A Baker City man will not face criminal charges from a July incident in which the pickup truck he was driving struck and seriously injured a pedestrian.
A Baker County grand jury decided Oct. 24 that there was not sufficient evidence to show that James Pogue, 47, acted criminally when his 2008 Ford F-350 pickup hit Christina Cox, 61, of Baker City, as she started to cross Church Street at Fifth Street the night of July 12, District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff stated in a press release.
Pogue will, however, be issued a citation charging him with careless driving, Shirtcliff said.
Under Oregon law, careless driving is a Class A traffic violation that accuses a person of driving in a careless manner that contributes to an accident. Pogue could be fined as much as $2,000 and pay to attend a traffic safety course.
“He was driving and he hit someone” Shirtcliff said of the grand jury’s ruling. “But it wasn’t such a gross deviation from the standard of care that it was criminal.”
The evidence also showed that Cox had a blood-alcohol content of .30 when she was struck by the vehicle, Shirtcliff said.
The legal limit for driving is .08.
Pogue was driving south on Fifth Street when he stopped his pickup and backed up to the north to talk to people standing on a nearby porch who had yelled at him.
An Oregon State Police accident reconstruction investigation showed that Pogue’s view of Cox would have been blocked by buildings and a large dumpster in the area where she crossed Fifth Street.
See more in the Nov. 1, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.