Prineville man charged in fatal ATV crash

Deputies say alcohol was factor

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A 31-year-old Prineville man faces first-degree manslaughter charges in a fatal, alcohol-related ATV crash north of town Saturday night that killed another Prineville man, Crook County sheriff's deputies said.

Deputies were dispatched around 10:25 p.m. Saturday to the reported ATV crash on private property at 1519 NE Barnes Butte Road, said Undersheriff John Gautney. They arrived to find Tyler Robert Pierce, 22, dead at the scene, Gautney said.

Three people reportedly were riding in the Polaris Ranger 900 when it overturned and came to rest on its top. The other two occupants sustained minor injuries, Gautney said.

The operator of the ATV, Mason Edward Stafford, was taken by private vehicle to Pioneer Memorial Hospital, but refused treatment for his injuries, Gautney said.

Stafford was arrested on the first-degree manslaughter charge and lodged at the county jail in Prineville, with bail set at $50,000. He later posted 10 percent bail and was released, the undersheriff said.

"It is believed that alcohol was a contributing factor in this incident," Gautney said.

Sheriff's deputies were assisted in the continuing investigation by Prineville police, Oregon State Police, Crook County Fire and Rescue and the Crook County District Attorney's Office.

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