Driver arrested for death of pedestrian in Old Town - KPTV - FOX 12

Woman struck, killed in Old Town was celebrating friend's 21st birthday

Posted: Updated: Jan 21, 2013 02:44 AM
Brent Allan Warstler Brent Allan Warstler

The driver of a pickup is facing many charges, including manslaughter, after he allegedly ran a red light, hit a taxi cab and then careened into pedestrians on the sidewalk in Old Town.

One woman is dead, and another woman was badly hurt in the early morning incident. Three more people, who were passengers in the pickup, were taken to a local hospital to be checked out for possible minor injuries.

Portland police responded to the crash at 2:34 a.m. Sunday at Northwest 5th Avenue and Everett Street. 

A police spokesman said a 2012 Dodge Ram driven by Brent Warstler, 42, of Cornelius, was heading south on Northwest 5th Avenue when he ran a red light at Everett and collided with a Sassy's taxi cab.

The SUV then left the roadway, went up on the sidewalk, and struck Rebecca Lynn Bray, 20, of Gresham, and Brandi Butner, of Fairview. Bray was pronounced dead at the scene. Butner was taken to a Portland hospital in critical condition. She was upgraded to serious condition Monday and police said she is expected to survive.

The passengers in the cab, which was being driven by Angel Custovio Olvera, 41, of Tigard, were unhurt.

Both drivers involved stayed on the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Upon being checked out for minor injuries, it was determined that Warstler was under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to jail and charged on two counts of manslaughter, two counts of assault, reckless driving and DUII.

Shari Bray said her daughter, who went by Becky, was a vivacious young woman who was studying to become a hotel manager.

"In her short time here with us, she really, really impacted and touched a lot of people," said Becky's mom, Shari Bray. "She's going to be hugely, hugely missed by family and friends."

Shari Bray said Becky was celebrating her best friend Brandi's 21st birthday before the crash happened.

"It was a girl's night and they were about three minutes away from being picked up by a friend and taken home when the accident happened," she said.

Warstler's bail was set at $760,000.  He is set to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday in Multnomah County.

"I don't know anything about this man but he has totally wreaked havoc on a lot of different families and friends and people," said Shari Bray. "It's so unfair that somebody could be that ignorant to do something like this."

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