No charges for now in Mill Plain pedestrian traffic fatality

Deputy prosecutor says follow-up investigation needed; driver released

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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A 47-year-old Milwaukie, Ore., man, held on suspicion of vehicular homicide after, police say, his pickup truck struck and killed a 62-year-old pedestrian Monday, will not be charged at this time, according to the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Scott “Scotty” R. Rowles was released Wednesday because there is not enough evidence to charge him, said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu. He was no longer in the Clark County Jail late Wednesday.

“After his first appearance (Tuesday), we received the investigation report up to now and looked at it,” Vu said. “Based on what we saw, it appears we need follow-up investigation by police to get more information we need to be able to proceed with the case.”

Rowles was accused of being under the influence of marijuana when his truck reportedly struck and killed Donald L. Collins on East Mill Plain Boulevard near Andresen Road in Vancouver.

Just before 5:50 p.m. Monday, Collins crossed the eastbound lanes of Mill Plain in front of Safeway carrying a grocery bag, according to witnesses. He stopped in a median, and then proceeded into westbound traffic. He was not in a crosswalk or an unmarked intersection.

A man driving a black Hyundai Sonata in the left lane slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting Collins. Rowles’ pickup, in the right lane, struck Collins.

Collins was dead when Vancouver police arrived.

Rowles told police that he had smoked “a bowl of marijuana” about one hour to one and a half hours before the collision, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police said they could smell the pot on Rowles’ breath. He also failed a sobriety test, police said.

Vu said a vehicular homicide conviction requires evidence that the actions of the driver were largely responsible for the victim’s death. Regardless of whether Rowles was, in fact, under the influence of marijuana, investigators need to find out if there were other possible factors involved in the accident, including lighting at the time of the accident, road conditions, actions of other drivers and actions of the victim, Vu said.

He said it’s unclear how long follow-up investigation will take.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com.