GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — The Gresham 6th-grader hit and killed by a driver who was later arrested was identified by officials and family members on Tuesday, the same day the driver is scheduled to make his first court appearance.
Luis Medina had a green light and was crossing appropriately just after 8:30 a.m. Monday, Gresham police said. More than a dozen police units rushed to the scene at Southeast Hogan Road and 5th Street. The 11-year-old died at the scene.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said investigators learned the boy was thrown 80 feet after he was hit by the car. A citizen with a dashcam captured the entire incident and showed it to investigators.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the victim’s family in this difficult time.
The accused driver, Garrett Berquist, is facing manslaughter, reckless driving and DUII charges.
When Bergquist got out of the car, the DA’s Office said, he was on his phone and began taking pictures.
A drug recognition evaluator from the Oregon State Police came to the scene and “determined Bergquist was impaired by central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers to the point at which he could not safely operate a motor vehicle,” court documents said.
According to court records, this is not the 26-year-old’s first DUII offense. Bergquist pleaded guilty in 2015 to driving under the influence. He completed a diversion program in 2016.
“According to witnesses, we do believe the student was inside the crosswalk and was doing everything he was supposed to be doing,” said Sgt. Thomas Walker. “The light was in his favor, but we’re still gathering information.”
Neighbors share their thoughts
Neighbors and police both told KOIN 6 News the area is very busy with a lot of traffic.
Kayla Fitzpatrick, who lives in the area, said the situation is very sad.
“I mean, I almost got hit a couple times around here. People are crazy. They, like, go too fast,” Fitzpatrick told KOIN 6 News on Tuesday.
“There’s lots of kids. There’s nowhere to walk, really. They’re doing construction over here and there’s no sidewalks,” she said.
She said her heart goes out to the family.
Another neighbor, Vince Davila, also said he feels terrible for the Medina family.
“I’ve lived here a lot of my life and I hope the people they know and love in the area are going to reach out to support them,” Davila said. “I would hope anyone in the area is willing to support them.”
He also said he feels terrible for the driver of the car.
“It’s just a horrible situation all around.”
“[There are] a lot of kids on bikes, we do have a school nearby, that’s a concern,” neighbor Mark Pearson said Monday. “There seems to be a lot of people on Hogan that are going Hogan at a pretty good clip — makes [the] intersection a dangerous situation.”
Sgt. Walker said this stretch of road is both residential and business. “People really need to be mindful when they’re out here and be paying attention to bicyclists, pedestrians. The other thing for the bicyclists and pedestrians is that, even if a light is in your favor, take an extra second or two to look around and be aware of your surroundings.”
Just two weeks ago, another boy was hit and killed while riding his bike along SE Hogan Road. A memorial for him sits a block away from where the latest student was struck. Neighbors said they would like to see more lights, sidewalks and flashing crosswalks in the area.