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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 99E north of Salem
01/01/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

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Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into an early Sunday morning two-vehicle traffic crash on Highway 99E north of Salem that resulted in the death of two people and injuries to ten others, including several who are in serious or critical condition. All twelve involved occupants are believed to be from the Salem area.
 
On January 1, 2012 at approximately 3:00 a.m. a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville driven by JOSE GONZALEZ, age 31, from Salem, was northbound on Highway 99E just north of Chemawa Road when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a southbound 1997 Dodge Caravan containing ten occupants. GONZALEZ, who was alone in his car, and a 3-year old girl passenger in the van were pronounced deceased at the scene. The other ten passengers in the van were transported to multiple hospitals for treatment.
 
The deceased child is identified as YAMULET TORRES-RAMIREZ. She was sitting on her father's lap unrestrained and was ejected.
 
The van's occupants are identified as:
  • Driver SONIA RAMIREZ-ALVARADO, age 37 - received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Salem Hospital.
  • Right front passenger RAUL JUAREZ-ALVARADO, age 34 - received serious injuries and was transferred by ground ambulance from Silverton Hospital to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
 
Middle seat passengers
  • IRMA RAMIREZ-GUZMAN, age 34 - received serious injuries and was transferred from Silverton Hospital by LifeFlight to OHSU.
  • YENI RAMIREZ-GUZMAN, age 30 - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to a Salem Hospital.
  • JOSUE JUAREZ-RAMIREZ, age 5 months - received critical injury and was taken by LifeFlight to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
 
Back seat passengers
  • LUIS TORRES, age 31, father of deceased child - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital.
  • ALEX PRADO-RAMIREZ, age 5 - received serious, non-life threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital.
  • RICARDO JUAREZ-RAMIREZ, age 13 - received serious injuries and was taken by LifeFlight to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
  • LESLIE ALVARADO-RAMIREZ, age 8 - received serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to Doernbecher Children's Hospital.
  • YOVANI CABALLERO-RAMIREZ, age 16 - received serious, non-life threatening injuries and taken by ambulance to Silverton Hospital.
 
Several of the injured occupants were extricated from the vehicles by Salem Fire Department firefighters.
 
Investigators believe safety restraints were being used by most occupants but will be verifying that detail during the ongoing investigation. There is no evidence at this time that alcohol was a contributing factor. Toxicology testing will be done on the deceased driver but results won't be known for several.
 
OSP was assisted at the scene by the following emergency responding agencies:
  • Marion County Sheriff's Office
  • Salem Police Department
  • Keizer Police Department
  • Gervais Police Department
  • Salem Fire Department
  • ODOT
 
A half mile stretch of Highway 99E was closed about five hours during the response and scene investigation.
 
Anyone with information to assist with this investigation is asked to contact Trooper Eric Edelbrock at (503) 378-3387 ext. 31600.