An Albany man is accused of running over and killing his wife in a drunk driving crash that occurred on Tuesday night, said an Albany Police Department supervisor.
Gary Donavon McDonald Jr., 53, was charged in Linn County Circuit Court on Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter, driving under the influence of intoxicants and reckless driving.
The fatal crash was reported at 7:52 p.m. Tuesday along Century Drive, just north of Knox Butte Road.
Colleen Kay McDonald, 61, was walking north along the roadway’s shoulder when she was struck from behind by her husband’s Chevy Silverado pickup, which also was northbound, according to APD.
The McDonalds lived blocks from the site of the crash.
Judge David Delsman set McDonald’s bail at $250,000 on Wednesday, as requested by prosecutor Michael Paul.
Paul said that McDonald’s blood alcohol content was .12 percent four hours after crashing into the victim.
“He told the officers that he felt he was safe to be driving,” Paul said.
Besides the danger to the public, Paul also noted McDonald’s significant criminal history in asking for security.
Defense attorney Kyla Mazhary-Clark, who handled Wednesday afternoon’s session of teleconference arraignments with the Linn County Jail, asked for $50,000 bail, the minimum required by law for such a serious charge.
She said that McDonald had nothing on his record since being released from prison five years ago, and that he had family members and ties to the area, reducing his flight risk.
The next hearing in the case was scheduled for Oct. 26.
In 2005, McDonald pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree arson, second-degree arson and first-degree burglary in Linn County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
He also was ordered to pay nearly $225,000 in restitution.
Other charges, including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft and attempted arson, were dismissed as part of the negotiated settlement in that case.
McDonald was convicted of setting fires just outside the Albany city limits on the night of April 23, 2005, and early in the morning of April 24, 2005. A house was completely destroyed along with a shop and motorhome along Stutzman Drive, another house was burned on Three Lakes Road and various vehicles were lit on fire. Albany, Lebanon, Tangent and Halsey firefighters all responded to the blazes. No injuries were reported.
At the time of that guilty plea, McDonald was on parole following a conviction for arson and burglary in Washington.
Century Drive was closed for three hours following Tuesday's fatal crash. Personnel from the Multi Agency Investigation Team responded to the scene, and investigation into the matter is continuing.
Those with information about the case should contact APD Sgt. Robert Hayes at 541-917-7680.
Kyle Odegard can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter via @KyleOdegard.
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