HERMISTON, Ore. — A 29-year-old Washington man is in custody following Wednesday night’s fatal traffic crash in Hermiston that killed a 7-year-old girl and left her mother with critical injuries. Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation into what happened. According to Sergeant Seth Cooney, at about 8:30 P.M. Wednesday a 2010 Kia Soul driven by Leslie Roquez, 29 of Irrigon, Ore., was northbound on HWY 395 when it stopped in the left lane at the intersection with Punkin Center Rd. and was struck from behind my a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Jesus Moras Nava, 29, from Paterson, Wash.
After the vehicle stopped, Nava fled on foot and was found hiding near the scene by a Hermiston Police officer, according to OSP. Leslie Roquez was critically injured and initially transported by Hermiston Ambulance to Good Shepher Medical Center. She was later flown by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment. Her daughter, Teleeya Roquez, was seated in the rear middle position properly restrained in a booster seat and safety belt. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to OSP.
Jesus Moras Nava was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center by a Hermiston Ambulance where he was treated and released. OSP took him into custody and lodged him in the Umatilla County Jail on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Felony Hit and Run, Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Assault in the Second Degree.
Oregon State Police are continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Umatilla County District Attorney’s office. Alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor.