Marys Peak meadow damage

Benton County sheriff deputies cited two Corvallis men Thursday for allegedly driving their trucks on the meadows on Marys Peak, causing damage to the protected area. 

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

Timothy David Diegan, 28, and Aaron Sydney Bassett, 25, both of Corvallis, are charged with second-degree criminal mischief, Undersheriff Gred Ridler said. 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. Siuslaw National Forest owns the property, officially called the Marys Peak Scenic Botanical Special Interest Area.

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, Ridler said.

Cpl. Al Schermerhorn contacted Diegan and Bassett at their homes where they were cited and released. Ridler said the men were cooperative and apologetic.

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