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Update: Suspect Driver Arrested After Fleeing Fatal Crash near Hermiston
12/21/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Umatilla County Sheriff's Office
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2010-12/1002/40746/Lopez_Morales.jpg
 
With the assistance of local law enforcement agencies, Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers arrested the suspected driver who fled the scene of Sunday night's two vehicle fatal traffic crash on Highway 395 north of Hermiston. The passenger who died has been identified and OSP is continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Umatilla County District Attorney's Office.
 
On the evening of December 20, 2010, OSP, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Umatilla Police Department, and Umatilla Fire Department responded to a Umatilla-area residence after receiving a tip that the driver of the vehicle who fled the scene of the crash was hiding out. LUIS LOPEZ MORALES, age 25, no known permanent address, was arrested without incident.
 
LOPEZ MORALES had received minor injuries believed to be from the crash but was not hospitalized. He was lodged in the Umatilla County Jail for Assault in the Second Degree, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Felony Hit & Run - Injury Crash. Additional charges are pending following further investigation in conjunction with the Umatilla County District Attorney's Office. Umatilla County Jail website indicates there is also an ICE hold on LOPEZ MORALES.
 
The deceased passenger victim is identified as MOISES ARROYO HERNANDEZ, age 33, from Umatilla. Next of kin were notified.
 
Prior to the arrest, OSP Sergeant Sterling Hall reported that on December 19, 2010 at approximately 10:43 p.m. a 1993 Chevrolet Blazer with three occupants was northbound on Highway 395 about 1 1/2 miles south of Highway 730 at a high rate of speed. The Chevrolet Blazer's driver, later identified as LOPEZ MORALES, lost control and crossed over into the southbound lanes where it collided head-on with a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe with four occupants.
 
The Chevrolet Blazer's driver and an injured passenger left the scene before emergency responders arrived and found an unidentified Hispanic adult male passenger, later identified as ARROYO HERNANDEZ, deceased outside the vehicle. The injured passenger identified as NOLBERTO GONZALEZ BERNAL, age not available, from Umatilla, was located later at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston with non-life threatening injuries.
 
The four occupants in the Chevrolet Tahoe, two adults and two children, were injured and transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center. They are identified as driver LIDIA TEJEDA, age 39, and passengers JOSE TEJEDA, age 41; ALEJANDRA TEJEDA, age 13; and, NAYEH TEJEDA, age 3. The 13-year old passenger had serious injuries and the others received minor injuries.
 
OSP troopers from the Pendleton and Hermiston offices are continuing the investigation.
 
OSP was assisted at the scene by Umatilla Police Department, Umatilla and Hermiston Fire Departments, and ODOT.