ideal or west onto East Burnside.

Once she stopped at the very first light at Northeast 174th Street, Ellis said she was”kind of star struck “when she looked in her rearview mirror, believing, “Oh that appears like Jo Ann,”according to the police reports. Ellis said she recognized who she believed was the commissioner in the driver’s seat of a gold sedan.

They again stopped at Northeast 162nd, and Ellis stated she got another appearance at the exact same driver behind her. When the light turned green, they stopped at a 3rd light on Northeast 148th. That’s when Ellis stated she felt her vehicle bump forward, rear-ended by the cars and truck behind her.

When the light turned green, Ellis continued through the light, put her threat lights on and pulled over along Northeast 147th Opportunity, and saw the automobile behind her drive past and the motorist look directly at her without stopping, the authorities report said. Ellis said she honked her horn.

She reported slight damage to her rear bumper. The other car, she informed cops, was a tan four-door sedan, perhaps a Toyota Corolla or similar style.

Ellis said she has actually seen Hardesty before in her expert capability, on media reports and elsewhere in the city before Hardesty ended up being a chosen official.

Ellis decided to report the crash once she had arrived home and after calling her insurance service provider. She likewise said she shared the encounter with pals, who did some research and found where Hardesty lived and the type of car she drives, according to a cops report.

Officers Ken Le and Timothy Giles went to Hardesty’s house to try to find her cars and truck but could not find it. They looked up her DMV records and found a gold-colored 2001 Volvo registered in her name. However police later on traced the cars and truck to Volunteers of America. Hardesty has stated she contributed a car to the company.

A sergeant inspected the bureau’s license plate reader system and likewise got the Volvo’s license plates in the area of Hardesty’s home.

The two officers knocked on Hardesty’s door but no one reacted. Cops didn’t give the time of that go to. Le then called Hardesty and left a message with his name and

number.

On March 4, the day after the report, when another officer called Ellis back, Ellis backtracked a bit, stating she couldn’t say 100 % that the chauffeur who had tapped her rear bumper was Hardesty. However if it wasn’t, she told detectives, there was “someone out there who looks a lot like her,” according to the authorities report.

That same day, cops acquired video footage of the crash from a TriMet cam along a MAX train platform and identified a silver 2008 Honda Accord signed up to somebody else was included, authorities reports stated.

“Based on this video footage, I do not believe at this time Hardesty is the suspect motorist included with this accident,”Officer David Enz composed in a report at 6:25 p.m. March 4.

Police called Collins, who was one of two individuals called on the car registration. Collins initially claimed somebody else had actually been driving her car at the time, detectives stated.

Authorities did more evaluation of the TriMet footage and recognized the Collins as the chauffeur, according to the reports. When they went back to her home to arrest her, they could not find her and she didn’t respond to police calls, the reports said.

The officers who examined noted Collins” bears a similarity” with Hardesty. Collins, however, has short and grayish-white hair but was using a hood covering her hair at the time of the collision, according to cops. Hardesty has long hair.

— Maxine Bernstein

Email at mbernstein@oregonian.com!.?.!; 503-221-8212 Follow on Twitter @maxoregonian Source: oregonlive.com

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