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Man injured after falling asleep behind wheel

A 66-year-old man was seriously injured after police suspect he fell asleep at the wheel last Tuesday afternoon on Highway 26 near Timber Junction.

As Jack W. Cates apparently drifted off at 1:15 p.m., his 2005 Dodge Magnum did the same, crossing into oncoming traffic and narrowly missing a log truck before jumping the embankment and rolling onto the driver’s side 50 feet off the roadway, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings.

Cates, of Gearhart, was LifeFlighted to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for treatment. He was wearing a seatbelt when the airbags deployed.

The highway was restricted to one lane of one-way, alternating traffic during the two-hour rescue, cleanup and investigation.

Tired driving is a serious hazard on the road — and an under-reported cause of accidents, said Hastings, who cited causes such as prescription medication, swing-shift work schedules or other late-night activities.

Forest Grove man arrested on sex abuse charges

A 49-year-old Forest Grove man who previously pleaded guilty to sex crimes has been arrested by Hillsboro police on charges he molested a young girl in 1995.

Benjamin James Napier was arrested May 6 on accusations of first-degree sexual abuse, according to Lt. Mike Rouches, spokesman for the Hillsboro Police Department. He was lodged in the Washington County Jail with bail set at $520,000.

Hillsboro Police Det. Cheryl Banks began an investigation in April after a relative of Napier’s reported he had abused her when she was 7 years old, said Rouches.

Court records show Napier pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse in December 2006 in connection with two separate cases. In one, he was accused of sexually molesting a young girl who attended a day-care center operated by his wife in his Aloha home. Another involved a 10-year-old girl who lived at his home.

Napier went to prison and was released in November 2012. Now, investigators are concerned he could have more victims.

“The big factor is that a family member came forward and said, ‘He abused me back in 1994-95,’” said Rouches, adding that officers currently have no evidence Napier has offended since he got out of prison. However, they suspect other potential victims might come forward.

“If he had access to other kids, we thought maybe there are others we don’t know about,” Rouches said. “Typically sex abusers don’t just start — and they don’t just stop.”

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