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.
Date: August 14, 2011
Location: Interstate 5, milepost 42
Names: Christopher Scott Teske II, Crystal Lewis, Ron Lewis, Lauren Lewis, Lexi Lewis, Reed Lewis, Kayla Bonomini
Oregon State Police have arrested a 20-year-old Pasadena, California native after a high-speed, head on collision on Interstate 5 which sent six people to hospital with a variety of injuries. Four of the six people injured were children under 16.
OSP Sergeant David Beck said a 2005 Toyota Scion was being driven southbound on Interstate 5, near milepost 42, by Christopher Teske II at around 3 p.m., when the vehicle suddenly went out of control. The Toyota traveled through the central meridian, then went airborne and crashed head-on into a northbound GMC Yukon carrying six people. The crash caused the Yukon to roll in the center meridian, then cross the southbound lanes and crash into a guardrail.
When Grant’s Pass Fire and Rescue crews arrived at the scene, Teske refused medical treatment. The occupants of the Yukon were all transported to various medical centers with what are described as non-life threatening injuries, according to the report on the OSP website. The driver, Crystal Lewis, 46, was transported by air ambulance to Rogue Valley Medical Center. The other passengers were Ron Lewis, 56; Lauren Lewis, 12; Lexi Lewis, 12; Reed Lewis, 15 and Kayla Bonomini, 12. The three young girls injured are all members of the Humbolt Jammers basketball team and were returning from a girls basketball tournament in Eureka, California, at the time of the accident.
Leske was later arrested, transported to the Jackson County Jail and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, six counts of recklessly endangering another person, six counts of assault in the third degree and criminal mischief in the second degree.
We hope all victims of this horrific accident make a full and speedy recovery.
If children are injured in an accident like this, the law can get complicated fast. For example, while the standard Oregon injury case must be filed within two years of the accident, the statute of limitations for children, on the other hand, is not so straightforward. ORS 12.160 steps you through the process for figuring out the statute of limitations. First, the regular statute of limitations applies. Second, it doesn’t start running until the child turns 18 years old. But third, the statute cannot be extended by more than five years. And fourth, it cannot be extended beyond the child’s 19th birthday. In addition to the statute of limitations, there’s also the issue of money. Money recovered belongs to the injured child, not to his or her parents. In certain cases, a judge will need to oversee the situation to make sure this happens.
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.
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.