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Double Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 84 east of Baker City
09/27/2009
Lieutenant Dave MacManiman
Oregon State Police - La Grande
(541) 963-7175 ext. 4610

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Two people, a 60-year old woman and her 4 month old grandson, were killed and three other family members injured Sunday morning when the car in which they were riding crashed along Interstate 84 approximately 25 miles east of Baker City.
 
On September 27, 2009 at approximately 6:25 a.m. a 2001 Ford Explorer driven by RAUL MENDOZA-LOPEZ, age 25, from Nampa, Idaho was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 331. Four other occupants were also in the Ford Explorer identified as right front passenger JUANA LOPEZ-LOPEZ, age 60, from Nampa; HAHIR EMMANUEL MENDOZA-LOPEZ, age 4, seated in a child booster seat in the left rear passenger seat; rear center passenger MIREYA LOPEZ, age 23; and, right rear passenger seat utilizing a rear facing infant seat was JONATHAN MENDOZA-LOPEZ, age 4 months. All occupants of the vehicle were members of the same imediate family with the exception of Juana LOPEZ-LOPEZ who was the grandmother.
 
As the Ford Explorer was eastbound it drifted to the left onto the gravel shoulder of the center median. Raul MENDOZA-LOPEZ attempted to steer the Explorer back onto the roadway, overcorrected and drove back across both eastbound lanes. The Explorer drove off the south shoulder and rolled several times down an embankment and where it came to a rest approximately 50 feet from the freeway.
 
JUANA LOPEZ-LOPEZ, who had been wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene of the crash.
 
JONATHAN MENDOZA-LOPEZ was ejected from the vehicle and also died at the scene.
it appears that the seat may not have been properly installed.
 
RAUL and HAHIR EMMANUEL MENDOZA-LOPEZ, who were both using safety restraints, were transported by the Baker City Fire Department to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Baker City for treatment of non life threatening injuries. Mireya LOPEZ, who also had been wearing a safety belt, was transported via Life Flight to Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho where she was treated for injuries and later released.
 
Eastbound lanes of I-84 were partially blocked for approximately 6 hours while emergency crews responded to and investigated the crash.
 
Troopers from the Oregon State Police (OSP) Baker City work site and a crash reconstructionist from the OSP Ontario Area Command office are continuing the investigation. OSP was assisted at the scene by The Huntington Fire Department, Baker County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Department of Transportation.