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Driver Arrested Following Injury Hit & Run Crash on Beltline Highway Flyover
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid 30 days - Sources:
Lane County Sheriff's Office
Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers arrested the driver of a vehicle related to the investigation into an early Sunday morning injury traffic crash on the Beltline Highway "flyover" above Interstate 5 in Springfield. The suspect, who fled on foot and was later captured with the assistance of Springfield police and Lane County deputies, was arrested by OSP following treatment at a local hospital.
On May 31, 2011 at 9:15 p.m. OSP troopers arrested DAVID RUIZ ROJAS, age 19, from Eugene, and lodged him in the Lane County Jail on the following charges:
  • Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
  • Hit & Run
  • Reckless Driving
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person
  • Assault in the Fourth Degree
According to OSP Trooper Mike Pelkey, on May 29, 2011 at approximately 2:39 a.m. OSP and local emergency responders were dispatched to a reported two-vehicle crash on westbound Beltline Highway over Interstate 5. Preliminary investigation indicates a passenger car driven by MELISSA J. WHITE, age 38, from Eugene, was northbound on Interstate 5 and exited westbound onto Beltline Highway when she saw an erratically driven vehicle approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. WHITE said she tried to move to the right to avoid the vehicle but was struck in the driver side.
The other vehicle, a 1996 Volkswagen Jetta, then struck the concrete barrier and attached fencing, causing the fencing to break loose and fall onto Interstate 5. This vehicle began to roll numerous times before coming to rest on its wheels across Beltline Highway. WHITE then saw an adult Hispanic male, later identified as RUIZ ROJAS, get out of the car and try to get rides from another car and a taxi cab. Both drivers refused and said they were calling police.
RUIZ ROJAS then fled on foot toward the Gateway Mall prior to police and fire personnel arriving.
A Springfield police sergeant spotted the suspect jumping over a fence and fall to the ground where he was detained. The suspect was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend where he was treated for a non-life threatening injury. Alcohol is a confirmed factor in this crash.
WHITE had a possible injury and was checked at the scene by paramedics. She was not transported to a hospital.
OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office are continuing the investigation.