A Washington County grand jury has returned an indictment against a Hillsboro motorist who crashed into a residential yard in Aloha earlier this year, striking and killing 11-year-old Kylie Hornych.

On Aug. 22, the grand jury handed down a secret indictment charging David Alan Herman, 59, with second-degree manslaughter and reckless driving. HERMAN Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Herman at his Hillsboro residence at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.

According to Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, a “secret indictment” is relatively commonplace.

“It’s just not letting people know their case is before the grand jury until we go to his house and arrest him,” said Ray. “It happens all the time. It’s just not letting the cat out of the bag. We don’t want people making our jobs harder for us.”

The arrest comes in the wake of the fatal collision on April 4 that took a young girl’s life. At approximately 5 p.m. that Thursday, Kylie Hornych, a fifth-grade student at Chehalem Elementary School, was in her front yard in the 5200 block of 160th Avenue. She was talking to neighbors about a science project she was working on when Herman’s car, a 2007 Prius, went off the road, crossed a sidewalk and struck Hornych.

Daniel Lorenz, a Portland attorney representing Kylie’s parents, Daniel and Kellie Hornych, said they welcomed the report that Herman had been arrested.

“The family is very happy the district attorney reviewed the evidence and went back and did the job they should have done in the first place,” Lorenz said. “They are very hopeful justice will be done. It has been a very, very difficult struggle for them.”

Herman entered a “not guilty” plea during his Monday arraignment before Circuit Court Judge Gayle Nachtigal.

Lorenz said he had not yet seen the full report on the evidence presented to the grand jury, and could not comment on the specific charges filed against Herman.

“We trust the DA’s office is pursuing it appropriately,” said Lorenz.

Moments before hitting Hornych, Herman had been involved in a separate crash. In the initial collision, according to the report from deputies who responded to the scene, a man driving a 2010 Jeep Wrangler northbound on Southwest 160th Avenue was hit head-on in his own lane of travel. The driver of the Jeep then watched the Prius continue southbound, still in the northbound lane. The Prius continued across Southwest Farmington Road and left the roadway, striking Hornych and coming to rest against her house.

Other witnesses told deputies the Prius was traveling at a high rate of speed after striking the Wrangler. There was no evidence the car driven by Herman made any attempt to stop before the collision.

The girl was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but succumbed to her injuries prior to arriving.

Herman has a diabetic condition, which reportedly triggered the wrecks in 2007 as well as in April this year. However, Ray pointed out that having a medical condition is not a license to be reckless.

“He was having a diabetic event. But was he reckless in taking care of himself?” Ray questioned. “Having a medical condition doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if you cause something.”

Ray said the grand jury got involved in the case because Herman was allegedly not being open about his background.

“We had information he was involved in a crash several years earlier that was very similar to the crash that claimed Kylie’s life, which he didn’t tell us about,” said Ray. “He was very deceiving and deceptive, and did not come forward with critical information.”

In 2007, while driving in Beaverton, Herman struck another vehicle and hit a tree, totaling his vehicle. Neither driver suffered significant injuries as a result of that wreck.

“Once we realized he wasn’t honest about that crash report, we started doing more digging,” added Ray.

Herman’s next court appearance, a case assignment hearing, is scheduled for the Washington County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Oct. 18. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 24.

As of Tuesday, Herman was still being held at the Washington County Jail. His bail was set at $250,000.

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