Student struck, killed on walk to school in Gresham
On a morning walk to school the first day back from winter break, an 11-year-old boy was tragically struck and killed by an allegedly impaired Gresham driver.
Luis Medina was described by loved ones as quiet, sweet, and an angel. He enjoyed playing with his sister and loved anything that had to do with being in the water.
The deadly crash that claimed his life just a few blocks away from his school was reported to the Gresham Police Department at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6. Medina was struck while crossing the street at the intersection of Southeast Hogan Road and Southeast Fifth Street. Police said the Dexter McCarty middle schooler was in a marked crosswalk and was going with the light. Medina was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Gresham officers arrested the driver, 26-year-old Garrett Bergquist of Gresham, whom officers said showed signs of intoxication. Witnesses told police that Bergquist ran a red light at the intersection at a high rate of speed as he traveled southbound on Hogan. Law enforcement said Bergquist continued to drive a significant distance after the crash. He then allegedly exited his vehicle on the phone and began taking photos, court documents said.
As part of the investigation, the Oregon State Police sent a drug evaluator to the scene. The trooper determined Bergquist was impaired by central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers to the point at which "he could not safely operate a motor vehicle," court documents read.
Bergquist was lodged in the Multnomah County Jail. Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 7, The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office filed a four-count charging document against Bergquist. He faces first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, driving under the influence of intoxicants and reckless driving.
According to court records, Bergquist pleaded guilty in 2015 to driving under the influence.
Monday morning Dexter McCarty staff sent a letter to parents sharing information of the deadly crash and death of a student. The school also brought in additional grief counselors to meet with any students or staff members struggling with the news.
"A student death is a difficult and challenging situation that can generate a high level of anxiety and distress in some students," the message to parents said.
To support the family with funeral services a GoFundMe was set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/luis-javier-medina-funeral-and-memorial-services?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
If a child is struggling with news of the accident and the grief of losing a peer, the school recommends parents discuss thoughts and feelings to help them work through the situation. The school also recommends monitoring and discussing your child's communications — like social media, phone calls, emails and text messages.
School counselors and support staff can be reached at 503-665-0148. Additional resources can be found at dougy.org/docs/TDC_Tips_for_Supporting_Grieving_Children_t_04_15.pdf
The East Metro Vehicular Crimes Team is investigating. Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to call the Gresham Police Tip Line at 503-618-2719.
The accident occurred a day after the Gresham-Barlow School District released a statement warning students to be cautious while making their way to school. The safety reminder from Superintendent Katrise Perera said several students have been struck by vehicles this school year, and she asked children to be alert around schools and bus stops.
"Walkers should use crosswalks and drivers should stop and yield to pedestrians using the crosswalks," Perera wrote. "Please remember to never drop off or pick up students in a manner that requires them to unsafely cross the street."
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