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Oct. 21, 2021

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Vancouver man’s bail set at $150,000 in crash case

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Vancouver man who allegedly crashed a stolen vehicle into a truck, killing one passenger and maiming another in December was in Clark County Superior Court on Thursday.

Brian A. Matthews, 24, appeared on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and possession of a stolen vehicle. The crash occurred the morning of Dec. 6 in the Minnehaha area. During his hearing, he was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair and complained of a broken hip. Judge David Gregerson set his bail at $150,000.

Court records state that Matthew’s front seat passenger, 27-year-old Darius Jaquez Brown, suffered multiple blunt force injuries and died at the scene. The rear passenger, Patricia A. Vancura, 26, sustained multiple broken bones, including her pelvis, right leg and left clavicle. She also suffered soft tissue injuries to her right arm that couldn’t be repaired, and her arm was amputated as a result.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched shortly after 6:15 a.m. Dec. 6 to a two-vehicle collision in the 4000 block of Northeast Minnehaha Street. There, they found a Honda Accord had struck a Freightliner utility truck — both received extensive damage. The three occupants of the Honda were trapped inside. Brown suffered the most critical injuries and died while first responders attempted to extricate him from the car, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The Honda was reported stolen to the Vancouver Police Department on Nov. 26, the affidavit states.

It had been traveling west on Minnehaha and struck the eastbound Freightliner when the truck made a left turn into the industrial complex on the north side of the street. The Honda left about 150 feet of tire skid marks before crashing into the truck on the passenger’s side. The impact pushed the truck off the road and down a small hill into a fence. The Honda continued west about 45 feet and hit a curb. It came to rest across the sidewalk of the northwest side of the intersection, court records said.

The driver of the Honda, identified as Matthews, was extricated from the driver’s seat, where he was seat belted in. Matthews told detectives at the hospital that he wasn’t the driver and had somehow been propelled from the back seat into the driver’s seat during the collision, and the actual driver got out of the car and ran, according to court documents.

Vancura told detectives that Matthews was the driver. She said the three smoked methamphetamine and marijuana the night prior, and the men picked her up that morning after she left work, the affidavit states.

Matthews and Brown thought it was fun to make the car go as fast as it could, Vancura said, and she saw the speedometer reach 140 mph at one point. She said she told Matthews to slow down right before the crash, and estimated the car was traveling 100 mph when he slammed on the brakes and 60 mph when they struck the truck. As they were crashing, Vancura attempted to put on her seat belt, but it wrapped around her right arm, severely damaging it, according to court records.

Officers found a shaved key in the Honda, which they said was likely used to steal it, and said Matthews didn’t have a valid license, court documents state.

Matthew was contacted at the Clark County Jail on Wednesday, where he was being held on other charges.

He will be arraigned Feb. 16.