3 Children Struck by Motorist In Hermiston

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Three children were seriously injured Wednesday evening when they were struck by a car while they were playing in the yard of a residence in Hermiston.

Hermiston police responded to the accident at the 400 block of Northeast Fourth Street. According to Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston, Jesse J. Focht, 23, of 225 S.E. Fourth St., in Hermiston, was operating a 2014 Chevrolet southbound on Northeast Fourth Street when his vehicle left the roadway crashing into the fence of the residence at 430 N.E. Fourth St., and causing serious injuries to three juveniles playing in the yard.

The juveniles (two 11-year-olds and one 10-year-old) were treated on scene by Umatilla County Fire District 1 paramedics. Two males were transported to Good Shepherd Hospital via ambulance and one male was transported via private vehicle.

Edmiston said two of the juveniles are home as of Thursday and one is still in the hospital. The injuries of the two boys who are now home ranged from a sprained ankle, bruising and swelling, laceration to leg that required stitches, and a laceration to face that required a stitch. The boy who remains hospitalized suffered broken ribs, an injured spleen, and lacerations.

Focht, who is on felony probation, was taken into custody on a detainer issued by his probation officer and later lodged at the Umatilla County Jail. Edmiston said alcohol consumption does not appear to be the main contributing factor in the crash, “but we are waiting on chemical analysis of evidence collected before making the final determination.”

Edmiston said charges will be determined once the analysis comes back. A crash reconstructionist with the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and will be providing a report on his findings, he said.

“Clearly, this is a very emotional investigation as three children were in what was believed to be a protected area playing,” Edmiston said. “We appreciate the support of Umatilla County Parole/Probation as we want to ensure we conduct a thorough investigation.”

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