Carlos Daniel Perez, 14, dies after five days in the hospital

by: PHOTO: OREGON STATE POLICE - The six occupants of this minivan all suffered varying degrees of injury in this Jan. 18 crash in Donald. On Friday, Jan. 23, one of those passengers, 14-year-old Daniel Perez, passed away at Oregon Health and Science University hospital. Oregon State Police today confirmed that a 14-year-old Springfield boy injured last Saturday in a traffic crash on Interstate 5 near Donald passed away early this morning at an area hospital.

Carlos Daniel Perez, 14, from Springfield, died early this morning at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. He had been treated there for injuries sustained in the Jan. 18 crash on the northbound on-ramp from Donald to Interstate 5.

According to OSP, detectives are continuing their investigation into the crash, which took place around 9:50 a.m. that morning in foggy conditions. A Dodge Caravan with six occupants driven by Heron Mendez, 66, of Springfield, was in the northbound on-ramp to Interstate 5 when it collided into the back of a tanker-trailer commercial truck that was using the same ramp.

Police said they still have yet to determine who was at fault in the crash. The truck was carrying 27,000 gallons of latex at the time of the crash, but none was spilled as a result.

Mendez and passengers Jacob Williams, 36, of Eugene, and Louis Zenon-Meza, 28, also of Eugene, were injured in the crash and taken by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland with non-life threatening injuries.

Additional passengers Carlos Perez-Trujillo, 41, of Springfield, and his children, Carlos, 14, and Sarah, 12, also of Springfield, also were seriously injured in the crash and taken to Oregon Health and Science University.

As of the latest report, Perez-Trujillo had been released from the hospital, but Sarah Perez still was being treated at OHSU for her injuries.

The truck driver, 68-year-old Richard Reienmuth, from Gering, Neb., was not injured or charged by police in connection with the crash.

Aurora Fire District, Woodburn Fire Department, AMR Ambulance, and ODOT assisted at the scene. The on-ramp and at least one lane of Interstate 5 northbound was closed for more than two hours.

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