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DUII driver gets three-year sentence for head-on crash

A Grants Pass man was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after causing a head-on collision that severely injured two people outside Jacksonville in May.

His driver’s license will be revoked for life.

Brandon Lee Perkins, 41, was driving under the influence of alcohol May 29, 2017, when he left his travel lane on Highway 238 and crashed into an oncoming vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit by Oregon State Police.

Perkins had fled by the time OSP arrived. A trooper checked on the two people in the vehicle Perkins hit. The driver told the trooper that Perkins said, “I’m so sorry,” and then left the scene, the affidavit said.

The female driver was taken to an intensive care unit where she was treated for bruised lungs and broken ribs. The male passenger’s injuries included severe lacerations to his face, the affidavit said.

Troopers tracked Perkins down and interviewed him. He said he didn’t drink anything during the day, but had one beer after the crash, the affidavit said.

“The suspect stated he fell asleep and thought he crashed into a tree and not another vehicle. He stated in substance he was disoriented and left the scene to try and find his dog,” a trooper wrote in the affidavit. “I advised him the victim stated she heard him apologize after the crash, but he denied he ever apologized. Based on my experience investigating crash scenes, I cannot imagine somebody not knowing they hit another vehicle head on, especially in this case where two vehicles were resting so close to each other.”

The trooper wrote the crashed vehicles came to rest about five feet apart. There was significant damage to the front of both vehicles and both airbags deployed inside Perkins’ vehicle.

Perkins refused to provide a blood sample to have his blood alcohol content measured, the affidavit said.

He was previously convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants in 2002 and 2011, the affidavit said.

Perkins, who has been out on bail since soon after the crash, was given until Aug. 8 to finalize his affairs and report to the Jackson County Jail so he could be taken to an Oregon prison.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge David Hoppe warned Perkins he would increase his three-year-sentence to six years if he failed to report on time.

Perkins’ pleaded guilty in June to driving under the influence of intoxicants, failing to perform the duties of a driver to injured people and two counts of second-degree assault. He also pleaded guilty in June to fourth-degree assault on a child in an unrelated case.

Defendants are often sentenced the same day they enter guilty pleas, but Perkins’ sentencing was postponed until July.

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