PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nathaniel Franciosi had turned his life around. A family friend said the 36-year-old from New York — 2 years clean after beating a heroin addiction — had a full-time job, a fiancée and a 3-month-old baby boy when he was hit and killed while walking on a Tigard sidewalk.
The crash happened when police said 58-year-old Michelle McMillan, driving with a blood-alcohol-content 3 times the legal limit, crashed with a 71-year-old man, sending his car toward the sidewalk along Pacific Highway near the intersection of SW Fischer Road. Franciosi was walking to the store when that car hit him. He was rushed to the hospital but died the next day.
“It’s been very, very difficult for (the family) and they’re trying to pick up pieces where they can,” said Marissa Phillips Brown, a family friend speaking for Franciosi’s mother, “but how do you do that? How do you do that after that kind of a loss, especially when you see somebody who has made such a change and finally has a future and good future ahead of him.”
The other driver was seriously injured in the crash. McMillan was not seriously injured.
She was indicted by a Washington County grand jury and a warrant was issued for her arrest, but she was not found until November 19. On that date, she was found in Lincoln, California and has been jailed since. In the early hours of Friday, McMillan arrived at the Washington County Jail. She’s being held on charges of 1st-degree manslaughter, DUII, 2 counts of 3rd-degree assault, reckless endangering, reckless driving and 2nd-degree criminal mischief.
McMillan pleaded not guilty on Friday. Her next court date is Jan. 22.
Phillips Brown said the family knows they can’t get Franciosi back, but seeing someone in custody will allow them to move forward.
“When we got the word that she was in custody that was a relief that finally that nightmare — at least she can’t be out hurting someone else,” Phillips Brown said.
The family, stricken with grief by an accident involving a drunk driver, has a message for people who hear the story of Nathaniel’s death: don’t drink and drive.
“Use Uber, use Lyft use a friend stay where you are, don’t get behind the wheel,” Phillips Brown said. “It’s not worth it; it’s absolutely not worth it.”
Even though he’s gone, Phillips Brown said Franciosi’s impact will keep going. His son, whom he loved and swore to never disappoint, is 8 months-old now. He was also an organ donor and the family said he’s donated his liver, kidneys and heart.
“Definitely some comfort in that and the fact that he has given life to others,” Phillips Brown said. “Even though he’s not here at least (his mother) knows there’s 3 other families (where) things have changed for them now immeasurably, and they’re very appreciative of that.”