4 People Killed When Car Slams Into Oregon Homeless Camp, Driver Arrested: Police
Enrique Rodriguez Jr. was arrested Sunday after allegedly driving his sports car into a homeless encampment in Oregon, killing four, police said.
Enrique Rodriquez Jr. was taken into custody Sunday evening, following a 2 a.m. crash in downtown Salem that pinned two people under his vehicle, police said in a statement.
He has been charged with four counts of first-degree manslaughter, second and third-degree assault and six counts of reckless endangerment, according to the Marion County District Attorney's Office. He is being held without bail at the Marion County Jail, prosecutors said.
A court hearing was scheduled for Monday.
The two-door sports coupe veered off a street and "crashed into an unsheltered encampment," police said in a statement. "Two individuals died at the scene. Four people from the encampment were transported to Salem Health with life-threatening injuries, two of whom later died at the hospital. The driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, was also transported for medical treatment," the statement said.
The "Salem Police Traffic Team is actively investigating the circumstances and believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor," police said.
Nathan Rose said he and his girlfriend were in their tent when they heard loud thuds, the Salem Statesman Journal reported.
The silver car just missed their tent, Rose said. He helped pull one person from under the vehicle after calling 911, he said.
"From there, it was just chaos," Rose told the newspaper.
Police and community workers helped find shelter for those at the camp.
“In the winter, homeless residents crowd closer into the downtown trying to get closer to food, dry spaces and warmth," said Jimmy Jones, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, the newspaper reported.
"Our unsheltered spend most of their day trying to find a safe place to sleep and rest, but events like this remind us that there is no safe space," Jones said.
Mike Wade came to the encampment after hearing one of his friends had been killed. He helped salvage belongings as an advocacy group offered food and replacement tents, the paper reported.
“It gets me weaker every day hearing about us die one by one,” Wade said. “My friends are dead and I don’t know what to say."
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