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Gresham boy crashes stolen vehicle into Sandy man's SUV
by: Oregon State Police This van, resting across the eastbound lanes of Highway 26, was left behind when its teenage driver fled the crash scene where a Sandy man was critically injured.

A Sandy man has been clinging to life for three weeks at Oregon Health and Science University, the result of what appears to be a joy ride by a 14-year-old boy bored with school.

Dean J. Pace, 52, has eight broken ribs, likely a collapsed or punctured lung and damage to other internal organs, said his wife, Olga, who spoke with The Post at the family home last week.

At that time, Pace said her husband was listed in serious condition after he had been transported a week earlier in critical condition following the crash on Highway 26 near milepost 18.

But late Monday a spokesperson for OHSU said Pace was now in critical condition. A report given in Clackamas County Juvenile Court Monday afternoon by Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Brown included the details of an induced coma to aid Pace's healing.

Accused in court

At that hearing, James A. Jaurigue, 14, of Gresham appeared inside a glass-walled booth, guarded by a sheriff's bailiff. Jaurigue, who has been in detention for the past three weeks, spoke only through his court-appointed attorney, Rebecca Schaleger of Oregon City.

Juvenile Court Counselor Dale Kim told Judge Deanne L. Darling on Monday that after Jaurigue left Sam Barlow High School on Wednesday, Feb. 7, he stole a van and went for a drive.

The incident

Jaurigue's joy ride began at the tree farm in the rural area east of Gresham, where he stole the van, and ended while he was westbound on Highway 26 at about 4:40 p.m.

The van drifted into the center grass median, according to an Oregon State Police report. Jaurigue over-corrected and traveled back into the westbound lanes, crashing into the driver's door of Pace's SUV.

The van then continued west across the center median, where it rolled and came to rest upright across both eastbound lanes. Witnesses reported seeing Jaurigue immediately running from the crash scene.

LifeFlight helicopter transported Pace to OHSU, and his wife has spent almost every day with him at the hospital.

Pace has had several tubes inserted to mechanically assist him with breathing, his wife told The Post, but the tubes make communication very difficult.

'He doesn't talk,' she said. 'He understands me (what I say), I think, sometimes. He moves his eyelids.'

Pleading the case

At Monday's juvenile court hearing, Kim read the charges against Jaurigue, which include three felonies and one misdemeanor: failure to aid an injured person (hit-and-run), motor vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and failure to assist (hit-and-run) when property is damaged.

Not mentioned was the fact the boy was driving without a driver's license and without liability insurance.

Kim told Judge Darling he was still waiting for the results of a drug and alcohol evaluation and a mental health exam for Jaurigue.

Even though he said the boy has already had 10 reported incidents at school this year, Kim recommended shelter care for the boy.

Deputy DA Brown told the judge she recommended detention for Jaurigue.

The boy's father told the judge he wants his son to get help, but believed a Salem location for shelter care was too far for the family to visit.

Speaking for her client, Schaleger pleaded his case with a recount of the youth's words when he spoke to her.

She said the boy often asks for updates on the victim's condition.

'He asks me, 'How is that guy?' ' she said. 'He also told me, 'I made a terrible, terrible mistake.' '

Schaleger also said the boy is willing to go to shelter care, but he wanted to visit his family first. She also stated that Jaurigue would abide by any conditions the court chooses.

The judge speaks

Darling said it didn't make any sense to keep the boy in detention, so she allowed him one day at home, but admonished his parents - who were both in court - that their son is not to be left alone even for one minute, and he is not to go outside for any reason.

'Your job now,' Darling told Jaurigue's parents, 'is to keep the community safe.'

Nothing but victims

After the hearing, Juvenile Department Supervisor Mark McDonnell told The Post the boy will be taken to a Salem-area shelter home, where there are no more than two youths.

McDonnell said Jaurigue would get outpatient treatment and would return to court at 2 p.m. April 9.

Juvenile Department Director Ellen Crawford said the April hearing would be for the purpose of judging the charges (the boy's admission or plea) and disposition (sentencing) of the case.

Meanwhile, the victim's wife isn't focused on anything but her husband's condition, and doesn't want to talk about anything else.

'This is very difficult for me,' Pace told The Post Wednesday, Feb. 22. 'I miss my husband. I miss his joking (personality), and our (5-year-old) son has a birthday today.'

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