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Ethan Taylor Silkensen

OSP: Drunk driver blamed bartender for crash

A Sams Valley man is facing a string of charges after he allegedly got kicked out of a bar, crashed his truck and then returned to the bar to blame the bartender for the rollover accident.

Oregon State Police troopers said they were able to track the man down at his home, where they found him in bed under the covers within an hour of the crash.

Ethan Taylor Silkensen, 29, of the 13700 block of Perry Road pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of driving under the influence of intoxicants, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of criminal driving with a suspended or revoked license and one count of recklessly endangering another person, court records show.

He has a pre-trial conference hearing scheduled for July 2 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by OSP, a bartender at Triple Tree Restaurant and Lounge along Highway 234 in Sams Valley kicked Silkensen out of the bar on the night of April 19.

Emergency reports came in about a Dodge Ram pickup truck that had been involved in a rollover crash and was lying on its top, blocking Highway 234, the affidavit said.

An OSP trooper arrive at the scene at 10:30 p.m. and was told by medical personnel that the driver was no longer at the scene, the affidavit said.

Silkersen was listed as one of the registered owners of the truck. His home address was near the crash location, the affidavit said.

At 10:37 p.m., the bartender called dispatchers and said Silkensen had returned to the bar and “blamed her for him getting into a crash,” the affidavit said.

The OSP trooper left the crash scene, drove to the bar and talked to the bartender and patrons. They showed the trooper Silkensen’s Facebook page and said he was the man who had been kicked out of the bar earlier, the affidavit said.

Two troopers went to Silkerson’s home, where they met his mother and explained the circumstances of the crash. She led them to his bedroom, where he was in bed under the covers, the affidavit said.

“When Mr. Silkensen woke up, I observed that he had a fresh seatbelt mark and bruise on his upper left shoulder consistent with driving and being in a motor vehicle accident,” the affidavit said. “Mr. Silkensen denied driving and explained that someone must have stolen his truck.”

Silkensen was taken into custody and transported to the bar, where he was identified by the bartender as the man who had driven away from the business, then returned to yell about having rolled his truck, the affidavit said.

Silkensen refused to provide a breath sample, so a search warrant was obtained and his blood was drawn, the affidavit said.

The affidavit did not list his blood alcohol content.

He was then medically cleared by Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center and lodged in the Jackson County Jail, the affidavit said.

In an indictment, Silkensen is accused of driving under the influence of intoxicants April 19, the night of the rollover crash, and also March 23.

Court documents do not include details about the allegation he drove while under the influence in March.

Silkensen has past convictions for driving under the influence of intoxicants in 2009, 2013 and 2016, according to court documents.

He was convicted in 2016 and 2018 for driving with a suspended or revoked license, court records show.

Silkensen was released from jail due to overcrowding in April after signing an agreement that he would not consume intoxicants, wouldn’t drive with a suspended or revoked license, would submit to random urine and breath tests and would not enter any business that primarily serves or sells alcohol.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

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