EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Two people have died, a Eugene Police officer is injured and a 16-year old is facing manslaughter and assault charges after a high-speed chase ended in three-vehicle crash in west Eugene early Wednesday morning.
The crash happened around on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, at the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road in Eugene when the 16-year old driver ran a red-light during a chase with an Oregon State Police trooper.
The sedan hit a pick-up truck and a Eugene Police squad car.
Eugene Police say 62-year old Richard Lee Taylor of Eugene and a 43-year old woman were killed in the crash. As of Thursday morning, the name of the woman is being withheld until family can be notified.
“Sadly the actions of that driver ultimately led to the deaths of those two people,” said Lt. Gregg Hastings, a spokesman with Oregon State Police.
The 16-year old charged in the crash, Emmanuel Herrara-Gutierrez is charged with two counts of third degree assault and two counts of manslaughter. State Police say Herrara-Gutierrez does not have a license and say the car he was driving is owned by his parents.
Herrara-Gutierrez was taken to the hospital for injuries. He is now being lodged in the John Serbu Youth Center juvenile detention facility in Eugene.
Oregon State Police says Herrara-Gutierrez, was clocked speeding more than 100 miles-per-hour on the Randy Pape Beltline Highway.
According to OSP, Trooper Jered McLain, a 6-year veteran of OSP, managed to pull over Herrara-Gutierrez’s sedan without incident, but as the trooper walked up to the driver’s side, the car took off.
OSP says Trooper McLain then pursued the sedan for less than a minute. Herrara-Gutierrez’s car eventually navigated to the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road where it ran a red-light, broad-siding a Chevy S-10 pickup truck and hitting a Eugene Police squad car.
“The pickup apparently just pulled out of the 7-11 there at 11th and Bertelsen, stopped at the stop light, the light turned green and they were proceeding through the intersection,” says Capt. Rich Stronach with the Eugene Police Department.
State police say Taylor and the woman inside the pickup truck were thrown from the vehicle in the crash.
The EPD officer involved in the crash was not part of the pursuit. The patrol car, being driven by Recruit Officer Joshua Sundquist, with passenger Field Training Officer Kyle Evans, was stopped or stopping at westbound W. 11th just before Bertelsen.
One squad car was hit. Officer Sundquist was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.
The OSP trooper that first initiated the stop was also not involved in the crash.
OSP spokesman Lt. Hastings says a trooper has to take many things in to consideration when initiating a pursuit.
“So we consider different things such as the amount of traffic out there, roadway conditions, the area where the person is fleeing from and maybe fleeing into,” says Lt. Hastings.
Lt. Hastings says a trooper can call off a chase if they feel it is not safe. He says the trooper that initiated the stop notified dispatch that the car sped off, but because it happened so fast, Eugene Police officers in the area weren’t aware of the chase yet.
OSP says it was only 43 seconds from the time Herrara-Gutierrez stopped his sedan to the time of the crash.
The intersection of W. 11th Avenue and Bertelsen Road was closed for about 8 hours after the crash for the investigation.
Any witnesses to the crash who have not spoken to are being asked to call Eugene Police Officer Michael Klews at 541-682-5138.