Prineville man sentenced for fatal accident
A Prineville man, Justice Collins, was sentenced to three years in state prison Friday in Deschutes County District Court for criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence of intoxicants stemming from a 2016 head-on motor vehicle crash which left a Madras man dead.
Collins had pleaded guilty to the charges in November.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on March 31, 2016, Collins, then 18, was eastbound on U.S. Highway 20, just west of Redmond, when he swerved into the westbound lane and crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Jason Franklin, of Madras. Franklin, who was on his way to Eugene for work, died at the scene.
Collins told authorities that he was en route from Sisters to his girlfriend's house in Redmond when he fell asleep. At the scene of the accident, police found assorted pipes and marijuana residue inside his vehicle, a Ford Explorer. Collins had initially told authorities that he'd smoked marijuana three to four hours before the wreck, but later said he had not smoked that day.
Collins was very emotional during the sentencing hearing, crying throughout most of it. His attorney, Matthew Baughman, asked Judge Wells B. Ashby to consider probation for Collins, arguing that what he most needed was drug treatment. Ashby noted, however, that Collins had failed opportunities as a juvenile to complete drug programs and probation after drug possession and criminal mischief crimes.
Collins apologized to Franklin's family in the court and acknowledged that he'd done wrong. Franklin's wife and daughter read emotional statements regarding how the accident impacted their lives.
As part of his sentence, Collins must pay Franklin's wife and daughter each $1,000 and not have contact with either.