30 year old David Allen Black, a Bend man who was convicted in a fatal street race and jailed for six years and released in 2010 is now back to a place he is familiar with, behind bars. He was arrested for drunk and reckless driving and providing false information to a Bend police officer when pulled over on the weekend at Highway 20 and the Powell Butte Highway after police observed his 1990 Honda Del Sol making a traffic violation. The arresting officer found his driving status to be ‘felony revoked.’
Driving Too Fast
Black is alleged to have provided the officer false information and was held on $70,000 bail. According to jail records, he will appear in court on Oct. 20th and will remain in Deschutes County Jail on multiple charges that include DUI, reckless driving, recklessly endangering, and two counts of first degree criminal mischief. Black is very familiar with Deschutes County Jail, a place where he spent time 11 years ago. He was arrested and charged after a night of street racing that killed 16-year-old Danielle Gates and Stephanie Beeksma, 15.
The Wrong Place to Race a Car
In August 2003, officers from Crook County sheriff’s office interrupted a gathering of street racing enthusiasts east of Alfalfa County, who then sped away in several cars from the Four Corners area. Black who was still a 19 year old in 2003 alleged that 16-year-old Danielle Gates came up from behind and challenged him to a race which ended up in both topping speeds of 120 mph.
He claims that Gates overtook him and challenged Randy Clifford, 19, and also insists that he slowed down before Gates lost control of her car while heading into a turn. She collided with an oncoming van which resulted in her death along with Beeksma, a passenger in her vehicle, and seriously injured a woman driving the other car.
Danielle Gates and Stephanie Beeksma perhaps were influenced a little too much from the Fast and Furious movies. It is very sad what happened.
Black’s was a controversial case which showed that there was something wrong with Ballot Measure 11. His mandatory sentence on the manslaughter conviction for the 2003 incident was a result of Measure 11. Black took the decision not to enter a plea deal and maintained his innocence. Clifford, on the other hand, took a plea deal and spent less than a year in jail. Black was found guilty of manslaughter during the trial and was sentenced by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Tiktin, who said he had no choice but to sentence Black to over six years in prison under Oregon’s Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentence requirements.
Too Many Years; Black was in a Different Car
Critics say that the district attorney unfairly used Black to set an example to deter street racing. Some say he got a harsher sentence than reckless drivers who actually end up killing people. However, the district attorney was emphatic in his belief that it was the facts presented and the law that led to Black being found guilty of manslaughter. Judge Tiktin had given Black two opportunities to take a plea deal.
According to Hillsboro Oregon DUI attorneys, Black’s license, which was felony evoked, should not have had him on the streets at all. He not only frequently violated his felony driving suspension but also kept racing. Well, there is nothing wrong with that as long as he does it on a remote stretch of road.