June 11, 2017 -- On June 11, 2017, just before 2:45am, deputies were conducting field sobriety tests on a suspected impaired driver on westbound Highway 26 near SW Camelot Court. As they were concluding these tests on 23-year-old Yash Desai, of Portland, a vehicle crashed into the back of a deputy's patrol car, causing a chain reaction crash that left four vehicles -- including two patrol cars -- damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The driver who caused the crash was identified as 61-year-old Earl Smith, of Portland. All four vehicles had to be towed from the scene.
Mr. Desai was arrested for Driving while Under the Influence of Intoxicants ("DUII"). His blood-alcohol content ("BAC") was later determined to be .19, more than twice the legal limit.
Mr. Smith was also arrested and charged with DUII, Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief I and four counts of Reckless Endangering. Tests showed that Mr. Smith also had a .19 BAC.
DUII enforcement is a priority for the sheriff's office. Our deputies arrest an average of 1,000 impaired drivers each year. DUII is a 100% preventable crime. The Washington County Sheriff's Office encourages the public to designate a driver when they consume substances that could impair their ability to drive. Other alternative forms of transportation, such as taxis or app-based Uber or Lyft, are readily available in the metro area.