STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

DA: Driver cleared of criminal charges in fatal Shady Cove crash

25-year-old Tori Anderson was killed in a crash after driver Cody Lowe fell asleep at the wheel just a few days before Christmas in 2018.

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 2:24 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — A Shady Cove man has been cleared of criminal charges stemming from an early-morning crash in Shady Cove just a few days before Christmas 2018, according to a statement from the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.

25-year-old Tori Anderson died in the crash after the driver of her vehicle, 24-year-old Cody Lowe, fell asleep at the wheel and careened into the back of a semi-trailer.

Deputies responded just before 2:30 a.m. on December 22 to reports of the crash. Investigators determined that Lowe had been driving from Medford to Shady Cove on Highway 62 when he veered off the highway and hit the back of the parked semi-truck trailer.

"Ms. Anderson was the front seat passenger in Mr. Lowe's vehicle," the DA's office said. "Emergency personnel responded, and Ms. Anderson was pronounced dead on scene."

Law enforcement interviewed both Lowe and the other passenger in the vehicle, Tyler Vanhouten. However, Vanhouten said that he was asleep at the time of the crash and could not speak to the moments just before.

Lowe told police that he, Anderson, and Vanhouten had been out at "various establishments" in Medford before driving back to Shady Cove, according to the DA's office. Lowe said that he had smoked marijuana before leaving his house that night at 6:30 p.m., and had just one drink around 7 p.m. that night.

"Mr. Lowe advised that he did not consume any additional intoxicants," the DA's office said. Vanhouten backed up Lowe's account of the night, saying that he hadn't seen Lowe have more than that one drink.

Lowe began driving them home, with Anderson in the front passenger's seat and Vanhouten in the back. Both Anderson and Vanhouten fell asleep.

"Mr. Lowe stated that he remembered driving down the hill that approaches Shady Cove, but must have fallen asleep. Mr. Lowe stated that he woke up immediately before crashing into the semi-trailer, but did not have enough time to make an evasive maneuver."

Investigators found that neither Anderson or Vanhouten were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Anderson was thrown from the vehicle.

Deputies said that Lowe stayed at the scene until they arrived, and showed no signs of intoxication. The investigators didn't find any evidence to contradict Lowe's statement that he had fallen asleep, the DA's office said.

"The evidence indicates that Mr. Lowe was not intoxicated or distracted. The incident that day was a terrible accident," the DA's office concluded. "However, there is no evidence of criminal culpability on any of the involved individuals."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 43793

Reported Deaths: 673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9502166
Marion6024109
Washington599178
Umatilla343545
Clackamas326766
Lane246727
Malheur194938
Jackson17967
Deschutes118513
Yamhill101315
Linn84515
Polk66815
Jefferson60710
Morrow5517
Lincoln51813
Union4842
Benton4636
Klamath4223
Douglas3688
Wasco34916
Hood River2841
Columbia2711
Josephine2703
Coos2601
Clatsop2480
Baker1403
Crook1132
Tillamook740
Curry581
Wallowa492
Lake430
Harney350
Sherman200
Grant120
Gilliam110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 41°
Brookings
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 49°
Crater Lake
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Grants Pass
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Cooler & breezy Friday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events