OREGON CITY, Ore. – A man charged with hit-and-run in the weekend death of a teenager riding his bicycle home made his first court appearance Monday.
A judge ordered Artyom Pavlenko held on $150,000 bail in the case. He turned himself in 11 hours after the crash that killed 18-year-old Michael Vu Saturday morning.
Deputies found Pavlenko’s car at his house with the windshield smashed and hood crumpled.
Pavlenko turned 29 years old Monday.
The family of both the victim and the suspect were in court which created a lot of tension. Pavlenko’s family left court without saying anything. The victim's family is waiting for another hearing later this week, after the grand jury considers the case, before they say anything.
Vu was a beloved young man whose death still stuns those he knew. Lindsy Lierman and sisters, Samantha and Stephanie Green, spent time Monday at the roadside memorial for Vu where the accident happened at Southeast Mather Road near Summers Lane in Clackamas.
"I know that he's gotten me through so much and now I'm not going to have him by my side anymore," said Lierman.
All three knew Vu through Clackamas High School where he graduated this past spring.
"Miky," to his friends, had put his plans to go to college and study architecture on hold so he could help his mother and sister care for his father who suffered a brain injury this past year.
"There's no words to describe the pain that we're really going through. There really isn't," said his cousin Tina Mounlavongsy. "I want him to be remembered as somebody that, honestly, is just irreplaceable. You know? He's one in a million."
Now friends and family can only wonder how and why the deadly collision happened at all.
"We don't know what to say to each other. It's hard," said Samantha Green.
"I'm still in shock. I cried for the first time last night. It's just so surreal," Stephanie Green said.
To help Vu’s family, make all donations to:
Chien V. Vu Special Needs Trust at any Chase Bank.