Road Rage Turns Fatal

A 22-year-old Longview man is dead and a 65-year-old Westport man is in custody following a deadly road rage incident in Clatsop County.  

On October 31, at approximately 4:12 p.m., 9-1-1 calls from Westport, west of Clatskanie,  reported a man had been intentionally struck by a motor vehicle and the driver of the vehicle had fled the scene.  Clatsop County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police responded to the scene and discovered the body of Curtis Michael Russell lying on Old Mill Town Road near Green Alley Road.  Russell’s vehicle was found parked in the middle of Old Mill Town Road more than 1300 feet away near the Hwy 30 intersection.  Three passengers in Russell’s car were not injured in the incident.

While officers searched the area for the vehicle described as having struck Russell, Jeffery Craig Stone returned to the scene driving his gray 2008 Dodge Dakota.  Stone’s pickup matched the description of the suspect vehicle described by witnesses.  Stone confirmed he had been driving his vehicle at the time of the incident and cooperated with further investigation.  Stone was not injured as a result of the incident, nor was the passenger in his vehicle. 

Witnesses described how the two vehicles had passed each other several times while traveling west on Hwy 30.  As Stone turned his vehicle onto Old Mill Town Road from Hwy 30, Russell passed him one last time before coming to complete stop in the middle of the road.  Witnesses say Russell and his passengers got out of the vehicle and began approaching Stone and his passenger; Russell is said to have been carrying a small baseball bat at the time.  Witnesses say Stone backed up briefly before driving forward around Russell’s vehicle, striking him and dragging him to the location where he was found by officers and medical responders.  Investigators do not believe Stone and Russell knew each other prior to this incident.

Following a Clatsop County Major Crime Team investigation, Stone was arrested and lodged in the Clatsop County Jail for one count each of Manslaughter I, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver to an Injured Person, Reckless Driving, and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.  Stone’s actual blood alcohol content remains under investigation.

Photo below: Jeffrey Stone

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