Driver charged with manslaughter, DUII for deadly Keizer crash

Photo from Marion County Sheriff's Office

KEIZER, Ore. – A 21-year-old is facing manslaughter and driving under the influence charges after deputies say he crashed his pickup early Saturday morning, killing one of his passengers.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reports that Justin Coakley, 21, was driving his Ford pickup north on Windsor Island Road when he lost control of the vehicle and sent it into a roll.

Karlie Thometz, 18, of Salem, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Coakley and another passenger, 20-year-old Alysia Frost of Portland, were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

After receiving treatment at the hospital, Coakley was arrested and booked into the Marion County Jail on DUII, second-degree manslaughter, reckless endangering, and assault charges.

"She would give you the shirt off her back"

The day after Thometz's death, several close friends described her as someone who loved to be outdoors, someone who you could have a deep conversation with, and someone who would give you the shirt off your back if you need it.

"She'd do anything for anyone, she's a great girl," said Chance Holley, a friend of Thometz.

Holley, Mat Pitts, and Brandon Hanneman all spoke with KATU News Sunday afternoon.

Holley says he saw Coakley earlier Friday night. He said Coakley was drunk and "trying to fight." He says Thometz and Frost met Coakely that night.

"Karlie looked for every reason not to go, but she went so her friend wasn't alone," said Hanneman.

After learning about Thometz's death, her friends said they were angry and couldn't believe what happened.

"Just unbelievable. I couldn't believe it. Still kind of in awe. I don't know how this kind of thing could happen to somebody for no reason," Holley said.

"Especially Karlie, it doesn't seem real at all, it really doesn't," added Pitts.

Several friends will be getting matching tattoos to honor Thometz.

From the Marion County Sheriff’s Office:

With the holiday season fast approaching, this morning's incident is a tragic reminder to always drive sober. The Sheriff's Office asks that if you are going to celebrate, please celebrate responsibly and have a sober driver before hitting the roadway.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off