May 25,2008 00:00
BEND, Ore. – Police have released the identity of the teenage passenger who died mysteriously after fleeing on foot from a traffic stop Friday evening in north Bend. Pending an autopsy and toxicology results, it appears as if Mathew Austin Zachary, 18, of Culver, Oregon, may have tripped and fallen, authorities said.
Zachary was found deceased shortly after he fled during a traffic stop on his friend’s vehicle at Jamison Road and Empire Avenue just west of the Bend Parkway shortly after 7 p.m., May 23, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Captain Marc Mills reported in a news release.
During the stop, Zachary ran. “Investigators do not know the reason that Zachary ran from the vehicle and can only speculate on reasons why he did,” the captain said.
The deputy notified dispatch that the passenger had fled, but did not pursue him as the traffic stop continued.
A second deputy who arrived in the area was flagged down by two citizens that reported seeing a person running, and who then told the deputy which direction the subject had fled. The deputy, accompanied by the unidentified citizens, found Zachary unconscious and unresponsive, the captain said.
The deputy and the citizens rendered aid until medics arrived, but Zachary was deceased, a news release stated.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office notified family members of Zachary’s death. “Sheriff Jack Jones told me that the family and friends of Mathew are devastated by the news of his death,” Mills said.
“The exact cause of death is not known at this time and will be pending an autopsy by the State Medical Examiners Office as well as toxicology tests this weekend,” the captain stated in a news release, adding that results from toxicology tests can take up to four weeks.
“The investigation into this matter is continuing and it is not appropriate to speculate or comment on this issue at this time,” Captain Mills stated. Bend Police, Deschutes County Sheriff’s investigators and the District Attorney’s Office are conducting the joint investigation.