The Washington County District Attorney's Office will not prosecute a 51-year-old Beaverton driver who apparently lost consciousness, striking and killing two Sherwood girls last February.
That announcement came from the DA's Office late Thursday afternoon, July 14.
The crash killed Elliana Kramer, 16, and Amelia Green, 11, as they were walking westbound along the north side of Southwest Edy Road on Feb. 20, when the driver "lost consciousness while driving which resulted in a loss of control of his vehicle," read a news release from the DA's Office. The crash occurred near Edy Road and Trailblazer Place.
"After a thorough and complete investigation led by the Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team, (CART) the Washington County District Attorney's Office has concluded the evidence does not support criminal charges against the driver involved in the deadly accident," the news release stated. "While the specific medical condition that caused a lack of consciousness remains unknown, the available evidence does not support criminal charges and points to the conclusion that this is a tragic accident."
The investigation was conducted by 12 members of the Washington County Sheriff's Office's reconstruction analysis team, with involved members coming from six different law enforcement agencies.
According to the DA's Office, an exhaustive investigation included an exam of the driver's actions before the crash, his cellphone activity, computerized vehicle data and his full medical history. The driver reportedly consented and cooperated with all police requests.
A charging decision document released by the district attorney shows that the driver of the vehicle, a 20-year Army veteran, was driving eastbound on Edy Road at 41 mph in a 40 mph zone when he lost consciousness, drifted across the westbound lane and up onto a sidewalk, where he struck and killed both the girls.
His vehicle then crashed into a tree and fence on the northeast side of the Edy and Trailblazer intersection, according to the report.
Because the driver was a military veteran, and had been seen at veteran hospitals for years, there were extensive records investigators accessed, according to the DA's Office.
"While the Drug Recognition Expert initially believed the driver was under the influence of an intoxicant based in part upon finding clues during the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, he later learned that Viagra, one of the defendant's prescribed medications, can cause those clues," the charging decision report stated. "Further, both the blood and urine analysis came back completely clean."
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus tests are administered by police to determine drug or alcohol use.
The district attorney's report said attempts to determine the exact cause of what made the defendant lose consciousness "have been unsuccessful, but a review of the medical records indicates that there has been no reason to believe the defendant was unsafe to drive due to the medications he was prescribed or any pre-existing medical condition."
Both of the victims were remembered at a Feb. 23 candlelight vigil at Cannery Square Plaza that drew hundreds of participants.
Kramer was a sophomore at Sherwood High School. Green was a fifth-grader who attended Ridges Elementary School.
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