Elderly Man Struck, Killed By Vehicle in Hermiston

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An 80-year-old Hermiston man was killed early Friday morning when he was struck by a vehicle on S.W. 11th St., in Hermiston.

The Hermiston Police Department confirmed the identity of the deceased pedestrian as that of Leonardo L. Leal.

“The initial investigation points to Mr. Leal attempting to cross Highway 207 (S.W. 11th Street) westbound mid- block,” said Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston. “Mr. Leal, who was wearing darker colored clothing, was struck by a vehicle owned by Hermiston Sanitary Disposal and operated by a 32 year old male employee who resides in Hermiston.”

The accident occurred around 6:30 a.m.

According to Edmiston, based on preliminary information, speed is not believed to be a contributing factor nor were there any signs of any type of intoxicating influence/substances immediately known.

“The driver and the company have been very forthcoming and cooperative,” said Edmiston.

The Oregon State Police assisted with reconstructing the crash scene. A stretch of S.W. 11th Street from Orchard Avenue to Highland Avenue was closed for about four hours. The Hermiston Police Department will be submitting evidence to the crime lab for analysis as well as a full report to be sent to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Edmiston said reports that the police were searching for the “suspect driver” in a “hit and run” are not accurate. The chief said the driver is the person who called 911 and reported the crash.

“It’s a very sad day for the Leal family,” Edmiston said. “This investigation will remain open until we receive lab reports back which could be several weeks. Upon arrival, our officers dealt with more than one person using cell phones to videotape the scene. We would ask those people to show some empathy to the family and not post any video of the scene on social media, especially any video prior to our arrival or the arrival of Hermiston Fire and Emergency Services.”