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William Hatch Killed in Possible DUI Accident on Highway 22, in Salem, OR


Salem, OR — William Hatch died after being hit by a possible drunk driver in Salem, Oregon, on Monday, June 1, 2015. The accident happened on Highway 22, neat Interstate 5.

Hatch was a contractor working on an asphalt project. He was hit by Roberto Lopez-Dejesus. Police say that Lopez-Dejesus has been charged with free-degree manslaughter, as well as DUI and DUI-related offenses.

Hatch was working with a piece of machinery when he was hit. Emergency workers took him to a local hospital where he died a short time later.

The accident is still being investigated.

Read commentary below.

Scene of the Accident

Approximate View from the Road

Commentary

Oregon law prohibits bars from serving anyone who’s obviously intoxicated. Several states across the country have laws similar to this one, actually, and the tragedy is that they’re often ignored. If a bar chooses to over-serve someone, however, and that person goes out and gets into an accident, the bar can be held liable. Was a bar involved in this accident? We don’t know. It very possible that there wasn’t. However, if there were, it’s possible that they could be held accountable for what happened in this accident. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that a bar will disregard the safety of their customers, and for others their customers will come into contact with. When they happened, they have to be held accountable. Being held accountable helps to ensure that accidents like this one won’t happen again in the future.

— Grossman Law Offices

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I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
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