OR Tesla Kills One. Police Charge Manslaughter

The name Gabriel Owens is infamous in Oregon. It is known much wider in mountain biking communities. Last year Owens rode downhill at very high speed on a “double black diamond” trail and sued the mountain when he crashed.

A Multnomah County jury awarded $11.4 million to Gabriel B. Owens after the cyclist’s lawyers said he hit a rut in the route…

The result of that huge jury award was mountain biking was banned for everyone on Oregon’s Mt. Hood.

The basis of Owens’ case was he lost control on the very thing that gives a trail a “double black diamond” rating (most people would call the rut a jump, the sort of thing they expect and want as a challenge) yet he found a lawyer to argue there was no personal responsibility for a crash.

Here’s a video showing the spot where he crashed and showing the kinds of exceptional “thrill seeking” behavior in the face of trees, rocks, ruts, jumps all around a 10 foot wide trail.

As much as I would like to agree with trail auditors there always could be safety improvements, we’re talking about a “double black diamond”, which indicates the highest levels of risk. It’s hard to overlook that a person engaging in dangerous high-speed thrill seeking behavior refused personal responsibility. Owens suing the mountain doesn’t pass a common sense test, which hopefully that video demonstrates.

Even the most detailed case reviews including pictures and diagrams don’t really adequately explain away rider responsibility. One expert asked to testify on behalf of Owens argued all riders knew very well that dangers were high because so many were injured all the time.

Lopes told me that, when he did his site visit to Skibowl, he observed a medical tent set up at the base of the mountain with a constant stream of injured guests getting bandages and ice packs applied to all kinds of injuries.

The legal team managed to spin this fact into the mountain failing to research and prevent injuries, rather than the more obvious analysis that Owens would have seen the constant stream of injured guests and known a “double black diamond” trail carried exceptionally high risks including catastrophic injury or even death. If he had crashed on a rock or into a tree, his legal team argued, they would have considered that Owens’ fault. But somehow because he crashed on a jump, and he slid into a wooden post similar to a tree, then they argued all liability switched over to the mountain and lawyers had to jump in for huge awards.

The whole case revolved around predicting risk by looking for trends in harm. Who was responsible? Owens. Who paid a high price? Owens wanted it to be someone, everyone, but him.

Bottom line is Owens became known as that guy in Oregon who took huge risks that screwed up his own life, and then ruined the lives of others.

Fast forward, no pun intended, and Owens on September 8th was allegedly intoxicated and traveling at high-speed with his Tesla when he crashed into another car and killed the driver.

Upon arrival, deputies determined the vehicles involved were a Tesla Model S sedan and a Mazda B2300 pickup truck.

The driver of the Mazda, 36-year-old Kira Haston, of Aloha, was transported to a local hospital where they later died. The victim’s dog was located near the crash scene and was transported by a deputy to a nearby emergency veterinarian hospital. The dog was treated and later released to a family member.

The driver of the Tesla, 44-year-old Gabriel Bryce Owens, of Oregon City, was also transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was later arrested and transported to the Clackamas County Jail on charges of manslaughter in the first degree, driving under the influence of intoxicants, and reckless driving. Mr. Owens is being held on $250,000 bail (full amount required).

Source: Clackamas Sheriff

Did Owens use the money from his case to buy a Tesla for the selfish purpose of further putting himself and everyone around him in thrill-seeking danger of sudden catastrophic loss?

Manslaughter charges fit where a Tesla owner can be proven to be reckless and intoxicated, causing death of another person. Police seem to be judging a state of mind, intent, and specific circumstances of Owens’ reckless behavior this year very differently than last year.

Or to put it another way, the legal team that won over $10 million for Owens claimed a feature of the trail was dangerous because riders might have been unaware. Yet understanding a “double black diamond” trail’s features, potential hazards, and the level of difficulty is inherently required for someone to ride it safely.

