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Intoxicated Driver Dumps Car In Big Creek Reservoir

On February 27, 2023 at 7:29 p.m., Newport Police were requested to help locate an overdue motorist in the area of NE 12th and NE Eads Streets. Officers were advised Tammy Altishin, 46, of Corvallis, was late meeting a family member at the Sam Case School. It was reported Altishin was driving a white Lexus SUV, and officers were given the plate for the vehicle. It was also reported Altishin was possibly driving while intoxicated.

A 11:22 p.m., a Newport officer was conducting a routine area check in the area of Big Creek Reservoir. Near the second reservoir, the officer encountered a female walking in the roadway. The female was completely wet and appeared confused. The officer contacted the female and identified her as Altishin. Altishin showed signs of impairment and told the officer she had “sunk her vehicle in a pond.” She told the officer she was lost and took a wrong turn. She said she tried to turn around, but ended up backing her vehicle into the water. Altishin said her vehicle had become completely submerged and she had to get out of the vehicle and swim for the shore.

Officers looked extensively for the vehicle, but were unable to find the vehicle or identify roadway evidence where the vehicle entered the water. Based on the totality of the circumstances, Altishin was transported to the Lincoln County Jail where a DUII investigation was completed and Altishin was arrested for DUII. On March 1, 2023, with the assistance of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and their Forestry Deputy, the vehicle was located in the second reservoir.

An aerial drone was used to search the waterway of the reservoir and the vehicle was found to be submerged in about 11 feet of water, and 120’ away from the shore. With the assistance of a diver, the vehicle was removed from the reservoir and towed from the area. Units on scene, along with City officials and the City of Newport Water Department, worked together to recover the vehicle. The City of Newport Water Department surveyed the area and confirmed the submerged vehicle did not contaminate the City’s water system.

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