At 10:52 p.m. on December 21, a Eugene Police officer, who was actively working an impaired driver patrol near 6th Avenue and Fillmore Street, spotted a Pontiac minivan that was travelling westbound and began to follow it. He observed drastic lane changes, varying speeds, and drifting over fog line. The officer initiated a traffic stop near Coastal Farm Supply on Hwy. 99, but the suspect continued driving at or near the speed limit until he reached the area of Sutton RV. At this point the suspect increased speeds well above the speed limit. Due to the risk to the public of allowing the driver to continue and the light traffic, the experienced officer initiated a pursuit.
The suspect, later identified as Donovin Joshua Baxter, age 19, of Creswell, pulled around the back of a business at Hwy. 99 and Royal Avenue, jumped out of the still moving vehicle, and fled on foot. The officer followed the Baxter around the front of the building where he surrendered. It was later learned there were several passengers in the van as well.
Baxter alternately complied and then was uncooperative, and was banging his head on a partition. Eugene Springfield Fire was called to transport him to a local hospital for evaluation. Once medically cleared Baxter was lodged at Lane County Jail for DUII, Felony Elude, and Reckless Driving. Case 23-19165
The Eugene Police Department is working the Oregon Impact DUII High Visibility Enforcement Overtime grant and has been conducting targeted enforcement since December 16 that will continue throughout New Year’s Day. This grant helps staff EPD DUII patrols above the normal strength during the period of high visibility to ensure enough officers available to identify, stop and process impaired drivers. A DUII investigation from traffic stop to finish, usually takes about four hours.
- Impaired driving continues to be a significant and preventable problem in our community, and there are several things you can do to help:
- Before drinking, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
- Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
- If you have been drinking, call a taxi or ride service.
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
- Drivers who suspect dangerous or possible DUII drivers are encouraged to call 911 to support this effort.
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