Police: Driver admits taking man off roof of car
EUGENE, Oregon (AP) — Police say a driver accused of fatally hitting a pedestrian and carrying him on top of her car for 11 blocks has said she found him on the roof when she stopped to check for damage, then removed the man and left him in the street.
The details were revealed in a police statement in the case against the driver’s husband, who has been charged with tampering with evidence by cleaning off blood and hiding the car.
The statement says Isabel McDaniel and her husband, Gary McDaniel, confessed after being tracked down at their home two days after the Dec. 11 collision that killed 67-year-old Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga, the Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1t6WXrI) reported Tuesday.
Isabel McDaniel has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and is being held in jail. Her lawyer, Laura Fine Moro, declined to comment and said Gary McDaniel also wouldn’t comment.
He is to be arraigned Jan. 8. He has not been jailed.
The affidavit from Springfield police officer Thomas Speldrich said witnesses saw Ortiz-Reynaga flip onto the top of the car. It brushed his son, Julio Ortiz of Springfield.
Julio Ortiz told police he couldn’t find his father afterward but did see the older man’s hat in the road, Speldrich wrote. Ortiz-Reynaga died later at a Springfield hospital, police said.
After they made a public appeal for help, police got tips that led them to the McDaniels’ home.
There, Isabel McDaniel told officers she had been driving the 1989 Honda Civic station wagon, Speldrich wrote.
Police said they suspect Isabel McDaniel was driving under the influence of a combination of unspecified drugs and alcohol. They said that less than half an hour earlier, she fled the scene of a fender-bender in west Eugene.
The affidavit says that after leaving Ortiz-Reynaga, McDaniel met her husband, who hid the Civic near his workplace, drove his wife home in another vehicle, used a trailer to take the Honda to the house and tried to rinse blood off of it with a hose.
The document describes the car as having a broken windshield, fresh scrapes and dents, and blood on its roof and sides.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com