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Clatsop County Jury Unanimously Finds Portland Man Guilty in May 2010 Fatal Crash east of Astoria
Ron Brown, Deputy District Attorney
Clatsop County District Attorney's Office
(503) 325-8581

A Clatsop County Jury unanimously found a southeast Portland man guilty of several charges Thursday evening including Manslaughter in the First Degree related to last year's Memorial Day Holiday weekend fatal traffic crash east of Astoria. The crash which was investigated by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers resulted in the death of a Rainier area motorcyclist.
KENNETH EUGENE MIDDLETON, age 45, from southeast Portland, was found guilty of the following charges:
  • Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Assault in the Second Degree
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person (3 counts)
  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
Sentencing is scheduled for April 26, 2011 in Clatsop County Circuit Court.
"Everyone involved in this case, including all of the police agencies, concerned citizens at the scene, and the jury, did an excellent job to ensure that a drunk driver gets what he deserves which is a very long prison sentence in order to protect society," said Clatsop County Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown.
The investigation centered on an alcohol-involved fatal traffic crash that happened May 30, 2010 at approximately 6:09 p.m. on Highway 30 east of Astoria near Tongue Point. A 2006 Ford F150 pickup driven by MIDDLETON was eastbound on Highway 30 near milepost 94 when it crossed the double solid yellow center lines on a blind curve into the westbound lane and collided nearly head-on with a westbound 1994 Honda 500 motorcycle. The motorcycle's operator, ANDREW STUART CHURCH, age 35, from Rainier, was ejected into a nearby field. The pickup dragged the motorcycle before coming to a stop along the side of the highway.

MIDDLETON was not injured. His teenage daughter received a non-life threatening injury. Both were using safety restraints.

OSP troopers from the Astoria Area Command office were assisted at the scene by Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Astoria Police Department, John Day Fire Department, Medix Ambulance, and ODOT assisted at the scene.