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Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver in Fatal Crash

Date: June 2, 2010
Location: I-5 near Ashland, Oregon
Names: Teryl Collins

Police are trying to find a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a pedestrian June 2, 2010, on I-5 near Ashland, Oregon, according to an OSP press release.

The victim was identified as Teryl Collins, 51, of Ashland. It is not known why Collins was walking on the highway at the time of the crash.

Around 2:10 AM, troopers were dispatched to I-5 southbound near milepost 14 to check on reports of an adult female walking in the southbound lanes of travel. When they arrived, they found Collins deceased, in the middle of the southbound slow lane. Police determined that her injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle.

The Ashland Daily Tidings reports that the hit-and-run vehicle was likely a semi-truck, bus, or other large vehicle. There were no skid marks at the scene. It appears the driver did not try to stop, and police think the driver may not have realized the crash took place.

Sgt. Steve Mitchell urged witnesses to come forward, including anyone who may have been walking with Collins. He said it may be “nearly impossible” to figure out what happened otherwise.

Investigators are running toxicology tests to see if drugs or alcohol were involved.

Police have asked that any potential witnesses, or anyone who saw Collins before the crash, contact Oregon State Police’s Central Point office at 541-776-6114 or the after-hours dispatch center at 541-776-6111.

We send our thoughts and prayers to Collins’ family after this tragic crash, and we urge anyone who has information to come forward. The driver may have been unaware that he or she hit a pedestrian, but may have noticed something later. Perhaps you are living with the knowledge that you may have hit someone. This family needs answers. We ask you to search your heart and do the right thing.

According to the Oregon DMV, hit and run is a serious crime, and conviction will result in your driving privileges being suspended or revoked. In any accident, you have the following obligations:

  • Stop at once. If anyone is killed or unconscious, you must stay at the scene until a police officer arrives.
  • Render aid. Do not move an injured person carelessly, but give reasonable aid.
  • Exchange information with the other driver. Give them your name, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. DMV offers a printable checklist you can download and keep in your car.
  • Report the accident to DMV.

We implore drivers in any accident situation to put the safety and welfare of others above their own interests, and always, always remain at the scene and make sure no one is hurt. In a hit-and-run accident, the family may be well advised to contact a reputed Portland personal injury attorney with experience in hit-and-run crashes who will fight for the justice and compensation that they deserve. At DuBois Law Group, we believe that hit-and-run crashes are simply unacceptable; we are committed to making sure that hit-and-run drivers are held accountable for their actions and that both victims and families receive the compensation they deserve.

Wrongful death claims are allowed by law. ORS 30.010-30.100.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. It is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .” In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death. If a person goes into a coma from a car crash, and dies eight months later, the case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, not from the date of the death.

Compensation available includes charges for medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the person’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the person’s family or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.
The law caps the amount of noneconomic damages at $500,000. This does not apply to economic damages, which are not capped.