Drunk Driver Charged in Two-Car Crash

Date: June 18, 2010
Location: Highway 219 near St. Paul, Oregon
Names: Micheal R. Macaulay, Curtis Paul Terry

A drunk driver turned into the path of another car on Highway 219 near St. Paul, Oregon, and the resulting crash injured both drivers, according to an OSP news release.

Around 4 PM on June 18, 2010, Curtis Paul Terry, 21, of Bend, was driving north on the highway, when he suddenly made a left turn towards a driveway, directly into the path of an oncoming car driven by Micheal R. Macaulay, 55, of Keizer. The two cars collided and rolled over onto their sides, coming to a stop on the side of the road.

Macaulay was injured and taken to Providence Newberg Medical Center for treatment.

Terry had serious injuries and was flown by LifeFlight to OHSU, where he was cited on the following charges:

OSP troopers from the Salem Area and Portland Area Command offices are continuing to investigate.

We send our best wishes to Macaulay as he recovers from his injuries in a crash that could have been much worse, but also a crash that never should have happened in the first place.

The moments and days after a crash are the most important. First, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should have a record of anything after the accident in case the pains become more serious. Second, either you, a friend or family member, or a qualified Oregon personal injury attorney, should collect evidence from the accident scene. Evidence can disappear quickly, so doing this while your loved one is in the hospital is of extreme importance. We understand that you may not want to do this while you or your loved one is in the hospital, so you may want to ask an attorney to do it for you.

The months after an accident are important as well. There are time limits to filing a claim if you have been in an accident. And sometimes you can’t go back to work, so you start to worry about paying medical bills and wage loss. These are all stressful things, and it doesn’t help that the insurance company won’t leave you alone, but they won’t help you either.

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 sent to 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 must have done something. Bars are regulated strictly by the OLCC, and if they serve to minors, or 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 there 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. We also offer a free book, 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case. But when a drunk driver is involved, the law becomes very tricky, and you should contact an experienced Oregon injury attorney.