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Priest gets probation for 2004 crash in Eugene

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 10, 2017

Associated Press

EUEGENE – A Catholic priest has admitted in court that he caused a crash on Interstate 5 more than 13 years ago.

The Eugene Register-Guard reported Richard Renato Boyle, 70, was sentenced Monday to two years of probation and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty in Lane County Circuit Court to a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.

The case relates to an Aug. 15, 2004, crash in Eugene-Springfield that caused minor injuries to a Hillsboro couple, whose vehicle collided with Boyle’s car as the priest began to make a U-turn on the freeway. State troopers did not ticket Boyle at the scene, and he says he never received notice of his originally scheduled arraignment date in November 2004.

A warrant for his arrest was issued in August 2005.

Boyle’s attorney, Max Mizejewski of Eugene, had sought to get the case dismissed. He argued in court documents filed Sept. 20 that prosecutors had offered no explanation for a delay in executing the warrant.

Boyle, however, decided to plead guilty rather than fight the charge.

“I always try to do the right thing,” Boyle said after his court appearance, in explaining why he admitted fault in the 2004 crash. “That’s what my life has always been about.”

Boyle was serving at a parish in Cottage Grove when the wreck happened but moved to California a short time later. He returned to Oregon last year and now serves as rector of the Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, a national Catholic shrine more commonly known as the Grotto.

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