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Police make arrest in fatal Molalla hit-and-run – Updated

Posted by on April 8th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Jacob Croall booking photo

Police arrested a 26-year old man this morning on charges related to the fatal hit-and-run crash on Highway 211 west of Molalla that occurred on March 22nd.

Jacob Croall turned himself in and was arrested at the office of his attorney in east Portland at 10:00 am this morning and he has been transported to the Clackamas County Jail. According to a statement by the Oregon State Police Croall has been charged with; Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver To Injured Persons (a Class B felony), and Tampering with Evidence (a Class A misdemeanor).

The OSP investigation found that Croall purchased parts at an auto wrecking yard to repair damage sustained by his van during the collision. Croall was also driving with a suspended license when the crash occurred (no word on why his license was suspended).

67-year old Thomas Mossman died in the hospital a week after the crash. Over 400 people turned out on Tuesday for a memorial service to remember him.

UPDATE, 3:35pm:
I asked OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings why more serious charges weren’t filed against Croall. Hastings reminded me that this is an ongoing investigation and further charges could be forthcoming. He also noted that this crash had no witnesses.

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  • Mike April 8, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Seriously! Those are the charges? Is that the worst OSP could do?
    Why do I think this guy is going to walk with 60 days (minus time served) and a $5k fine – or something equally as trivial?
    Why is Oregon so far behind in recognizing the value of a human life?

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    • middle of the road guy April 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Yeah, why don’t we just hang him without a trial.

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  • NW Biker April 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Time to take another look at today’s cartoon?

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  • SilkySlim April 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Those almost surely not the final charges. Usually people are booked on a “simple” charge, while cases are being built up.

    Glad they caught him, with some detective work no less!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    SilkySlim is right… Just off the phone w/ OSP and they say it’s an ongoing investigation and further charges could be coming.

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    • Alan 1.0 April 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Just for comparison, in a hit-and-run involving two cars on April 17 where the victim had minor injuries but her car was totaled, Wesley Adam Lacambra was arrested by Washington County Sheriff dept. and charged with Hit and Run, Assault 4, DUII, Reckless Driving, and Criminal Mischief.

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  • Bjorn April 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I wish that we could get license suspension to occur only for driving reasons, and then get some much stronger penalties for driving while suspended. People who are driving with suspended licenses are far more likely to hurt other people than the average driver, but in Oregon it is impossible to get these penalties put in place because such a huge percentage of suspended drivers are deadbeat parents. People should pay their child support but failure to do so should not be lumped in with folks who are suspended due to multiple duii’s etc.

    Also if this guy was drunk when he committed the hit and run, his penalty will be significantly lower than if he had stopped. Hit and run penalties should be at least as high as DUII penalties if we expect any drunk who gets in an accident to stop. Current law encourages people to run.

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    • buglas April 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      …if this guy was drunk when he committed the hit and run, his penalty will be significantly lower than if he had stopped.

      - Bjorn – +1

      We had a similar case down here in Benton County. On August 10, 2004, eighteen year old Robin Jensen was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. A few days later Amy Stack came forward, already under the protection of an attorney.
      Stack was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. She served eight months. She was sentenced under Senate Bill 472, known as Katie’s Law. This law was passed in 2001 after 12 year old Katie Lovelace was killed by a hit and run driver. Speculation at the time of Stack’s sentence ws that it would lead to changes in the law as Katie Lovelace’s death did.
      The $3 million civil suit that Robin Jensen’s family filed against Amy Stack was settled out of court for undisclosed terms.

      It is speculation that Croall was DUI. Still, perhaps this time around the law can be changed as Bjorn suggests, to make running away at least as bad as staying around drunk.

      - doug

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      • Bjorn April 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm

        Agreed, I used to live in Corvallis and swam at the pool where robin worked. Stack served only 9 months of her sentence and then was allowed to do her parole in Oklahoma. My understanding is that there was evidence that Stack was drinking that night but it was circumstantial and not admitted at trial. I heard recently that she had passed the bar exam in Oklahoma, I am surprised that someone with her criminal history would be admitted to the bar.

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        • middle of the road guy April 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm

          Do you know any lawyers who are not criminals?

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          • Bjorn April 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm

            yes I do, and when I asked one of them if it was normal that she was admitted he said that generally convictions do not completely preclude admission to the bar, that the depravity of Stack’s actions would normally mean that she might not be admitted.

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  • tonyt April 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    No witnesses?

    Oregonlive:

    “Witnesses described the minivan that hit Mossman, and tip led police to a gray 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan at Croall’s home on South Hillockburn Road, south of Estacada.”

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    • Kristen April 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Thanks for pointing that out.

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  • nothstine April 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    The number of incidents reflected in the ‘possibly related posts’ generated by this story is a little disturbing.

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  • Eric April 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I was hit and went through a ladies windshield in N Portland. She got a careless driving ticket for 400 bucks. hopefully this guy gets put in jail for a long time.

    Jonathan please make sure they know about the vulnerable user law. The traffic cop that sited the driver in my case hadn’t even heard of that law.

