ESTACADA, Ore. -- A teen died and five other teens were hurt late Saturday night after an open-backed Toyota 4-Runner holding all of them crashed on a forest service road outside Estacada, police said.
The crash was at about 10:45 p.m. in an area without cell service, said Clackamas County sheriff's deputy Bryon O'Neil. The teens were taken in other vehicles to Hillockburn Road and Oregon 211 where emergency crews met them, he said.
Nicholas Portis, 17, of Milwaukie died after the wreck. The others were taken to local hospitals. All were expected to survive.
“If they hadn't have had alcohol, if they'd not been drinking, they would have all made it down safely. They would have all been together today to go to school this morning and finish their senior year,” said Nick’s mother, Jeannete Robart. “They would have been able to say goodbye to him when he deploys to the Marines in August."
Passenger Cheyann Yates was among those injured in the crash and she said her seat belt saved her life. She said the group of friends had been partying in the woods Saturday night before the crash.
She had a message for other teens after she lost her friend.
“Please, you guys, don't be dumb. Think," she said. "I recommend you do not drink on spring break. After this, I just wish he was here."
The driver of the Toyota was 19-year-old Joseph Childs. Investigators believe alcohol and speed were both factors in the crash, O'Neil said.
In the wake of the crash, Mothers Against Drunk Driving issued a statement, challenging parents to take a more active role in their children's lives.
The accident remains under investigation, he said. No charges have been filed.
Portis' mother said her son was going to join the Marines this summer. Now she has to plan his memorial.