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The pedestrian island had been damaged in an accident the previous August and, as a result, some light functions and activation buttons had been removed. However, other lights at the crosswalk remained in place.
Witnesses also described conditions that night as rainy, humid and “unusually dark”, and did not notice any problems with Eschwey driving as he headed south before the crash, wrote Michalowski.
Officers who interacted with Eschwey did not notice any signs of impairment, he had no alcohol in his system, and there is no conclusive evidence that he was distracted.
Eschwey was driving home from work and traveling at around 32-33 mph in the 25 mph zone, according to an assessment of video evidence by Detective Ty Volin of the Corvallis Police Department, a veteran officer with extensive training in investigating accidents. But Eschwey’s vehicle moved with the flow of traffic and it did not drive aggressively, witnesses said.
“The posted speed was 25 mph, but given the darkness and inclement weather conditions, the reasonable and prudent speed was a bit lower,” the letter reads. However, Volin determined that Eschey’s speed was not a glaring deviation from the standard driver on this stretch of road.
“In this case, the evidence is not sufficient to meet our onus of proving that Mr. Eschwey’s speed was a flagrant departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation,” wrote Michalowski.