Former congressman won’t face charges for fatal accident

Medford, Ore. — No charges will be filed against retired United States Congressman Bob Smith after police said he hit and killed 58-year-old Jerry Hughes last month in a Medford crosswalk.

Deputy District Attorney Nick Geil called it a horribly tragic accident, and said there’s not sufficient evidence to prove Smith acted in a reckless or criminally negligent manner.

“There’s no indication of excessive speed and no indication of cell phone use or anything else behind the wheel that would make this a criminal case,” he said.

He also added Smith was not under the influence of intoxicants and submitted to an examination by a drug recognition expert.

According to Geil, Hughes was running through the crosswalk on Stewart Avenue and King’s Highway on February 8th when he was killed. He said it’s unclear whether Hughes or Smith had the right of way.

Hughes’ sister, Janet Rose, said her brother couldn’t run because of a physical injury. She said as the weeks go on life without her brother hasn’t gotten any easier.

“He was very happy go lucky,” she said. “He loved everybody.”

Rose said the news that charges won’t be filed against Smith was a shock to the family.

“I think it’s wrong,” she said. “I don’t want the man’s blood or his life, but I think some kind of charges should be filed.”

She also said the family thought Smith would reach out, but he’s remained silent.

“That breaks my heart. Even if I got a sorry, that would heal a little bit of pain,” said Rose.

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