Man Who Allegedly Slammed His Car Into Homeless Camp, Killing 4, Was Drunk and Driving 70 MPH, Authorities Say

Homeless camp crash
Four people were killed and two others seriously injured when an allegedly drunk driver plowed into a homeless camp, authorities said. Getty/Stock

Enrique Rodriguez Jr. was ordered held without bail on manslaughter and DUI charges, according to online court records.

A 24-year-old Oregon man was driving 70 mph in downtown Salem with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he crashed into a homeless camp, prosecutors said, killing four people and hospitalizing two others.

Enrique Rodriguez Jr., 24, was ordered held without bail on numerous charges including four counts of manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to online court records.

Rodriquez was arrested Sunday following the 2 a.m. crash, Salem Police said. 

At a bail hearing on Monday, Marion County Deputy District Attorney Katie Suver said Rodriguez lost control of his silver sedan and crashed into the camp, flattening several tents and pinning two people under his car. His blood alcohol content was .26%, Suver said. The state's legal limit is .08%.

Monday's hearing became heated as several family members of the victims implored Judge Jennifer Gardner to not grant bail to Rodriquez.

"This piece of s**t trash, he’s going to go to Mexico or somewhere where we can’t take care of him," the father of one victim said in court. A member of the suspect's family, from the back of the courtroom, called the father a "racist."

Garner moved quickly to calm the proceedings, saying, "We're not going to do this."

Police released the names of the dead on Monday afternoon. They are: Jowand Beck, 24,Luke Kagey, 21, Joe Posada III, 54, and Rochelle Zamacona, 29.

The injured were identified as 43-year-old Derrick Hart and 18-year-old Savannah Miller, who remain hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

A witness told investigators Rodriquez was traveling about 70 mph in a 35 mph zone when his car crossed the center median and plowed into the camp, authorities said. 

Rodriguez was visibly intoxicated, and had red, watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, according to a probable cause statement filed by Salem police obtained by the Statesman Journal. 

Two requests for comment sent this week by Inside Edition Digital to Rodriquez's attorney were not answered.

The suspect was also driving with a suspended license, the prosecutor said, the newspaper reported.

Outside court, Rodriguez's mother, Maria Arreze, said her son was not a killer and criticized the city for not removing the roadside camp in downtown Salem.

"Shouldn't have been, not been homeless on that road, my kid would hurt himself, only himself. I think the city is accountable as well for this tragedy," she said, weeping.

An arraignment for Rodriquez was scheduled for April 6 on four counts of first-degree manslaughter, second and third-degree assault, DUI, and six counts of reckless endangerment

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