Driver Fatalcrash defendant ran stop sign

first_imgLuke Merriman was returning home from a hunting trip when his 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup struck Ryan Matison’s 1994 Toyota Corolla in the intersection of state Highway 502 and Northeast 29th Avenue.The impact killed Matison’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Samantha Effingham, of Woodland who was in the passenger seat of the Toyota. The incident led to charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving against Matison, 22, of Battle Ground.In the second day of Matison’s trial in Clark County Superior Court, Merriman testified that he didn’t even have time to brake before the crash.“In my mind, the Toyota did not stop at the stop sign,” Merriman said. “It collided with my vehicle.”Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu alleges that Matison was driving 63 to 64 mph in a 40-mph zone on southbound Northeast 29th Avenue when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of state Highway 502. Vu alleges Matison’s reckless driving caused Effingham’s untimely death.Matison’s defense attorney, Chris Sundstrom, said the collision was an accident, which was caused by brake failure in Matison’s Corolla. He said he plans to call an expert to testify to this claim later this week.last_img