A Salem veterinarian convicted seven times of driving under the influence faces that charge again, accused of striking a pedestrian with his car in a hit-and-run.
Prosecutors charged Eric R. Webb, 49, in Marion County Circuit Court on Monday with second-degree assault, driving under the influence, failure to perform duties of driver to injured persons, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and driving with a suspended license.
The charges allege that Webb “recklessly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life” injured 26-year-old Julia Wade, according to court records.
Records show Webb’s driver’s license was revoked at the time of the incident, part of a decade-long record of DUIs, damaged property and, in 2016, a near miss with a pedestrian.
Webb has seven times pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Oregon between 2010 and 2019. In two instances, he served time in state prison.
He is a veterinarian at The Pet Clinic, an animal hospital in the Four Corners area. The clinic declined to comment on his charges when reached by Salem Reporter on Tuesday.
Around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, police responded to a report of a hit-and-run involving a pedestrian at the intersection of Southeast Lancaster Drive and Rickey Street, the Salem Police Department said in a statement.
Officers arrived and found Wade with “significant injuries,” according to the statement. Paramedics took her to Salem Hospital, and she was later taken to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland for additional medical care.
Witnesses told police that a man driving a pickup truck struck the woman, did not stop and left the scene. One witness provided police details about the direction of the driver, according to the police statement.
Officers from the Keizer Police Department found and detained Webb in the 1900 block of Northeast Claxter Road, where Salem police arrested him.
Webb was booked into Marion County Jail, where he was being held without bail as of Wednesday afternoon.
Salem police said in their statement that they were still investigating the incident and would provide no additional information.
Webb pleaded guilty in 2008 in Linn County to driving under the influence and failure to perform duties of a driver when property is damaged. The case was dismissed in 2009 after he completed a diversion program, according to court records.
Webb pleaded guilty in June 2010 in Josephine County to driving under the influence and criminal driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was sentenced to 25 days in jail, three years of bench probation and had his license suspended for three years.
He pleaded guilty nine days later in Jackson County to driving under the influence and was sentenced to two years of probation, court records showed.
The state Veterinary Medical Examining Board suspended Webb’s veterinary license following the conviction, according to reporting by KATU in 2014.
The board reinstated his license in February 2013 under conditions including access to all of his probation materials, such as reports and substance abuse tests. He was also required to provide monthly written progress reports, notify any prospective employer of his license status and complete 30 hours of education before having his veterinary license reinstated.
His veterinary license remained active Wednesday afternoon, according to board records.
In January 2012, Webb pleaded guilty in Jackson County to driving under the influence, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license. He was sentenced to 150 days in jail and three years of post-prison supervision, court records showed.
A month later in Josephine County, Webb pleaded guilty to driving under the influence, recklessly endangering another person, second-degree criminal mischief and tampering with physical evidence. That same day, he pleaded guilty in a separate case to driving under the influence, second-degree criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.
The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred in August and November 2011. He was sentenced to a year and one month in prison, with two years of post-prison supervision, according to court records.
Webb pleaded guilty in September 2016 in Deschutes County to driving under the influence and recklessly endangering with a motor vehicle.
He “almost struck a pedestrian near his home as he was driving,” according to a sentencing memorandum by his attorney. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 60 months of supervised probation.
He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in January 2019 in Washington County, court records showed. He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, with two years of post-prison supervision.
Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.
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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.