Owens being unfamiliar with a rut in the trail, failing to assess the challenge and control his ride yet blaming others when he crashed catastrophically, certainly begs whether him next committing manslaughter with a Tesla (being unaware of its risks and operating recklessly) could have been predicted.

Source: Tesladeaths.com

18 thoughts on “OR Tesla Kills One. Police Charge Manslaughter”

  1. Tesla usually means piece of shit garbage human behind the wheel. Maybe change your headline to reflect the risk to everyone on any road?

  2. As the brother of the deceased, I appreciate this article, and I’m happy to report the dog, Rigby, is making one hell of a recovery. My thanks to VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists and to Davi Ottenheimer.

  3. Thank you for the article. Also distressing to look up what a record he had baseline with DUI and reckless driving charges prior to these incidents.

  4. This guy is a menace to Society clogging the court and actually winning his frivolous lawsuit that should have been thrown out! There is no way he got the 11 million as lawyers often take half or at least 25% of any settlement claim. Now he kills an innocent person and clearly was a danger to society all along and now he’s proving it I don’t know what those dismissals mean but the $250,000 bail better stick and he better be charged and not downsized on the manslaughter charge. Reckless endangerment is the term.

  5. While I appreciate the article drawing attention to this incident, why the misleading headline? Why not “Irresponsible Tech Company Causes Crash That Kills One”?

  6. I worked at Skibowl during the time of his incident. It was not an accident. He had ridden Cannonball over 50 times before he hurt himself. He knew better and he, and his friends, know he knew better. He chose recklessness, just like he chose to get behind the wheel and drive recklessly.

    I hope two things happen:

    1) The family of the deceased sues him for every dime he won and wins. It will never replace the loss of a loved one but it may help ease the pain and suffering.

    2) I hope someone will look deeper into the Skibowl case and put the judge under a microscope for her procedural rulings. I believe if she had acted as a judge should, he never would have won in court… He never would have been able to afford a Tesla and an innocent person would still be with us today.

  7. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the manslaughtering Tesla owner’s white male privilege:

    Gabriel Bryce Owens

    Age 35
    Arrested Nov 05, 2014
    • Driving under infl of intox
    • Reckless driving

    Age 36
    Arrested May 24, 2015
    • Probation violation driving under infl of intox
    • Probation violation reckless driving

    Age 37
    Arrested Apr 26, 2016
    • Probation violation driving under infl of intox
    • Probation violation reckless driving

    He crashed on Cannonball trail because he was on drugs.

    Owens took that bogus lawsuit payout to buy the most dangerous and reckless car he could. He may as well have been standing on a road, gun slinging from the hip firing rounds at other cars. Intent to kill.

  8. Scott made an excellent point here, Gabriel would never have been able to afford a Tesla were it not for the lawsuit money. Everyone on the mountain knows this guy was a druggie and a reckless menace to all. We all sorely miss flying down Cannonball because of this clown and now the world is going to miss Kira. Unbelievable this guy is still alive and breathing after all the shit he’s destroyed.

  9. It’s absolutely mind boggling to see he had a long record of DUI arrests and yet the judge still ruled in his favor while it was very plain to see who’s fault it really was. That judge helped this POS lier murder this young woman.
    And wasn’t he showing up at Whistle Stop and being drunk and high and causing a bunch of commotion too after he won that case? THROW THE BOOK AT HIM. I hope the judge actually does their job this time and looks at his record, LISTENS TO THE PUBLIC about his character and makes the right decision to put him in a jail cell for the rest of his wasteful life.
    I too hope the family will be able to sue him into oblivion.
    Hey Gabriel, everyone hates you. And we didn’t think it was possible to hate you more than we already did. Wow. But here we are.

