EUGENE, Ore. -- A man accused of driving drunk and hitting a Eugene man in 2019, permanently injuring him, has died before standing trial.
Nickolas White was indicted on Monday for reckless driving, driving under the influence of intoxicants, and assault. However, White died two days earlier in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash.
The charges have been dismissed.
In an exclusive interview with KEZI 9 News that January, victim Austin Brush said he had just parked his car on 1st Avenue after a long trip home from a weekend in Bend that day.
He was unloading his car when he heard tires screeching. White reportedly crashed into Brush's neighbor's car, which collided into him, crushing his legs. The driver left the scene.
"I have pain all the time, even when I'm not walking but especially when I try to get around," Brush said in an interview on Thursday.
More than a year ago, Brush was in the hospital unsure if he'd ever walk again.
Today he can walk, but because White died before he could stand trial, Brush feels like there was no justice for him.
"I feel like this is the the second-worst way things could have possibly gone, next to him getting away scot-free. "
He says all he can do is wonder what would have happened if the DA moved the case along quicker
"Maybe he'd still be alive," Brush said. "Maybe his family wouldn't have to grieve, maybe I could have some real justice instead of just whatever this is."
According to David Mintz, the prosecutor on the case, White was indicted by a Grand Jury on Oct. 22. However, he died October 24. The charges weren't filed until Oct. 26, along with a motion to dismiss them
Mintz said once an accused person dies, the criminal process basically ends.
There is a GoFund Me to help with the continued costs of Brush's injuries.