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Drunken Bend Man Rear-Ends Truck Multiple Times, Speeds Away

Date:  February 23, 2012
Location:  Intersection of 15th Street & Reed Market Road, Bend
Names:  Gregory Scott Gentry II, Sheila Dell

A Bend man went on a private rampage Thursday night and now faces DUII and hit-and-run charges, among others, after repeatedly ramming a pickup truck at an intersection, then fleeing the scene. About a mile later, he crashed his own truck and was apprehended by police.

According to the report on KTVZ.com, the incident began just after 9 p.m., at the intersection of 15th Street and Reed Market Road. Sheila Dell, 63, of Bend, was stopped for a red light in her 2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup, when she was rear-ended by a 1999 Ford F-150 pickup being driven by Gregory Scott Gentry II, 26, also of Bend. Rather than stop to see if Dell was injured, Gentry continued to ram the Toyota with his pickup in order to get through the intersection and make his escape. A witness followed Gentry and phoned 9-1-1, and police were on their way when Gentry’s truck went out of control at 27th and Reed Market. He hit the curb, a stop sign and fire hydrant before the vehicle finally stopped in a field about 30 yards from the intersection.

Bend Police Sergeant Devin Lewis said alcohol was definitely a factor in both crashes. Gentry was taken to St. Charles Medical Center, and it was there that police charged him with DUII, failure to perform the duties of a driver, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.

Dell was not hospitalized after the crash, but her vehicle was extensively damaged, according to Sgt. Lewis.

Hit-and-run is a serious crime, and conviction will result in your driving privileges being suspended or revoked. In any accident, you have the following obligations:

* Stop at once. If anyone is killed or unconscious, you must stay at the scene until a police officer arrives.

* Render aid. Do not move an injured person carelessly, but give reasonable aid

* Exchange information with the other driver. Give them your name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. DMV offers a printable checklist you can download and keep in your car.

* Report the accident to DMV.

While we are delighted that Sheila Dell was not badly injured in this accident, we can’t help being horrified by this hit-and-run. Gentry may have been frightened, but that does not excuse leaving Dell at the scene. For all Gentry knew, Dell could have been seriously hurt, and leaving her was inexcusable. We implore drivers in any accident situation to put the safety and welfare of others above their own interests, and always, always remain at the scene and make sure no one is hurt. We send our best wishes to Dell after her frightening ordeal.

Hit-and-run is a serious violation of Oregon Vehicle Code 811.705. The hit-and-run driver must be held civilly and criminally responsible for his actions. In a case like this, the Dell family may be well advised to contact a reputed personal injury attorney with experience in hit-and-run crashes who will fight for the justice and compensation that they deserve. At Shulman DuBois, we believe that what happened to Sheila Dell is simply unacceptable; we are committed to making sure that hit-and-run drivers are held accountable for their actions and that both victims and families receive the compensation they deserve.

Bicycle Rider Seriously Injured by Drunk Driver

Date:  December 23, 2011
Location:  South Beavercreek Road, Clackamas County
Name:  John Crosswhite, Lonnie Lee Baker

A Molalla man has been arrested and charged in connection with an accident in which a cyclist was struck and critically injured on Friday afternoon.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant James Rhodes said that Lonnie Lee Baker, 62, of Molalla, was driving a pickup truck on South Beavercreek Road at around 2:40 p.m. Friday. As Baker neared South Ferguson Road, his truck hit John Crosswhite, 47, who was riding his bike on the shoulder of the road. Crosswhite received serious, life-threatening injuries and was flown by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. As of Saturday, his condition was listed as critical, according to the report on OregonLive.com.

Police arrested Baker at the scene for driving under the influence and assault.

Our thoughts go out to John Crosswhite and his family. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the Crosswhite family.

We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of drunk driving in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you settle your lawsuit without an attorney. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.

This kind of collision also raises questions about the overall safety of Portland roadways for bikes and bikers. The Crosswhite family may want to consider consulting a personal injury attorney with experience in bicycle accidents about his/her options in this case – and to do so soon.

