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Bend-area woman pleads guilty in fatal DUII crash

Samantha Toews faces sentencing July 1

BEND, Ore. - A 26-year-old Bend-area woman pleaded guilty Friday to criminally negligent homicide, DUII and fourth-degree assault charges in a March 2018 rollover crash that killed a Powell Butte man.

Samantha Lou Toews, 26, entered the guilty pleas before Deschutes County Circuit Judge Michael Adler, who set sentencing for July 1.

Toews was indicted in December 2018 on second-degree manslaughter and the other two charges. A settlement conference was held Friday.

Toews also was seriously injured in the crash, which occurred the evening of March 5, 2018 on the Powell Butte Highway east of Bend. 

Toews was driving a 2006 Hyundai Tucson that left the road and flipped several times, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said. She failed to make a right-hand curve before the intersection with McGrath Road, crossed the oncoming lane and left the road, causing the SUV to roll several times.

Toews, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained significant injuries. Her front-seat passenger, Jason House, 36, of Powell Butte, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the SUV, deputies said. A 9-year-old Powell Butte girl riding in the back seat behind the driver was wearing a seat belt and had minor injuries. All three were taken to St. Charles Bend, where House was pronounced dead.

Earlier this spring, prosecutors sought to revoke release and have Toews jailed, saying she violated several release conditions, including use of marijuana and alcohol, along with curfew and address requirements. Court records show Judge Wells Ashby allowed her to remain free on $100,000 bail, under a list of conditions. 


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