A December 2015 rollover crash between Lebanon and Albany left a passenger in the vehicle paralyzed from the neck down.
On Wednesday morning in Linn County Circuit Court, the driver of the car was sentenced to more than three years in prison for fleeing the scene of the wreck.
Damion Michael Clowdus of Gaston pleaded no contest to a charge of failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person.
As part of a negotiated settlement, charges of second-degree assault and attempted third-degree assault were dismissed.
Prosecutor George Eder said that Clowdus and two of his friends believed that a Linn County man had stolen a car, as well as acted inappropriately regarding one man’s daughter.
Late on the evening of Dec. 17, 2015, the trio pursued the man southeast of Albany. “They were driving fast. He was driving fast. There was some bumping between cars,” Eder said.
Clowdus failed to negotiate a curve and crashed his vehicle into the field, and one of the men inside his vehicle was badly hurt. When Clowdus and his other friend saw emergency lights flashing, they left the scene — both had warrants for their arrest, Eder said.
The two other men, both listed as victims, were uncooperative with authorities, but bloodstains on the steering wheel airbag provided a DNA match with Clowdus, and allowed for the prosecution of the case, Eder said.
Clowdus currently is in prison after receiving a three-year sentence for theft in 2016 in Washington County.
Wednesday’s prison time will run concurrent with the Washington County sentence, which will be completed in the next year.
Clowdus told Judge DeAnn Novotny that he had battled drug addiction most of his life, but planned to turn things around.
“I’ll have a trade when I come out and will be able to do something different,” Clowdus told Novotny.