Deputies identify man who died after Bethany area crash

Driver dies after crash in Bethany area - Washington County Sheriff's Office photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A driver died in the hospital on Sunday, nearly two days after he crashed into a tree along a road in the Bethany area of Washington County.

Witnesses said they saw 27-year-old Zachary Benjamin, of Hillsboro, leave the roadway and hit a tree near the intersection of Northwest Bronson Road and Roseburg Terrace at about 6 p.m. Friday.

First responders worked to extricate Benjamin and started first aid; he was later taken to a Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries.

"We were afraid for a while he was going to lose his life just because of the significance of his injuries," said Detective Mark Povolny with Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Benjamin's family tells KATU News he was headed home from work that evening.

He was a friend, a brother, a son, and a new father. His sister, Tawni Boedeker says he leaves behind a 14-month-old son.

"We're really happy we have Axel and we have Kara but it's really sad Axel will never know his dad," said Boedeker.

Both friends and family gathered Sunday evening at the place that took his life.

"You're looking at a family that wants the world to know how good a person the person we all lost was," said Courtney Brown, Benjamin's best friend.

His family says Benjamin had irreversible brain damage when he died in the hospital Sunday morning.

"My son was able to donate his organs today. He did a liver transplant and two kidneys," said Jennifer Zdeb, his mother.

At 27 years old, Benjamin's friends and family says he still had an entire life ahead of him.

"It's going to be really hard and we're all going to do it together and I think it's more important that everyone out there is at least remembering the good times we had with him," said Brown.

Povolny says Benjamin was not wearing a seatbelt when he crashed. The Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team is working on identifying what caused the crash.

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