In the Matter of S. N. R., a Youth.
S. N. R., Appellant STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,
Argued and Submitted: February 5, 2013.
Curry County Circuit Court. 10JV0064. Petition Number 10JV0064001. Cynthia Lynnae Beaman, Judge.
George W. Kelly argued the cause and filed the brief for appellant.
Patrick M. Ebbett, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were John R. Kroger, Attorney General, and Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General.
Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Nakamoto, Judge, and Egan, Judge.
[260 Or.App. 729] NAKAMOTO, J.
In this juvenile delinquency matter, youth appeals from the juvenile court's taking of jurisdiction and disposition based on its conclusion that youth committed acts that would have constituted criminally negligent homicide and assault in the third degree if they had been committed by an adult. On appeal, youth raises two assignments of error, one of which we summarily reject. In the remaining assignment of error, youth argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the juvenile court's conclusions. We agree, on de novo review, that youth did not consciously disregard a known and substantial risk that she would fall asleep while driving herself home after school and that the evidence is insufficient to establish that youth's actions were a gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would observe in the situation. Therefore, we reverse.
For the reasons explained below, ___ Or.App. at ___ (slip op at 6-8), we exercise our discretion to review this case de novo. Although we state the background facts consistently with the juvenile court's express and implied findings that were supported by the uncontroverted evidence, as explained below, we make findings anew on the record with respect to a certain statement that youth made to a state trooper
following the accident and with the respect to the inferences that can be reasonably drawn from the corrected statement.
On September 15, 2010, youth drove a friend home to Gold Beach, Oregon, after school. Youth then proceeded to drive to her home in Brookings, Oregon. The accident occurred at approximately 5:00 p.m., and the conditions were dry and clear. Youth was traveling the speed limit of 55 miles per hour in the southbound lane of Highway 101. At about milepost 341, youth's vehicle crossed into the northbound lane and struck a motorcyclist. The crash threw the rider from his motorcycle and into a roadside sign post, killing him. Youth's vehicle continued to cross the northbound lane, leaving skid marks in the road, and came to rest at the side of the highway after hitting a tree.
Following the crash, youth was hysterical and repeatedly told witnesses at the scene that " I'm so tired. I [260 Or.App. 730] just fell asleep. I was going to pull over." She told Senior Trooper Wehner at the scene that she was tired, that she believed she had fallen asleep, and that she had struck the motorcycle and then the tree.
Wehner also recorded an interview with youth at the hospital. The recording of youth's statement was played to the juvenile court and admitted as an exhibit in the proceedings. A transcript of the recorded statement was also admitted as an exhibit. The relevant portions of the recorded interview are as follows:
" [YOUTH]: I started getting tired and I was so--
" OFFICER: Okay
" [YOUTH]: Um, and I knew because I do get tired when I sleep (sic), so I always have to pull over and take naps.
" OFFICER: Okay.
" [YOUTH]: So I -- I knew I shouldn't put it off, so I -- I was looking for somewhere to -- to sleep. But I couldn't find a turnoff.
" OFFICER: Okay. So you couldn't, but you couldn't find one. Is that what --
" [YOUTH]: Yeah. But ...