A Paterson man could face manslaughter charges after he crashed a Jeep into a car Wednesday night on a Hermiston highway, killing a 7-year-old girl and critically injuring her mother, Oregon State Police said.
Jesus Moras Nava, 29, ran from the scene after rear-ending the Kia Soul on Highway 395 around 8:20 p.m., state police said. He was found hiding near the scene and booked into the Umatilla County jail after receiving medical treatment.
Authorities are investigating if Nava was under the influence at the time of the wreck.
The Kia, driven by Leslie Roquez, 29, of Irrigon, was stopped in the left lane at an intersection near Punkin Center Road when the Jeep crashed into it, state patrol said. Roquez’s daughter, Teleeya, was strapped in a booster seat in the middle seat of the car.
Teleeya was pronounced dead at the scene, state patrol said. Roquez was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston before she was flown to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.
Nava is being held on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter, felony hit and run, reckless driving and second-degree assault charges, state patrol said.
State Police continue to investigate the crash with the assistance of the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office. Multiple Oregon law enforcement agencies and the Oregon Department of Transportation were at the scene.
A section of the highway was closed for more than four hours.