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Teen hit by car, 3 charged
Willard Powell-1.jpg
Willard Powell

Three people face criminal charges after being involved in an alleged hit-and-run incident on Halloween weekend. 

Willard Franklin Powell III, 44, has been charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident, third-offense DUI, and failure to render aid. 

“Powell was driving in the parking lot of McMinnville Plaza Shopping Center at about 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 30,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara. “He had pulled from a parking spot and was going to another location. He accidently struck a pedestrian who was crossing the drive lanes.”

Hit was a 13-year-old male who was at the Plaza with his brother to tour Rigor Mortis. The teen was transported to Ascension Saint Thomas River Park Hospital for treatment and released later that night. 

Powell had two passengers identified as Heidi Jean Cripps, 47, and Benjamen Alfred Myers, 24.

“After the driver struck the pedestrian, he was confronted by security and took off running,” said Mara. “The two passengers in the vehicle also took off on foot. All three were located. This is where the situation gets weird and somewhat complicated. Heidi Cripps is the guardian of the teenager who was struck.”

Mara says the brothers and the three charged met at a local restaurant for dinner in two separate vehicles. 

“Some of the group admitted to drinking while at the restaurant,” said Mara. “Alcohol and drugs can greatly affect one’s ability to drive. Clearly in this case, that was so. It also affected the driver’s ability to make good sound decisions, among other things.”

Cripps was charged with public intoxication and filing false report, while Myers was charged with public intoxication.