Grand Jury, D.A. determine no charges in fatal truck crash

Audrey Caro Gomez

The Linn County District Attorney’s Office has determined it will not issue any criminal charges against Robert Gene Mayfield for the Jan. 21 crash on Highway 20 that resulted in the death of Neil Nightingale, a local log truck driver.

The Linn County Grand Jury met on Aug. 24 to consider evidence gathered by OSP regarding the crash, said Deputy District Attorney George Eder. The Grand Jury’s deliberations are not open to the public or the media.

Just before 7 a.m. on Jan. 21, Mayfield was driving a Papé machinery repair truck westbound on Highway 20 when his vehicle crossed from its lane of travel to the center turn lane. Mayfield’s truck continued into the eastbound lane, where it collided head-on into a 2011 Kenworth log truck operated by Nightingale.

A 2003 Subaru Legacy, operated by David Briggs, 59, of Lebanon, was also eastbound and collided with the log truck after the initial crash occurred. Briggs did not sustain any injuries, according to police.

Mayfield was transported by Life Flight Emergency Air Ambulance to Salem Hospital and was later transferred to OHSU in Portland. Nightingale was transported by REACH Air Ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis.

“The death and injuries had been caused by a man driving a service truck,” Eder said in a statement. “Based on the conclusions of the Grand Jury, the Linn County District Attorney’s Office will not be issuing any criminal charges based on that collision.”