Newport police were dispatched Saturday afternoon to an accident on Hwy 101 at the south end of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. The caller indicated that one of the drivers was refusing to exchange any information with the other driver. Prior to officers arriving, the uncooperative driver fled the scene, heading north bound on Hwy 101. He was stopped on Hwy 101 near SW 10th St and identified as Barry Leon Richards of Freemont, Texas. Richards was displaying indicators of being impaired, failed sobriety tests and was initially arrested for DUII. When the victims were contacted, Newport officers learned that the victims had been struck from the rear by Richards vehicle while they were stopped at a stop sign. Richards had stopped after the accident in the parking lot of the South Beach Grocery, refused to identify himself or provide any insurance information. He walked into the store, purchased another large can of beer, got into his vehicle and drove away. The occupants of the other involved vehicle were not injured.
Richards was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on charges of DUII, Reckless Driving, two counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Hit and Run. Richards was found to have a suspended drivers license in several states, including Oregon. In addition to the criminal charges, Richards was issued citations for Driving While Suspended, Driving Uninsured and Breath Test Refusal.