Aloha man busted for 146 mph — but that's not a record
5/21/2006, 12:15 p.m. PT
The Associated Press
TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — It wasn't a record for Oregon, but a radar reading of 146 mph last week was arresting enough for officers to search their memories for a faster speeder.
Multnomah County sheriff's Deputy Robbyn Matsushima said she was clocking speeders along Interstate 84 east of Troutdale on Thursday morning when she saw a black sedan headed her way.
It was going so fast that Matsushima worried the car might slam into her as she was parked in the median strip between the freeway's east- and westbound lanes.
Matsushima said her laser radar recorded the 1998 BMW 540 at 146 mph, more than twice the posted speed of 65 mph. The car pulled to the side as it approached Troutdale.
It was thought to be the fastest speed ever recorded by the county, but it turns out to be not the fastest ever in Oregon.
Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said officers recalled busting a speeder doing 159 mph in 1993.
Hastings said he didn't have many details about the arrest, except the location — the Astoria-Megler Bridge near the mouth of the Columbia River.
The 4-mile-long bridge carries U.S. 101 over the river, swooping up on the Oregon side to allow ships to pass beneath, and then leveling out for a straight run to the Washington state side. It was on the level part where the speeder was arrested, Hastings said.
The driver arrested Thursday in Multnomah County was Travis Jay Olsen, 31, of Aloha, who was reported to have told the officer he was late for a meeting.
Olsen was arrested and charged with reckless driving and speeding, and his car was towed to an impound lot. He was released from jail later that day, and stalked past reporters without responding to questions, The Oregonian reported.
Olsen could face tough new penalties.
The Legislature last year passed a law that requires a 30- to 90-day license suspension and a fine of $1,103 upon conviction.
"It wasn't just a speeding ticket," said Capt. Bruce McCain, spokesman for the sheriff's office. "It was speed, the conditions and the fact that cars were getting out of his way."
Oregon State Police cited 464 people as driving 100 mph or faster in 2005. From 2000 to 2004, troopers cited more than 2,600 drivers who were exceeding 100 mph.
Hastings said that fewer drivers were arrested doing more than 100 mph in the first three months after the new penalty went into effect this year compared to the first three months of 2005. But he said it's hard to tell whether that was influenced by this year's harsher winter weather, meaning more snow and ice on the roads.