June 3, 2012 in Region

24 injured when car crashes into crowd

Associated Press
 

ONTARIO, Ore. – A car crashed into the bandstand area at a festival in eastern Oregon Saturday afternoon, injuring two dozen people.

Melissa Grimes, of Ontario, told the Idaho Statesman newspaper she saw the green car driving fast, then heard a huge crash when it jumped a curb, plowed through a metal barrier and into the spectator stands.

“It was like something from the ‘Dukes of Hazzard,’ ” she said.

Grimes, a certified nursing assistant, ran to see if she could help. “I dropped my shoes, my phone, my purse,” she said.

Elizabeth Duncan, spokeswoman for the Saint Alphonsus Health System, said 23 people were taken to its hospital in Ontario and one was taken to its trauma center in Boise.

None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, though three people were listed in critical condition. Some people had broken bones and possible internal injuries.

The driver, 19-year-old Jaime Everardo, of Ontario, was arrested on charges of assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants, said Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris. He said the driver had a juvenile passenger who was being questioned by investigators.

The crash occurred just after 2 p.m. at Lions Park in a city just west of the Idaho state line. The spectators attending the annual America’s Global Village Festival were watching entertainers on the main stage.

The park is across the street from the hospital, Grimes said, so paramedics were there quickly.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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