By US~Observer Staff
Sunny Valley, OR – Timothy Little, affectionately known to his friends as “Skittles”, was in a near fatal accident on I-5, southbound at mile post 68, at 1:02 am, Friday, April 22nd. He was driving home from the controversial Club 71 in Sunny Valley where he had been drinking with friends and family. According to witnesses and employees, the bartender did not try to get him a cab or “cut him off” before he became overly inebriated and left the bar visibly intoxicated.
In his new Toyota Tacoma, Tim headed south down I-5 behind another vehicle and with 2 others trailing. Striking the vehicle in front of him, driven by Kevin Sanderson, Tim lost control and collided with the median, sending his truck into a roll at which time he was ejected.
Sanderson’s vehicle also struck the guardrail, and it fortunately came to a “controlled rest” along the outside shoulder according to the Oregon State Police incident log. The entire accident was witnessed by Sanderson’s wife as she was driving the vehicle directly behind Tim on the freeway.
After the accident Kevin Sanderson jumped out of his vehicle and into his wife’s and told her to tell the police that she had been driving the involved vehicle because he (Sanderson) was driving with a suspended license. According to the OSP report, after succumbing to neck pain, Mr. Sanderson admitted to having been the one involved in the accident with Little. There is speculation, however, that there was freeway play between Kevin and Tim that lead to this accident and sources suggest that Little may have been run over by another vehicle after he was ejected. According to witnesses on the scene there was another man involved who fled just before OSP officer Ken Snook arrived.
Two employees of Club 71, came upon the scene of the accident and followed the ambulance containing an unconscious Tim, and his visibly shaken father, Ron “Sarge” Little, who had been the 2nd vehicle behind Tim on the freeway that night. They all arrived at the hospital where they were joined by another of Tim’s friends and waited for the results of his injuries. Tim’s injuries included a compressed leg and shattered hip and pelvis.
Sanderson was also transported to Three Rivers Hospital for treatment of a neck related injury.
OSP officer Snook tested the blood alcohol level of all those at the scene, even those having left the club after Little. Tim Little’s Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) came back an astounding 0.22. He had arrived at Club 71 sober and left at 3 times the legal limit.
Since Mr. Little had arrived at the club between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm and Club 71’s supposed closing time is midnight, there is some concern as to the new manager and bartender’s abilities to do the hardest part of their jobs, monitoring and keeping other people’s drinking under control.
Tim and his father, Ron, have been patrons of Club 71 since it opened in January and Tim had been “cut off” and kicked out for 24 hrs on several occasions by the previous management. He was known for not being able to control his own drinking and Little is currently enrolled in a diversion program for a previous DUII. All of these facts had been brought to the attention of the new manager, Rob Haynes, two weeks prior in a scene where the previous bartender was being reprimanded for having cut him off. In that instance Little admitted to having had two beers at a friend’s house prior to coming to the club. However, the same was not true on the night of the accident, as witnesses say he had arrived that night “stone cold sober, and left stumbling drunk.”
Richard Larry Lacey, owner of Club 71, and counsel during a recent injunction hearing.
Tim Little is currently hospitalized at Portland University Hospital (OHSU) where he was flown at 6:00 am that Friday morning. He has undergone extensive reconstruction on his leg and hip as well as being treated for other injuries. He has been in and out of consciousness, but has remained in contact with friends and family in the Grants Pass area through his father. His only form of communication is blinking his eyes in recognition, but he is pulling through, slowly.
Tim has been referred to as a light in a lot of people’s lives, and had the bartender and manager of Club 71 simply done what OLCC has trained them to do, Tim would be spending time with them all and not fighting to regain his life.
Are you outraged by Club 71’s blatant disregard
for OLCC regulations? If so, contact:
Janet Ouellette • OLCC reprensentative • (541) 776-6191