SH man collides with suspect allegedly fleeing assault

A Sweet Home man’s car was involved in a collision with another vehicle driven by a man fleeing the scene after he allegedly threw a hatchet at a group of juveniles and then chased them with a knife in the Marcola area Wednesday, May 27.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday of a male throwing a hatchet at a group of juveniles and chasing them with a knife at Marcola Road and Old Mohawk Road. Deputies responded and investigation indicates that a group of juveniles, accompanied by an adult, encountered 47-year-old Justin Rex Turner, whose city of residence was unknown, applying graffiti under the bridge along the McKenzie River where they went to go swimming.

Upon realizing he was not alone, Turner reportedly threw a hatchet at the group, barely missing the juveniles. He then reportedly began chasing the group with a hunting knife, according to the Sheriff’s Office. One juvenile was injured during a fall while running from Turner.

Turner then got into a Chevrolet Impala and pulled out onto Marcola Road, right in front of a Honda driven by Michael Wade Weathers, 28, of Sweet Home, who had his dog in the car.

Turner fled the crash scene without contacting Weathers, who was injured in the crash, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Weathers was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. No injuries to the dog were reported.

Lane County Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisted by the Springfield Police Department and a Springfield K9 unit in the search for Turner. Lane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue also responded to search the river by boat. 

Turner was located in the vicinity of the crash site and was arrested and lodged at the Lane County Jail on a long list of charges, including assault and attempted assault, menacing, unlawful use of a weapon, driving while suspended, hit and run and warrants for criminal mischief, interfering with a police officer and a probation violation, the Sheriff’s Office said.