Oregon man in court in 2012 death of pedestrian

Vancouver man was struck by vehicle

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Milwaukie, Ore., man was back in Clark County Superior Court Tuesday for allegedly striking and killing a 62-year-old pedestrian in December 2012 while driving under the influence of marijuana.

Scott "Scotty" R. Rowles, 48, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of vehicular homicide in connection with the death of Donald L. Collins, 62, of Vancouver.

Rowles was first arrested Dec. 17, 2012, but he was released two days later after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to charge him.

He was summoned to appear Tuesday on the same accusations, following the results of toxicology tests. Results from the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory show that about 7.2 nanograms per milliliter of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — was found in Rowles' blood at the time of the collision. The legal limit is 5.0.

Judge Scott Collier appointed Vancouver attorney Nick Wood to defend Rowles.

The judge released Rowles into the court's supervised release program, during which he will be required to submit to regular urinalysis to test for drugs and alcohol.

Before charges could be filed, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu said, investigators also needed to determine whether Rowles' actions were largely responsible for Collins' death — one of the criteria for vehicular homicide — and whether other factors may have affected the actions of the driver and victim.

Rowles' pickup truck reportedly struck and killed Collins just before 5:50 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2012, on East Mill Plain Boulevard near Andresen Road in Vancouver.

Collins had 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.

Wood said in court Tuesday that Collins had alcohol in his blood at the time.

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, witnesses said.

Collins was dead when Vancouver police arrived.

Rowles told police that he had smoked "a bowl of marijuana" about 60 to 90 minutes before the collision, according to a court affidavit.

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