Portland, OR- As drunk driving cases go this one from Oregon is kind of bizarre. It involves a drunk driver who strikes a sober driver who then chases down the drunk driver. In the pursuit, both the drunk driver struck another drunk driver with such force that vehicle rolled over. Now, the drunk driver who was struck is suing both drivers.
As Oregon Live reported, Nathan Wisbeck was over twice the legal limit last May when he struck a driver Sapearya Sao and damaged her vehicle. Sao began pursuing Wisbeck and called 911. The dispatcher told Sao to stop pursing Wisbeck, but she didn’t, and the pursuit continued for about a mile. Wisbek then flew through a stop sign and struck a van driven by Sara Grace Anderson.
Anderson’s van was T-bone on the passenger side and rolled over several times. Her passenger, Stephen Person, survived the collision but died the next day in the hospital. Anderson, who had a BAC of .11 after the accident, broke a femur and sustained other injuries.
On Monday, Anderson filed a civil suit against Wisbek seeking $1.6 million for her medical costs and her emotional distress. And in a bizarre twist, Anderson is also suing Sao for the drunk driving accident because she was pursuing Wisbek. While Anderson’s suit doesn’t state she was drunk when the accident occurred, it does correctly note that she had the right of way, according to Oregon Live.
Wisbek was also injured, but not by the second crash; he was punched several times in the head by three men while he was trapped in his truck, according to witnesses at the scene.
Wisbek whose BAC was .019 later told police that he was speeding, going 50 mph in a 25 mph zone because he wanted to get away from Sao.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree assault, hit-and-run driving and driving under the influence of intoxicants and was sentenced to 7 ½ years in jail along with having his license revoked for life. He had a previous intoxicated driving conviction from 2007.
Wisbek expressed remorse for the drunk driving accident in a January hearing and apologized after listening to members of Person’s family talk about their loss.
Anderson also spoke at the hearing and saying that she struggled with her friend’s death, “In facing death with someone and then being allowed to live. …I don’t know why, why did I live?”
Anderson is also suing two bars, Sassy’s Bar & Grill and the Triple Nickel Pub, according to Oregon Live. Her suit claims they knowingly served Wisbek alcohol even though he was visibly intoxicated and should have stopped him from driving.
Anderson pleaded no contest to her DUI charge and entered a diversionary program.
The accident caused Anderson to lose her job and her health insurance though she said that was trivial compared to losing Person.
There are two lessons we can take from this accident. Firstly, don’t drink and drive, and secondly, don’t pursue a drunk driver since both actions could have deadly consequences.