According to Oregon police, a 24-year-old man was taken into custody after his sports car crashed into a tent camp, killing four people.
Police said that Enrique Rodriquez Jr. was taken into police custody on Sunday night following a crash at 2 AM in downtown Salem, which pinned two people underneath his vehicle.
According to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office, he has been charged with four counts each of first-degree manslaughter and second- and third-degree assault, and six counts each of reckless endangerment. Prosecutors said that he is currently being held at Marion County Jail without bail.
A court hearing was set for Monday.
The sports coupe with two doors was not a typical street car. “crashed into an unsheltered encampment,”Police made the 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 was as follows:
The “Salem Police Traffic Team is actively investigating the circumstances and believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor,”According to police
Nathan Rose stated that he was with his girlfriend when he heard loud thuds from their tent. Salem Statesman Journal reported.
Rose said that the silver car was just missing their tent. Rose said that he helped to pull one person out of the car after calling 911.
“From there, it was just chaos,”Rose spoke to the newspaper.
Police officers and community workers provided shelter for the camp’s residents.
“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.”