Two Medford men are facing charges after police say they each caused a separate crash that resulted in back injuries to victims.
Justin Al Watkins, 41, of the 2900 block of State Street, admitted to police he was intoxicated and texting when he rear-ended another vehicle at a stoplight Aug. 15, according to a probable cause affidavit by Medford police.
The driver of the vehicle and her husband, the passenger, were both injured and taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with back and neck injuries, the affidavit said.
Watkins fled the scene, but numerous witnesses saw the incident and gave police his license plate number. Police went to his home and took him into custody after a prolonged standoff, the affidavit said.
“Watkins admitted to the hit-and-run and said that he was ‘smashed’ when he ran into the victim vehicle,” the affidavit said. “Watkins also admitted that along with being intoxicated, he was texting on his cellphone during the accident.”
He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured people, two counts of third-degree assault and two counts of recklessly endangering another person, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.
Watkins has a pre-trial conference hearing scheduled for Oct. 15.
In the other incident, Medford police arrived at the scene of a vehicle crashed into a tree shortly after midnight July 8, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Police said the driver, Sean Kristopher Moody, 29, of the 500 block of Palm Street, was intoxicated.
Moody’s passenger, a woman, was taken to Rogue Regional Medical Center and diagnosed with a fractured lower spine, the affidavit said.
Several witnesses said they had seen Moody speeding before the crash. Damage to his vehicle was consistent with a high-speed crash, the affidavit said.
Moody pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of third-degree assault, DUII, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief. He has a pre-trial conference hearing scheduled for Oct. 15, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.
Moody’s past convictions in Oregon include fourth-degree assault, disorderly conduct, driving with a suspended license and improper use of an emergency reporting system in 2007; first-degree burglary, first-degree aggravated theft and first-degree criminal mischief in 2008; interfering with a police officer in 2009; fourth-degree assault in 2011; and child neglect in 2013, according to circuit court records.
Watkins’ past convictions include furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 in 2001, driving uninsured and with a suspended license in 2002 and DUII in 2003, court records show.