Drunk Driver Cited After Crash

Date: July 11, 2010
Location: Highway 97 near Moro, Oregon
Names: Cesar Perez Fausto, Alvaro Lamprea, Jorge Angel-Moliner, Bioleta Angel-Moliner, Aylin Perez, Scott Ekman, Timothy Roth

A drunk driver was cited and released after rear-ending a car and causing life-threatening injuries to a pedestrian on July 11, 2010, around 2:20 AM, on Highway 97 near Moro, Oregon, according to an OSP press release.

Scott Ekman, 26, of Vancouver, Washington, was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.

Before the accident, there had been an earlier fatal crash, and southbound traffic had come to a stop on the highway. A car driven by Cesar Perez Fausto, 20, of Walla Walla, Washington, was at a stop behind the line of traffic waiting for the crash to clear. The front passenger in the car, Alvara Lamprea, 47, of Milton Freewater, got out of the car and was standing in the road, talking to a truck driver, who was also stopped. Three other occupants remained seated in the car.

When the pickup Eckman was driving approached the line of stopped traffic, it failed to stop and rear-ended the car driven by Fausto. The pickup then continued, sliding south until it hit Lamprea, who was not inside a vehicle.

Lamprea sustained major, life-threatening injuries, and was taken by Life Flight to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

The driver of the car Lamprea was riding in, Fausto, and the other three occupants, Jorge Angel-Moliner, 14; Bioleta Angel-Moliner, 16; and Aylin Perez, 4; all of Milton Freewater, were taken to Mid Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles for treatment of minor injuries.

Ekman was not hurt, nor was his passenger, Timothy Roth, of Wasco.

Ekman was arrested on a charge of DUII and transported to The Dalles, where he was cited and released. OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command are continuing to investigate.

We send our warmest and most sincere wishes to Lamprea. We hope that the skill of your doctors and the love of your family will make the difference, and you will be in our thoughts.

To Fausto, and especially the children – Jorge, Bioleta, and little Aylin – we send our prayers and wishes for a 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 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 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, 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 drunk driving injury attorney.