The Benton County Sheriff’s Office cited two men Thursday for allegedly driving their trucks on the meadows on Marys Peak the day before, causing damage to the area.

Timothy David Diegan, 28, and Aaron Sydney Bassett, 25, both of Corvallis, are charged with second-degree criminal mischief, said Undersheriff Greg Ridler. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $6,250.

Diegan and Bassett were allegedly driving their pickups in the snow on the meadows by the upper parking lot of Marys Peak. The property, officially called the Marys Peak Scenic Botanical Special Interest Area, is owned by the Siuslaw National Forest.

A man who witnessed the alleged crime posted about it on Facebook, including photos of Diegan and Bassett’s trucks, Ridler said. The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify the suspects using their license plate numbers, he said. Deputies contacted Diegan and Bassett at their homes, Ridler said.

“They were cooperative, apologetic and they were cited and released,” he said.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or lillian.schrock@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 

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