Fatal bicycle-involved crash near Rainier, victim identified - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Hit-and-run driver was reading a text when he struck cyclist

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Kristopher Woodruff, booking photo Kristopher Woodruff, booking photo
Photo: OSP Photo: OSP
RAINIER, OR (KPTV) -

A hit-and-run driver was looking at a text message on his phone when he struck a cyclist in a deadly crash on Highway 30, according to police.

Around 3 p.m. Saturday, officials responded to a hit-and-run report on the westbound lanes of the highway. A pickup struck a bicyclist near milepost 50 and did not stop.

Emergency crews confirmed the bicyclist, Peter Linden, 74, of St. Helens, was dead after coming to rest down an embankment off the highway. He was wearing a helmet. 

A few minutes later, the suspect's vehicle was stopped by a state trooper near milepost 55. The driver was detained.

The driver was identified as Kristopher Woodruff, 34, of Vernonia. He was booked in Columbia County Jail on charges of first-degree manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and a fail to appear warrant.

According to police, initial investigation indicates Woodruff became distracted while looking at a text message on his phone while driving. His vehicle traveled onto the shoulder where it struck the victim, police said.

Woodruff does not have a valid driver's license, according to investigators.

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