On January 31 at 2:45 a.m., Eugene Police officers responded to Hwy. 99N and Prairie Road for a crash after which one of the drivers left on foot. The crash was between a Volkswagen Jetta and a Chevy Equinox. The Equinox’s driver, a 35-year-old Eugene woman, had non-life-threatening injuries but declined medics.
The Jetta’s driver, who fled the crash, was described as intoxicated and a caller with the other involved vehicle reported a Jeep Wrangler had arrived to pick him up. The ride was cancelled when the caller intervened to prevent this. The Jeep fled the area.
EPD K9 Officer Owen Griffith and Cwyk were called out and the Wrangler was located by the K9 team. The male occupant of that vehicle refused to cooperate with officers. An hour after the crash, EPD’s K9 team also located the Jetta’s driver, later identified as Jesse Allen Stephens, aged 38, of Eugene. He was hiding down in a ravine-type area, which was covered in blackberry bushes and attempting to phone another person for help. This was about a quarter mile from the crash scene.
An EPD officer who was working DUII saturation patrol came to the scene. Stephens appeared to be intoxicated and after an investigation he was arrested. Stephens charges include DUII – Felony, Hit and Run – Felony, Reckless Driving, Driving While Suspended (misdemeanor), and he was cited for Refusal to Take a Breath Test.