Oregon: Lee Volgardsen sent to prison for 7 years for killing passenger William Barnett in DUI crash

Lee William Volgardsen sent to prison 7 years killed William Barnett passenger in DUI crash 012916

Ride with an impaired driver; buy a ticket to your own funeral

Coward crashed into a pole and left his pal to die while he ran away

From The Register-Guard

Eugene, Ore. — 01/29/2016 — The family of a Junction City man killed in a high-speed drunken-driving wreck lashed out Thursday at the stranger who will spend the next seven years in prison for causing their loved one’s death and then fleeing the crash scene.

Eugene resident Lee Volgardsen looked several of William Barnett’s relatives in the eye as they excoriated him during his sentencing hearing in Lane County Circuit Court, then apologized for his crimes and vowed to “do something to make it right.”

Volgardsen, 41, was sentenced to 85 months behind bars after pleading guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter, failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Volgardsen was driving a rented 2016 Dodge Charger that authorities say was traveling well over 100 mph just before it veered off the road and crashed into a utility pole in the early morning hours of Nov. 25 on Washburn Lane, west of Junction City. His lone passenger, the 29-year-old Barnett, was killed in the wreck.

“It’s a tragic accident for (Barnett’s) family,” prosecutor Jay Hall said in court. He added that the stretch of road where the crash occurred is known locally “as a place where you can go out and drive fast.”

Volgardsen ran three miles to his girlfriend’s home immediately after the wreck. Authorities tracked down Volgardsen there hours later, and he admitted to them that he had crashed the car after drinking a fifth of rum and multiple beers, Hall said. ...MORE

William Barnett killed by drunk driver in Eugene Oregon

William Barnett

On the morning of November 25th, 2015 “Dill” William Thomas Barnett passed away in a tragic motor vehicle accident. William was born on February 5th, 1986 in Eugene, Oregon and raised in the Harrisburg and Junction city area. During his younger years, William was a talented athlete, playing on numerous soccer teams and made the Oregon Olympic Development team as a goalie. He graduated from Junction City High School in 2004. William worked for the University of Oregon Athletic Department for several years and was also an independent landscaper who had a passion for plants. He dedicated his time to caring for his family and friends, whom he loved dearly. William is survived by his grandfather Joseph Barnett, parents Gary and Karessa Barnett, two sisters Felicia Barnett and Christina Courtright, 6 nieces and nephews, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was an avid outdoor enthusiast who would spend weeks hiking, canoeing, camping, and fishing across Oregon. Donations can be made in his honor to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Bull Trout Enhancement Project, which William was very passionate about. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the Murphy-Musgrove Funeral Home in Junction City. Arrangements by Murphy-Musgrove Funeral Home in Junction City