VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) — A man who police say admitted to smoking “a little bowl” of marijuana before his car struck and killed a pedestrian has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide.
Scotty Rowles was first arrested in December 2012, but prosecutors did not have enough evidence to move forward with their case so they dismissed the charges.
Now that investigators say they have the toxicology results and a case against him, prosecutors charged Rowles in a Vancouver courtroom Tuesday.
Court documents said the toxicology report showed the THC in Rowles’ blood measured a 7.2 nanograms per milliliter. That’s above the legal limit,set in November 2012 in Washington, of 5 ng/ML.
On the evening of Dec. 17, 2012, police responded to the crash near East Mill Plain Boulevard and Andresen Road at about 5:50 p.m.
They found Donald Collins lying on the road, and he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Officers then interviewed Rowles, who was emotional and crying, and said he was driving west when Collins stepped into a lane of traffic from the median.
While driving about 25-30 mph, Rowles said he slammed on his breaks and tried to stop, but was unable to prevent his truck from hitting Collins.
In a FOX 12 report from December 2012, police said the victim was close to two different lighted and controlled intersections, but chose to step out into the middle of traffic, which would clearly put him at fault. However, because Rowles was believed to be under the influence of marijuana, Washington state law says he is technically at fault.
Police said Rowles’ 1995 Ford pickup had a broken grill, broken fog light and a crumpled hood from the impact of the crash.
The officer interviewing Rowles said he smelled a faint odor of marijuana on his breath, and added that Rowles admitted to smoking a bowl between one and one-and-half-hours prior to the crash, the court documents said.
He said he only “smoked a little bowl, so he did not feel impaired,” according to police.
When Rowles failed field sobriety tests, police arrested him and took him to Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center, where two vials of blood samples were drawn.
The toxicology report from those blood samples was returned a few weeks later, though Rowles wasn’t arraigned on the refiled charges until Wednesday.