HILLSBORO, Ore.- On March 10, 2020, Talita Weltzien pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Judge Oscar Garcia then sentenced Ms. Weltzien to 110 months in prison. Deputy District Attorney Will Stabler prosecuted the case against the defendant.

Ms. Weltzien spent the day of July 24, 2019 with friends at a popular swimming area near Tillamook, Oregon. Witnesses reported the defendant was drinking heavily and using marijuana throughout the day. Arrangements were made to ensure the defendant would not be driving when the group returned home. However, she ended up driving a vehicle despite the objections of her friends. The victim was a passenger in that vehicle.

Friends again attempted to stop Ms. Weltzien from driving that day. When she drove off, they tried to catch up to the defendant. They reported the defendant was driving recklessly and were unable to track her down as she drove at speeds approaching 80 miles per hour.

As the defendant drove eastbound along Highway 6 towards Banks, Oregon, several witnesses called 911 to report her erratic driving. She then approached a construction zone in which traffic was reduced to one lane of travel. That closure caused a backup of multiple cars and was located on a straight section of the highway with clear visibility. A large semi-truck was located at the end of the line of vehicles.

The defendant then crashed into the back of the semi-truck. Oregon State Police crash reconstruction experts later determined the defendant was driving at 106 miles per hour just five seconds before the crash. Additionally, investigators could not find any skid marks at the scene, indicating the defendant made no attempt to stop before the collision. Investigators did determine that in the seconds before the crash the defendant abruptly turned the steering wheel to the left, which caused the passenger side of the car to collide with the back of the semi-truck. The victim was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, an area that was destroyed in the crash. That turn also caused the defendant’s vehicle to hit a second vehicle.

The defendant was uninjured and was able to get herself out of the vehicle. Law enforcement arrived a short time later and noted several signs of impairment. The defendant also admitted to drinking alcohol throughout the day. The defendant was taken to an area hospital where blood samples were taken. Those samples showed a BAC of 0.24%.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the investigative efforts of Oregon State Police including Senior Trooper Billy Bush.

Ms. Weltzien will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving her sentence.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
March 11, 2020