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Driver Arrested - Fatal Traffic Crash on Highway 30 east of Astoria
Lieutenant Duane Stanton
Oregon State Police - Astoria
Office: (503) 325-5515

Photograph links valid 30 days - Sources:
Clatsop County Sheriff's Office (Middleton Photo)
Oregon State Police (Crash Scene Photos)
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers arrested a southeast Portland man Sunday evening following an alcohol-involved fatal traffic crash between his pickup and a motorcycle operated by a Rainier-area man on Highway 30 east of Astoria near Tongue Point. The motorcyclist was killed and the suspect driver lodged in Clatsop County Jail on numerous charges.
On May 30, 2010 at approximately 6:09 p.m. a 2006 Ford F150 pickup driven by KENNETH EUGENE MIDDLETON, age 44, from southeast Portland, 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 was ejected into a nearby field. The pickup dragged the motorcycle before coming to a stop along the side of the highway.
The motorcycle's operator did not have any identification but was subsequently identified through a photograph electronically sent to investigators at the scene. He was identified as ANDREW STUART CHURCH, age 35, from Rainier. CHURCH was wearing a protective helmet.
KENNETH MIDDLETON was arrested by OSP troopers investigating the fatal crash and lodged in the Clatsop County Jail on the following charges:
  • Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • DUII
  • Reckless Driving
  • Reckless Endangering Another Person
KENNETH MIDDLETON and his 13-year old daughter were not injured. Both were using safety restraints.
OSP troopers from the Astoria Area Command office are continuing the investigation.
Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Astoria Police Department, John Day Fire Department, Medix Ambulance, and ODOT assisted at the scene.
The Memorial Holiday weekend historically has the highest percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities of all the major annual holidays in Oregon. More than 250 people have died in Oregon traffic crashes during the last 40 years over the Memorial Day holiday period. Since 1985, approximately 54 percent of the fatalities were in alcohol-involved crashes.