OSP lab backlog delays Springfield crash investigation

An Arc Lane County employee was killed on a sidewalk in Springfield in December 2019.

Posted: Feb 3, 2020 6:00 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- It could be months before an investigation into a fatal crash involving a pedestrian is complete, Springfield police say.

Nathan Nelson, 40, was killed in mid-December 2019 after he was struck by an SUV while walking on the sidewalk on 42nd Street.

He was an employee at the Arc Lane County, a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, and was walking with a client.


Springfield police said they have nearly finished up their crash reconstruction work and are waiting on a toxicology result from the driver Kenneth McQuown, 56, of Springfield.

Police said McQuown provided them with a urine sample that they have turned over to an Oregon State Police forensic lab. Capt. Tim Fox, a spokesperson for OSP, said it could take six to nine months to get the results.

He said the delay all comes down to capacity. He said they only have so many personnel and so much equipment that can process all the requests they get from law enforcement agencies around the state.

"We're usually at the point now where we are getting out what we're taking in," Fox said. "But we are still slowly cutting down that backlog, not very much, and we're going to get down, but until then it's a capacity issue."

Crystal Leslie lives just down the road from where Nelson was hit and hopes his family finds closure soon.

"That's too long. I'm sure his family wants to know what's going on," Leslie said. "They lost somebody that they love. That's just not fair."

Once the toxicology result comes back from OSP and the crash reconstruction work is done, police said the case will be ready for review by the District Attorney's office.

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