Dallas woman charged with homicide in McMinnville hit-run


Kari Lin Smith, 47, arrested November 19

Kari Lin Smith, November 19, 2020 (Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Dallas woman was arrested 12 days after a hit-and-run near McMinnville killed a 58-year-old groundskeeper and now faces a homicide charge.

Kari Lin Smith, 47, was taken into custody in Amity by investigators with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office. She’s believed to be the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup that hit and killed Ricardo Morales Avila on November 7.

Authorities said a passerby found Avila around 11 a.m. the next morning just west of town. However, the investigation indicated Avila was struck and killed sometime around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office said evidence at the scene indicated that someone was driving west on Durham Road toward Highway 18 when they struck the victim. Based on pieces of the vehicle that were left behind, authorities said they were looking for a 2006-2008 full-size Dodge Ram pickup, likely “dark metallic blue” in color. The collision would have left “significant damage on the front, passenger-side headlight area.”

Three days after the crash, investigators seized the pickup and continued their investigation.

Along with the charge of criminally negligent homicide, Smith was charged with failing to perform the duties of a driver.

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