* UPDATE Suspect Arrested * – Hit & Run Crash Injures Three People near Gervais
Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office– 08/09/12
When I read the first release they didn’t know at that time it was a mexican illegal, but I did because mexicans drive drunk and run as soon as they hit someone. This mexican is a berry picker, with a fake green card, who knew he left behind bloody victims and didn’t care. Next time someone tells you it is racist to be cynical about Mexcians in Oregon, refer them to this post. Any mexican in Oregon can get a social security card and a fake green card for very little money in Woodburn Oregon.
At approximately 11:30am, today, Marion County Sr. Deputy Martin Bennett arrested the person believed to be the driver of the hit & run vehicle that sent three people to area hospitals on Monday evening.
The suspect was tentatively identified as a person of interest based upon paperwork found in the Dodge Caravan left at the scene following the crash.
Eleazar Martinez-Ortiz, 20, of Salem was arrested at a berry farm in Molalla, Oregon, following a 3-day follow up investigation by Deputy Bennett.
Deputy David Wagner assisted Bennett in his investigation. Together, they spent several days sifting through evidence in the van to eventually identity Martinez-Ortiz. A document that appeared to be a permanent residence card was located. It had Martinez-Ortiz’s name on it.
The van had been sold several times without having been re-registered by the current owner. Deputies further determined that Martinez-Ortiz was a migrant worker who lived in a migrant worker camp just south of the original crash scene.
When contacted this morning, Martinez-Ortiz was observed to have a fresh cut on the bridge of his nose. It was covered with a bandage.
During a bilingual interview conducted by Detective Nancy Hubbard, the suspect confessed to being the owner and driver of the van. He admitted drinking just prior to the crash. Following the crash, Martinez said he saw a woman lying on the ground, but admitted he hadn’t stopped to help her. Instead, he ran south, removed his bloody clothes and discarded them. The bloody shoes deputies found near the scene were also his.
Martinez-Ortiz claimed he was the sole occupant of the van at the time of the crash, but deputies are still seeking the identity of a possible passenger.
The document thought to be a permanent residence card was determined to be fake.
Martinez-Ortiz was booked into the Marion County Jail on three counts of felony hit & run, two counts of assault 2, tampering with evidence, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument.
Sergeant Craig Cunningham commented, “The speedy resolution of this case was the result of a coordinated effort by many members of our Office. The CRASH team provided the forensic evidence needed for the prosecution; the Detectives assisted with witness, victim and suspect statements, and the Enforcement deputies used their contacts and skills to identify and locate the suspect. We hope this will bring some peace to the victims as they struggle to recover from their injuries”
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One driver of a vehicle involved in a 3-car hit & run crash is being sought by Marion County Deputies after he ran from the scene of the crash at 11:30pm, Monday night.
Calls to 911 dispatchers reported two vehicles that were stopped on the shoulder of the roadway were struck from behind by a 2001 Dodge Caravan. The vehicles stopped on the shoulder were a 1989 Toyota Corolla and a 1993 Honda Civic.
The crash occurred on Howell Prairie Road NE and Mount Angel – Gervais Road NE, about 1 mile east of Gervais. The roadway was closed until early this morning while CRASH team investigators completed a forensic reconstruction of the crash.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the Dodge Caravan was traveling northbound on Howell Prairie Road when it came upon the other vehicle on the side of the roadway. The Dodge struck both vehicles and three of their occupants who were outside the vehicles trying to jump a dead battery in one of the cars.
The driver of the Dodge, along with a passenger in his van ran from the crash scene, southbound on Howell Prairie Road. Evidence from inside the van suggests that both suffered head injuries from the crash. Several open alcoholic beverage containers were also found inside the Caravan.
A search of the area was conducted with the assistance of a Keizer Police canine and Officers from the Woodburn & Mt. Angel Police Departments. The suspect driver and passenger were not located.
The driver of the Toyota was identified as Florencia Hernandez-Bautista, 26, of Hubbard. She was treated for moderate injuries and released at Salem Hospital.
The driver of the Honda Civic was identified as Guadalupe Santos-Montes, 25, of Woodburn. He was treated at Salem Hospital for serious injuries. His wife, Iris Hernandez, 21, also received serious injuries. She was transported to OHSU for treatment.
Their 3-year old son was safely secured in a car seat and was not injured.
Marion County Detectives were called in to assist with bi-lingual interviews and will be following up on the investigation. The Dodge van is registered to a resident of Gervais.
Anyone with information about this crash or the identity of the driver of the van is encouraged to leave information on our Tip Line at 503.540.8079.