Deputies: Runner accused of stealing pickup at HTC exchange site - KPTV - FOX 12

Deputies: Runner accused of stealing pickup at HTC exchange site, driving over woman

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Booking Photo (Courtesy: Columbia Co. Sheriff's Office) Booking Photo (Courtesy: Columbia Co. Sheriff's Office)
Columbia County, OR (KPTV) -

A Hood-to-Coast runner is in custody Saturday morning on multiple charges after Columbia County Deputies said he stole a car and ran over a runner.

Deputies said it all started at about 2 a.m. Saturday, when a man who race participants identified as 36-year-old David Blackmon of Bend, stole a pickup belonging to a portable restroom company that was servicing its portable units at Exchange 24 in the Birkenfeld area.

Witnesses said Blackmon proceeded to drive the stolen pickup through a nearby field where runners were resting.

Three runners were able to jump out of the way of the pickup. Deputies said Cynthia Gillespie of Canby was run over and dragged a short distance before the truck stopped, resting on her leg.

The original driver of the vehicle confronted Blackmon after chasing the vehicle down. Blackmon reportedly ran into the woods nearby, fleeing the scene according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

A Beaverton Police K9 found Blackmon in the woods nearby, detaining him according to deputies.

Once Blackmon was identified by the truck's assigned driver, he was taken into custody and lodged in the Columbia County Jail on charges of Assault-Second Degree, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Driving while Revoked, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle, and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.

I was just horrified,” said Kari Hansen.

“I just can’t imagine what possessed this guy to do that,” continued Hansen. 

Hansen lives nearby Exchange 24. She said in the more than 20 years people have run past her home, she’s never seen anything this serious happen. 

“At first I was kind of horrified like well maybe we should stop them from coming through here, but then I realized it really was a one time thing,” said Hansen. “Never has happened before and I’m sure will never happen again.” 

Blackmon posted bail and has been released from jail. 

Gillespie was taken to OHSU, where she was treated and released with only minor injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

Hood to Coast officials released a statement on their Facebook page, saying: 

We first want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Team 714 nicknamed "They Sustained The Pain". In an emotional move, they crossed the finish line together this morning. We are so proud of them. They fought through unwarranted adversity and injury at this year's event.

Our number one priority as a race organization is to provide a safe environment for our participants, volunteers, and spectators. We want to thank local law enforcement including the Columbia County Sheriff, Clatsop County Sheriff, Mist-Birkenfeld Fire Department, and many others that responded so quickly to the situation to provide aid to Team 714. We also want to thank Honey Bucket for coming to the rescue, and our dedicated volunteers and participants.

When striving to provide the safest family-friendly experience, we rely heavily on our participants to follow laws and rules, and to look out for one another. Unfortunately, one participant, Mr. Blackmon, placed the lives and safety of other people at risk last night. His actions are deplorable and are never tolerated at one of our events. It should go without saying, but to be clear, Mr. Blackmon and his team are not welcome at our events in the future.

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