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Drowsy driver won't be charged in fatal Shady Cove crash

A Shady Cove man who claims he fell asleep behind the wheel won’t be charged in a crash that killed one of his passengers.

Cody Dylan Lowe won’t face criminal charges in the accident that killed 25-year-old Tori Lynn Anderson just before 2:30 a.m. Dec. 22 on Highway 62 just south of Brophy Way, according to a news release issued Friday by Deputy District Attorney Melissa LeRitz.

Lowe told investigators he must have nodded off behind the wheel of his 2017 Honda Accord sedan and the car veered off the highway and struck the back of a parked semitrailer.

“Mr. Lowe stated that he remembered driving down the hill that approaches Shady Cove, but must have fallen asleep,” the release says. “Mr. Lowe stated that he woke up immediately before crashing into the semitrailer but did not have enough time to make an evasive maneuver.”

Lowe’s two passengers, Anderson in the front passenger seat and Tyler Robert Vanhouten in the back seat, both of Shady Cove, had been sleeping and weren’t wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, according to the release.

Anderson was partially ejected from the car, and emergency responders pronounced her dead at the scene. Vanhouten suffered only minor injuries in the crash.

Vanhouten told investigators he had been sleeping, and there were no other witnesses.

Prosecutors say they lack evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lowe was impaired. Lowe had been taking his passengers home following an evening at various Medford bars and restaurants, but he didn’t show any signs of intoxication. He told investigators he smoked marijuana roughly 8 hours before the crash, and had one drink half an hour later, and investigators found no evidence to contradict his statements.

“The incident that day was a terrible accident,” the release says. “However, there is no evidence of criminal culpability on any of the involved individuals.”

Cody Dylan Lowe won't face criminal charges in the Dec. 22, 2018 crash on Highway 62 that killed 25-year-old Tori Lynn Anderson of Shady Cove.{ } Jackson County Sheriffs Office file photo.