Don’t Drive Under the Influence – You Could Get Hurt AND Hurt Others

Date: September 18, 2011
Location: Junction Southeast 122nd and Stark St., SE Portland
Names: Thomas Clark, Marinela Stothoff

A Milwaukie woman, who was reportedly driving under the influence of alcohol, is in serious condition with life-threatening injuries after she smashed into a police car and in the process was ejected from her own car. The policeman she hit was released from hospital Monday night and is now home resting.

Officer Thomas Clark was eastbound on Southeast Stark just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday evening. He was responding to a report of a disturbance, and had turned on his flashing lights, but it is unclear whether the sirens had been activated. Police investigators are also studying CCTV footage to determine which vehicle had the green light. As Clark approached the intersection with 122nd Avenue, he slowed slightly, then proceeded through the intersection. Crystal Wilson witnessed the accident and told KOIN Local News she saw a “small red car hit (the police car) head on. I didn’t even see it coming.” Clark’s police car spun five or six times, then jumped the curb before finally coming to rest in a parking lot.

When emergency responders arrived on the scene, they found the driver of the red car, Marinela Stothoff, 43, of Milwaukie, lying some distance from her car, badly injured. Both Stothoff and Clark were transported to local hospitals, and as of Tuesday morning, Stothoff was still listed in critical condition. No charges have been issued at this time, but police revealed Monday that Stothoff was under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred.

We hope both victims of this horrific smash make complete and rapid recoveries.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the injured party and their family. When a drunk driver causes an injury accident in Oregon, there is a possibility of suing the person or bar who served the alcohol. This must be done correctly, and quickly. There are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit in Oregon, and where alcohol is involved, the limits get even stricter. A Dram Shop Notice must be received by the server within 180 days of the incident, pursuant to ORS 471.565. In this case, the officer might be able to file a lawsuit against Stothoff, but we hope this accident also serves as a reminder to everyone that drunk driving can hurt anyone – the driver, other drivers, and even pedestrians.

We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of drunk driving in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you settle your lawsuit. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.

Portland Lawyers Warn: Speeding Causes Serious Accidents

Date: September 13, 2011
Location: Highway 11, milepost 5, north of Pendleton
Names: Abel Joseph Trejo, Brock Adam Mecham

Alcohol and speed are being considered as two contributing factors in a single-vehicle crash early Tuesday morning that killed one Pendleton man and critically injured a second. The accident happened on a straight stretch of dry road, and there is no evidence of any other cars being involved.

Oregon State Police Trooper Lisa Slater reported on the OSP website that just before 6 a.m. on September 13, a motorist passing milepost 5 noticed a crashed 1994 Toyota 4Runner SUV about 200 feet off Highway 11. When the motorist investigated, they also discovered two bodies in the ditch next to the highway. OSP and Pendleton Fire Department officials were called to the scene, where they pronounced Abel Joseph Trejo, 25, from Pendleton, deceased at the scene.

Brock Adam Mecham, 22, also from Pendleton, was critically injured in the crash. He was rushed by ground ambulance to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton, then transferred by air ambulance to Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland. As of Tuesday afternoon, his condition was listed as critical.

Early investigations indicate the Toyota was travelling south on Highway 11 at a high rate of speed on a straight stretch of road when it left Highway 11 from the northbound lane side. The vehicle rolled several times. Neither men were using safety restraints, and both were ejected from the vehicle. It’s not yet clear which of the two men was actually driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. The OSP would like to speak to anyone with information about the accident.

Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of the two men’s family, and we sincerely hope Mecham recovers from his injuries.

The Oregon Department of Transportation Safety reports that in 2008 alone, speed-related accidents killed 216 Oregonians. That number far exceeds the amount of drunk driving fatalities! But, as always, law enforcement is in full effect, and the Oregon State Police are continually looking for ways to both protect the innocent and punish those who endanger lives. As personal injury attorneys against speeding drivers, we see the how speeding can cause accidents every day, and we ask everyone to be safe when driving. If you have been hit by a driver who was speeding, you deserve compensation and, like the OSP, we can help you hold them accountable.

Drunk Driving Victim Attorney Urges People to Help OSP in DUI Investigation

Date: September 10, 2011
Location: I-5, milepost 221, south of Albany
Names: Monty Robert Floyd Upshaw, Kailani K. Brown, Osiel Millan Figueroa, Loreta Garcia Rojas, Carmela Estrada Flores

Oregon State Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in a Saturday night multi-vehicle crash on I-5, in which the driver of the wrong-way vehicle that caused the crash died, and four other people were injured.

