Man arrested after Umatilla County crash that killed 7-year-old

OREGON STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE -- A 29-year old Washington man is in custody following Wednesday night's fatal traffic crash in Hermiston that resulted in the death of a 7-year old girl and critical injuries to her mother. Oregon State Police (OSP) is continuing the investigation.

According to Sergeant Seth Cooney, on March 19, 2014 at approximately 8:21 p.m., a 2010 Kia Soul driven by LESLIE ROQUEZ, age 29, from Irrigon, Oregon, was northbound on Highway 395 stopped in the left lane at the intersection with Punkin Center Road when it was struck from behind by a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by JESUS MORAS NAVA, age 29, from Paterson, Washington.

After the vehicles came to rest, JESUS MORAS NAVA fled on foot and was found hiding near the scene by a Hermiston police officer.

LESLIE ROQUEZ was critically injured and initially transported by Hermiston Ambulance to Good Shepherd Medical Center. She was later flown by air ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for treatment of critical injuries.

Her daughter, TELEEYA ROQUEZ, age 7, was seated in the rear middle position properly restrained in a booster seat and safety belt. TELEEYA ROQUEZ was pronounced deceased at the scene.

JESUS MORAS NAVA was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center by Hermiston Ambulance where he was treated and released. OSP took JESUS MORAS NAVA into custody and lodged him in the Umatilla County Jail on the following initial charges:

* Manslaughter in the Second Degree
* Felony Hit & Run
* Reckless Driving
* Recklessly Endangering Another Person
* Assault in the Second Degree

The drivers were using safety restraints.

OSP troopers from the Hermiston and Pendleton offices are continuing the investigation with the assistance of the Umatilla County District Attorney's Office. Alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor.

OSP was assisted at the scene by Hermiston Police Department, Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Hermiston Fire and Emergency Services, and ODOT. The highway was closed over four hours.