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Driver charged with DUII after collision causes fire, one death

Deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office are investigation the circumstances of a two-car collision in Oregon City in which one driver was killed. The exact sequence of events that led to the collision were not released by police, but the criminal charges lodged against the surviving driver make it appear that drunk driving is believed to be the principal cause.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Old Bearvercreek Road and S. Henrici Road in Oregon City on Sept. 18. When police arrived at the scene, they found one car in flames. They administered CPR to one driver, but he died before EMTs reached the scene. The other driver was arrested and taken into custody. Police did not state whether he had suffered any injuries.

The driver who survived and arrested was charged with a number of alcohol-related crimes, including manslaughter, DUII, two counts of criminal mischief and reckless endangering human life. Manslaughter is the negligent killing of another person and is a felony in Oregon. The punishment depends upon the circumstances of the crime: Class A manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $375,000; a Class B manslaughter conviction carries a sentence up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The suspect in this case is facing very serious charges. As noted, a conviction would carry a significant prison term and monetary penalty. Anyone facing similar charges would be helped by consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer who is knowledgeable about defending DUII cases may be able to provide a helpful evaluation of the evidence and, if appropriate, negotiate a favorable plea agreement.

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