Man charged in death

BUTTE FALLS — A Klamath Falls man is charged with felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence of intoxicants after allegedly running over and killing a man who was passed out in the road, police said.

Aaron Michael Hasko, 22, of the 4000 block of Shasta Way, was arraigned Monday on the charges in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Hasko was partying into the early morning hours Saturday with 13 other people near Whiskey Lake when he decided to leave for Butte Falls.

At some point during his drive, he struck a power pole and decided to head back to the campsite.

Meanwhile, James Peter Severe, 25, of Butte Falls, had also left the party and fell asleep in the middle of Butte Falls-Fish Lake Road. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said Severe had been drinking.

Hasko didn't see Severe lying in the road and ran over him with his 1998 Mustang, despite a group of people in the area who tried to flag him down.

"They were on their way to Butte Falls and tried to get Hasko's attention," Winters said.

Hasko continued driving to the campsite after striking Severe, who died en route to Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Witnesses told police Hasko had been drinking that night.

Hasko was originally arrested on a count of first-degree manslaughter, but Senior Deputy District Attorney Tim Barnack downgraded the charges Monday.

"Based on the situation we didn't feel that manslaughter was warranted in this case," Barnack said.

Barnack declined to comment on the particulars that influenced his decision, saying the case is ongoing.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail

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