The Clatsop County grand jury has indicted Michael Peter McDonald, 68, of Gearhart on charges of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Karen Wammack of Seaside in a wreck on U.S. Highway 26 Sept. 29.
Wammack was the wife of Elsie Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Wammack.
McDonald was arraigned Thursday, with visiting Circuit Judge Richard Barber presiding, on charges that carry a mandatory 75-month prison sentence, if convicted. McDonald was allowed a conditional release. District Attorney Josh Marquis did not object to release based on McDonald's medical condition, his ties to the local community, and consultations with the Wammack family.
McDonald was required not to drive or leave the state as conditions of release.
The charges result from a two-car automobile collision in which Wammack was killed.
The charges allege reckless conduct by McDonald, but no allegations of the use of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Marquis explained that the investigation took an extended period because of forensic testing and detailed crash reconstruction conducted by Senior Trooper James Pierce of the Oregon State Police.
McDonald has been ordered to appear again on March 21 or a pre- trial conference when a trial date will be set.