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4 Sep 2015
5 Sep 2015
St. Helens bicyclist killed by texting driver
A St. Helens man was killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bicycle along Highway 30 on Saturday.
Michael Linden, 74, was declared dead at the scene of the accident, just west of Rainier.
Kristopher Lee Woodruff, 34, from Vernonia, is charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree, Felony Hit & Run, and a misdemeanor warrant out of Washington County for Fail to Appear.
According to authorities, Woodruff was driving westbound and became distracted while looking at a text message on his phone when he struck Linden near Milepost 50. Woodruff continued driving.
A report of that a bicyclist was struck by a pickup that kept driving was received at approximately 2:56 p.m. on Aug. 30. Emergency responders arriving on the scene and confirmed the rider, later identified as Linden, was deceased after coming to rest off the highway down an embankment. He was wearing a helmet.
Woodruff was stopped a few minutes later by an Oregon State Police trooper near milepost 55. He displayed a North Dakota identification card showing a Minot address when he was stopped. He was lodged in Columbia County Jail.
The accident is being investigated by the OSP, with the assistance of Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Rainier Police Department. The Columbia County District Attorney's Office was notified and is assisting with the investigation.