HERMISTON, OR - 13-year-old Yahaira Nuevo was getting ready to go to McDonald's with her friend when she heard a loud crash, "I didn't know, at first I thought it was something that fell in my living room".
Her and her friend walked into the living room, looked out the window and saw a car in the front yard and her brother on the ground. She tells us, "when I came outside, my brother was laying over here and he was under the fence". Her sister called 9-1-1, she called her and dad and he came home to see his 10-year-old son in the ambulance.
Two of the three boys were taken to the hospital and Yahaira's brother, Abraham, came home the next day. Hermiston police say Abraham's injuries included, a sprained ankle, bruising and swelling, laceration to leg that required stitches, laceration to face that required a stitch.
The other little boy is still in the hospital and he's suffering from two broken ribs and spleen issues. We talked to his dad, Alfredo Arreola and he tells us, "when I see all this, all the cars stopped here, with the accident, these two kids on the ground, I was very nervous,seeing my kid on the ground".
At around 6:49 p.m. on Wednesday night, Hermiston Police Officers responded to a report of a crash involving children with injuries on the 400 block of NE 4th Street. Jesse J. Focht, a 23-year-old man, was driving when his vehicle left the road and crashed into a fence of a residence, causing serious injuries to three children playing in the yard.
The children (two 11-year-olds and one 10-year-old) were treated on scene by paramedics. Two of the boys were transported to Good Shepherd Hospital via ambulance and the other boy was transported via private vehicle. Currently, two of the boys are home and one is still in the hospital. The injuries for those who were released consisted of a sprained ankle, bruising and swelling, a laceration to leg that required stitches, and a laceration to face that required a stitch. The more serious injuries are broken ribs, spleen issues, and lacerations.
Focht, who is on felony probabation, was taken into custody on a detainer issued by his probation officer and later taken to the Umatilla County Jail. Alcohol consumption does not appear to be the main contributing factor in the crash, but investigators are waiting on a chemical analysis of evidence collected before making the final determination.
Charges will be determined when the analysis is complete. A crash reconstructionist with the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office arrived on scene and will be providing a report on his findings.
“Clearly this is a very emotional investigation, as three children were in what was believed to be a protected area playing. We appreciate the support of Umatilla County Parole/Probation as we want to ensure we conduct a thorough investigation," said Chief Jason Edmiston.