BEND, Ore. - (Update: More from DA, crash may have been suicide)
No charges will be filed against a driver who struck and fatally injured a 39-year-old Bend woman on Northeast Third Street last month, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Tuesday.
Cristalle Rose Hagen, 39, was in the southbound lanes of Northeast Burnside Avenue when she was struck by a 2010 Ford Explorer car driven by a 60-year-old Bend woman around 9:45 p.m. on April 11th, police said. Officers said the driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
Hummel said Tuesday the road in the area was unlit and Hagen was wearing dark clothing when she “darted into the road.”
“The driver of an oncoming car attempted to avoid a collision but was unsuccessful,” he said. “The driver was sober, was not distracted, was driving a car in sound mechanical condition and immediately stopped to render aid.”
A Bend officer who drove by moments later quickly began life-saving efforts, taken over by medics when they arrived. Hagen was taken to St. Charles Bend but was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.
Hummel revealed that more than a month earlier, on March 5th, “Hagen called 911 to report she was in distress,” and Bend police responded to investigate.
“Hagen told one of the officers she wanted to step in front of a moving vehicle to end her life,” the DA wrote. Officers concerned for her safety took her to St. Charles Bend.
“At this point, it is unclear if Hagen’s death was due to inattention on her part or death by suicide,” Hummel said. “Regardless of whether Hagen’s death was by suicide, too many people die this way.” He noted that nearly two Oregonians a day die by suicide, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
“We need to remove the suicide secrecy shroud,” Hummel said. “Suicide is our community’s most persistent and preventable public health problem. Our goal should be zero suicides."
Common warning signs of suicide include: Talking about wanting to die; looking for a way to kill oneself; talking about being hopeless or having no purpose; talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain; talking about being a burden to others; increased use of alcohol or drugs; acting anxious, agitated or reckless; sleeping too little or too much; withdrawing or feeling isolated; showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; displaying extreme mood swings. The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk.
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, Hummel urged:
· Do not leave the person alone
· Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
· Call Deschutes County Health Services 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at: 541 322-7500, ext. 9.
· Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
“Let’s treat suicide like we treated yellow fever, small pox, and measles,” Hummel said. We eliminated those diseases in our country, and I’m confident that working together we can eliminate suicide in Deschutes County.”
Hagen's sister, Sarah Hagen, told NewsChannel 21 the DA had informed her of his decision on Monday. She also said she had a message for the driver in the crash that she wanted to share.
"I want to tell her we hold no ill will towards her. And we hope she isn't in too much pain," Sarah Hagen wrote. "We hope she doesn't blame herself (and) will have her in our thoughts, so she can heal as well."