James Croft, a Western Oregon University student in town for the Prefontaine Classic, just wanted to go to bed when he saw his buddy’s van had been rear ended by a small, four-door sedan in front of the Hilyard House on the corner of 14th Avenue and Hilyard Street.
Croft and his pal, Drew Larson, were at Pegasus Pizza when a reckless driver crashed into Larson’s white van. Eugene Police officer Travis Cooper saw the witness, who has not yet been apprehended or named by the police department, driving erratically around the 14th and Hilyard area when he decided to give chase. It was then that the driver of the four-door sedan began to panic and Cooper intentionally rammed the car so it would crash and come to a stop in front of Hilyard House.
Croft had decided to call it a night when he left Larson and a few other friends at Pegasus. The group intended to spend the night in Larson’s van, which is the vehicle the suspect crashed into after Cooper gave chase.
“All I know is that I could have been in asleep when it happened,” Croft said.
Cooper said EPD can’t release specifics about the suspect, whose license plate he ran through the system after the chase. We’ll keep you updated as news develops on the matter. He did, however, say the suspect was driving as though possibly frightened or under the influence of alcohol but he couldn’t say for sure what caused the suspect to drive so suspiciously prior to the crash.