Homeless man accused of wrecking Model A Ford

OREGON STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE -- A 34-year old transient was arrested Sunday afternoon after allegedly stealing a fully remodeled 1930 Ford Model "A" coupe and crashing it into the Crooked River along Highway 27 south of Prineville. The suspect was arrested after being treated for injuries at a hospital.

On June 22, 2014 at approximately 3:10 p.m., OSP and local emergency responders were notified that a vehicle traveled off Highway 27 near milepost 9 (SE Riverview Road) into the Crooked River. Prior to arrival, responding Crook County Fire & Rescue paramedics located a male near the scene who was identified by witnesses having swum from the 1930 Ford Model A to the shore. The male, later identified as ERIK BLAKE HALPIN, age 34, was transported by air ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for treatment of injuries.

Subsequent investigation confirmed the vehicle was reported stolen earlier that day to Prineville Police Department which sent an officer to the scene to take a report on the vehicle's recovery. Witnesses also confirmed HALPIN was seen driving the vehicle prior to traveling off the roadway and rolling it into the river. A tow company recovered the vehicle from the river.

After being treated and released at the hospital, an OSP trooper took HALPIN into custody on the following charges:

* Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
* Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
* Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
* Fail to Perform the Duties of a Driver Involved in an Accident

HALPIN was also cited and released to appear in Klamath County Circuit Court on a misdemeanor Fail to Appear warrant. He was lodged in the Crook County Jail.