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Suspected DUII hit-and-run driver arrested after slamming car into NW Bend apartments, breaking gas line

(Update: Adding video)

Residents of four-plex were evacuated during late-night repairs

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Bend man suspected of drunk and drugged driving slammed his car into the side of an apartment four-plex on Northwest Newport Avenue late Wednesday night, also breaking a natural gas line and prompting evacuations, then fled the scene, police said. Officers soon found his parked car and him walking away, and he was arrested on DUII, hit-and-run and several other charges.

Police responded shortly before midnight to the report of a vehicle crashing into the apartment building in the 1500 block of NW Newport Avenue, Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.

Officers found damage to the apartment complex, as well as a broken natural gas line, she said. They also saw a fluid trail leaving the scene, as well as a bumper and debris left behind.

An orange Mitsubishi Lancer missing a bumper was found parked near the intersection of Newport Avenue and Harmon Boulevard, and a 41-year-old Bend man walking west along Newport Avenue. Miller said he confirmed the car was his and that he’d crashed before parking in the area.

Eight people were in the apartment building when the car struck the northwest wall, Miller said – and a child was sleeping in a bed directly against the wall the driver damaged.

The crash also sheared off four natural gas meters and severed the building’s main gas line, Miller said, Officers evacuated the building, and Newport Avenue was closed for about an hour while Bend Fire & Rescue and Cascade Natural Gas worked to ensure the building’s safety and make repairs.

The driver was arrested and lodged in the Deschutes County Jail on charges of DUII, eight counts of reckless endangering, hit and run-property damage, reckless driving and first-degree criminal mischief.

NewsChannel 21’s policy is not to name arrested people until and unless formal charges are filed. The arrested driver has no Oregon criminal court record, online records show.

Miller said the driver blew a .07, just below the .08 legal blood-alcohol limit, about 90 minutes after the crash and also was tested for drugs, which can take awhile to get results for.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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