Two killed, 10 injured in crash near Salem

Two killed, 10 injured in crash near Salem »Play Video
Photo courtesy: Oregon State Police

SALEM, Ore. – Two people died, including a 3-year-old child, in a New Year’s day crash on Highway 99E near Salem, state police said.

Ten others were injured in the 2-vehicle crash.

Police said Jose Gonzalez, 31, was driving a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville northbound on Highway 99E at 3:00 a.m. when, for an unknown reason, the car crossed the center line and collided head-on with a Dodge Caravan with 11 people inside.

Gonzalez, who was alone in his car, and 3-year-old Yamulet Torres-Ramirez died in the crash. Police said the 3-year-old girl was sitting on her father’s lap in the van without a seat belt and was ejected from the van.

A half-mile stretch of Highway 99E was closed for 5 hours after the crash. Investigators believe most of the occupants were using seat belts. Investigators say the cause of the crash is unclear, but there is no evidence alcohol was a factor.

"If there's going to be 11 people in a Dodge minivan, there's going to be people without seat belts clearly," said OSP Trooper Jennifer Johnson.

Salem firefighters extricated several of the injured passengers from the van, police said.

Police identified the following van occupants:

•    Sonia Ramirez-Alvarado, 37 - received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a Salem Hospital where she is in fair condition.
•    Raul Juarez-Alvarado, 34 - received serious injuries and was transferred by ground ambulance from Silverton Hospital to OHSU. He has been discharged.
•    Irma Ramirez-Guzman, 34 - received serious injuries and was transferred from Silverton Hospital by LifeFlight to OHSU where she is in fair condition.
•    Yeni Ramirez-Guzman, 30 - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Salem Hospital where he is in serious condition.
•    Josue Juarez-Ramirez, 5 months - received critical injury and was taken by LifeFlight to Doernbecher Children's Hospital where he is in serious condition.
•    Luis Torres, 31 - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital.
•    Alex Prado-Ramirez, 5 - received serious, non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Salem Hospital.
•    Ricardo Juarez-Ramirez, 13 - received serious injuries and was taken by LifeFlight to Doernbecher Children's Hospital where he is in fair condition.
•    Leslie Alvarado-Ramirez, 8 - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Doernbecher Children's Hospital where she is in fair condition.
•    Yovani Caballero-Ramirez, 16 - received serious, non-life threatening injuries and taken by ambulance to Silverton Hospital.

Police say everyone involved in the crash is from the Salem area.