Newport man charged with manslaughter in driving death of Waldport woman

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Newport manslaughter

A Newport man has been arrested on manslaughter charges following the driving death of a female passenger from Waldport Saturday evening near Newport.

According to an Oregon State Police investigation, Michael John Craycraft, 52, had been driving a brown 1978 Jeep CJ5 shortly before 5:55 p.m. Saturday evening when emergency personnel responded to the report of a single-vehicle, serious-injury crash on U.S. Highway 20 near milepost 2.

Preliminary investigation revealed Craycraft was traveling eastbound on U.S. 20 when he lost control of the Jeep and spun off the south side of the roadway and struck an embankment. The unrestrained passenger, Rhawnie Lynn Harp, 40, was ejected from the vehicle and transported by ground ambulance to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital (SPCH) in Newport where she was pronounced dead.

Craycraft was also transported to SPCH where he was kept overnight due to his injuries.

Hospital tests on Craycraft revealed presence of alcohol level over the .08 percent. He was placed under arrest and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on charges of Manslaughter II, Driving While Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering.

US-20 was closed to one lane for approximately three hours following the crash. OSP was assisted by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation, PACWEST Ambulance and Newport Fire.

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