A thirty-year-old man from Southern Oregon is facing a vehicular homicide allegation after he killed a passenger in a crash.
Shawn M. Nelson from Sunny Valley, Oregon, had his first appearance on Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.
Officers got a call around 7:30 p.m. to respond to the intersection of Southeast 164th Avenue and Southeast Fifth Street after a vehicle hit into a concrete barrier.
Once the officers arrived at the location, they saw a silver Toyota Prius with Oregon license plates. The car was crashed into the 4-foot barrier on the northeast corner of the intersection. The front part had severe damage, and its airbags had deployed.
Nelson admitted that he was driving. His passenger was identified as Cierra Collins. The woman was unresponsive, lost her consciousness, and was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where she later died from her injuries.
Nelson told officers at the scene that he felt tired and weak, and was not able to remember what happened before to the accident. He could not tell whether he fell asleep. He admitted he was withdrawing from opiate use and was currently using Suboxone, a medicine often prescribed to help reduce drug cravings.
He stated he had taken one pill of Suboxone earlier that day.
Although his breath test for alcohol use showed zero, the arresting officer noted that the driver’s pupils were dilated, his eyes were bloodshot, and his speech was slurred and lethargic.
Nelson took another test for drug influence, and the administering officer concluded that he was under the influence of marijuana. He also allegedly admitted to using marijuana several hours before the accident.
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