PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A driver is facing a list of charges for a crash that killed two teenagers and seriously injured a Washington County sheriff’s deputy.
The 18-year-old driver, Xavier Rodriguez faces several charges including second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and DUII. Rodriguez entered a not guilty plea on Friday.
Prosecutors say Rodriguez ran a red light at Southwest TV highway and Murray in late April — hitting the deputy’s cruiser.
According to Beaverton Police Department, the initial investigation showed a Nissan Altima with five Southridge High School students ran the red light and crashed into the driver’s side of Deputy Michael Trotter’s patrol car.
Deputy Trotter remains in the hospital but is stable. The Washington County Sheriff told KOIN 6 News he is able to communicate with his family and hospital staff, but noted he has a long road to recovery.
Two students in the Nissan, 17-year-old Matthew Amaya and 16-year-old Juan Pacheco Aguilera were killed in the crash.
KOIN 6 News spoke with Amaya’s cousin, Abel Navarro, who said he does not hold resentment after the crash.
“It still feels unreal,” Navarro said. “Yesterday, I went to my cousin’s grave, just to pay my respects, ’cause I haven’t visited him since the actual burial process.”
Navarro said he and Amaya grew up together and were like brothers. He described Amaya as “very kind, respectful…just a perfect person in general…he was a, very gentle soul.”
Amaya, who was going to be a senior at Southridge High School this fall, was an only child. Navarro said his aunt, Amaya’s mother, is still in unimaginable pain.
“She goes to Matthew’s grave every single day to talk to him. She said that it’s really lonely in the house without him,” Navarro said.
Beaverton police say Rodriguez was driving under the influence of intoxicants. Students, James Thompson and Sky Korbut were critically wounded.
Navarro told KOIN 6 News he spoke with Thompson, who has vague memories of the crash, on Thursday. According to Navarro, Thompson said “I remember just waking up after the crash. I saw Pablo right in the center console and his head was bleeding. But I don’t remember Matthew…all I remember was getting out the car and I collapsed. And next thing I know I’m already in the hospital with nurses,”
Navarro, who says he used to hang out with Rodriguez at school, said he’s made the decision to forgive him.
“I’m upset that he did take my cousin and my friend, but I also cannot stay mad at him for the rest of my life because that would hurt me more,” Navarro said.
Beaverton police said Rodriguez was released from a hospital and taken into police custody Friday morning and was later arraigned for his charges.