Single-vehicle accident leads to arrest

SEAL ROCK — A former law enforcement officer and current owner of a Seal Rock business is charged with multiple offenses, including DUII, stemming from a single-vehicle accident March 18 on Highway 101.

On Friday, March 19, Leon Lee Limon, part owner of Seal Mart convenience store, appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court in Newport. There, the 53-year-old Limon was arraigned on charges of aggravated harassment, DUII, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, fourth-degree assault and harassment.

Before Judge Amanda Benjamin, Limon pleaded not guilty to each of the charges. Benjamin ordered Limon released from jail with specific conditions, including having no contact with two alleged victims. He’s also forbidden from consuming alcohol or marijuana or entering any bar, tavern or liquor store.

During the hearing, Benjamin denied Limon’s request for a court-appointed defense attorney. He’s expected back in court at 8:30 a.m. April 19 for an early-resolution conference.

Law enforcement received a report just after 7 p.m. last Thursday evening regarding a single crashed vehicle located near milepost 152 on Highway 101 in Seal Rock. According to the Oregon State Patrol’s affidavit of probable cause, fire personnel and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office were the first to arrive on the scene.

When the eventual arresting trooper arrived on scene, a sheriff’s office deputy said he’d observed a man in the driver’s seat and another in the passenger’s seat of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Air bags had deployed and the pickup truck had a severely damaged front end.

“Roadway evidence shows the truck was northbound on US-101 and as it had been negotiating a sweeping left curve in the road near milepost 152.2, had begun going off the asphalt onto the shoulder to the right,” the probable cause affidavit reads. “The truck was driven along the northbound grass/dirt shoulder for and extended period of time before traveling over a large ditch and crashing into the earth.”

The trooper contacted Limon, the driver, who identified himself by handing over his Oregon driver’s license while being tended to inside an ambulance. Limon reportedly told the trooper the crash occurred as he was attempting to avoid a head-on collision with a vehicle Limon said was passing another in the southbound lane.

According to the OSP report, Limon told the trooper he was a longtime California police officer, that he was formerly an emergency vehicle instructor and was an experienced driver. Limon also reportedly volunteered that he was driving home from a Yachats bar, where he’d consumed two beers.

The trooper’s report states he observed Limon to have bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech at times, a lethargic facial expression, droopy eyelids and was emitting a “moderate odor of alcohol” when the trooper got close while Limon spoke.

Limon reportedly refused to take a horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test on scene, and the trooper informed Limon he was under arrest for DUII before being transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport from treatment of injuries to an ankle and hands sustained in the accident.

While at the hospital, Limon allegedly became agitated, removed his face covering and spat repeatedly on a hospital respiratory therapist/paramedic attempting to treat Limon.

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