Hit-and-run fatality in Philomath

Philomath Officer Ted Vaughn, far left, and Sgt. Dave Gurski talk while other law enforcement and emergency personnel work the scene of a fatal hit-and-run Saturday morning on Highway 20/34 just west of Newton Street.


An 85-year-old man who was injured Saturday after being struck by a pickup on Highway 20 remains in fair condition, a Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center spokesperson said. 

Allan Deutsch, of Corvallis, underwent surgery at the hospital after the hit-and-run in Philomath, officials said. The crash killed 70-year-old Robert Ozretich, also of Corvallis. The men were struck while voluntarily picking up trash along the highway.

Authorities say the driver, Ricky Ray Ferguson, 54, fled the scene after the collision. Officials arrested Ferguson about four hours later. 

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said that Ferguson stayed in the Philomath area for a while after the incident, and he attempted to modify the appearance of his 2004 Ford F250 pickup. Following tips from the public, police were able to locate Ferguson about 2:30 p.m. at the Blodgett Country Store.

Ferguson, of Toledo, was charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless driving, hit-and-run in an injury accident and tampering with evidence.

Anthony Rimel covers education and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.


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