GERVAIS, Ore. – Marion County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man who they said ran away from the scene of a three-car crash near Gervais Monday night while the injured victims were yelling for help.
It happened on Howell Prairie Rd. and Mount Angel-Gervais Road NE about one mile east of Gervais, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Don Thomson.
Crash victim Guadalupe Santos-Montes, 25, spoke with KATU News from his Salem hospital bed Tuesday. He said he was helping his stranded sister-in-law jump-start her car, which was on the side of Howell Prairie Road, when a Dodge Caravan slammed into both cars.
Santos-Montes found himself underneath her car screaming for help while the hot exhaust burned his arm.
Deputies said the driver and a passenger of the van got out and ran away from the scene. Santos-Montes said he saw them get out of the van.
"I saw his leg from where I was and he was standing there," said Santos-Montes through an interpreter. "I was yelling to help us. An then I didn't see them any longer. Then I was able to come out."
Deputies said evidence inside the van suggests both the driver and passenger suffered head injuries in the crash. They also found several open alcoholic containers inside the van.
"When I'm driving out here I just gotta watch it all the time," said Santos-Montes. "There's just too much going on."
His wife, 21-year-old Iris Hernandez, was also seriously injured in the crash. She was taken to OHSU in Portland for treatment. Their 3-year-old son was in his car seat during the crash and was not hurt.
26-year-old Florencia Hernandez-Bautista, Santos-Montes' sister-in-law, was treated and released from the hospital.
The suspect driver and passenger have not been found. Deputies said the van is registered to a Gervais resident.
Anyone with information about the crash or the driver is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 503-540-8079.