Suspect arrested after fatal hit and run in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – On Sunday, November 6th, officers with the Klamath Falls Police Department were dispatched to a reported hit and run incident in the area of Shasta Way and Avalon Street.

According to police, the investigation revealed the driver of the suspect vehicle was driving erratically and lost control on Shasta Way. The vehicle crossed a sidewalk and drove into a field where 24-year-old Joseph Carter and 28-year-old Chelsea Thompson were struck. The driver then fled the scene.

KFPD said Carter died from injuries sustained in the incident. Thompson was released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries.

Police said witnesses were able to provide a description of the vehicle along with the license plate number. Officers were then able to track down the vehicle near the 400 block of Crater lake Parkway. They also found Charles Edward Vermillion, who they believe was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was taken to the Klamath County Jail where his blood alcohol content was measured at .25%.

Vermillion was charged with criminally negligent homicide, failure to perform the duties of a drive, DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangering.

If you have any information about this incident, call the Klamath Falls Police Tip Line number (541) 883-5334.

(This article has been corrected from a previous version that mis-identified Chelsea Thompson as Chelsea Carter.)

Update 3:35 P.M.:  Vermillian was arraigned on the charges Monday afternoon.   Originally charged with criminally negligent homicide, Vermillian is now charged with first-degree manslaughter and third-degree assault.  His bail is set at $150,000.  Vermillian is scheduled to appear in court again on Monday, November 14th.

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