Police in Oregon believe that excessive speed and alcohol impairment were the causes of a one-car accident on the night of June 20 that claimed the life of a teenage girl. The teenage boy who was behind the wheel of the car involved faces a raft of misdemeanor and felony charges, including counts of manslaughter, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. His name has not been released because he is under the age of 18. A Washington County Sheriff’s Office representative said that the crash is still being investigated and additional criminal charges are possible.
The alleged drunk driving accident took place near the intersection of Bald Peak Road and Southwest Hillsboro Highway in Hillsboro at approximately 11:20 p.m. When they arrived at the scene WCSO deputies determined that the driver of a Nissan coupe had lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway. The car reportedly rolled several times before coming to a stop. Both of the vehicle’s occupants were ejected in the crash.
Emergency workers pronounced the female passenger dead at the scene. The male driver was taken to an area trauma center with what media reports described as life-threatening injuries. Initial reports did not contain the results of any toxicology tests performed on the driver, but they did state that his blood alcohol concentration at the time of the accident was more than double the legal driving limit in Oregon.
The penalties for vehicular manslaughter can be severe in Oregon if the defendant was influenced by drugs or alcohol when they crashed. A criminal defense attorney may argue that these penalties could be seen as excessive in cases involving juveniles. In these situations, the lawyer may urge prosecutors to consider substance-abuse counseling, probation and community service as alternatives to incarceration.