Springfield boxing gym's van collides with truck, 3 in critical condition

Springfield boxing gym's van collides with truck, 3 in critical condition

MARION COUNTY, Ore. –  A van carrying six people collided with the back of a tanker trailer pulled by a commercial truck on Saturday morning near the Donald/Aurora interchange on I-5, state police said.

According to police all six passengers were injured; three sustained critical injuries.

State Police say Heron Mendez, the 66-year-old organizer of Springfield's Mendez Boxing, was driving the van.

14-year-old Carlos Perez, a member of Mendez Boxing Club, is listed as in critical condition, OHSU spokeswoman Jennifer Columbo said. His father, 41-year-old Carlos Perez-Trujillo, and a 12-year-old girl are also being treated at the hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

Mendez was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland with passengers Jake Williams, 36, of Eugene, and Louis Zenon-Meza, 28, of Eugene. All three are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Oregon State Police Sgt. Mark Davie said the accident happened just before 10 a.m. near milepost 278. 

The van was taking the northbound Donald/Aurora on-ramp when it collided with the back of a tanker trailer pulled by a commercial truck, officials said.

Troopers are still investigating what caused the crash, but they believe that foggy conditions were the main cause.

The area around the on-ramp was closed for over two hours while crews worked in the area.

Carlos Perez recently won the state and regional championships, and was planning on taking on the National Silver Gloves Championship in late January.

This is a developing story, updates will be posted when they are available.