A 27-year-old Lebanon man who was allegedly driving a stolen pickup that struck another vehicle during a police pursuit Dec. 16 outside Philomath was booked Friday into Benton County Jail on multiple charges.
Avery was seen driving a stolen 2014 Dodge Ram flatbed truck Dec. 16 in the Philomath area when a Benton County sheriff’s deputy recognized the vehicle and initiated the pursuit, Benton County Undersheriff Greg Ridler said.
With a Philomath police officer joining the chase, Avery fled west on Highway 20. In the vicinity of Woods Creek Road, Avery swerved into oncoming traffic and struck a 2003 Toyota Camry driven by Stephen Paul Swanson, 60, of Philomath, hitting it virtually head-on, Ridler said.
Avery got out of the damaged pickup and tried to flee on foot before being apprehended, according to the undersheriff.
Swanson was in fair condition early last week at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, while Avery was initially in critical condition at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, according to hospital personnel.
Avery was booked and being held in Benton County Jail on multiple charges that included attempting to elude police, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, driving under the influence of intoxicants, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, two counts of first-degree animal abuse, resisting arrest, interfering with a peace officer, second-degree criminal mischief, hit-and-run vehicle injury and possession of a stolen vehicle.