Battle Ground man arrested in fatal November crash

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: February 22, 2013, 4:55 PM

 

A Battle Ground man was arrested Friday for suspected vehicular homicide in connection with a November car accident that killed a 17-year-old Woodland girl on state Highway 502.

Ryan Matison, 20, was booked into the Clark County Jail late Friday morning, according to Trooper Will Finn, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol.

On Nov. 23, Matison was driving his 1994 Toyota Corolla south on Northeast 29th Avenue when he failed to stop at a flashing stop sign and turned onto Highway 502.

The Toyota collided with a 2006 Chevrolet pickup that was traveling east on 502 approaching 29th Avenue, according to the Washington State Patrol. The 17-year-old, Samantha Effingham, was a passenger in the Corolla and pronounced dead at the scene.

Calculations, based on evidence at the crash scene and the vehicles, estimate that Matison’s speed at impact was 60 mph, Finn said. The state patrol considered his reckless driving the immediate cause of Effingham’s death.

Effingham was a senior at Woodland High School and a Running Start student.

The intersection where the collision occurred is slated to get a full four-way signal with stop lights as part of a widening project along Highway 502 from Battle Ground to Interstate 5, said Abbi Russell, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Transportations.

Additional lanes will be added to Northeast 29th Avenue and to three other intersections along the highway. Highway 502 will be widened and will get a median barrier.

Construction on this phase of the project is expected to begin this summer and be completed by 2015.