A 12-member jury has found a former Lebanon man not guilty of two counts of criminally negligent homicide in a December 2017 vehicle crash that killed two women.
Andrew Lindquist, who now lives in Silverton, hugged supporters in the hallway of the Linn County Courthouse after the verdict was announced Wednesday morning.
Lindquist declined comment.
“It’s clearly a tough case for everyone. That’s all I can say,” said defense attorney Michael Lowry.
The trial began Monday, and the jury broke for deliberations at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The fatal crash occurred on Kamph Drive between Albany and Jefferson on Dec. 18, 2017. Lindquist’s pickup smashed into the back of a Jeep Wrangler driven by Carol Sue Torstrom, 66, of Lebanon.
Torstrom and her passenger, Diane Ellen Roth, 74, were killed.
During closing arguments Tuesday afternoon, Lowry said that Lindquist was responsible for the crash, but not criminally responsible.
He stressed that Lindquist was not on his phone or intoxicated, and that a witness heard screeching tires before the crash.
Lowry also said that Lindquist tried to steer away from the Jeep at the last moment, and told authorities that he thought the Jeep was going to turn and he didn’t brake in time.
The prosecution argued during closing arguments that a reasonable person would have been able to stop. According to a computer from Lindquist’s pickup, at the time of the crash, the vehicle was going 63 mph and the gas pedal was pushed down and there was no pressure on the brake, said prosecutor Julia Baker.