Tuesday afternoon, a West Linn Police officer was working the “Click It or Ticket” Safety Belt Blitz near the West Linn Oregon City Bridge. The officer spotted a driver, later identified as 32-year-old Ernest Keith Silva, using a cellphone while driving.
Preparing to make a traffic stop for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Using a Mobile Electronic Device, the officer checked the vehicle's registration. The 1997 Toyota 4 Runner returned as stolen from Portland.
The officer tried to pull the vehicle over on Highway 43 near Willamette Falls Drive. Silva accelerated and drove north on Highway 43. Traffic was backed up on Highway 43 for the light at McKillican Street, so Silva exited the vehicle and ran east on Holly Street towards the Willamette River.
The stolen Toyota continued to roll forward, crashing through a fence and impacting an office building on Holly St. There was extensive damage to the vehicle and fence, with minimal damage to the building.
Officers searched the area and found Silva.
Silva was taken into custody and later lodged at Clackamas County Jail for Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering, Unauthorized Use of Vehicle, Attempt to Elude Police Officer (On Foot-Misdemeanor), Attempt to Elude Police Officer (In Vehicle-Felony), and a Probation Violation out of California for a stolen vehicle charge. Silva was given a warning for using his cellphone while driving.