By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
A Salem man was quite the crasher in Keizer on Monday night.
Joseph Rickey Cradduck, 35, was arrested after fleeing from two crash scenes he caused. The first crash caused injuries to a 64-year-old Keizer woman, while the second damaged a fence, trees and a crosswalk pole.
According to a Keizer Police Department news release from Sgt. Jeffrey Goodman, shortly before 9:30 p.m. Feb. 9, officers with the Keizer Police Department responded to a reported single vehicle crash at the intersection of Delight Street North and Chemawa Road North, by the entrance to McNary High School.
Initial reports indicated a vehicle had hit a building or a tree, with additional 9-1-1 calls noting the traffic lights at the intersection were flashing red in all directions. By the time the first officers arrived on scene, the driver of the 2007 Toyota Camry – later identified as Cradduck – had already fled.
Officers found the Camry had been traveling north on Delight at high speed, crossed Chemawa and smashed through one of the new metal electrical crosswalk poles on the northwest corner of the intersection. The Camry then crashed into a fence, bushes and trees, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The car appeared to be totaled in the crash.
While officers were investigating that crash, they learned the same vehicle had been involved in a hit-and-run accident minutes earlier.
According to Goodman, the Camry was found to have crashed into another vehicle at River Road North and Evans Drive North. The driver of the Camry left the scene without exchanging information, while the driver of the other vehicle sustained injuries to her back and knee.
“The suspect vehicle pulled out of a parking lot on the east side of River Road near the intersection of Evans Avenue North,” said Jeff Kuhns, deputy chief with the KPD. “He pulled out of the parking lot in front of a vehicle that was traveling northbound on River Road. When he pulled out in front of the other vehicle, the victim vehicle crashed into the driver side door of the suspect vehicle. Instead of stopping and remaining at the scene of the crash, the suspect fled from the scene of the crash, continuing across River Road onto Evans Avenue North where he continued going westbound.”
Because the driver of the other vehicle was injured, Kuhns said it was considered felony hit-and-run.
A driver who witnessed the first incident began following Cradduck as he traveled west on Evans and then north on Delight.
“The pursuing witness reported to officers the suspect vehicle was traveling in excess of 60 mph, in the 25 mph residential neighborhood, just prior to the second collision,” Goodman said.
Another witness gave police a detailed description of Cradduck and reported seeing him fleeing into the area of the MHS parking lot.
“A school custodian contacted an officer in the parking lot and informed him he had just confronted a subject who had broken into the concession stand near the football field,” Goodman said. “The custodian gave a description of the suspect, which matched the same description as the hit-and-run driver in the first two incidents.”
The custodian told officers than when he confronted Cradduck, the suspect took off running and was seen going west on MacArthur Street North.
With assistance from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Salem Police Department, KPD officers set up a perimeter in the neighborhood west of MHS and deployed a K-9 to track for the suspect. Cradduck was found hiding in bushes near the intersection of Newberg Drive North and Max Court North.
Cradduck was taken to the police department, where he admitted being the driver of the Camry. He was found to have a blood alcohol level of .06 percent, but refused to submit to a urine analysis test. Cradduck was taken to the Marion County Correctional Facility and charged with felony failure to perform duties of a driver, reckless driving, failure to perform duties of a driver (for the property damage), driving under the influence of intoxicants, burglary and refusing the urine test. The total bail was $35,650.
Kuhns said on Tuesday the Camry was not registered in Cradduck’s name.
“But we don’t have any information to indicate it was stolen,” Kuhns said.
In terms of damaged property, Kuhns said it starts with the Camry.
“If the vehicle was insured we – or the owner of the damaged pedestrian signal and the owner of the residence – will make a claim against the insurance,” Kuhns said. “If there was no insurance on the vehicle we will have to wait as this matter works its way through the criminal justice system. When and if the suspect is found guilty the District Attorney will ask the court to require restitution be paid to all of the victims if the damages have not otherwise been paid for.”