OSP Lieutenant Mark Cotter said that at around 9:15 p.m. Saturday, a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of I-5, near milepost 221. The Cobalt was being driven by Monty Robert Floyd Upshaw, 71, from Tillamook, when it sideswiped a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by Kailani Brown, 31, from Springfield. After that collision, the Cobalt crashed head on into a 2005 Chevrolet pickup being driven by Osiel Millan Figueroa, 35, from Coos Bay. Lt. Cotter said that when emergency responders from Lebanon and Halsey Fire Departments called to the scene, Upshaw was confirmed dead.

The report by Owen R. Smith in The Oregonian says Brown, the driver of the Jeep, was not injured, but the pickup’s driver, Figueroa, as well as three of his passengers, were transported to hospitals in Albany and Corvallis, with what were described as non-life threatening injuries. A fourth passenger, a two-year-old male child, escaped injury. Lt. Cotter said alcohol is a suspected contributing factor in the crash, and OSP would like to hear from anyone with information about Upshaw’s whereabouts in the hours before the crash.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this horrible tragedy. We hope the injured people all make complete recoveries.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the family. But when a drunk driver causes an injury accident in Oregon, there is a possibility of suing the person or bar who served the alcohol. This must be done correctly, and quickly. There are strict time limits for filing a lawsuit in Oregon, and where alcohol is involved, the limits get even stricter. A Dram Shop Notice must be received by the server within 180 days of the incident, pursuant to ORS 471.565.

Why sue a bar for serving a person alcohol? Well, the bar might have done something wrong. Bars are regulated strictly by the OLCC, and if they serve to a person who was visibly intoxicated, they have violated regulations, and they should be held responsible for that. But the rules only work if the bartenders are well-trained and supported. If anyone is at fault, it’s not going to be the clerks and bartenders – it’s going to be the owner. If an investigation finds that the owner of the bar did not train the bartenders properly, hired the cheapest people and then underpaid them, routinely told the bartenders to serve as much as possible to increase profits, faked bartender’s OLCC licensing tests, and routinely served minors, then a lawsuit could prevent another similar accident in the future. If they were honest, well-trained, hardworking bartenders and clerks who made a single honest mistake, then a lawsuit would do no good. But, the family at least gets to rest easy knowing that they investigated, and found out the truth of the matter.

We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of drunk driving in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you understand your legal rights. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Portland drunk driving accident attorney.

Grants Pass Woman Injured in Collision with Drunk Driver

Date: September 8, 2011
Location: 2900 Block, Williams Highway, Grants Pass
Names: Thelma Williams, Raymond Webb

A Grants Pass woman suffered potentially life-threatening injuries in a head-on collision on Williams Highway Thursday morning, and investigators are looking at the possibility that the driver of the other car was under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the crash.

Thelma Williams, 64, of Grants Pass, was southbound in the slow lane on Williams Highway, near the 1900 block, at around 9 a.m. Grants Pass Department of Public Safety spokesman Cpl. Todd Moran said a car being driven northbound by Raymond Webb, 25, of Huntington Beach, CA, drifted across the center median and struck Williams’ car head on. Emergency responders who called to the scene found Williams had suffered serious injuries. They transported her to Three Rivers Community Hospital initially, and she was later flown to Oregon Health and Science University. Officials there have described her injuries as potentially life-threatening.

Webb was also taken to Three Rivers with what were described as moderate, non-life threatening injuries. Cpl. Moran says police are investigating whether or not Webb was under the influence at the time the accident occurred.

We extend our best wishes for a full recovery to both Williams and Webb at this distressing time.

In the wake of a tragedy like this, each person must deal with it in whatever way works best for them. We would never try to talk someone into taking legal action. It is an individual decision that can only be made by the family. When a driver under the influence of intoxicants causes an injury accident in Oregon, there is a possibility of suing the people responsible. Sometimes this even includes suing the bar that served the intoxicated person alcohol until they were impaired. This is called a Dram Shop Notice. We encourage people to educate themselves on the law of driving under the influence in Oregon, and we provide free information to help you settle your lawsuit without an attorney. But when a driver under the influence is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.

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