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Vernonia man identified as driver in deadly hit and run near Rainier

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Oregon State Police badge
Courtesy of the Oregon State Police

The Oregon State Police say that the driver involved in the Aug. 30 hit and run crash that killed a bicyclist is a Vernonia man named Kristopher Lee Woodruff. He is in custody tonight at the Columbia County Jail on charges of Manslaughter I, felony hit and run and a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear out of Washington County.

According to the Oregon State Police, at 2:56 p.m., officers received a report of a hit and run crash involving a pickup truck and a bicyclist along the westbound lanes of Highway 30 near milepost 50, just west of Rainier.

The bicyclist's identity has not yet been released, but emergency responders found that the bicycle rider landed off of the highway, down an embankment. They declared the rider, an adult male, deceased at the scene. Woodruff was arrested approximately five miles from the crash scene, at milepost 55 on Highway 30.

So far, the initial investigation shows that Woodruff was driving westbound and became distracted by a text message on his phone. His vehicle traveled onto the shoulder, striking the adult male bicyclist. Police say that Woodruff continued driving, without stopping.

The Oregon State Police, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Rainier Police Department are investigating the incident. The Columbia County District Attorney's Office was notified and is assisting with the investigation.

This is a developing story and we will update as new information is released.