Portland man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide charges
Last week, a 29-year-old Portland man pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit-and-run stemming from a car accident in southwest Washington last month.
According to sources, the man had been driving with a passenger in his Mercedes convertible on State Highway 14 east of Washougal when he allegedly accelerated to pass another vehicle, causing a 34-year-old passenger to fall out of his seat onto the trunk lid, and out of the vehicle. Sources said the passenger had been sitting on the trunk lid of the car prior to the accident.
After the accident occurred, the driver allegedly sped off and returned to find a group of people surrounding the victim. After returning to the scene, however, the driver sped off again, despite his passenger's attempts to wave him down. The passenger died at the scene of the accident from blunt force trauma to the head. The death was ruled accidental.
Witnesses told state troopers they saw the man speeding along Highway 14, cutting off a vehicle, swerving and then spinning out his vehicle. One of the witnesses said the passenger had been standing up in his seat, goofing around prior to the accident.
The man apparently turned himself into police the day after the accident at the urging of another passenger. Police said the driver told them he fled the scene out of fear. He is currently being held on $100,000 bail, awaiting his November 14 trial in Clark County Superior Court.
Investigators said alcohol was a factor in the accident.