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Four dead after driver plows into Oregon homeless encampment

A driver plowed into a homeless encampment in Oregon, killing 4 and critically injuring two others, police mentioned.

Enrique Rodriguez Jr., 24, was driving close to Front and Union streets in Salem at 2 a.m. Sunday when his automobile “left the roadway” and crashed into a close-by homeless encampment — pinning two folks beneath the automobile, according to a preliminary investigation.

The two victims have been pronounced on the scene. Four others have been rushed to a hospital with life-threatening accidents, two of whom later died.

Rodriguez, the lone particular person contained in the automobile, was additionally taken to a hospital for remedy, police mentioned, including that they believed alcohol performed a “contributing factor,” Salem police said in a statement.

It’s unclear how many individuals and tents have been arrange on the encampment, however Salem cops offered help to some by organising momentary housing for 3 people at a close-by motel, police mentioned.

Cops have been wanting into the circumstances main as much as the lethal wreck, however one man told the Salem Statesman Journal the silver sedan narrowly missed his tent as he and his girlfriend heard two loud thuds.

A vehicle crashed into a homeless camp killing four people
A automobile crashed into a homeless camp, killing 4 folks and critically injuring two.
ABIGAIL DOLLINS / STATESMAN JOUR

Nathan Rose then noticed a few of his buddies pinned beneath the automobile and sprang into motion, he recalled.

“The moment I saw what had happened, first thing I did was drop my phone and call 911,” Rose instructed the newspaper, including that he helped pull one sufferer to security. “From there, it was just chaos.”

The intersection was closed for a number of hours earlier than reopening at 9 a.m., the Statesman Journal reported.

Carl Rhymes, Enoch Gerber and Mike Wade pray for the victims of a car accident that killed several people at a homeless camp near Front Street Northeast, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Salem, Ore.
The homeless encampment was on state transportation division property that was “slated for cleanup” this week.
Abigail Dollins/Statesman-Journal by way of AP

The wreck occurred close to the Union Gospel Mission of Salem’s shelter for males, which has about 300 beds, based on the newspaper.

“No one deserves to have to live in unsheltered conditions and they damn sure do not deserve to die in them,” mentioned Jimmy Jones, government director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency.

“Tragedies like this will continue until this nation makes a serious commitment to the idea that housing is a human right, and that everyone deserves a warm, safe and dry place where they can live with dignity,” Jones continued.

A homeless camp is seen after a vehicle crashed into the camp, killing several people, near Front Street Northeast, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Salem, Ore
The intersection was closed for a number of hours.
Abigail Dollins/Statesman-Journal by way of AP

More than 1,000 homeless people sleep on Salem streets any given night, based on the Statesman Journal. One man went to the camp after studying that one among his shut buddies had been killed.

“It gets me weaker every day hearing about us die one by one,” Mike Wade instructed the newspaper. “My friends are dead and I don’t know what to say.”

City officers acknowledged the “tragic deaths” in an announcement whereas providing prayers to victims’ relations.

Nathan Rose
More than 1,000 homeless people sleep on Salem streets any given night.
AP

“We grieve with them and support them in their grief,” interim Salem metropolis supervisor Kristin Retherford mentioned. “We are coordinating with nonprofits and with city case managers to provide assistance to survivors.”

Salem’s mayor, in the meantime, mentioned the homeless encampment was on state transportation division property that was “slated for cleanup” this week.

“We continue to encourage those living in illegal or unmanaged camping sites to move to safer locations that are available,” Mayor Chuck Bennett told KEZI in an emailed assertion.

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