  10. Owens was responsible for his crash. Delusional and suicidal. He should not have had a driving license. Courts failed for years and years, not just this one case. Read his own unhinged words in a Feb 2023 testimony on SB754:


    I used to race Pro Class prior to my injury. I had ridden Cannonball well over 75 times during my career of riding and racing. I had won races and podiumed multiple times on that trail. […] Ski Bowl knew that section was dangerous and had discussed with me and other riders in the early 2000’s on how to change the area, but we wanted no part of it because we weren’t experts and didn’t want to be responsible for hurting other riders. So, it stayed the same, dangerous area… No amount of money will take away my pain, both mentally and physically. I will never walk again. I can never have children. My depression from my spinal cord injury led me to try to take my own life at one point. I severed my right femoral artery with my pocket- knife and nearly bled to death. Oregon City Police arrived in time to place a tourniquet and save my life. And I’m thankful to them for it. […] I’m a natural athlete and have always played sports and no injury will stop me. I’m determined to keep a smile on my face and continue to play forever.

    He saw himself as a professional expert at trails who knew every problem, and didn’t want responsibility to do anything because he refused to accept any liability for trail safety. Right there he’s saying he knew exactly what he was riding for over 20 years and refused to alter course. Reckless disregard.

    His says his life was worthless so he wanted to kill himself with self-harm, and also he believes nothing will stop him.

    No wonder he’s been driving while intoxicated for a decade with multiple arrests and parole violations, before deciding to get the most suicidal car in history. Unfortunately he instead killed someone else, PREMEDITATED INTENT TO DO HARM:

    I say vehicular homicide.

  11. Put all Tesla drivers in the category of “piece of S&@t” drivers. Tesla are cancer on roads.
    I can’t believe they are still sold, why did he still have a license to drive after failures, they should reopen his bike crash, did they do a screen?

  12. Good post. You missed the point.

    Owens is just one example of thousands or more pieces of shit TRAINING the Tesla software to be a manslaughtering munition legalized for centrally controlled mass attacks on public roads.

    He’s exactly who a law-hating power-hungry Elon Musk wants driving the world towards his fantasy of “technocracy” (fascism), giving privileged white boys dangerous toys to cause chaos and destroy order.

    Tesla pumps out white cars like its white power extremist CEO pumps out white babies. Think of it like they’ve changed the old nutjob phrase of white genocide to… driverless.

  13. Gabe Owens had injected heroin before his crash in cannonball at Ski Bowl. His best friend, Todd Olson whom is known as trail boss, helped him win this lawsuit. Their lies and scams. Women and kids ride the same trail, we loved cannonball, so many did. As Owens and Olson did. It was fast and fun!! Not once did anyone say that spot is dangerous, it was famous for being fast, and you could jump over whale rock. His testimony is a complete lie. As was Olson’s. Owens would not have won this lawsuit without Olson.
    Owens has been out of control and reckless for most his life. As most heroin addicts are. What a waste of a human being. And now to take a life. A good persons life at that. Now you’re going to try to buy your way out of this and play the symphony I’m a cripple. You crippled yourself. Now you have killed. Such a disgusting disgrace . Shitty people. The truth needed to be told.

  14. Gabe Owens died October 11, 2023.
    Kira Haston’s brother can go after Owens estate.

  15. Cherry, could you provide a link to verify his death? Rumor is he did himself in like the coward he was but there is zero information on the interwebs. Also, is Todd Olson the clown that is always angrily asking folks what they are doing when they’re unloading bikes at Wildcat like he owns the place?

  16. Hi Andrew..I was notified from a friend. I’m not sure what happened. I can only imagine.

    And you are correct on Todd Olson. He is not the original trail builder but likes the credit.

  17. @Cherry is correct. Owens overdosed on drugs Oct 11th, soon after posting bail.


    A police report said Owens yelled ‘I’ll see you in hell!’ to his mother, who had shown up at the site of the crash.

    The money from the civil suit as a result of his bike crash meant Owens was able to post $250,000 bail after he was charged in Haston’s death.

    Owens later hired a ’24/7 sober companion’ to follow pre-trial rules after missing a check-in with the county and prosecutors attempted to put him back in jail.

    A judge allowed him to remain free after assigning him more conditions for release amid news Owens was in the hospital for an infection. He died on October 11 from an apparent overdose, leaving his charges pending.

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