PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — New details provided by the Oregon State Hospital are giving insight into how Christopher Lee Pray managed to escape in late August.
According to the hospital’s corrective plan submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), when Pray was being transferred by a van, the keys to the van were left unattended in the ignition by hospital staff.
Pray, who was in secure transport restraints at the time, took the opportunity and stole the van, fleeing the city of Salem before he was eventually caught in Portland.
The escape has prompted the hospital to enhance its safety measures when transporting potentially dangerous individuals.
Their new improvements include adding a barrier between the front and back seats of the medical transports, only loading and unloading at secure points and when not in the ignition drivers need to keep control of the keys at all times.
Authorities have still not released how Pray, who was originally in custody for attempted aggravated murder, managed to escape the restraints.
Pray was reported as an “extremely dangerous” escapee from Oregon State Hospital custody on Aug. 31 after taking the van the night of Aug. 30 while being taken to a local emergency department for medical care after an altercation with another OSH patient, officials said.
The 39-year-old was found stuck in a Portland muddy pond after reportedly being trapped there for more than 12 hours on Sept. 1, according to Portland Fire & Rescue officials.
Once he was out of the mud, he was cleaned and taken to a local hospital, but officials said it wasn’t until he was at the hospital that an employee there recognized Pray, who authorities say had given a fake name.
Pray was then taken back into custody.