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Officials suspect alcohol was a factor in each of three major crashes in western Washington County over the weekend.

COURTESY PHOTO: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - One of the vehicles involved in three major traffic crashes that occurred Friday, June 19, and Saturday in western Washington County.The Washington County Sheriff's Office has announced homicide charges against a juvenile driver who sped off the road and rolled his vehicle multiple times, killing a juvenile passenger Saturday, June 20.

The driver remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries following the crash. Authorities say he was driving drunk.

It was the third in as many major traffic crashes deputies responded to within a little more than a 24-hour period over the past weekend in rural western Washington County. Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in all three crashes, which left two people dead and two others with life-threatening injuries.

Deputies responded to the crash involving the juvenile occupants about 11:30 p.m near the intersection of Southwest Hillsboro Highway and Bald Peak Road west of the unincorporated community of Farmington.

"Both juvenile occupants in the vehicle were ejected," Sheriff's Office said, "The female passenger died at the scene due to injuries sustained from the crash, and the male driver was rushed to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries."

Witnesses who were following the vehicle told deputies at the scene they knew the driver and the passenger and suspected the driver was drunk.

Deputies later determined the driver's blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit. Speed also appeared to be a factor in the crash, the Sheriff's Office said.

The driver is currently facing charges of manslaughter, driving under the influence of intoxicants and reckless driving. Additional charges may be filed as well, the Sheriff's Office said.

By that time, deputies had responded to two other major crashes that occurred hours earlier.

The first crash happened the night before, at about 10:30 p.m. Friday in the 53000 block of Southwest Patton Valley Road near the unincorporated town of Cherry Grove. The 38-year-old driver was flown to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The second crash happened hours later at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in the 36000 block of Northwest Long Road, north of Cornelius. The 25-year-old driver died at the scene due to injuries sustained from the crash.

The multi-agency Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team is investigating the crashes.

Data from the Oregon State Police shows cases of impaired driving declined during the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic as bars and restaurants shut their doors to abide by social distancing restrictions.

From March through May, there were 664 cases of impaired driving statewide compared to 760 during the same time period last year, according to OSP data.

More than 10,000 people die of drunk-driving crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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