(SALEM, Ore.) — A 24-year-old man was under arrest after police alleged he killed four people when his car left a roadway and slammed into a homeless encampment in Salem, Oregon.
Enrique Rodriguez was being held without bail on Monday in Salem on multiple counts of felony manslaughter, according to online jail records.
The episode unfolded at about 2 a.m. Sunday when Rodriguez’s sports car careened off a road, jumped a sidewalk and crashed into several tents, according to the Salem Police Department.
Two people were pronounced dead at the scene in northeast Salem and two others died after being taken to Salem Health Hospital, police said. Three other people, all believed to have been living in the homeless camp, were hospitalized with injuries.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police said in a statement that investigators “believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor.”
A preliminary investigation by the Salem Police Traffic Team indicates Rodriguez was driving a two-door sports coupe northbound when the vehicle left the roadway and crashed into the encampment, pinning two people under the car.
The names of those killed and injured were not immediately released.
Rodriguez was the sole occupant of the car and was also taken to a hospital with injuries, police said.
He was later booked into the Marion County Jail on four counts of first-degree manslaughter and charges of second-degree assault, third-degree assault and six counts of reckless endangerment.
Police said the exact number of people at the encampment at the time of the incident was unclear and referred questions to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.
The homeless camp was on the property of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and just feet from a railroad track, according to ABC affiliate station KATU-TV in Portland.
A KATU news crew reported on the same homeless camp about a week ago after neighboring business owners expressed frustrations over the city’s handling of the homeless problem.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.