The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a fatal incident that occurred in Happy Valley in the early hours of Saturday, September 23, 2023.
Shortly before 12:15 a.m., deputies received an alert through innovative technology—a “crash detection” notification from an Apple iPhone. This advanced feature can detect traffic accidents and automatically dial 9-1-1, unless manually disabled within 20 seconds. The phone’s alert included precise coordinates, enabling deputies to locate the incident.
Within five minutes of receiving the alert, deputies discovered the crash site in Happy Valley. The vehicle involved, a heavily damaged 2003 Subaru WRX, was discovered overturned and concealed from the road.
Tragically, two occupants were found inside the wreck. The driver, identified as 21-year-old Gavin Elliott Wallis from Boring, was trapped in the driver’s seat. In the passenger seat, 21-year-old Giovanny Alberto Avila from The Dalles was found unresponsive.
Clackamas Fire crews were dispatched to the scene and successfully extricated Wallis and Avila from the vehicle. Wallis was rushed to the hospital for medical attention, while sadly, Avila was pronounced deceased at the accident site.
Later in the day, Gavin Elliott Wallis was arrested and subsequently booked into the Clackamas County Jail. He faces charges of Manslaughter in the second degree and Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII). Wallis is currently being held without bail pending further legal proceedings.
The investigation into this incident is being pursued by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office’s inter-agency Criminal Reconstruction and Forensic Technicians (CRAFT) team. The case will be referred to the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.