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Bend man gets 5-year prison term in serious-injury road rage incident; 2nd driver awaits trial

KTVZ file

DA says the two drivers topped 100 mph, racing - then one slammed into rear of Jeep, injuring 4

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – One of two Bend men charged in a 2021 road rage incident on Highway 97 in Bend that led to a crash in which four people were seriously injured has pleaded guilty to five charges and received a nearly 5 ½-year prison term, Deschutes County District Attorney Steve Gunnels said Tuesday.

Kalan Roberts, 34, who was due to go on trial this month, was indicted along with the other driver, Thomas Fraley, 26, in April of last year on a dozen charges in the 2021 incident. Fraley is due to go on trial in April.

Around 11 p.m. on April 16, 2021, the two drivers encountered each other heading south on Highway 97, Gunnels said.

“This encounter quickly escalated into a dangerous road rage incident,” Gunnels said in a news release. “Both drivers were increasing their speed to well over 100 mph in an effort to block and pass each other.”

After nearly striking other vehicles on the Bend Parkway near Powers Road, witnesses called 911 to report what was happening, the DA said.

Unfortunately, within seconds, Fraley’s vehicle slammed into the back of a southbound Jeep, which hurtled into a concrete wall. Gunnels said Roberts’ vehicle struck Fraley’s immediately afterward.

The four people in the Jeep were seriously injured, with some of the injuries being life-threatening, he said.

Gunnels said Roberts fled the scene and eventually came forward to police 20 hours later, “but presented  a story that was provably false.”

Roberts pleaded guilty Dec. 12 to five felony counts, four of third-degree assault and one of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons.

On Jan. 5, Roberts was sentenced to 65 months in prison, followed by three years of post-prison supervision, Gunnels said. In addition, his driver’s license will be suspended for five years fromwhen he’s released from prison.

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