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Man accused of ramming truck, terrorizing occupants

An Illinois Valley man stands accused of ramming another pickup truck with his own vehicle, totaling the victim's pickup and terrorizing the two people inside. He now faces charges of DUII and reckless driving, among others.

John Hogan, 54, of Cave Junction, was indicted Thursday and is being held in jail on $50,000 bail. He has also been charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of attempting to commit a felony, and criminal mischief.

The ramming incident began shortly before 11 p.m. on Dec. 28 at a home on Aries Lane, a cul-de-sac off of Hays Cut Off Road outside of Cave Junction.

Cecilia Sexton said she and Rollie Nelson, a caretaker at her Takilma Road property, had driven to her brother's place on Aries Lane after hearing that Hogan was there threatening her brother.

"I went over there to be kind of like a mediator," Sexton told the Daily Courier, explaining that Hogan used to be a friend of hers and she thought she could talk him down and persuade him to leave.

When they arrived, she said, she got out of her Dodge Ram and talked to Hogan but then jumped back in her truck a short time later.

"When I realized that I couldn't get him to go home, I decided to get in my truck and leave, and he started ramming," Sexton said.

Hogan was also driving a Dodge Ram, and Sexton said the first hit was head-on as Nelson — who was behind the wheel of Sexton's pickup — drove in reverse trying to back out of the cul-de-sac. They were eventually able to turn around, but were then rammed additional times from behind by Hogan, according to Sexton.

They accelerated away down Hays Cut Off Road, and eventually lost sight of Hogan's pickup truck in their rear-view mirror. Sexton said they later learned he had crashed into a tree.

Sexton and Nelson called police and met state troopers at the 76 gas station in Cave Junction.

"We just wanted to get out of the area," Sexton said.

Sexton was taken to a hospital by ambulance to be checked out, but didn't suffer any major injuries. Nelson said Thursday that he has started feeling some pain and is planning to see a doctor himself.

Hogan was injured, too, and was admitted to Three Rivers Medical Center. Sexton said she received a call Sunday morning from a detective who informed her that Hogan was no longer at the hospital. However, he was back in custody on Wednesday, at which time he was booked into jail. An Oregon State Police detective wasn't immediately available to discuss what happened between Hogan's hospital stay and the time he was booked.

Sexton testified before a grand jury on Wednesday, and Hogan was indicted on Thursday.

A probable-cause statement written by OSP Detective Bryan Scott describes a hectic scene on Aries Lane in which Hogan allegedly rammed the victims' truck more than 10 times. The document states that Hogan crashed on the side of Hays Cut Off Road about half a mile from where the incident started.

When troopers located Hogan, they noticed signs of impairment, including glassy eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath, according to the court document. Several hours after the crash, Hogan's blood-alcohol content was found to be .12 percent. Under Oregon law, drivers are presumed intoxicated at .08 percent.

Hogan told detectives he had gone to the home on Aries Lane to confront people he thought were involved in the repeated theft of items from his property, according to the probable-cause statement.

He claimed the truck-ramming was mutual.

This Dodge Ram was occupied by Rollie Nelson and Cecilia Sexton when it was totalled during an incident near Cave Junction last week. Photo courtesy of Rollie Melson