Crash kills 3 Salem teens; driver charged

Crashes
madison capobianco makayla tryon trinity watt 06032019_1559607644202.jpg.jpg

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A driver whose blood alcohol content was nearly 3 times the legal limit is facing manslaughter for a Sunday night crash that killed 3 teens in Salem.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Palacios was driving a Jeep that ran a red light and collided with a Toyota around 11:30 p.m. in the area of Salem Parkway and Cherry Avenue NE, Salem police said.

Madison Capobianco in an undated photo provided June 3, 2019. (Courtesy: Artem Shypuk)

The 3 people in the Toyota — 19-year-olds Trinity Watt and Madison Capobianco of Salem and 18-year-old Makayla Tryon of Keizer – died at the scene.

All 3 teens have been students in the Roberts program in the Salem-Keizer School District, a non-traditional high school.

Madison’s boyfriend Artem Shypuk told KOIN 6 News the 3 teens were having a “girls night” and were on their way to the store to get snacks when they were hit and killed.

“It just hurts a lot, you know, you lose someone you really love,” Shypuk said.

He added her death at the hands of an allegedly drunk driver is senseless.

“Especially with the time and age we live in, we have a lot of transportation — Uber, Lyft and everything,” he said. “It just sucks people make the wrong decision.”

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Palacios. (Salem Police)

Rodriguez Palacios, who stayed at the scene, was taken to a hospital after the crash along with a passenger in the Jeep. 

Police said his BAC was 0.239% when tested, almost 3 times the legal limit of 0.08%.

The 25-year-old was later charged with 3 counts of 1st-degree manslaughter, 4 counts of reckless endangerment, plus 3rd-degree assault, reckless driving and DUII. He’s expected to face a Marion County judge on Tuesday.

In 2015, Rodriguez Palacios was also arrested for drunk driving.

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