Brad Taylor photos
Story provided by Oregon State Police
A Toledo area man was arrested Sunday evening after release from a hospital following a traffic crash on Highway 101 near Newport. Oregon State Police (OSP) is interested in speaking with witnesses to any portion of the incident as it occurred.
Troopers say at approximately 2:58 p.m. a man was spotted climbing over the railing on the Alsea Bay Bridge in Waldport. According to witnesses, the man came down from the railing and got into a white van parked nearby and drove northbound on Highway 101 toward Newport. The driver of a white Ford Econoline van reportedly drove recklessly northbound and several vehicles were forced to drive off the road to avoid a collision.
A Newport Police sergeant and a Lincoln County deputy spotted the van northbound near Ona Beach State Park. The two officers turned to follow the vehicle as it passed other northbound vehicles at a high rate of speed in excess of 80 mph. The driver did not yield to the officers’ patrol cars.
At 3:09 p.m., the driver of the van steered into the oncoming lane toward a green 1997 Chevrolet Venture van whose driver attempted to avoid a crash. The van struck the oncoming vehicle on the left side. The van then continued off the roadway where it came to a stop in heavy brush.
Police officers detained the van’s injured driver identified as MARK TODD PEARSON, age 58, from Toledo. PEARSON was transported by ambulance to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. He was treated for minor injuries and later released. An OSP trooper transported PEARSON to Lincoln County Jail and lodged him for DUII, Assault in the Second Degree, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Reckless Driving. His bail was set at just under $300,000.
The other vehicle’s driver and passengers declined medical treatment at the scene. They are identified as driver DAVID MICHAEL YOUNG, age 48, from South Beach, and passengers JUSTIN PATRICK YOUNG, age 22, and a two year old girl. The adults were using safety restraints and the child was in a child safety seat.
Assisting with the investigation were Seal Rock Fire and Rescue, Pacific West Ambulance, ODOT, Newport Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office. Highway 101 was restricted to one lane for approximately 3 1/2 hours.
OSP is still trying to identify additional witnesses to any portion of this incident. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Trooper Michael Hansen at (541) 265-5354 ext. 307.
NewLincolnCounty.com would like to give a big thank you to Carol Hall (yes THAT Carol Hall) for the story tip. She lives in the center of town with her notable husband William and heard half the town’s sirens wailing, headed south toward the bridge. Thanks Carol, we owe ya!