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  • Seager April 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Killing someone while driving with a suspended license should be automatic jail time.

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    • S brockway April 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      To go along with with the suspended license, most of the time there is zero insurance to “boot” meaning a huge hospital bill and funeral costs for a family already with a unmeasurable loss !R.I.P. Thomas Mossman.

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    • Steve April 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Yep. The guy who hit me and broke my back was driving on a suspended license and had no insurance. When will this end?

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      • matt picio April 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        I think the beginning of the end will be when we start confiscating the cars used in the hit -n- run and selling them at auction, giving the proceeds to the victim / family of.

        It’s obvious that people aren’t obeying their suspensions. If they refuse to obey the law, you remove their means to break the law. Impound the vehicle of suspended drivers until the suspension is up.

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        • middle of the road guy April 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm

          I hate to say it, but I agree with you.

          Only issue is that the “reward” would vary according to car quality….and what if they have multiple vehicles or a family? That’s a taking from someone who is not involved.

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        • adamdoug2011 April 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

          well, the city of Portland stole/towed my car because I did not own property to store it on and did not register is. Turns out, they get serious when you don’t pay the fees. Sadly, they don’t seem to care much when you simply hit and kill someone.

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  • esther c April 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    yep, he was committing a crime, driving while suspended, when he killed a person.

    Remember the good old days when if you killed someone in the commission of a felony it was like a really bad thing to do.

    Well, how about if you kill someone in the commission of a misdemeanor. How about if that becomes a really bad thing to do instead of just, sort of a civil fine or something.

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  • Bjorn April 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    You’d think he’d take the drunken photos off his public facebook page…

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  • Toby April 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

    A couple things I don’t get; it’s said he turned himself in but it’s implied in tonyt’s Oregonlive quote above that he was caught. How did this go down?

    “The OSP investigation found that Croall purchased parts at an auto wrecking yard…”
    Was this before or after his arrest? I mean did OSP check out wrecking yards to see if someone tried buying parts for this van, which subsequently led to his arrest or did they learn this via speaking with him?

    Finally, what is the point of linking his Facebook page?

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  • BikerinNE April 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    This guy should be charged with murder. Period. Hang him.

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  • BikerinNE April 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

    The courts should make an example of this guy. You hit someone, and the end result is death or dismemberment, or any horrible thing… the person needs to do some serious time. Accidents happen, understandable, but you leave that accident, then that person therefore shows that he/she has no care for the person that was just run down and has become a terrorist in my eyes… we don’t negotiate with terrorist. Put him in prison and throw away the keys.

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    • spare_wheel April 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      if we start labeling every generic criminal a terrorist we not only lose sight of what terrorism really is but we provide an excuse for those who want to take away our basic rights as citizens. this is why we have naive college students with previously clean records rotting in jail for life because they torched an suv. this is also why we are torturing a us citizen for blowing the whistle on war crimes.

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  • Joe Rowe April 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Judge: What is your defense Mr. Croall?

    Mr. Croall? The bike weaved into my lane, I did a hit and run in fear.

    Judge: We have your cell phone records.

    Mr. Croall? Was he wearing a helmet?

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  • Paul Hanrahan April 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Agreed, spare_wheel, but this guy left someone for dead, who in fact did die. He needs to face the consequences of his disregard for human life. Serious penalty.

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    • middle of the road guy April 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      That does not make him a terrorist. A terrorist kills for a purpose.

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      • BikerinNE April 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

        The definition of a terrorist, according to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition is “the systematic use of terror.” The word Terror is defined as “a state of intense fear.” The guy hit a person and then left him for dead with no remorse or care for the human life he ended. In choosing to leave he has invoked fear and death into other users of the road in which crosses his path. Therefore I choose, as my human right, to call him a terrorist. He inflicts fear into me because of his actions. He fits the true definition.

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  • kiel johnson April 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    “crazy drunks” quote from facebook page…

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  • Bill E April 10, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Very sad. I am in Pittsburgh, and here, when cyclists are killed, and Police and DA’s use the phrase “…this is an ongoing investigation and further charges could be forthcoming…”, that translates to “…we’re going to let the case sit until it’s off the front page, and then let it die completely…”

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  • Mitch April 10, 2011 at 7:32 am

    This account implies the police were led to Croall as a result of their investigation:

    http://www.estacadanews.com/news/story.php?story_id=130229761367487200

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  • kww April 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Suspended license and tampering with evidence? What is the burden for vehicular homicide? Seriously is this is not it, the law has to change….

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  • beth h April 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

    We will not see a NATIONAL vehicular homicide law — and really, that’s what needed here — until we see the beginning of the end of subsidies for the auto-centric way of life.

    Recommended reading: Autogeddon by Heathcoate Williams. Published in 1987, available at Amazon. An excerpt of the poem can be found here:

    http://cfu.freehostia.com/Members/colin/autogeddon/

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  • S brockway April 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Can a person register a car with DMV in there name,
    with a suspended ODL?

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