3 Guatemalan Christmas tree workers killed in Salem crash


This incident is under investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two out of 3 victims killed in what Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies referred to as a “high-impact” crash have been identified, and all 3 were Guatemalans who worked on a Christmas tree farm.

Andres Alonzo-Canil, 41, and Miguel Alonzo-Lucas, 39 have been identified as two of the passengers who died. Between the two vehicles involved in the deadly crash, there were a total of 14 occupants, ages ranging from 14 to 64. Police are still working to identify the third victim. Three other passengers are still in local hospitals, including one who is in critical condition.

The deadly crash occurred when a Chevy passenger van and a Ford truck got into a T-bone accident outside of Salem Friday evening.

The fire department was called out to the intersection of Cordon Rd Ne and Sunnyview Rd NE around 7:30 p.m. for what was described by authorities as a “high-impact motor vehicle crash” involving a Chevy van and a Ford F-350 truck. Investigators believe the van was traveling east on Sunnyview when they made a left turn in front of the truck that was traveling west, resulting in the collision.

Deputies say the van was transporting a group of Christmas tree workers from Guatemala.

The driver, who was the sole occupant of the truck, was also taken to the hospital for evaluation. The driver of the F-350 was identified as 18-year-old Cory Kudna and the driver of the van was identified as 35-year-old Pablo Gaspar-Ezequiel. Both are cooperating with investigators.

The heavy emergency medical response backed up traffic in the area on Friday evening. A total of 7 ambulances, 2 fire engines, and 1 “Heavy Rescue” were called out to the crash site. Cordon Road was blocked between Sunnyview and Swegle but was reopened around 1 a.m.

This incident is under investigation by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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