La Grande man arrested in connection to New Year's Eve hit-and-run in Island City

Jan. 4—ISLAND CITY — A La Grande man was arrested in connection to a hit-and-run collision in Island City on New Year's Eve.

Kyle Elmer, 24, was booked on one count of failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person, one count of reckless driving, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and three counts of fourth-degree assault. The first charge is a felony.

Just before 11 p.m., Union County sheriff's deputy Kyle Witty responded to a report of a possible hit and run in Island City on Walton Road near Blue Springs Crossing, according to the probable cause declaration. Elmer, who was driving a white Dodge, fled from the collision. Witty stopped him a few minutes later.

During the traffic stop, Witty saw there was an open glass bottle of Coors Light in the center console of the car, according to the probable cause declaration. He also noticed the smell of alcohol and slightly slurred speech from Elmer.

After completing a standardized field sobriety test, Elmer admitted to Witty he rammed the other car with his own because he was angry with one of the passengers, Samantha Spry, according to the probable cause declaration. He was on the phone with her while driving and showed law enforcement the call log on his phone.

Elmer said he was upset with Spry because she left Lucky's Bar with two other people. He admitted to following her and telling her over the phone that "if you don't stop the car, I'm going to ram you."

Elmer told Witty, "I know it was dumb. It was a lapse in judgment."

Witty reported while he was speaking with Elmer, deputy Brad Bell responded to the crash site and spoke with the occupants of the other car — Spry, Danielle Radspinner and Derick Calhoun.

Radspinner recounted the same series of events as Elmer, according to the probable cause declaration. She told law enforcement that Elmer had been following their car and threatening to ram them if they did not stop. He then proceeded to ram their car, which caused them to crash off the road. Radspinner said she was angry about the crash, so she got out of the car and started yelling at Elmer before he fled.

Spry, Radspinner and Calhoun were transported to Grande Ronde Hospital for "whiplash" and headaches, according to the probable cause declaration. Witty spoke with Radspinner on the phone while the trio was at the hospital. She told him she believed she and Spry suffered from concussions. She also said all three of them had pain in their necks.

After arriving at the jail, Witty reported that Cpl. Matthew Tiller advised him that Elmer had a conditional release agreement from an arrest in October, which included a no-contact order with Spry.

Union County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Powers has set bail at $10,000, according to court documents. Elmer is represented by court-appointed counsel, La Grande attorney Rick Dall. Elmer's next court appearance for a plea hearing on Jan. 31.

Isabella Crowley is a reporter for The Observer. Contact her at 541-624-6014 or