Affidavit: DUII suspect was racing in Gresham leading to crash t - KPTV - FOX 12

Affidavit: DUII suspect was racing in Gresham leading to crash that killed bicyclist

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Kurtin Linn in court Monday. (KPTV) Kurtin Linn in court Monday. (KPTV)
The cross put at the crash scene honoring the man who was killed in Gresham (KPTV) The cross put at the crash scene honoring the man who was killed in Gresham (KPTV)

A Portland man was driving under the influence of alcohol and racing another driver when he hit and killed a bicyclist in Gresham on Sunday evening, according to court documents.

Kurtis Allen Linn, 23, is facing charges of manslaughter, DUII and reckless driving.

Linn made his first appearance in a Multnomah County courtroom on Monday afternoon. Two of his family members were there to support him, but they declined to comment on what happened.

Investigators said emergency crews were called to Southeast Stark Street near 212th Avenue around 5 p.m. Sunday on the report of a crash.

Bill Vetor works at the Chevron station on the corner and told FOX 12 he saw a white SUV speeding through the area before losing control and hitting an oncoming car. The SUV then spun around and hit a bicyclist, according to court documents. 

“It was like an explosion,” Vetor said of the sound. “He hit full-force, head-on with that other car… I ran over there and I didn’t even realize a bicyclist was involved until I got over there and I seen the bicycle broken in half, and then I started looking for the person, and I saw him up under the fence over there and he wasn’t moving.”

Vetor said the driver of the second car wasn’t hurt.

Monday afternoon you could still see marks in the road on Stark Street, tire tracks through the grass and the spot where a cross has been put up in honor of the man who was killed.

So far, he has not been officially identified by police, but Vetor said he lived nearby and would often come to the gas station to get air for his bicycle tires. He’d recently applied for a job there, too.

Court documents state witnesses told investigators they saw a white Chevy Blazer racing a Honda Civic, with both cars speeding, changing lanes and passing other vehicles.

Linn, while at the hospital, told investigators he had consumed two “Jack and Coke drinks” and then saw the speeding Honda Civic and challenged the driver to a race before the crash, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit states Linn had slow speech and smelled of alcohol while being interviewed by law enforcement. Hospital staff reported his blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit. 

No information has been released about the driver of the Honda Civic. 

Right after the crash Sunday, Vetor said as sirens were approaching he heard Linn on the phone with someone, frantically asking them to pick him up.

“I ran over to the vehicle and said you’re not leaving anywhere, sir. I said you just killed a man, you’re not going nowhere,” Vetor said. “I don’t know if he was just in shock and he was just asking for help because he was hurt himself, but I thought it was pretty cold, you know what I mean. That’s the part that sits heavy with me.”

In court Monday, the judge ordered that if Linn is released from jail he not be allowed to drive at all while his case is pending.

Through an attorney, Linn pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and is expected to be back in court on October 17.

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