PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland City Council members are slated to vote this week to approve a $395,000 settlement with the family of a 15-year-old killed in hit-and-run crash.
The person suspected of driving the vehicle may have been helped by the Saudi Arabian government to flee the U.S. while awaiting trial, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The city was among several parties the estate of Fallon Smart sued in a wrongful death lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, including alleged driver Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah.
Portland, through the Bureau of Transportation, was accused of negligence for not making an intersection where Smart was hit in August 2016, more safe for pedestrians.
City officials reported 420 crashes that seriously injured nine people and killed another person had happened on Hawthorne Boulevard between Southeast 30th Avenue and 50th Avenue from 2005 to 2014.
The city has since added a marked crosswalk and lowered the speed limit, among other safety measures there.
The settlement is being offered because the City of Portland could be liable for damages in Smart’s death, according to a memo from Becky Chiao, a city senior claims analyst.
Portland police say Noorah, then 20, was a student at Portland Community College when witnesses saw him driving at least 50 mph in a Lexus, swerve around traffic and hit Smart while she was crossing the street. Noorah left and was later arrested.
Noorah faced charges including manslaughter and posted bail about a month after the crash. Two weeks before his 2017 trial, authorities said, Noorah cut his ankle monitoring bracelet. The U.S. Marshals Service told The Oregonian/OregonLive that they suspected the Saudi Arabian native was helped by his home country’s government to leave the United States.
The Oregonian/OregonLive found similar cases in Oregon and across the country that suggests the practice by the Saudi Arabian government has been going on for decades.