SALEM, Ore. — Police have released the identities of the victims in a crash that killed four people and injured two others when a vehicle drove into a homeless camp in Salem early Sunday morning.
The four people killed were Jowand Beck, 24, Luke Kagey, 21, Joe Posada III, 54 and Rochelle Zamacona, 29, according to the Salem Police Department.
The injured victims are Derrick Hart, 43 and Savaanah Miller, 18, both of whom are still hospitalized. A hospital official said they were both in fair condition as of Monday afternoon.
The crash happened around 2 a.m. Sunday in the area of Front Street Northeast and Division Street Northeast. Authorities said a preliminary investigation suggested the driver of a two-door sports coupe traveling northbound on Front Street crashed into the homeless encampment.
The car pinned two people underneath. Salem Police said two people died on the scene and four were taken to Salem Health hospital with life-threatening injuries, and two of them later died at the hospital.
The driver, who police identified as Enrique Rodriguez, 24, was arrested and charged with four counts of manslaughter in the first degree, a misdemeanor DUI charge, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree and six counts of reckless endangerment.
Rodriguez was booked in Marion County jail and made his first court appearance on Monday.
In court, the prosecutor said he had been traveling at about 70 mph and lost control of the vehicle. She said his blood alcohol level was reported at .26, more than three times the legal limit. The prosecutor also said Rodriguez had multiple traffic violations since 2014, including driving without a license.
Family members of multiple crash victims spoke at Monday's hearing and asked that Rodriguez not be granted bail, and the court ultimately did deny him bail.
At times the atmosphere in the courtroom was emotional and tense.
A father screamed profanities and expressed anger at Rodriguez. A mother called on the phone and said due to the injuries her daughter and others sustained, she didn't believe Rodriguez should be granted bail. Other family members spoke as well.
One of the people who was hospitalized gave the prosecutor a statement to read in court, reminding community members that the people living at the encampment are there for a variety of reasons and are people too.
Rodriguez's mother, Maria Arreze, spoke to media outside the courtroom and defended her son.
"My son's not a murderer. He's not. I raised a good kid. I'm a single parent and I raise good kids," said Arreze.
She pleaded her son get a second chance and said she understands he can't be free of any responsibility but also asked for accountability from the city.
"[There] shouldn't have been homeless [people] on that road," Arreze said.
"Please, take into consideration that we all make mistakes and we all deserve a second chance."
Rodriguez is expected back in court again April 6.
Ryan Wright was living at the camp at the time of the crash. He said the car came so close to him, he could have reached out and touched it.
"All I remember is the screaming, pretty much," he said. "And we heard a pop and I look over and there is a car coming straight at us." He said some of his friends were the victims who died.
Mike Wade came to the camp after hearing one of his close friends had died. He helped others in the camp salvage their belongings and prayed for the victims.
“It gets me weaker every day hearing about us die one by one,” Wade said. “My friends are dead and I don’t know what to say.”